Easy 3-step garage door safety checklist

When I was a kid, my friends and I used to play a game.  We would press the garage door button, and try to run out as fast as we could, racing to get under the garage door before it closed.  We had no idea how dangerous this was, and obviously this was before 1993 when new laws required safety sensors because kids were getting hurt by this exact game.

Now, all garage doors have Autoreverse sensors and other safety sensors.  They are super easy to check, and I reccomend that you test them at least twice a year.  Sign up to receive an email when it is time to check your garage door.

Following these easy to do tips will help keep your garage in the best working order, and prevent costly repairs.

If your Garage door won’t open, I’d also check these three things.  Each of them could be the problem.

  1. Autoreverse Sensor
  2. Door pressure Test
  3. Balance Test

Autoreverse Sensor

Testing your garage door sensor is very easy – takes about 30 seconds.  On either side of your garage door are little black sensors that send an invisible beam across the opening.  They should be mounted about 6-inches from the ground.

To test the garage door sensor: open your garage door take an object that is taller than the sensor (I use an old Amazon box), and place it directly in the garage door opening.  Then press the button to close the door.  It should NOT close.   My garage door flashes it’s overhead light to signal that something is in the way.  Now, remove the box, and try to close the door.  It should close with no problems.

Also, If your garage door is not closing, you may want to check the sensors, and make sure nothing is in their path blocking the invisible laser.

Door Pressure Test

To test the door pressure sensor, take a piece of wood (I use a scrap 2×4) and place it so it is UNDER the beam of the sensor.  In other words it needs to be less than 6 inches high.  With the wood in place, press the button to close the garage door.  When it touches the wood, it should automatically reverse.

Balance Test

This is the most complicated test, but also just as important as the others.  Start by pulling on the little red rope that hangs down to release the garage door from the belt or chain.  (Tip:  If you ever lose power, and need to get your garage door open, just pull this handle, and you should be able to easily lift your garage door.)  Next, using your hands, lift the garage door to chest height.  It should balance half way open.   If it doesn’t your spring may need to be re-tensioned (let the professionals do this).  If it passes the test, close the door, and push up on the lever to re-connect the door to the opener.




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