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Installing a Garage Door Opener

This DIY Basic will provide tips on installing a garage door opener.

More in Windows Walls and Doors

Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Gather Your Materials and Tools

Materials and Tools:

automatic garage door opener
carpenter's level
tape measurer
claw hammer
wire cutters
drill bits (3/16", 5/16" and 5/32")
power drill
sockets and wrench (1/2", 5/8", 7/16", 9/16" and 1/4")

Step 3: Disable the Door Locks and Balance the Door

Installing an automatic garage door opener is easier than you might think — if you have a helper.

Tip: DO NOT wear watches, rings or loose clothing while installing opener.

Disable garage door locks. Remove ropes connected to door.

Make sure door is balanced: Lift door halfway and release; if balanced, it will stay in place.

Raise and lower door to make sure it's not binding or sticking. If door is unbalanced, binds or sticks, call a professional garage door technician.

Step 4: Assemble the Rail

Separate assembly and installation hardware and lay out in proper order as needed.

Remove straight door arm and hanging bracket inside front rail and set aside.

Assemble rail by aligning sections on flat surface and sliding tapered ends into larger ones.

Slide trolley assembly along rail from back to front.

Fasten rail to motor unit.

Step 5: Install the Idler Pulley

Place idler pulley into window of rail, bolt, and tighten with lock washer and nut.

Pull belt around idler pulley and toward trolley with ribbed side in contact with pulley.

Tip: Set tension by rotating nut 1/4 turn until spring releases and snaps nut ring against trolley. Brace one end of nut with screwdriver; turn other end with open-end wrench.

DO NOT connect opener to power source until instructed to do so.

Step 6: Attach the Header Bracket

Determine header bracket location by extending inside vertical centerline of door onto header wall above door.

Tip: Open door and draw horizontal line 2 inches above high point for sectional door, 8 inches for one-piece door.

Attach header bracket to wall or ceiling. If clearance is minimal; mount header bracket upside down to gain 1/2 inch.

Attach rail to header bracket.

Step 7: Install the Opener

Position opener.

Tip: Place 2x4 on its side to set 2-inch door-to-rail distance.

Set opener on top of stepladder. If stepladder isn’t tall enough, get second stepladder and helper to hold opener.

The top of the door should be level with the top of the motor unit.

Attach the opener to the bracket.

Step 8: Install and Test the Safety Sensors

Install door control, battery backup and lights.

Attach emergency release rope.

Tip: Handle of rope should be at least six feet above floor. If rope must be shortened, heat-seal cut end with match to prevent unraveling.

Connect opener to power source by plugging in electrical cord or hardwiring unit. Opener must be grounded; NEVER use extension cord or 2-wire adapter.

Install safety-reversing sensors.

Fasten door bracket.

Connect arm to trolley.

Program door top and bottom stop positions to match vehicle height and garage floor.

Place empty cardboard box under door and lower it to test safety-reversing sensors.

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