5 Maintenance Tips For Taking Care Of A Belt-Driven Garage Door Opener

Garage door openers that rely on a tough belt drive are quieter than the usual chain-driven models, but they still require the same kind of regular maintenance. While the belts used in these openers can handle years of daily use, a little maintenance every few months keeps them working properly for as long as possible. Make these five garage door opener maintenance tasks a part of your home improvement routine or hire a professional to handle the work instead.

Adjusting the Belt Tension

The strong rubber belt used inside the opener to lift and lower your heavy garage door will maintain proper tension for years, but eventually it stretches out and causes the door to rattle excessively when moving. If you notice bounciness or that the door is hitting the ground too quickly, try a simple belt tension adjustment by

  • Closing the door completely and disconnecting it from the opener
  • Pulling the manual release rope or switch so the door can be moved by hand
  • Tightening or loosening the nut on the inner left side of the opener rail
  • Rolling the door by hand to measure when the tension reaches the perfect point between too loose and too tight.

Replacing a Stretched or Damaged Belt

When a belt reaches its limit, no amount of adjusting the tension will make the garage door open and shut smoothly again. If you hear loud grinding and squeaking noises when using the garage door opener, turn the unit off and check the belt for signs of damage like cracked edges or separating belt layers. An intact belt with obvious and excessive stretching should be replaced instead of simply tightened too. Putting too much tension on a well-stretch belt will cause it to deteriorate and break apart quickly, but installing a new belt is a quick process for any experienced garage door repair technician.

Lubricating the Internal Parts

Like all types of garage door openers, belt-driven models need routine lubrication to prevent the gears from grinding and breaking down. However, you need a non-silicone lubricant for this kind of opener because products containing silicone will react with the rubber in the belt. Make sure the lubricant also offers rust-preventing properties so you can use it on the rails as well. Using two types of lubricants on different garage door parts can create unwanted reactions and contamination.

Testing the Safety Features

Every time you adjust the tension of the rubber belt or replace it, you must check the safety features of the opener again to make sure they weren't affected by the adjustments. Start with the reverse response by laying a piece of 2x4 lumber flat on the ground and checking that the door reverses immediately upon touching it. If the door continues to close or simply stops moving altogether when it hits the wood, you need professional repairs to make the garage door safe again. Visual obstruction sensors should be tested separately since they're not connected to the contact sensors.

Measuring the Balance

Finally, don't forget to keep the door itself balanced or your quiet and durable belt-driven garage door opener will wear out quickly. While you can test the balance of your door yourself, you shouldn't try to adjust it because of the dangerous amounts of tension held in the springs and cables. Detach the door from the opener and move it around manually a few times to see how it sticks or moves as it rolls. Aside from sticking, you'll notice that an unbalanced garage door shoots up or slams down when you let go of it while it's half raised. Call a professional if you notice these issues before your garage door opener shows sign of damage. To learn more, click for more info