What Can You Do About A Garage Door Chain That Came Off The Gear?

Posted on: 6 August 2015

Your garage door is raised and lowered by a motor attached to a drive chain. The chain is located over a track that runs along the ceiling of your garage. Over time, the drive chain can suffer from a condition referred to as "fatigue," which is basically a loosening and slackening of the chain. This slackening causes the chain to dip in the middle, so that it brushes along the track when it runs. You'll know when this is happening because you'll start to hear a clicking noise whenever the garage door opens and closes--this is the clicking that occurs when the chain bounces up and down along the track. If the chain becomes loose enough, it can pop off the sprocket and the garage door will stop working. To fix this problem, you'll need to loosen the chain even more and put it back on the sprocket. Follow these steps to fix your garage door. 

Loosen the Chain

Stand on a ladder and inspect the gear at the end of the track. You should see the chain sitting off of the sprocket, either just below or just above the cogs. If the chain is loose enough, you may be able to slip the chain back over the sprocket without making an adjustment. However, if the chain won't fit over the sprocket easily, you'll have to loosen the chain further to get the length you need. The chain will be held to the trolley via an adjustable tensioner. To loosen the chain, use the pliers to adjust the nuts holding the tensioner in place, and move the tensioner down so that the chain has a little more slack.

Reposition the Chain Over the Sprocket

Slip the chain back on the cogs of the sprocket, as you would slip the chain over the gears of a bike. When the chain is in properly, each link of the chain will fit in a cog of the sprocket. 

Tighten the Chain on the Trolley Again

At this point, the chain will be dipping pretty severely over the track in the ceiling. Adjust the nuts on the tensioner until the chain begins to pull tight. There may be a slight dip in the chain when you're done, but the chain should not touch the track. If it does, you haven't tightened the chain enough. Once the chain is suspended above the track, turn back on the garage door opener and activate the motor by pushing the "on" button. 

At this point, the chain should pull the door and the door should be able to move with the motor. If the door still isn't working, contact a reputable company like Raynor Door Company for garage door repair.