The chain drive garage door opener is one of the most widely used in garages today. Not only are they the least expensive, but they are readily available in many hardware and department stores. With proper maintenance you can get many years of use out of the garage door opener without too many problems. If you currently own a chain drive garage door opener or are interested in buying one, here are some maintenance tips for keeping it working properly.
1. Loose Hardware Leads to Problems
The byproduct of using your chain drive garage door opener is that the hardware will begin to work itself loose. The vibrations that are caused by the garage door opener is the biggest cause of this happening. A few times a year you should take a ratchet, screwdriver, or adjustable wrench and give each of the nuts and bolts on the system a snugging. If you let this go for long enough you can have other problems, such as pieces falling and causing damage, or the chain binding and breaking.
2. Oil Chain
Maintenance of your chain drive garage door opener should be done on at least a bi-annual basis. During this time you should apply a little bit of WD-40 or other machine oil to the chain drive. This will serve two distinct purposes. First, it will reduce the amount of noise that is caused by the chain traveling along the rail from the metal on metal contact. The other benefit is that it will travel much smoother by reducing the amount of friction that is caused by the metal contact.
3. Adjust Chain Limit
At least once a year you should check to see that the chain does not have any slack in it. This slack will cause the door to close very hard and not open up all the way. This is a natural occurrence that will happen after a few years of use. If you use your garage door opener more, this will happen much quicker. Reducing the slack in your chain is easy to do by using the limit screw on the power unit. Turn this dial until the slack has been taken up and the chain is taut, but not tight.
4. Grease Door Rails
In addition to the garage door needing to be maintained, you will help the opener a great deal by making sure that the garage door is also well cared for. This will only require that you check the bolts on the garage door slides on each side of the opening. You should also grease the wheels of the garage door so they will slide easily and without any binding.
5. Clean Light Area
One of the more important parts of the garage door opener is often the most forgotten. The light that is a part of the garage door opener also needs to have some attention paid to it. Without the light you will not have adequate lighting when you enter your garage at night. Removing the cover and cleaning out the light area, and cover itself, will help keep the light bright. Replacing the bulb every 18 months or so will also ensure that you have continuous light without worry of it failing when you need it.