When and How to Replace a Garage Door Opener
How many of you have had issues with your garage door opener at the most inopportune time? Weather is terrible, you are in a hurry, or it just won’t work? Well, in every situation, we all take for granted that the door opener will work, and you can leave or arrive at your convenience.
Just the touch of a button allows you access to your garage and we open and close it thousands of times, forgetting that it may need help or fail. Your opener will wear out, and if you are not aware of the signs, it could be too late. In this blog, we will discuss when and how you should replace your garage door opener.
When to Replace a Garage Door Opener
There are a few issues you should look out for when deciding whether or not it’s time to replace your opener. Whether it’s making funny sounds, vibrating incessantly when in use or just plain not working, you’ll know it’s time to consider ordering a replacement. Here is a more in-depth guide on how to know when it’s time to get a new one.
Openers will rarely fail without warning signs in advance. If you are noticing the following warning signs with your opener, first detach the operator from the door to see if the door moves smoothly and is balanced. If it is, then it is likely the opener is failing, and you will want to replace it.
Broken or Damaged Parts
Over time, parts will start to wear out or get damaged either by the owner or by the weather. Doing safety checks on your opener each year will keep you in the loop if anything is starting to rust or fall apart. If you notice this happening and end up changing out parts too frequently, then it might be time to change the system.
Loud Noises from Opener
Anything that makes a noise, should put a red flag to you that something is wrong. Older openers were made louder than the newer ones, but for years you have been listening to it and using it every day. If you start to notice a loud and obnoxious noise, then it is time to replace it. The motors can get loud, and the chains can rattle from shakey movement. Either way, if you notice it, change it.
Have you ever watched your opener when in use? The normal slight movement of the equipment is something that most will notice; however, if it is vibrating like crazy, it is time to switch it out. Old motors may vibrate inside the housing, or if the housing is shaking too much, it could break free from it’s mounting and fall on your vehicle or you.
Opening then Reversing
If your garage door opens and then for some reason stops and goes back the other way, you could have some security issues. There are sensors on newer models for objects in the way and will automatically reverse your door. If you check out sensors and clear debris away from the door, try again. If this is still happening, then it is likely that something in the system is going wrong.
If you push the button and only half the time does it work, or you need to keep pushing the button, then this means that the opener is probably on it’s way out as well. Sometimes with newer models, the connections become worn and will not do the proper connecting to open or close the door.
New Technology Replacement
In some cases, the garage door opener that you are using is an older model, and with advancement comes new tech for those openers that make them more safe and efficient.
Using an Older Model
Openers can last for years, depending on the make and model. If you are still using one from the ’90s, it is probably a good time for an upgrade. There are many new features and tech that make them more reliable.
Most new openers come equipped with devices that have rolling codes in them. This means that the frequency that your opener is on will change constantly, making it harder for people to break into. One thing that thieves will do is take a standard opener and walk around to see which door they can open, and if you have an older model, the likelihood of this happening is greater. A fixed code is no longer a worry, and the ability of a thief to open your door is less with rolling codes.
Technology has improved soo much over the years that now you can operate your garage door with your phone. In the case of having a big family, this comes in handy. You can see if the door was left open and close it if you need to. Also, you can send someone a code to open your door if you are not home, instead of leaving a key or opener out for them to find and available to anyone walking around.
Newer openers can come with a keypad that attaches to the outside of the house in case you forget your opener. This allows you to access the garage without being locked out. Type in a code and voila, the door opens. Not all openers come with a keypad, so make sure to look for one that does. If your opener still works, there are some keypads that you can purchase that work with older models.
Power outages are frequent in some areas due to weather. Newer models come with backup battery power so that if the power goes out, you can still access the garage door. These are not standard, so make sure to look for a model that has this available.
Most manufacturers of garage door openers now have a safety feature attached to their product. This comes with optic electronic eyes that will notice if something is in the way of the garage door. This will then send a signal to reopen the door and not close it. This precaution is of great importance if you have little kids around playing outside, and someone hits the opener on accident. The feature will stop the door from closing on the kids or even if you have animals.
How to Install a Garage Door Opener
Installing a garage door opener can be complicated, but if you have the right tools, doing itself will save you money in the end.
Choose the Right Opener
When choosing and buying a new opener, make sure that you check the specs of yours before going to the store. There are many different types of openers out there, and to make the least change without changing out everything, have the proper information before purchasing.
Detach the Bracket
First, you are going to remove the old one. Look at the end of the rails for hidden screws, then the belt or chain to find the manual pull handle that the bracket attaches to. Remove the bolts or other pins that connect the bracket to the rails and slowly detach it.
Safety lenses are located on either side of the door. You will need to detach the wiring from both of the lenses that hold the wires in place. Do this again on the motor itself. Disconnect the wires that are attached to the top of the motor by a network of screws.
Once you have completely removed these and the wire that secures the control unit near your door to your house, take the bracket with the rail from above the garage door that holds it in place and remove the fasteners. Unbolt the opener from the angle iron or metal straps that hold it to the ceiling and take it down. Set the motor aside.
Assemble the Rail
When you get the new motor, it will require assembly before you install it. Follow the directions that come with the particular kit that you purchase. Install the first rail into the powerhead unit of the garage door opener, adding additional sections with couplers and bolts provided in the package until the track is done. Add the switches to this assembly as well that will turn off the opener.
Install the New Motor
The bracket that held the old opener above the garage door is needed next, and you will secure the end of the rail into this with the fasteners or whatever you originally had. You will probably need some other help at this point from another person to hold up the motor while you secure it in place to the straps or angled steel. The motor and rail need to be level when you install them, so make the necessary adjustments by raising or lowering the motor or reattaching it.
All the wiring that you had taken off previous now needs to be attached. This would be the new wires to the safety lenses and install them on either side of the garage doors on the mounts for the old lenses. Make sure that you keep the cables out of the way of moving parts. Reinstall the rail using the bracket to the door. Use your old equipment to reattach brackets to tracks, and then it is time to test the new opener.
When changing out your system, make sure that your old lenses, wires, and push-button controls operate on the same frequency as the new one that comes with a new opener. Installing a garage door opener can be pretty easy if done correctly.
In the end, changing and doing a garage door opener installation will save you some money instead of doing a full garage door replacement. If you need to have a company come out and do an installation, they will try to get you to change everything out and upgrade, make sure you know what you want before you call.