Along with routine maintenance and repair of specific problems, there is another category related to garage door repair the deals with adjustments. These are adjustments that you can make to the system to insure that it is functioning optimally.
Stop Travel Switch
On most garage doors there is a switch near the top of the door on the central track (the one that usually has a chain running through it) that is adjustable. This switch protrudes downward next to the track so that when the door backs up upon opening, the door hits this switch and this causes the motor (and the door) to stop.
Indicators that this switch might need adjustment is that the door will back up too far or not far enough or there is buzzing after the door has opened. Adjusting this switch is simple – you can just move it forward or back on the track, testing it each time to make sure that the door stops after opening completely, the door does not open too far, and the motor stops completely after the door has opened. Once you’ve achieved this tighten the switch in place.
There are adjustment screws or dials on the side of a garage door opener that increase or decrease the distance that a garage door travels as it moves along the tracks to open or close. Try adjusting these if the door does not either open or close fully. Simply turn them clockwise or counterclockwise until the door closes fully and opens without any problem. This works in tandem with the stop travel switch mentioned above. The travel adjustment sets the maximum length that the door travels. The stop travel switch decides where on that length the door comes to a halt.
Similarly, you can adjust the force with which the door opens and closes. Dials or screws such as those used for the travel adjustment are used to adjust the door force. Turning them clockwise or counterclockwise assures increases or decreases the force.
The purpose of adjusting the force mainly has to do with whether the door reverses when it hits an obstacle on trying to close. You can test this by putting a 2 X 4, concrete block, or other obstruction that offers resistance on the ground under where the door will close. The door should immediately reverse and open when it hits an obstruction. If it does not, adjusting it for greater force is usually the solution. Sometimes adjusting the travel can help with this too.
The above is a safety issue and is especially if there are children around. The door needs to reverse immediately when it hits an obstruction or it could close on somebody, pinning them to the floor. So adjusting this is of the first importance.
Electric Light Sensor Adjustment
Almost all current doors have electric light sensors situated near the base of the door on either side. These prevent the door from closing when their beams of light are interrupted. They are safety features that prevent the door’s closing when something is too close to it.
One problem with these sensors is that they can be knocked or jostled and thus become misaligned. This can cause them to function as though they are interrupted, stopping the door from closing. The way to check this is too look for flashing lights on the sensors. Usually the lights flash when there is an obstruction breaking the beam or when they are out of alignment. You can adjust the brackets on which the sensors are mounted until the lights stop flashing. This will insure they are in good alignment and allow your door to close.
These simple adjustments can insure your door opens and closes properly and solve a lot of problems. Fine tuning a garage door is something well within the abilities of a homeowner, so there is no reason for you call out a service professional to do it unless the adjustments you’ve tried have not worked.