Many homeowners don’t choose their garage door opener. If you’ve moved into a home that already had a functioning garage door opener, there’s no real need for you to upgrade. Sure, garage door openers wear out over time, but they’re very dependable machines and usually aren’t the first part of the door assembly to break down. Some homeowners decide that they want an upgrade because they’d like smartphone integration, or a quieter opener, or any number of other reasons, but for many homeowners the standard opener is plenty.
The only problem with inheriting your old opener is that you also inherit any problems with it. If the opener is older, you’re going to see it start to wear down, and that can result in any number of problems that require attention or maintenance. Since you didn’t choose this opener, you might not know what make or model it is, and any instructions manual was lost long ago. If you end up having any problems with the opener, finding solutions might not be simple.
Fortunately, if you have some questions about your garage door opener, there are a couple ways that you can get quality guidance in a timely manner. Firstly, you can always call a reputable garage door company. Some companies will hear that you’re having a problem and start suggesting a full door replacement, but a respectable company will want to know more about your problem and will see how it can be best handled. By trusting your problem to an expert, you can rest assured that you will get the answers that you need.
If you don’t have a serious issue or if you want to avoid having to make a service call, the garage door opener’s manual will be your next best option. But who holds on to manuals? Even if you had your garage door opener installed yourself, you probably can’t remember where you left the manual, if you even kept it. Well we’re here to give you some good news – many brands make their manuals available, for free, online!
To get your manual today, go in to your garage and try to find a make and model number for your garage door opener. There should be a company name that tells you who produced your garage door opener, but finding the exact model number can be a little more difficult depending on the model that you have installed – if you can find the brand name, you can search for “where to find the model number on a __________ garage door opener” and find an instructional guide, but some models will hide the number behind the light’s cover and might require the removal of a part to find – as always, be careful when dealing with a garage door!
Once you’ve found the make and model number of your garage door opener, its time to take that information onto the manufacturer’s website and find your door’s manual. Here’s the links to some of the most popular garage door opener manufacturers’ websites:
You might be curious what information these manuals typically contain. Obviously there are some differences between different companies manuals, but there are some things that you can consistently expect to find.
Of course, the feature of primary importance will be the safety features. Garage door openers are responsible for controlling hundreds of pounds of machinery, and maintaining the safety of everyone using them is the first priority. These instructions usually include an explanation of safety features that come standard with all modern garage door openers, such as the sensing eye and the auto-reverse. The primary hazards presented by a garage door opener are the same as those of a garage door (a heavy door, and a tightly wound spring) with the added threat of electricity.
The manual may also describe other features that come standard with its installation, like a motion-activated lighting system, a manual release, monitoring systems, and a wall console connection. These features will be enumerated, then followed by a list of programmable settings for the opener. Programming a garage door opener correctly is very important – it is the programming that tells a garage door opener when to stop moving up or down, how much resistance it should take before reversing, and which wall consoles or remotes to respond to. If you’ve ever had to program a garage door opener remote without the manual, you know that they can be complicated!
Manuals will also list maintenance protocols that a homeowner can safely follow to extend the life of their garage door. The safe choices for homeowners to do themselves are testing the contact reverse system, checking that the sensing eye beam is working correctly, checking the balance of the door, and lubricating their door’s hardware. Taking these simple steps will extend the life of your door, and keep it functioning safely. This section will also include a guide on making adjustments to the settings of your door, and a wiring diagram to inform you if you’re planning on doing any work on the opener. As always, do not mess with electricity – make sure that the opener is completely disconnected from power sources, including any internal battery, and be smart about avoiding shocks or electrocution.
Lastly, most residential garage door opener manuals will come with an explanation of the warranty offered, and possibly an actual copy of the warranty. You can check our the details of your warranty back here if needed.
Some companies make manuals for their garage doors in addition to manuals for their openers. Any door manual is going to have pages of safety information. Garage doors can be very dangerous if you’re not familiar with how they work, and manuals will include information about looking after your own safety when operating a garage door opener. Some examples of these warning include guides to avoiding the springs and bottom brackets, making sure that your garage is properly ventilated, and general warnings about avoiding dangerous behaviors.
Some garage door manuals come with instructions for caring for your garage door. This can include painting instructions, cleaning help, or a guide on how to maintain the finish of your garage door. They may have instructions for manual operation, or guides for the kinds of maintenance that a homeowner can do, compared to maintenance that is best left to a garage door professional. Lastly, almost all garage door manuals will have a section about the manufacturer’s warranty offered on the garage door in question.
We hope that this guide has helped you find your garage door opener’s manual, and let you know something about what you’ll find inside. If you have any further questions about your garage door or garage door opener, feel free to post them in the comments below and we’d be happy to help you out!