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HERE'S HOW Tips for Installing a Quiet, Yet Fast Garage-Door Opener PDF Print E-mail
Written by PAT LOGAN   
Thursday, 13 January 2011 06:08

Dear Pat: I need some installation tips and advice on the best types for a two-car garage. ?Candi H.

Dear Candi: The three primary options you have in garagedoor opener designs are in the drive mechanisms: chain, screw and belt. Chain drives are usually the least expensive, but also the noisiest. Screw drives are middle of the road, and the belt drives are the quietest. A one-half horsepower motor would be best for fast speed with any garage door. For the greatest security, at only slightly higher initial cost, select a garage-door opener with a randomly revolving access code. Each time you enter your garage, the electronic code automatically changes. This keeps a would-be thief from electronically capturing the access code and using it to enter your garage when you are away.

Before installing your garagedoor opener, check your local building codes. Most openers come with a 40-inch cord, and the electrical outlet that it plugs into must be within 36 inches of the opener. Also, some areas require a garage-door opener be wired to its own circuit breaker, so make sure you have the electrical outlet positioned and wired properly.

One of the most common problems resulting from do-ityourself installation is the opener motor and track are not securely attached to the ceiling. The motor assembly can weigh 50 pounds, not including the forces of opening a door, so secure installation is necessary for quiet operation.

Make sure the motor housing or mounting brackets are screwed securely into the lumber framing in the ceiling, not just into the drywall with anchors. You may have to go into your garage attic and nail a 2-by-6 piece of lumber across several joists for support.

The next step is to assemble the opener. This varies depending on the design. But the instructions included with it should detail this operation well. Getting the track set up is probably the most timeconsuming part of the installation.

All openers will have a headermounting bracket that attaches to the garage wall, typically several inches above the track section. As with the motor, it is important to securely fasten the bracket to the wall. Ideally, you will be able to screw it into the 2-by-6 header above the garage-door opening. Next, secure the motor to the ceiling.

The final step is to install the infrared safety controls. A beam of light energy shines from one side of the garage-door opening to a sensor on the other side. It is usually located 6 inches above the ground. If the beam of light gets broken, a closing door should stop or reverse and open.

Send your questions to Here's How, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit


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