How to Install an Electric Garage Door Opener

While some people prefer the convenience of hiring a professional to get things done around the house, there are also a number of people who would rather take matters into their own hands. DIY projects are not only a great way to save a buck, but they also provide you with the opportunity to learn something new. If you are interested in learning how to install an electric opener for your garage door, then these simple steps will have you on your way to getting the job done.

Safety First

Installing an electric garage door opener can easily be done in just a few steps. However, there are always safety measures to consider when taking on a project. This is especially true when you are dealing with a large object, such as a garage door, and wiring. The first safety measure is to make sure your garage door is operating properly. If the door is not opening and closing correctly or is stuck, then it needs to be repaired before you install an automatic entry. Secondly, a garage door is made up of springs, cables and pulleys, and you should not alter or remove them. Third, in order to avoid getting tangled or caught up, make sure all ropes and cords are removed from the garage door. Fourth, deactivating door locks is a good idea. If they accidentally become engaged while you are working, it could cause damage to the opener or yourself. Finally, if your setup requires installing permanent electrical wiring, make sure you disconnect the power at the breaker box before trying to wire any connections.

Handy Tools

Every project requires certain tools to get the job done. While a little improvising can sometimes be done, there are a few things that you need to have on hand to install an electric garage door opener. You will need an electric drill, a hammer, an adjustable wrench, a stepladder, a measuring tape, drill bits, screwdrivers, pliers, a steel angle, 1” and 2” lumber for shims, and a pencil. Basically, just have your entire tool box handy and you should be good to go.

Get in Gear

You’ve taken the safety precautions and checked the required tools off your list, now it is time to get in gear and install your electric garage door opener. The first step you need to take, according to Do It Yourself, is to get to know the parts of the assembly and make sure all the pieces are there. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to assemble your specific opener. Once you have it assembled, you will need to measure from the end of the track to the spot where the motor hangs and cut the track to fit. Your opener must then be attached to the ceiling joists. It is a good idea to find these with a stud finder and mark them ahead of time so you can easily screw your frame in to place, according to HGTV.

Next, use your angle iron to assemble a frame that transitions the hanging bracket on the motor to the ceiling joists. Then, screw the header bracket to the door header positioned over the center of the door frame. Lift the end of the track to the header bracket, pinning it into place.

The next step will require an extra set of hands. Position yourself on the ladder and let someone hand you the motor end of the track and then ask them to open the garage door. Place a 2×4 on end on the garage door, and then rest the track on the 2×4. This is a great trick that will allow you to use the garage door to help you hold the weight and put the opener in the perfect position for the following steps. Screw the previously assembled frame to the ceiling joists and bolt the opener to the frame. Next, screw the lift arm to the door using the provided brackets and make sure it is centered under the track. Your opener should now be in place and only requires two more steps before it can function.

Safety Sensors

Without properly installed safety sensors, your garage door will not automatically open and close. There are really only two simple steps to install these sensors. Locate the transmitter and the receiver and screw each on opposite sides of your garage door frame, pointing at each other. Lastly, run the wires up to the motor housing. Your garage door should now be able to open and close with the simple touch of a button.

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