A garage door is the largest moving appliance in the home. It can also be one of the least thought about when it comes to maintinance.

Proper installation, operation and maintenance and testing of the garage door and garage door operator are necessary to provide safe, trouble-free operation. An improperly adjusted garage door or automatic opener can exert deadly force when the door closes. This could lead to serious injury or death from being hit by a closing garage door or from being trapped under the door.

Safety Is Everyone's Business

A few simple precautions can protect your family and friends from potential harm. Please take a few minutes to read the following safety and maintenance tips. Refer to your garage door and opener owner's manual for details specific to the model you own. Then check the operation of your garage door and automatic opener.

"Testing and Maintaining The Garage Door"

There are routine safety and maintenance steps that you should follow once a month. Review your owner's manual for the door opener. If you don't have the owner's manual, look for the opener model number on the back of the power unit and request a manual from the manufacturer.


Regularly lubricate the moving parts of the door.  Consult the door owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommendation.

Visual Inspection

Look at the garage door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys, and other door hardware for signs of wear. If you suspect problems, have a qualified person make repairs.

Take a few minutes to inspect and test your complete garage door system. Make monthly inspection and testing a part of your regular routine. Safety is everyone's business. Make garage door and garage door opener safety automatic in your home.

Consult owner's manuals for additional recommended maintenance for your models of door and opener.

WARNING - Springs are under high tension. Only qualified persons should adjust them.

Garage door springs, cables, brackets and other hardware attached to the springs, are under very high tension and, if handled improperly, can cause serious injury. Only a qualified professional or a mechanically experienced person carefully following the manufacturer's instructions should adjust them. The torsion springs (the springs above the door) should only be adjusted by a professional. Do not attempt to repair or adjust torsion springs yourself.

A restraining cable or other device should be installed on the extension spring (the spring along the side of the door) to help contain the spring if it breaks.

Door Balance

Periodically test the balance of your door.

Start with the door closed.

If you have a garage door opener, operate the door closed first then use the release mechanism so you can operate the door by hand when doing this test. 

You should be able to lift the door smoothly and with little resistance. It should stay open around three to four feet above the floor. If it does not, it is out of adjustment. Have it adjusted by a qualified service person.

 Make sure the additional safety devices, such as photo eyes or edge sensors, are properly installed and adjusted (see owners' manual)

Never remove, adjust or loosen the screws on the bottom brackets of the door. These brackets are connected to the spring by the lift cable and are under extreme tension.

Monthly Maintenance Checklist
Garage Door Opener
Reversal Test Force Setting
Test Additional Safety Devices

Garage Door Visual Inspection:
Springs, Rollers, Pulleys, Cables and Track Lubrication, Door Balance.


Force Setting Test

Test the force setting of your garage door opener by holding the bottom of the door as it closes. If the door does not reverse readily, the force may be excessive and need adjusting. See your owner's manual for details on how to make the adjustment. Test the reversing feature after any adjustment.

Reversal Test

Make sure your opener has a reversing feature. If a reversing feature is not present, it should be replaced. Garage door openers manufactured after January 1, 1993 are required by federal law to have advanced safety features which comply with the latest U.L. 325 standards. Contact your manufacturer or installer for additional information.

Test the reversing feature every month.

First, test the balance of the door (see "Testing and Maintaining The Garage Door"). If the door is properly balanced, then proceed.

With the door fully open, place a 1-1/2" thick piece of wood (a 2"x 4" laid flat) on the floor in the center of the door.

Push the transmitter or wall button to close the door. The door must reverse when it strikes the wood. (Note that the bottom part of "one piece doors" must be rigid so that the door will not close without reversing.)

If the door does not reverse, have it repaired or replaced. Have a qualified individual adjust, repair or replace the opener or door.

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