Garage Door Reversing Test

How to Test that your Garage Door Reverses Properly

Is your garage door safe? Is your garage door reversing properly?

There are routine safety and maintenance steps that you should follow once a month. One of those routine safety steps is to test if your garage door opener reverses properly. The opener should have the garage door auto-reverse if there is an obstruction in the path of the door as it is in a downward motion. In addition, a garage door opener should reverse if the garage door hits an obstruction as it closes. This safety feature is required so that people and pets are not injured if they are under a closing garage door. In addition, a properly reversing garage door will minimize damage to the garage door itself if it closes down and hits something.

Garage Door safety is an extremely important issue so the International Door Association (IDA) has provided an outline on how to ensure that your garage door opener reverses properly. Outlined below are the necessary steps to follow to conduct a safety reversing test on your garage door.

Reversal Test

First, make sure your garage door opener has a reversing feature. 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 standard. If your garage door opener was manufactured before 1993, it does not have the proper safety features and it is recommended that the opener be replaced. Click here to learn more about garage door opener replacements. And if you’re interested in purchasing one, you can fill out our form to schedule a free sales estimate.

Second, test to make sure that the garage door is balanced. Follow the steps listed below to ensure that your garage door is properly balanced.

  • Start with the door closed
  • Pull the garage door opener release mechanism so you can open and close the door manually.
  • With the garage door opener disconnected, you should be able to lift the door smoothly and with little resistance. The door should stay open around three or four feet above the floor. If the door begins to close or open on its own, the door is out of adjustment and it is recommended to have the garage door adjusted by a professional service technician.

If the door is properly balanced, then you can proceed with the reversal test.

  • Re-engage the garage door opener back up to the door so that you can no longer open or close the door manually. At this point, the garage door opener should be able to open and close the door.
  • With the door fully open, place a 1-1/2" thick piece of wood (or a 2 x 4 laid flat) on the floor in the center of the garage door.
  • Push the remote control 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.)
  • If the door does not reverse, have the garage door opener repaired or replaced by a professional garage door technician.

Force Setting Test

Third, test the force settings of your garage door opener by holding the bottom of the door as it closes. If the door does not reverse easily, the force may be excessive and require adjusting. Refer to your owner's manual for details on how to adjust the garage door with the force. Test the reversing feature after you make any adjustments. If you are unsure on how to adjust the force settings or if the garage door opener still doesn't reverse properly after you make the adjustments, it recommended to contact a professional garage door technician.


Additional Safety Devices

Garage door openers manufactured after 1993 are equipped with additional safety devices such as photocells or safety/edge sensors to prevent against entrapment. For more information about safety sensors, please reference 
Why Is My Garage Door Not Closing?



As you can see, the safety test outlined above can be easily completed by a homeowner. However, if you come across a problem or issue while conducting your test, you should contact a professional garage door technician. If you are located in Greater Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky and need an IDEA certified garage door technician to repair your garage door, click here to schedule an appointment.


Overhead Door Company of Northern Kentucky is a second generation family owned company that provides residential and commercial garage doors, automatic garage door openers, dock equipment, commercial steel entry doors, retractable awnings and garage storage solutions to Greater Cincinnati communities such as Hyde Park, Loveland, West Chester and Mason and Northern Kentucky communities such as Florence, Hebron, Burlington and Ft Mitchell. Overhead Door Company of Northern Kentucky has been a proud distributor of Overhead Door products since 1947.

For more information about Overhead Door Company of Northern Kentucky, visit our website at