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How to Install a Garage Door Opener

Several types of garage door openers are sold today. Each has an electric motor driving a lifting device-a chain or belt, for example-that is fastened to the door. A professional will install a garage door opener on your door for a fee, but this job, like installing the door itself, is one that you may be able to handle if you’re an experienced do-it-yourselfer.

The most common type of opener has its motor mounted over the area where the car is parked. Though this variety is functional, its location is a drawback in some garages because it can obstruct the ceiling area.

As an alternative to this old standby, following is how to install a new opener that mounts on the same wall as the garage door. Meant for a door that weighs no more than 225 pounds, it is somewhat easy to install and is located out of the way. In addition, because it doesn’t employ a chain, it is relatively quiet and vibration-free. The type shown is designed for connecting to a door’s encapsulated torsion-spring mechanism. Other models of this opener are made for use with other garage door spring systems.

All manufacturers offer a variety of optional accessories, including remote controls, keyless entry pads, and keyed switches. And, of course, all openers come with manufacturer’s directions. Regardless of the type you choose, follow the accompanying instructions exactly.

1. Remove torque tube & slip on drive motor.

Step-by-Step Garage Door Opener Installation

1This opener is designed to fit onto a torque tube spring system; refer to the manufacturer’s directions for other types of springs. If the torque tube has already been installed, remove it and slip the drive motor onto it.

2. Reinstall torque tube, bracket & drum.


2With the drive motor in place, reinstall the torque tube, end bracket, and cable drum.


3. Securely fasten mounting brackets.


3Using 1/4-by-2-inch-long lag screws, fasten the mounting bracket for the drive motor to the wall above the garage door. Make sure the lag screws amply penetrate the beam or any other framing members located above the door.

4. Fasten disconnect cable.


4Attach the disconnect cable to the motor with an S hook, and thread it through the wall bracket and the handle. Pull it just enough to remove the slack, and secure the bracket to the wall at least 6 feet above the floor. Put a label on the wall to identify this emergency disconnect device.

5. Tighten track bolts as per manufacturer’s instructions.


5To keep the door from lifting, clamp locking pliers on both side tracks just above the third roller. Use a socket wrench to rotate the winding bolt head the number of turns specified in the owner’s manual for your door.



6. Adjust emergency disconnect.


6Set the emergency disconnect in the manual position and raise the door until it is fully open. Then lower the door until it is fully closed to be sure it moves freely. Attach the stop bracket to the drive motor.

7. Attach power cord.


7Securely plug the female end of the power cord into the opener. Then run the cord to the nearest grounded receptacle and plug it in. If the cord is not long enough to reach a receptacle, use an approved cord extender.

8. Mount remote control and test.


8Mount the remote control. Install the battery provided and replace the touch pad. Finally, test the door. Place a 2 by 4 flat on the ground under the door to make sure it stops and reverses automatically when it encounters an obstacle.

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About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort developed his expertise more than 30 years ago as Building Editor for both Sunset Books and Home Magazine. He has written more than 30 home improvement books and countless magazine articles. He appeared regularly on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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