A Guide to Garage Door Openers
There are many perks to being a homeowner, like having more space and a backyard, but another great aspect of owning a house is the garage that comes with it. This houses not only our cars, but also the various tools and assorted materials we think we might need one day. However, an often overlooked aspect of garages is the garage door, and more specifically, the garage door opener, which is the brains behind the operation. In this article, we will shine a spotlight on this unsung hero of suburbia.
We will first take a look at some of the most common problems that may pop up with your garage door opener, and offer quick and easy fixes where possible. We will then move on to discuss the various types of garage door openers, as well as the top manufacturers in the industry. Finally, we will take a look at some of the garage accessories that accompany garage door openers, such as sensors and remote controls. With that in mind, let us get started.
Common Problems with Garage Door Openers
There are many simple problems that may lead to your garage door opener not functioning properly, and as a result of that, your garage door may not be able to open. Before we elaborate on some of the more common problems and the steps you should take to repair them, it is very important to give an overall safety guide first, to minimize the chances of you getting hurt in the process.
Before doing anything, you should check your door first. While your door is closed, pull on the emergency release cord, and give the door a lift to check whether it opens and closes smoothly. If it does not, your problem is not with the opener, but with the rail. With that being said, always work with the door down.
If you do this step with the door up, the door may come crashing down and hurt you. Furthermore, always unplug the opener from the electricity socket, since someone may press the remote control inadvertently, and cause you to get electrocuted.
Let us now take a look at some common problems with garage door openers.
- The door won’t go down: If your garage door goes up, but only comes down when you hold down the wall switch, the problem most likely lies in the safety sensor. These sensors must be properly aligned in order to work. The small light on each sensor is supposed to be lit up when there is nothing standing in the way of the sensors. If there is no light at all, the sensors are fried, and you will need to replace them.
- The door won’t move at all: If the garage door opener makes a grinding noise, but the door doesn’t move at all, it is likely that the main gear drive is broken. The main gear drive is the plastic gear that is in direct contact with the worm drive gear on the motor itself. In fact, the main gear drive is the component most likely to fail in all garage doors, no matter the type.
However, this is quite a difficult thing to fix if you haven’t done it before, as it requires the opener to be stripped of many components before you can get to the main drive gear. You will need to construct a manual on how to construct a garage door opener in order to dismantle it. Once you get to the gear, a simple punch will knock it out, and then you can go ahead and simply replace it.
- Trolley carriage problems: Another reason why your door likely won’t move is due to problems with the trolley carriage. Before you remove it in order to replace it, you should first clamp down the chain to the rail. By doing this, you will keep the chain in place on the sprocket, which will help speed up reassembly.
Once this is done, Separate the chain from both sides of the trolley. Remove the rail from the header bracket, and slide the rail off to the side. Then simply slide the old trolley out, and put the new one in. The final step is to attach the chain and calibrate the tension.
- Wall switch problems: It can sometimes happen that the remote control will work, but the wall switch won’t, so this is obviously a problem with the wall switch itself, rather than any of the mechanical components. If this happens, the easiest solution is to simply replace the wall switch.
However, it can also happen that the switch itself is fine, but the wires are fried. You can test this by unscrewing the switch from the wall, and touching the two wires that feed into it together. If the garage door opens, it’s a faulty switch. If it doesn’t, it’s a problem with the wires.
General Maintenance Guidelines
It is very important that you apply the best practices to maintaining your garage door, as this will significantly prolong their lifetime, in addition to making sure that your garage opens up successfully every time. Our suggestions include simple things you can do yourself on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to make sure that your garage door is always fully functional.
Firstly, you should lube the rail every once in a while. That is because the rail comes into contact with the trolley carriage, and it is important that it moves without a hitch. Use lube that doesn’t attract dust, such as silicone spray. If you live in a colder area, you should go for lithium grease, as this won’t harden when the temperature drops.
Secondly, you should check the chain tension as well. Most manufacturers suggest that your chain should allow for ¼ to ½ inch of slack from the rail to the chain. Finally, you should also adjust the travel of the door by using the two knobs on the garage door opener, which control how far the door moves up and down.
The Main Types of Garage Door Openers
The way you approach your garage door opener depends to an extent on the type of garage door opener you have. Though they all function in a similar way, three main types of garage door openers can be distinguished.
Firstly, there is the chain drive opener, and this is the most common type. As the name may suggest, this type of garage door opener uses a chain to pull or push a trolley that in turn moves your door up and down. These are relatively cheap, and very reliable, especially for the price. However, the main drawback to this type of garage door is that it makes a lot of noise when operating, which is a problem for many homeowners.
The next type of door opener is the belt drive opener. This uses an almost identical mechanism to go about its task, but it uses a belt instead of a chain to pull the trolley along. The main benefit of this type of door opener is the fact that is is very quiet when in operation. However, these do cost a bit more than our previous type.
Finally, there is teh screw drive door opener. This uses an altogether different mechanism for opening the garage door. It consists of a threaded steel rod which rotates in order to move the trolley, thus opening or closing the door. These are simpler in terms of the number of different components they require to run properly, so they require less maintenance. These are, however, noisier than the belt drive openers, which is their downside.
We would be remiss if we didn’t also mention the most popular and influential garage door opener brands in this section as well. The best-known manufacturer of door openers is arguably Liftmaster, and their openers are used as something of a reference when judging products from other companies. However, door openers from another company, Chamberlain, have been consistently voted the best quality online. Worthy mentions include companies such as Genie and Craftsman, which also take up high positions both in terms of popularity and quality.
Door Opener Accessories
The method for signaling to the opener that you want the garage door opened or closed has changed over time, and there are a few methods for doing this. However, the main method has been, and still is, the remote control. By being able to open the garage door remotely, you don’t have to get out of your car every time you come home or want to go somewhere. However, most people still have buttons that allow them to open or close the garage door themselves if they wish.
The main alternative to this type of technology, whether it is remote control or a simple button on the wall, is the garage sensor. This sensor uses an infrared radio signal to activate the motor on the garage door opener once you press the remote control button. The infrared sensors that make this system possible are located on either side of your garage door, approximately two inches off the ground.
Normally, these will not be visible, but if there is a misalignment between the two sensors, one of them will start to blink, so as to indicate that something is wrong. If that happens, you need to check whether there is something obstructing the connection between the two sensors. If there is no obstruction, however, there is a good chance that there is something wrong with the sensors themselves. It could be problems with the lens, or maybe the sensors are not aligned properly.
What can we do for you?
Having gone through some of the main characteristics and types of garage door openers, as well as the most likely problems you may experience with them, we here at Lion Garage Door would like to offer our services in case you need to have your garage door openers checked or repaired. We have given you some basic insights and procedures for quick fixes that should take you a long way toward repairing your garage door opener yourself, but there are several reasons why such handiness may not work.
Firstly, if you are not very experienced with repairing things around the house, this is definitely an area where you should leave things to professionals. As we have already mentioned, some of these procedures require the disassembly of many parts of the garage door opener, and that means that if something goes wrong, the garage door might come crashing down and hurt you.
Furthermore, even if you are pretty experienced with doing household repair work, there are still some reasons it would be a better idea to leave it to us. Firstly, you may not have the time to deal with your garage door repair Virginia opener, and you would like to be able to get your car out of the garage. Our service is quick and professional, so you will be able to use your garage as normal in no time
Secondly, perhaps you’ve tinkered with the opener yourself, but were unable to fix it, so you need to find professional help. That’s where we come in. Lion Garage Door technicians have been trained on all types of garage door opener made by all of the most popular manufacturers. Their wealth of experience in the field means that they have seen it all, which guarantees that they will be able to find a solution even for the most difficult problems.
We strive to provide the best possible service for our customers, at more than reasonable prices. Our technicians respond to calls quickly, and do their job even quicker. We pride ourselves on our expertise, as well as our track record of happy customers. If all of this sounds too good to be true, why not put us to the test by calling Lion Garage Doors to fix up your garage door repair Raleigh NC opener next time you are having trouble? We guarantee you won’t be disappointed!