Here’s how a typical garage door system works:

  1. The electric motor is mounted to the ceiling of the garage and is connected to the garage door by a series of cables and pulleys.
  2. When the garage door is activated (either by a switch or a remote control), the electric motor turns on and begins to rotate.
  3. As the motor rotates, it turns the cables and pulleys, which in turn raises or lowers the garage door.
  4. When the door reaches the desired height, the motor stops turning and the door remains in place.
  5. To close the door, the process is reversed: the electric motor turns on and rotates in the opposite direction, lowering the door.

Some of the different working parts of the garage door system are as follows:

  • Rollers: As the door opens and closes, rollers allow for smooth, easy movement and glide quietly along the tracks.
  • Tracks: A garage door system consists of three tracks — two at the edges of the door and one in the middle where the drive operator is located.
  • The chain, belt or screws: Each opener system has either a chain, belt or screw referred to as the drive operator that works with the springs and motor to raise and lower the door.
  • Curved door arm: As the chain, belt or screw moves along the track, so does the curved door arm, which attaches the door to the drive operator.
  • Torsion spring: The torsion spring is an essential part of the garage door system, serving as the center spring just above the door. The torsion spring is connected to the drums and cables and will wind or unwind whether it’s raising or lowering the door.
  • Drums and cables: Located at the top of the door on either side, the two drums turn as the torsion spring winds or unwinds. The cables are wrapped around the drums, so they wind or unwind along with the torsion spring to help lift or lower the door slowly.
  • Safety reversing sensor/photo eye: The safety sensor, also called the photo eye, is responsible for sensing anything or anyone who may be in the way of the door as it closes. This is an essential safety feature of every garage door operator.
  • Emergency release: If the photo eye fails or your power goes out, you can pull the red emergency release cord hanging from the center track to operate your garage door manually.