The general maintenance of your garage door is best left to the technicians at your local garage door repair company. The system functions because of the high-tension springs used to counterbalance the door. These springs are dangerous to work with. But the safety systems on your garage door are something you can check and sometimes repair. Here are the three safety mechanisms installed on most garage doors that you should inspect frequently to make sure they are working correctly.
Safety Cable for the Springs
Every spring used on your garage door should have a braided steel cable running through it. These springs are under a lot of tension and should one break, it will fly across the garage and cause serious damage if not contained. The safety cable prevents a broken spring from doing damage.
- Find the springs located near the ceiling.
- Look for a metal cable running through the center of each spring.
- Check that the cable's connection to the front of the garage and the ceiling bracket at the other end are not twisted or bent.
- Check along the length of the cable for fraying or kinks.
If you see any damage to the cable or its connections, contact a garage door repair company to make the cables safe.
An infrared motion sensor is located on both sides of the garage door and pointed at each other. If something breaks the infrared beam while the garage door is closing, it should immediately stop and reverse. This is to prevent the door from closing on someone or something moving into or out of the garage. You can test this safety mechanism with the following steps:
- Open the garage door.
- Press the button to close the garage door.
- While the door is closing, roll a ball or other object between the infrared sensors.
- The door should immediately stop moving and reverse.
- If the door doesn't stop, check the following items:
- Make sure the sensors are pointed at each other.
- Follow the wires from the back of the sensor units to the garage door opener motor and make sure there are no breaks in the wires. Reattach wires that have become disconnected.
- Test the infrared sensors again and if they still don't work, have a service come out to repair or replace them.
The garage door opener motor should detect when an object is preventing it from closing properly. This prevents the door from closing on a car, children's toy or other object. When the opener detects an obstacle, it should stop immediately and reverse. You can test this yourself with the following steps:
- Open the garage door.
- Place a chair in the path of the garage door. Make sure the chair straddles and doesn't break the infrared beam.
- Close the garage door.
- The door should stop immediately upon touching the chair and reverse.
- If the door continues closing slightly or doesn't stop at all, try adjusting the pressure sensor.
- Find a screw or knob on the back of the garage door opener motor that says something similar to "Pressure."
- Turn the adjustment in the direction indicated for "Less Pressure" and try the door again.
- If this makes no difference then call the service company for help.