How to Install a Garage Door Opener

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Tools Required
  • Hammer
  • Screwdrivers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Socket wrenches
  • Tape measure
  • Drill/driver
  • Level
  • Ladder
Materials Required
  • Garage door opener
  • Hanger brackets
    (usually provided with the unit)

Before You Begin

What follows is the steps involved to make the installation. Not sure you want to do the job? Click here to Home Advisor, a free referral service that connects homeowners with prescreened local door contractors.

  • Step 1 : Lay out parts for assembly

    Lay out all the parts on the garage floor and arrange them in assembly order. The long sectional track may be round tubing or an aluminum channel, and on some units it is critical that the pieces be mated so that each end faces a specific direction. On screw-drive units, each screw section is assembled with the track. Follow the installation instructions carefully. Connect the correct end of the track to the motor housing and check that all fasteners are snug.

  • Step 2 : Assemble track

    Assemble the door opener track

    Attach "Up" and "Down" limit switches and their low-voltage wiring to the track at appropriate points. Measure from the door end and motor end to locate the rough position of the limit switches according to the manufacturer's directions. Attach the door-lifting carriage, or traveler, and tie on the emergency release cord and handle.

  • Step 3 : Assemble chain or tape drive

    On chain or tape-drive units, connect the chain or nylon tape to the traveler, using a master link or snap-fastener. Wrap the chain or tape around the motor drive sprocket and hook the free end to a cable that extends to the end of the track and back to the traveler. This cable runs around a free-spooling idler pulley mounted to the track's header bracket creating a continuous loop.

  • Step 4 : Lay out door hardware

    Lay out garage door hardware

    Set the assembled door opener aside and move to the door itself. With the garage door closed, measure to the center of the door, and then mark a centerline on the door top and on the wall above the door opening. Use a level to extend this centerline upward at least a foot above the door.

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