Keeping your garage door properly maintained is important for your safety. It can also help to prevent expensive repairs down the road. There are some maintenance and safety tests that can be performed by a novice. If you do not feel you can perform these tests correctly, contact a trained professional. Perform the following tests on a monthly basis:
1. Reversing mechanism test
This test is only for doors with an automatic opener system. Open the door completely. Lay a 2 x 4 piece of wood on the ground in the middle of where the door would make contact with the ground. Push the button to close the door. The door should automatically go into reverse when the door hits the wood. If this does not happen, you need to have the door service immediately.
Note: Federal law dictates that all garage door openers that were produced after January 1, 1993, must have an edge sensor or photo eye and a reversing mechanism as safety measures that will prevent entrapment. If you are not using a system that is equipped with these features, it is recommended that you replace your system immediately.
2. Photo eye test
Open your door completely, then close the door while waving a broomstick in front of one of the photo eyes in an attempt to break the beam. As soon as the beam is broken, the door should go into reverse. If this does not happen, close the door completely. While the door is closed, clean the photo eyes using a dry cloth. If the eyes seem like they are not aligned properly, adjust them by hand. Open the door again and do the photo eye test over again. Have the door professionally serviced if it does not reverse as it should.
3. Force setting test
Open the door and close it. As it is closing, hold the door to prevent it from closing. If the door does not immediately shift into reverse and start to open again, move away and allow it to close. This means that the closing force is excessive and the door should be serviced immediately.
4. Door balance test
Close your door and turn off the automatic opener. Lift the door manually. It should life with a minimal amount of resistance and should stay completely open. If it is hard to open and does not stay open, this could mean the door is out of balance. Have it professionally serviced immediately.