How to Tighten a Loose Garage Door Opener Chain

What You'll Need
Step ladder

If you find that your garage door opener chain has become loose with time, you may want to tighten it up in order to remove some of that slack. You may find that a loose garage door opener chain has less power to open and close your garage door, or you may find that it is just hitting the door as it moves it, and creating an annoying sound. So long as you have some simple home improvement tools, you should be able to complete this project yourself. Getting the correct tightness in your garage door opener chain is not too difficult, and you should be able to manage it within a few hours.

Step 1 - Checking the Chain

Before you start work on your garage door, make sure that you open and close it a few times to make sure that there is no obvious problem with the door. Listen for creaks and groans as well as the slapping of the chain. This can indicate that the chain drive system is the part having trouble, for which you will need the assistance of a professional. You should also give the chain a once-over to ensure that it is not broken or split. If in doubt, replace the chain completely. Once you are clear that the only problem is a slightly loose chain, then you can begin fixing the problem.

Step 2 - Turning off the Power

Make sure that the garage door is closed, and that you have another way of getting out of the garage. Reach up to the power supply using your step ladder, and remove the wires which attach the power outlet to the garage door opener. You can also shut off the power at your electrical panel box by removing the circuit breaker, if necessary.

Step 3 - Using the Adjustment Bolt

Once the power is out, give the emergency release rope a tug. This should remove the opener connections from the garage door. You can then use your step ladder to look at the carriage assembly. The adjustment bolt, a bolt with threads which the chain is connected to, has a pair of adjusting nuts on either side of the assembly.

Step 4 - Tightening the Chain

Using your wrench, you can start to loosen up the adjusting nut on the side of your carriage, closest to the opener head. Turn it counterclockwise, holding the other nut in your hand to prevent it from turning. Then use the wrench to tighten this second nut clockwise until the chain is tighter, but not so taut that it is completely inflexible. Too much tautness in the chain could lead to it breaking. Once you have finished tightening the chain, you should replace the door opener against the garage door, and then replace the power supply wires to the opener.