How Often Should I Replace My Garage Door Chain?

This is probably the most common question we get when it comes to garage door opener repair. The answer really comes down to two things: the type of garage door opener you have and how often you use the garage door opener. Chain driven garage door openers are louder, but they last a while longer. Belt driven garage door openers are quieter but tend to wear out quickly. Screw driven garage door openers are the worst of both worlds — they tend to be loud, wear out quickly and require high maintenance and repair needs.

How often is your garage door open or closed?

Opening and closing a door puts wear and tear on a chain. So if you never open your garage door, the chain can last much longer than 15 years. Most people open their door 2 to 3 times per day. If you open it say 5 or 6, you should expect less than 15 years of use on the chain — more like 10 to 12 years.

How often do you preventative maintenance on the garage door?

Maintenance, likewise, can affect how long a garage door chain lasts. Garage door chains need lubricated regularly. Otherwise the parts will wear down. A well lubricated chain runs quieter and smoother because there is less stress on the chain.

What quality of opener and chain do you own?

The quality of your opener is another determining factor. LiftMasters are a little pricey, but they’re great door openers — so there’s less stress on your chain. It will last longer.

What kind of installation did you have done?

Do you have an older garage door opener? How well was it installed? Did you install the garage door opener DIY or hire a professional? This will also affect the lifespan of your garage door chain.

Do you live in a housing complex? To save money, contractors sometimes put in shoddy openers or cheap chains. They know the house sale will be over and done with before it breaks, so why bother? In this case, you can bet the chain will wear out much more quickly than it should.

What Type of Chain Should You Get?

If you are replacing the chain, consider carefully which type of chain you should choose. You don’t have to go with the status quo. It may be worth getting an upgrade.

A chain drive is the cheapest. This is a metal chain that’s inexpensive but also noisy. Belt drives use a rubber belt instead of a chain. These are a little more expensive, don’t last as long but are extremely quiet. There are also fewer moving parts, so belt drives require less maintenance. With a screw driven garage door opener, a threaded steel rod is used to move the trolley, lifting and lowering as the rod rotates. It’s a quieter solution that’s also low maintenance.

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Troubleshooting a Faulty Photo Eye Sensor on Your Overhead Door

Does your overhead garage door refuse to close? One common reason might be a malfunctioning photo eye. This is a fairly easy problem to fix. The photo eyes are two sensors located at the bottom of a door that transmit an infrared signal to each other. If this signal is blocked — say by a person, animal or object in the way — the door will suddenly reverse itself. It’s a safety feature required on all doors made after 1993. Occasionally, the sensor gets dirty, which disrupts the signal. Wash it off with soap and water. Sometimes sunlight can obstruct the sensor. Constructing a sun visor over the sensor should do the trick. It’s also possible the sensors have become misaligned. Check to make sure they are on exact opposite sides of each other.