Keeping Your Garage Door Safe Between Inspections

It's a good idea to have your garage door inspected periodically by a garage door maintenance company. The high-tension springs, rollers and chain or belt can become worn and make the door noisy or operate more slowly. Between visits, you should check on the safety mechanism on the door to make sure that they are always working. Here is how to check the three most important safety features on your garage door.

High-Tension Spring Safety Cable

The springs are under a lot of tension which enables them to counterbalance the weight of the garage door. Should one of them break or come loose, it could fly across the garage and damage property, or a person, should it hit something or someone. However, a safety cable is installed to contain the spring should it be set free. Inspecting the safety feature could keep you and your family safe.

  1. Find the springs located parallel near the ceiling of the garage.
  2. Locate the braided steel cable running through the middle of the spring with one end attached to the ceiling and the other on the metal track near the garage door.
  3. Inspect the attachments at the end of the cable for signs of cracking, stretching or loose bolts.
  4. Inspect the cable for any fraying or kinks.
  5. If you see any problems, have a garage door specialist come out and replace the cable.

Motion Sensors

On either side of the garage door near the floor are two infrared motion sensors. When the garage door is going down, should something or someone break the beam between the two sensors, the door will stop and reverse. This is to prevent someone from walking into the garage after the door begins to close and being struck by the door.

To test the sensors:

  1. Start the garage door going down.
  2. Roll a ball or other small object across the infrared beam.
  3. The door should stop and reverse.
  4. If it does not, inspect the sensors for loose or broken wires. Fix the wires if they were the problem and test it again.
  5. If that wasn't the problem, have a garage door company come out and repair or replace the sensors.

Pressure Sensor

Another safety mechanism is the pressure sensor. This mechanism is built into the garage door opener motor. As the garage door closes, if it encounters resistance from something in the way, the door should stop and reverse. This is another way to prevent something from being in the way of the door when it closes.

  1. Open the garage door and place a chair in the way of the door coming down with the legs of the chair straddling the infrared beam.
  2. Start closing the garage door.
  3. When the garage door touches the chair, it should stop and reverse.
  4. If it doesn't stop at all, or doesn't stop immediately but continues to close for a second, you can try adjusting the pressure sensor.
  5. Look for a screw or dial on the back of the garage door opener motor that says "Pressure".
  6. Turn the dial toward the direction marked "Less Pressure" and test the door again.
  7. If this makes no difference, you'll need to have the garage door service personnel look at the motor.

Keep yourself and your family safe by doing these safety checks regularly on your garage door. If something seems off with your garage door, consider contacting a professional, such as American Eagle Garage Door Services, and discuss your concerns or possible repairs.