Avoid the gotcha

After hearing all the horror stories about inspectors getting blamed for garage door damage during routine inspections, I always make an effort to completely visually check (& photo) all moving parts of a garage door before I use the automatic opener.

In today’s case, the homeowner had placed a pad lock on the door track to prevent it from opening…could have been a real disaster if I would have just walked in and pushed the button : )

Yep . I check for that all the time. I also check around the track for vise grips and bolts.
Something else to watch for. found those little items also ( one the the hard way) A bolt half up used to secure the door.

I did an inspection 2 months ago.
Buyer was present and running through the house checking stuff out.
I asked him not to operate anything without me present.

I had just finished in the garage and moved to one of the bedrooms when I heard it.

Garage doors were padalocked so I did not attempt to operate, but the buyer did.
luckly the opener reversed when it met the resistance of the lock and did not do any damage that we could see.

I pointed at the buyer and said I told you dont operate anything.

Very common with bank owned homes.

Great reminder Jeff. :slight_smile:

Good way to give it the old pressure test.

I often find that an overly helpful, participating client can often get me into trouble. They feel like helping by turning on things, pushing buttons, and engaging the garage door opener (when it’s pad-locked). It sometimes gets a little uncomfortable. I never did develop a good way of explaining to my client - Please, Don’t touch!

I am one of the inspectors that has posted horror stories.

I recently had my GDO and header springs replaced and I discussed in depth the proper testing for the secondary safety feature.

I always look at the parts first. Look at the door panels as well. If they have cracks and damage more issues can occur.

The proper way to test the reverse is with 2 blocks of wood. I made one with the GDO companies number on the back in case of emergency.

The way I used to do it by jerking under the door was improper.
The paper towel method he stated was a California thing. (Not sure about that)

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I just use my hand.
You should be able to judge when to let go if needed.

I always check the door, tracks and opener completely prior to testing. I also test the reverse with my hand, standing with my back to the door. I don’t use the block method as I have seen doors not reverse properly and actually crack in the process. I would prefer to not have to pay for someone’s garage door these days.

I’m with Chuck and do exactly what he stated.

Alright, the biannual garage door opener thread :slight_smile:

Seems we have a few that don’t realize there are 4 safety features that work totally seperate.

  1. entrapment safety - checked with a 2x4 or item around 1.5 inches thick. Has zero to do with the amount of force the door will stop and reverse at.

  2. Down force - checked with something thicker than 1.5 inches to ensure the opener firmware is not running in the entrapment range. The door should stop and reverse around 10-15 lbs.

  3. Up force - also adjustable seperate from down force, not much need to check this but can be done.

  4. Safety beam sensors - need to be mounted the correct height range above floor, if one is bad the door will not work or will only move a few inches and stop. Can be overridden by holding in the wall switch.