Garage door opener motor vibration is normal, but it can be annoying.Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
Vibration emanating from a garage door opener often results in annoying rattle and clanging as the door opens and closes. Motor vibration transfers through the opener's support structure and into the home's framing and drywall, amplifying the noise. The Genie Company is a manufacturer of garage door openers, and its systems mount and operate in ways similar to most openers. You can make several small fixes to reduce vibration — and noise — to acceptable levels.
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The garage door opener's motor accounts for most of the noise. Rubber absorbs and softens vibration. Whether the garage door opener's motor is attached directly to joists in the ceiling or to steel framing that bridges the gap between the ceiling and the motor, insertion of rubber pads reduces vibration. Rubber washers or homemade strips cut from a piece of scrap rubber padding can be used for the task. Even thin pieces of padding — just 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick — have good vibration-reducing properties. You can further suppress vibration by inserting rubber pads at each point that the track connects to the ceiling.
The bolts and nuts that hold the Genie garage door system together loosen over time, in large part from typical motor vibration. Once they loosen, the bolts also vibrate, causing metal-against-metal contact. Systematically examine the framework that holds the system in place, securely tightening bolts and nuts along the way. As part of this routine, check the bolts holding the rollers onto the garage door. These assemblies are typically held in place with carriage bolts, the heads of which are on the exterior side of the garage door. Snug the nuts, but don't overtighten them because the carriage bolt heads can tear through the door.
While the motor of a Genie door system is probably the culprit producing vibration, the rollers can rattle and vibrate within their tracks. This movement adds to the noise level that shows up as a symptom of the vibration. Because the tracks are much wider than the rollers riding inside them, there is little adjustment you can do. However, you can switch to nylon or plastic rollers, which absorb vibration in much they same way as rubber pads on the motor mounts.
A typical garage door opener uses either a long, nylon screw or a metal chain to lift the garage door as the motor turns. Screws do not often cause vibration, but you can lubricate them if they produce noise. Chains tend to stretch over time, and the additional slack makes chain vibration and noise an issue. Your owner's manual describes how to adjust slack in the chain by re-adjusting motor placement, or by eliminating a link or two from the chain itself.