"Four Tips For Garage Door Safety"- Encinitas Home Inspector

By
Home Inspector with Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula

"Four Tips For Garage Door Safety"- Encinitas Home Inspector


The home inspection business can be quite entertaining at times! I was inspecting the garage door at an Encinitas, CA home. A new door opener had been recently installed. When I tested the photo sensors, the door did not reverse, so I traced the sensor wires and found they were not connected. I looked up at the garage door opener and almost broke out laughing. There were the new photo sensors installed on the ceiling! Did the installer even bother reading the installation instructions? I guess this is what you do when you have parts left over!

 

 

Weighing up to several hundred pounds, the garage door is the heaviest moving item in your home. There are approximately 30,000 garage door-related accidents per year in the United States. To avoid serious injury and help ensure safe, reliable operation, here are four tips for garage door safety by your Encinitas home inspector:

 

1. Test the balance. Close your garage door and pull the emergency disconnect cord. If the springs are properly tensioned, you will be able to easily lift the door. It should stay 3 or 4 feet above the floor when you let go. If the balance is bad, examine the springs to see if one is broken. I find a lot of broken garage door springs at home inspections. If the springs are not broken, you should have them adjusted. An out-of-balance garage door will put excessive strain on the opener motor and wear it out quickly.

 

 

 

2. Inspect the hardware. Examine the garage door's bolts, nuts, screws, rollers, hinges, cables and other moving parts for wear, rust or other structurally compromising damage.

 

 

3. Check the safety reversing system. Most garage door openers made after 1993 have an auto-reverse safety function. Newer openers have two safety functions- photo sensors and a pressure sensor. To test the photo sensors, block the sensor beam with your foot while the door is in motion. The door will reverse if it is working properly. The photo sensors should be installed within 6" of the ground. If they are installed too high, small pets or children can be crushed. To test the pressure sensor, place a 2x4 under the door. The door should reverse when it hits the 2x4.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Control button. Be sure the control button for the opener is installed at least five feet high on the wall. This will prevent small children from playing with the door and possibly being injured.

 

 

 

 

 

These four tips for garage door safety by your Encinitas home inspector were brought to you by Steve Stenros, owner of First Choice Inspections. Steve is a CREIA MCI inspector and can be reached for appointment at 888-335-3040. Clients receive a FREE lifetime appliance RecallChek with every standard home inspection.


Originally posted at First Choice Inspections.


close

Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Dan Edward Phillips 06/19/2011 05:08 PM
  2. Dan Edward Phillips 09/12/2011 03:50 AM
Topic:
Home Buying
Location:
California San Diego County Encinitas
Groups:
Realtors®
Blogging & SEO
Posts to Localism
VBloggers
Tags:
garage door encinitas home inspector

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
908,388
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Steven, great information as usual. Maintain the garage door or replace it. It's not worth the risk of injury.

Jun 18, 2011 10:16 PM #4
Rainmaker
3,710,251
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for the information. I will check the garage doors later today.

Jun 18, 2011 10:59 PM #5
Rainer
535,199
David Burrows
Classic Realty - Fairfax, VA
No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate

Thank you Steve for great information. The inspector I've used stresses much of what you just penned although I hadn't thought about the actual control button being at least 5 feet high to protect children.

Jun 18, 2011 11:55 PM #6
Rainer
170,724
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Testing the pressure sensor with a 2x4 only tells you if it works at all. It won't tell you the strength setting. Catch the door with your hand as it is lowering. If you can cause it to reverse with a moderate tug then its OK. If you really have to work to make it reverse the setting is too strong and needs to be adjusted.

A 2x4 is too solid an object to test the strength. A beach ball in the way should reverse the door. Any stronger setting can injure children or pets.

Jun 19, 2011 03:30 AM #7
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Thanks, Dan. Happy Father's Day to you!

Jun 19, 2011 03:59 AM #8
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Ronald, Steven: Just four simple steps to keep your door in tune and operating safely.

Jun 19, 2011 04:01 AM #9
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Pamela: You bring up a good point. Some garage doors are so badly maintained, the best thing to do is replace it! In my opinion, if you have an older tilt-up style garage door, why not replace it with a sectional roll-up door?

Jun 19, 2011 04:06 AM #10
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Gita: Let me know if it received a passing grade!

David: It's a good idea. And although the diagram says a safety label should be posted by the control button, I realize this is not a perfect world- I seldom see those.

Jun 19, 2011 04:10 AM #11
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Robert: Although I personally test the doors by offering resistance with my hand, I hesitate suggesting the idea to others. Not only can they injure themselves doing so, they may damage the door if it is a lesser-quality door. Some doors will fold up like a soda can with the least amount of pressure, especially if the opener is incorrectly attached to it. One inspector around here invented a special "pop top" to install on a water bottle! After testing thousands of doors manually, I have learned (as you probably have) that hand resistance works just fine.

Jun 19, 2011 04:17 AM #12
Rainer
118,941
EC, JF, Double R and Zoey the Cool Cat
Russel Ray Photos - San Diego, CA
I have underground parking at my condo complex so I don't have to worry about the garage door, but I have some friends whose dog was caught under the garage door and they had to put it to sleep. It was sad.
Jun 19, 2011 11:11 AM #13
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Sorry to hear that, Eric!

Jun 19, 2011 12:37 PM #14
Rainmaker
545,120
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hey Steve,

What great info and thanks for the heads up, I had no idea of much of this info and (about "pressure sensors" when it came to garage doors.

Btw, I came by your post as a result of a re-post from Dan Phillips, (giving credit where it's due) as a result I've subscribed to you blog.

Jun 19, 2011 05:20 PM #15
Rainmaker
705,604
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Steve, very good information. Truly appreciate how you lay out what to look for, and even putting a video. Really good job. So helpful!

Jun 19, 2011 06:31 PM #16
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Lynda: That's great! Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate the subscription! Enjoy the blogs!

Jun 19, 2011 06:52 PM #17
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Pacita: Thanks so much for the kind words! The video segments have really been helping with SEO.

Jun 19, 2011 06:55 PM #18
Rainmaker
131,675
Steve Hall
RE/MAX United - San Marcos, CA
Make the Call to Hankins and Hall

It's amazing how often you see those sensors installed like that!

Jun 20, 2011 05:28 AM #19
Ambassador
692,180
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Another top notch video on safety Steve!  Now this installation is an eye opener!!!  What the??

But we all know that garage doors can really be a hazard to pets or children.  Good for you for finding the need for repair here!

Pamela

Jun 20, 2011 12:02 PM #20
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Steve: Isn't it? They print the instructions in 12 different languages!

Pamela: Have you ever seen one installed like that back East? Maybe it's a California thing!

Jun 20, 2011 02:05 PM #21
Rainmaker
512,136
Kathryn Acciari
Cameron Real Estate Group - Shrewsbury, MA
RSPS, SRS, REALTOR(R) Sturbridge-Shrewsbury MA

Sensors at the top?  That is just amazing!  This is such an important safety feature - who in the world would make that mistake?

Jun 22, 2011 09:06 AM #22
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Crazy huh, Kathryn!  Here are a few more for a good laugh...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 22, 2011 12:26 PM #23
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
137,399

Steve Stenros

CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego
I welcome your home-related questions!
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information