How to Adjust the Chain on a Chain Drive Garage Door Opener

garage door opening device
  • 1-2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Adjustable wrench
Measuring tape
Chain breaker

A chain drive garage door opener is a machine that automatically operate your garage door. The remote controls fitted in your car coupled with the motor mechanism attached to a chain - that is the heart of a garage opener – make the process of moving the door much more convenient. Common problems associated with such systems are caused by the chain loosing its tension. Follow the article below to learn how to adjust the chain.

Step 1 – Take Appropriate Precautions

Make sure that the ladder is deployed on a flat and level surface to ensure that it doesn’t topple over while you are working on the garage opener. The chain is made of greasy pieces of iron that can injure your hands and cause allergies, which is why recommend that you wear rubber gloves at all times. Nuts and bolts, although made from the hardest grade of steel, can wear out easily if the wrench is not used properly. Therefore, never over tighten the screws or wrench in any case. Remember to power off the garage opener before working on it in anyway, otherwise there is a potential risk of electrocution. With these precaution in mind move on to the next step.

Step 2 – Going Through the Manual

We recommend that you follow this step in order to understand the anatomy of your garage door opener. These devices come in many shapes and sizes and it is crucial that you understand the parts involved before working on them in. The Internet is always a good option if you don’t have a manual.

Step 3 – Disassembling the Garage Opener

Locate the lower cover of the garage door and use the screwdriver to open it. Once you have access to the inner components of the garage door opener, locate the master link—the point where the chain forms a junction with the cable. This is where you will be working on in the next step.

Step 4 – Adjusting the Chain

On the master link, you will see two or three nuts. Usually, a pair of nuts are associated with the locking mechanism while one is concerned with the adjustment of the chain. Use the wrench to loosen the lock nuts and turn the adjustment nut to set the slack in the chain. Determine changes in slack by using a measuring tape to measure the distance between the middle of the chain and the roof. Make sure that after adjusting the chain you move the door manually to determine the amount of fine-tuning that needs to be put in. If the door fails to close and open fully then more adjustment is required. Go through step 5 to learn an alternate way of adjusting the chain.

Step 5 – Using a Chain Breaker

This is a very crude method and should only be used in special cases. It involves the use of a chain breaker to remove one of the links in the chain to tighten it. Be sure to purchase a high quality chain breaker to get the job done. While we do not recommend this method, the ultimate choice is for you to make.