Find myself in an unusual situation

I bet you won’t test it like that again, Steven…sorry for you, too.

Oh I bet youd be very right on that good sir. The funny thing I put very little pressure on it before it crumbled. I was looking down when it happened but I obviously heard it and I was just telling myself “don’t look up, don’t look up, you just imagined hearing that” haha

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f you had tested the automatic return feature according to industry standards, which is the 2x4 test, I don’t think you’d be liable. It would have failed under proper testing. Also, because of the mechanics, the door has significantly increased mechanical force as it nears the floor, which is where a child’s body or a small animal is going to be. Testing it at between waist and knee height isn’t going to provide valid information, and won’t protect you from liability.

Note: the 2x4 test is controversial but is the method formally recommended by the Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association (DASMA, access their checklist here), as well as the 16 CFR Part 1211 - SAFETY STANDARD FOR AUTOMATIC RESIDENTIAL GARAGE DOOR OPERATORS

The question now is whether you want to turn this into a marketing opportunity by offering to pay for the damage.



Obviously he didn’t! If he did, then he should never have operated the opener.
His bad… two ways till Tuesday!!

PUSH UP … Sorry NO … You broke it, you own it

I would never use the 2x4 method. That isn’t for inspectors, it’s for initial installers.

Anyway, read this: Doing Damage During an Inspection: It's Your Job - InterNACHI®


Not true, it’s listed in the owners manual as a required monthly test.

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I stopped during force sensor testing about a year ago after the issues I started seeing and researching. I only do to the light sensor inspection and test. I state in my report that a force sensor test was not performed based on lack of knowledge of the settings during installation or change since, and any force sensor testing should be inspected and conducted by a qualified garage door installer.


I do too. Very nice narrative.


I agree with Nick on this one.
And in the OP’s case, the door was not installed properly. That window door panel should have been the second panel down. The arm of the trolley is attached to the weakest point of that panel because of the windows. Since there is a window in the middle, they could not install the vertical bracket required that you typically have between windows if you want the window panel at the top. In this case with that window panel, the trolly arm attachment should have been below a bigger top panel horizontal stiffener.
Unfortunately, you will have to repair the door knowing it was about to fail before you operated it.
That is why one needs to inspect an overhead door 100% disconnected from the operater before it is operated with the electric opener.


That looks like one cheap flimsy door, regardless of it’s incorrect installation or other issues.

Sorry, I meant it wasn’t written for us. It has nothing to do with us. The 2x4 test was created by garage door manufacturers to lower their insurance premiums. Never use a 2x4, you’ll bend the door all up. Check to make sure you aren’t locking yourself out, then test the door with your hand from the outside. Your hand has a bazillion censors in it and it is connected to a human brain. It’s the perfect tool for the job.


I bought a door many years ago. This is what I do now. No one’s ever questioned it.

" Aluminum garage door. Pressure testing not done since this type of door is easily damaged if pressure set too high. Sensor beam was tested. Recommend having this safety feature setting checked during routine maintenance.

Pressure reverse sensor is intended as a backup safety device if other sensors do not engage. Door should reverse when contact is made. Generally tested with 2x4 placed on side so that door contacts it when 1-1/2" from fully closing."


Like many of the more experienced inspectors who have already answered, I no longer do the pressure-reverse test on garage doors because I have had doors fail with the 2x4 and also with gentle resistance at waist height. “Failed during testing” may be a justified defense, legally, but one or more parties (seller, realtor(s), even the buyer) may be unsatisfied with that position and with your inspection. That can damage your reputation.

I once had a seller following me around on an inspection (he was a general contractor). He had moved the optical sensors to the ceiling, pointed at each other (bypassing this safety feature) and I put it in my notes. I refused to test the pressure reverse but he didn’t want the door written up as having no safety reverse so he did it himself. And broke his door. I got it on video. Hilarious. I’m sticking to my policy.

John C. and Ryan U. I agree that putting an explanation like yours in the report and agreement is good CYA.


I’ve waited many years for some inspectors to see the light. For exact reasons as has been mentioned above. These testing procedures with a 2x4 are for the initial installation protocol, and there has never been a guarantee that the settings remain the same. If one chooses to test with the 2x4, he has to accept the consequences if something goes wrong. You have no idea walking into an inspection to what degree the force setting is set at unless you know what you are doing. Door closers are getting more sophisticated every year and all of them are different. JMHO


Some educations cost more


For the record, I don’t test with this method, just to point out, but…

…it is clearly written in many manufacturers manuals as a monthly test, not just an initial installation protocol.

Liftmaster Install/Maintenance Guide:
Liftmaster.pdf (333.6 KB)

Genie Monthly Maintenance Guide:


This is the kind of bullshit that causes outrageous E&O premiums. There is no liability here! The door broke while being tested! Next thing that would happen is the inspector would be blamed when the door broke after closing!


Do you actually believe homeowners are actually going to do this? I have worked in construction for almost half a century and never tested my own monthly. If the eyes are set right and I can reverse the door with my hand and reverses, that’s as far as I go. I installed them, test them, set them it, and forget it. LOL, I sound like that cook selling kitchen appliances now.
The reality is, regardless of the manufactures instructions, you will never know pressure setting if it is set right or not. That is why there are always a few inspectors that get in trouble. Some of them testing these doors have never installed one in their career also, so that does not help when the first thing they do is hit the operator button.