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How to Repair Garage Door Opener Loose Chain

Is your garage door opener chain hitting the rails when you open your garage door? It is said to be a common problem with garage doors that have chain-driven openers. Garage door chains sag due to motor vibration and door weight. Loose garage door chains don’t have the required force to properly open and close a garage door and often make a loud, unpleasant noise when they hit the rails. Such chains can be repaired by tightening the slack that makes the garage door work properly and reduces the noise. Although repairing a loosened garage door chain isn’t a dangerous task, it requires special attention. If you need help with chain repairs, you can take guidance from the operator’s manual. Moreover, you can also consult an expert to ensure proper work. Some easy steps for garage door repair are discussed in detail below. Let’s have a look.

  1. Turn Off the Power and Disconnect the Opener 

Safety precautions are always a priority when you start repairing a loose opener chain. Hence, start by making sure that the garage door is properly closed. Then turn off the power. If you don’t know how, keep in mind that most openers are plugged into an outlet. Try consulting the user’s manual if you’ve any problems. It is very important to cut the electric supply to your garage door before you start working. Since most of the chain repair work is done on a ladder, the sudden opening of the garage while working can put you at serious risk. Finally, remove the opener from the garage door. If your garage door has a square bar opener, you have to pull down the red cord. However, if there’s a trail opener, you will have to pull down the manual release cord.

  1. Find the Adjusting Screw 

Every garage door openers has a chain adjustment screw. Check the instruction manual if you don’t know the exact point for the adjustment screw. It is present on one side of the carriage assembly. An adjustment bolt is normally a screw cap with two nuts screwed into it. One is the locknut, and the other is the adjustment nut. The locknut is close to the opener.

  1. Loosen the Locking Nut and Tighten the Adjusting Nut 

In the next step, start loosening the locknut slightly with an adjustable wrench or a 1/2 inch wrench. Once you are done loosening the locking nut, immediately start tightening the adjusting nut. This will bring back tension in the loosened chain. However, you must make sure that the chain is tensioned to about 1/4 inch above the rail for square rails and 0.5 inches above the rail for trails. It is important not to over-tighten the chain as it can cause potential damage to the rollers of the garage door opener. It’s usually better to loosen the chain a little. After adjusting the chain to the correct tension, tighten the locknut. To do this, you need to use two wrenches. One is to hold the adjusting nut in place, and the other is to turn the locknut. 

  1. Reconnect the Power Supply

Once you have repaired the loosened garage door chain, start re-engaging the garage door opener. Reconnect the opener to the power supply and properly engage the opener with the door. You can get it done by pulling the manual release cord till it is engaged again or by opening the garage door with a knob on the wall to allow it to engage automatically. Consult the operational manual if you still can’t figure out how to engage the power supply to the opener. At the end of the procedure, the chain may still have a slight amount of slack. This is not a problem as this tension will relieve as soon as you open the door again. 

  1. Do a Test Run 

Once everything has been tightened and returned to its original position, the repair needs to be tested. The test is very simple as you will just have to open or close the garage door a few times. However, if you still hear rattling sounds, this means that the chain is still loose and is hitting the assembly. Then, repeat the procedure to get the desired amount of tension in the chain so your garage door doesn’t produce disturbing noises. Remember that frequent chain slack indicates that it is worn out and needs to be replaced. In such cases, please contact your local gate opener service to get a replacement. 


If your garage door opener chain is loose and producing rattling sounds, you don’t have to worry. Follow the above steps and your door will be up and running right away. Keep in mind that if you keep checking your garage door and maintain it regularly, you won’t have to face such problems often. By getting your garage door regularly checked, you will be able to avoid the majority of the problems before they get worse. In addition, you can prevent unwanted damage to your opener chain.

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