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How to Check If Your Garage Door Is Balanced

How to Check If Your Garage Door Is Balanced

When a garage door is balanced, it means that the torsion springs are doing the lifting of the door and that the weight is evenly distributed on the springs.   If a garage door is not balanced, it can be very dangerous.  An unbalanced door places strain on the garage door, garage door opener, and its parts.  The strain will cause your garage door opener to work harder than it should and can cause many parts to break or fail.  An unbalanced door is not safe; the door could potentially crash down and cause injury – or worse.  

There are several signs that your garage door may not be balanced.  One sign is that the garage door looks crooked when opening.  There may also be loud noises and creaking when opening or closing the door.  If you open your garage door and it will not stay open and crashes to the ground, you most likely have a balance problem.  Another sign of an unbalanced garage door is if the door feels incredibly heavy when manually opening or closing the door.

Follow these steps to test if your garage door opener is properly balanced:

Step 1

Close your garage door.  This step is very important! Never test to see if your garage door is balanced with the door open.  If the spring is out of balance or broken, the door could crash down and cause serious injury or death. 

Step 2

Disengage carriage from the rail by pulling the emergency release cord down.  The emergency release cord is the red rope that hangs from the door trolley.  For Genie screw drive garage door openers, pull the emergency release cord straight down, then release.  For Genie belt drive garage door openers or Genie chain drive garage door openers, pull the release handle down and toward the door, then release.  See figure 1.  Pulling the emergency release cord disengages the garage door opener so that the garage door can be opened manually - such as in instances where there is a power outage.

 

 

Step 3

Manually raise the garage door 36 inches (three feet) off the ground.  The door should easily open with one hand.  Slowly let go of the door.  A balanced door can move slightly, a foot or so, but shouldn’t drift all the way closed.  The faster the door closes, the more out of balance it is.  A slowly closing door is slightly out of balance, versus a slamming door being way out of balance. 

Step 4

A. If your door is properly balanced:

Close the door and re-engage the emergency release cord - the reverse of step 2.   You should hear a “click” sound.  This means the trolley is connected to the opener carriage and your garage door opener will now be able to open your garage door.  Operate your garage door opener using a remote or wall control.  The carriage will reattach itself to the drive.

B. If your door is NOT properly balanced:

Contact a professional door technician immediately to assist with adjusting the torsion springs.  You can locate a Genie dealer near you here.  Do not operate the door.  An unbalanced garage door can be very dangerous, so make sure you call a professional for help.

It is recommended to check for proper door balance monthly to ensure your garage door and opener are running at their peak safety, performance, and efficiency levels.

Additional Precautions:

  • DO NOT install opener on an improperly balanced door. An improperly balanced door could cause severe injury. Repairs and adjustments to cables, spring assembly and other hardware must be made by a trained service person using proper tools and instructions
  • DO NOT disengage the carriage from the rail and pull the emergency release cord when the door is in the OPEN position. Make sure the door is closed before performing the door balance test.
  • CONTACT A PROFESSIONAL IMMEDIATELY if your door is not balanced. Unbalanced garage doors are very dangerous and could cause serious injury or death.

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  • Stephanie Millage
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