I damaged my second garage door today

How do ya’ll (Texan for “you guys”) inspect garage doors? I test the light sensor and then give the door a little bit of resistance with a cardboard box or with my hand to check the auto-reverse. Even with the little bit of resistance that I use, I damaged my second garage door today. The first was a couple of years ago. Both doors were made out of such thin metal that it began to crumple where the bracket is attached at the top the minute it contacted my hand. I managed to stop it quickly and bend 95% of the dents out of it.

Anyway, I’m just curious how ya’ll check the auto-reverse feature on garage doors.


I jumped one chain 3 years ago, and since then I quit checking the resistance part, I only check it if it has sensors, and if it doesn’t recommend upgrade.

I normally carry a piece of 1x wood which I place at the bottom of the door.

I only test the eye.

Ensure they are at the proper height. Had one 2 weeks ago that was mounted to high.


**Lets get this one right!..There is ONLY ONE WAY to TEST the AUTO REVERSE feature:
**Reversal Test
**Make sure your opener has a reversing feature. If a reversing feature is not present, it should be replaced. Garage door openers manufactured after January 1, 1993 are required by federal law to have advanced safety features which comply with the latest U.L. 325 standards: Contact your manufacturer or installer for additional information.

With the door fully open, place a 1-1/2" thich piece of wood (a 2"x4" laid flat) on the floor in the center of the door. Push the transmitter or wall button to close the door. The door must reverse when it strikes the wood. (Note that the bottom part of “one piece doors” must be rigid so that the door will not close without reversing.)


See page 20 of the Install manual.

Most doors will crease due to the fact that the proper reinforcement is not added along the top rail of the door panel.

I have not damaged a door (yet).

I do not test the reverse either if there are any other deficiencies apparent.

It sounds like the door did not have an operator bracket installed,and the operator installed directly to the top panel of the door. When I was working for overhead door I have seen this hundreds of times. Door failed test contact a garage door specialist for further service…

Remember, if you exceed NACHI’s Standard of Practice you are putting yourself at risk. You may also want to check on you insurance limitations.

II. The inspector is not required to:

J. Verify or certify safe operation of any auto reverse or related safety function of a garage door. :wink:

One also has to at least meet the competition. If all of one’s competition is testing both the force reverse and the photoelectric eyes reverse, I recommend that one do both, as well.

There’s nothing wrong with exceeding the SOP as long as one does it consistently and persistently. Consult with your attorneys and insurance provider to set up your business and inspection protocols, and then abide by them persistently and consistently. And if you then cannot do something that you normally do, certainly disclose to your Clients what you did or did not do that you normally would not or would do and the reason for why you did or did not do what you normally would not or would do.

I would not use a wood block. Some doors have too much pressure and will bend the door.

I have read the reverse argument with an open mind…it seems this argument occurs quite often on this board and others…and it always ends the same. Without being resolved. I talked to another member here…name not mentioned…and he explained it this way:

A 2x4 being solid wood…will not tell you if the force of the garage door prior to reversing is great enough to crush a kids skull. Hmmmmm… I chewed on that and decided a kids skull was important enough to take my chances. If I have to buy 1 door out of 100…so be it.

Of course…I will check the doors hardware before doing so and if the door is in poor shape I will call it out…and explain the safety blah blah.

I think here again another decision we have to make and be true to ourselves on…opinions are opinions right? We all get one?

Great info and links Harvey. I will use them both. For my part… I check sensors and auto reverseThanks…Sean

Tony, I am not sure what you are saying…but if I read it correct you are saying that you dont feel you should use the wood…let me just say, if that is what you are saying, then you are NOT using the Standard in the Industry and as such IF something were to happen to the door…well you bought it!

I know that wood is stronger than a childs head, in most cases, but remember that at the point that this is striking the wood is at the most optimum and least pressure required to auto-reverse as the full weight has already been displaced and the door is basically free falling.

I will take my chances…but I understand where you are coming from also…

In Arizona we are required to check whether or not the door will reverse when resistance is applied. The minimum standard says nothing about checking the automatic retraction sensors. I check both unless the door/opener is in bad condition.

Just let the door hit our hand an place Little resistance. If door will not reverse you can let go. It should not take much to get the door to reverse.

And who is to say weather you allowed sufficient “resistance” or not enough? How is that going to stand up in court…I ate my wheatees…or I was a little hungry…come on!

The standard is the standard…do we next take a blow dryer, fill the sink and drop it in?

Lets not tell others how NOT TO do the right thing.

Tony, I undertand your “heart” in the matter, and this is not directed toward you…that because you are NOT advocating that others do it.

I liked pg 25 where it describes opening force testing. Equal important in my opinion

That would meet the AZ State requirements