A DIY How To Guide to Install a New Garage Door Opener

Your average garage door will last you 25 to 30 years. But your average garage door opener is about half that — 10 to 15 years. That means you can expect to need to install a new garage door opener twice as often as a new garage door. Plus, smart technology has inspired many of our Roseville customers to upgrade. You don’t need to install a whole new garage door to have a smart garage door — you just need to install a new smart garage door opener. 

Both wear and tear and technological upgrades are great reasons to get a new garage door opener. We have all the latest brands and models of new garage door openers, including smart garage door openers. We’ll gladly sell you one and install it. But some customers choose to install their new garage door openers themselves. With the right tools and a little bit of handiness, you should be able to install a new garage door opener without too much trouble. This guide will walk you through it. If you get stuck, feel free to give us a call. We can answer your questions or come out and install it for you — whichever you prefer.

A pro-tip: Make sure you have a helper on hand to assist in the installation of a new garage door opener. It’s always best to have an extra pair of hands on this job. And if you get confused, look up the brand of new garage door opener on YouTube. You should find an instructional video to walk you through the assembly details of that specific garage door opener.

Assemble the  Carriage Tube

Before you begin assembly, check to see if you have all the required garage door parts for assembly. The opener kit should come with a list of parts. Line them up, and check off each as you locate it. You don’t want to get halfway through installing a new garage door opener only to discover you are missing some key components.

Next, assemble the carriage tube as directed by the manufacturer. The carriage tube is the component that allows the carriage to travel from the power unit to the front wall of the garage to raise and lower the door. Check to see that the carriage tube pieces are seated securely. You may need to measure and verify that the assembled length and what the manufacturer recommends line up. You can make any necessary adjustments with a socket wrench.

Mount the Carriage Tube

Next, mount the carriage tube to the front of the power unit. Be sure to attach the rail clamps, which will later connect to a bracket located on the wall above the door. Keep in mind may require installing switches and wiring at this point. Follow the detailed instructions included with your new garage door opener.

Then you’ll slip the carriage over the carriage tube. Each make and model of garage door opener attaches differently. Follow the instructions that are specific to yours.

Mount the Header Bracket

The header bracket (also known as the garage door opener mounting bracket) is the garage door part that secures the carriage tube to the wall above the door. The exact location of the carriage tube will depend on the model of new garage door opener you are installing. Lift the power unit — set it securely on top of a step ladder so it is conveniently located to the ceiling.

Hang the Power Unit from the Ceiling

Next, you’ll need to hang the power unit from the ceiling. Most models will hang from angle irons and metal straps with holes drilled into them. You’ll bolt the angle irons to a rafter, securing them with lag screws. Next, attach the straps to the irons with hex-head screws. You’ll use the included hardware to attach the straps to the power unit.

Go ahead and test the garage door to make sure it clears the opener. Be gentle. You don’t want to damage your new garage door opener by opening the garage door too quickly or with too much force.

Attach the Bracket to Connect the Arm

The door will open by one arm connected to the carriage that carries the garage door along the tracks. This arm connects to the carriage and travels along the tube. First connect the bracket to attach the arm to the door. Then attach the arm to the carriage.

Plug in the Safety Device

All new garage door openers installed after 1993 are required by law to have a safety device that shuts down the opener if something obstructs the path of a closing door. Obstructions are detected by photo eyes. You’ll need to mount a photo eye on either side of the outside wall under the door. Plug the unit into the socket. Test it to make sure it works.

Installing a New Garage Door Opener: Some Advice

Whenever you install a new garage door opener, completely remove all components and structures of the old garage door opener. You don’t want anything getting in the way.

Confirm the garage door is balanced before connecting the new garage door opener. Clean the tracks free of debris. 

Before installing a new garage door opener, make sure the opener is located near an electric outlet. If there is no electric outlet available, you’ll need to have one professionally installed by an electrician.

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