How To Install A Garage Door Opener

July 9, 2020

By adding an optional electric powered door opener you are both adding functionality and security to your home. The benefit of the door opener allows you to open the door remotely from inside the comfort of your car or home. There are even certain makes and models that offer an optional internet gateway add on that makes it possible to open your door from virtually anywhere in the world.

First step is you need to find what opener is correct for your particular need. Opener come and two popular models, chain drive and belt drive units. They also come in multiple horse power capacities ranging from 1/3 hp up to 3/4 hp.

The 1/3 hp is a good choice for a value conscience consumer that is not in the need of bells and whistles that some of the higher prices belt drive models have. They are typically chain drive units. However there are very powerful 3/4 horsepower chain drive models that are designed for opening your very beautiful but also very heavy custom wood stained door.

The other option is belt drive. These openers come in many various strengths in styles. From the Liftmaster 8355 which is the most popular model. Powered by a 1/2 hp ac powered motor and with built in myq technology that allows expansion of the unit. IE internet gateway, remote light control, and garage door monitoring. These units are particularly desirable if it is being installed underneath a living area where acoustics could be of a concern.

Once you have selected the correct opener for the fitness of your home or garage comes the installation. This is a multi step procedure that if followed in sequence can be done by the homeowner with relative ease.

In your opener box you should have the following with possible additons.

1 remote transmitter

2 photo safety sensors with mounting brackets

1 electric garage door opener

1 garage door rail (belt, or chain)

1 low voltage wiring for the photo sensors

1 low voltage wiring for the push button wall station

1 push button wall station

1 garage door opener mounting bracket

1 nose mounting bracket for the operator rail

Misc. fasteners and staples for low voltage wiring

Step 1: Raise the door to its highest point of arc and then put a 4′ level to make a pencil mark of where you are going to want to mount the nose bracket. After your mark is made use a tape measure to find the center of your door and mount the nose bracket. (if your door is operated with extension springs it is very important that the operator is centered. If your door is operated with extension springs the operator can be mounted offset, however, ideally it would be mounted in the center)

Step 2: Assemble the rail to the opener with supplied bolts. Tension the chain or belt on the rail getting the bolt tight enough so that it will not allow the chain or belt to contact the rail. At this point you can raise the front of the rail to the nose bracket and use the supplied pin the attach it.

Step 3: Lift the opener up and let it rest on a step ladder. At this point you can raise your door under the opener and place a 2×4 (close to the width of the door) on the top section and rest the opener on it. This will give you the correct pitch of the opener typically a few inches over the top of the door to allow it to move freely.

Step 4: Measure from the joist or other above mounting surface to the predrilled holes on the sides of the opener body. You will need to cut 2 pieces of perforated angle iron (available at any home improvement store) to the length measured. You then need to measure between joists to give yourself a place to mount your angle iron that will support the opener. Connect the angle iron with supplied bolts from the misc. bolts and lag package. Cut two pieces for this span. Now that this step is complete your operator should now be attached to the nose bracket and securely hung in the rear with angle iron.

Step 5: Prepare and mount the photo eyes to the bottom of the track or wall paying special attention to manufacturing specs. for safety and functionality of the photo sensors. Once they are mounted run your low voltage wiring from the photo sensors stapling with wire staples supplied every 8-12″. Once you have stapled your wiring all the way to the back of the opener leave any excess hanging for trimming during the final steps.

Step 6: Typically wall stations are mounted near an entry door from the house or into the garage. Find a convenient place to mount the wall station and run low voltage wiring from the walls station to the back of the opener. Leave any excess hanging for trimming during the final steps.

Step 7: On the back of your opener there will be three screw terminal or push in terminals. I am going to use liftmaster push in terminals as my example. The supplied photo sensor wire will be 1 black and 1 white wire. On the back of the push in terminals to the far right you will see a black and white terminal. Push this in and put the two black wires in the black terminal and the white wires in the white terminal. Now for the push button there will be a red wire and a white wire. Push in the terminal and red to red and white to white.

Step 8: Plug in your opener to a 110v outlet. At this point your photo sensors should have a yellow light and a green light brightly lit. this is letting you know that they are sending an invisible protective beam across your door opening. If one is not lit make sure they are aligned. If you are confident they are aligned and still not lit, check all of your staples to make sure that a wire was not cut while stapling. Next, go and check the wall station this typically will have a green light in the center. If this light is lit there is power to the wall station. If it is not lit check the connections of the wiring behind the wallstation and also check that no staples have cut the wiring during the installation.

Step 9: program your transmitter. Go up the ladder and remove the back cover of your opener. This will reveal either a purple or yellow learn button, (common in newer Liftmaster openers). Press this button once and a yellow led will light up. Now press and hold the button on your transmitter that you want to operate the door. While you are pressing the transmitter the opener will click or the light will flash. Your new opener has now “learned” your transmitter and will be functional.

Step 10: Set force settings and make limit adjustments. Depending on the operator you have purchased it will either have mechanical or electrical limit settings in force settings. Operate the door down with the transmitter. If the door stops short of closing adjust the limits down. Once the down limit is set run the door upward. Do the same adjustments to get the door to raise either higher or lower. With the new Liftmaster electric force settings the opener automatically adjusts the amount of force used to close the opener. If your unit is mechanical place a piece of wood under the door and close the door on the wood. The door should reverse once contact is made. If it doesn’t reverse than you need to adjust the force settings accordingly.

Once these steps are followed your new opener is complete. I hope you have enjoyed the learning experience and get years of trouble free operation

Use this step by step process at your own risk! We are not responsible for any injury, death or product damage that may occur while following our instructions. Instructions are general and provided as informational only. Garage doors and openers should be repaired and installed by professionals only. While they may look not too difficult to install or replace yourself there are many components that are under a lot of tension that could cause severe injury or death.

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