Lions Gate Garage Doors

LiftMaster 8155W Belt Drive Operator (Contractor Series)

How do garage door openers work?

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Garage Door Operators, also known as garage door openers, assist in the opening and closing of your garage door. Openers are often associated with the remotes in your car, the wall control button in your garage, or even the outdoor keypad or keyless entry system.

There are several makes and models of garage door openers. A few that come to mind are LiftMaster, Linear, Chamberlian, Wayne Dalton, Craftsman, Steel-Craft, Python, Amarr, and so many more. For many years, operators were solely single-phase units with either 1/3HP or 1/2HP units. They were basic units that did not give much into the technology available to us today. These older units generally used a chain system, but some others come as a screwdriver or a combination of chain & cable. Nonetheless, the older generation of operators had large, clunky remotes and a small “doorbell” type of wall control.

We see more diverse products flooding the market as technology advances. Basic chain drive operators are still available today, but the new products are now belt-driven models. Belt operators are smooth, quiet, and very efficient. Some manufacturers of garage door operators, such as LiftMaster, offer lifetime warranties on their motors and their belts! Belt units do not need adjusting, nor will they stretch due to how the steel is within the core of the belt. The motors inside the head unit are also on anti-vibration mounts to reduce noise levels and quiet operation. Looking at the older generation of operators and still some new products today, many motors offered by various manufacturers run on an AC power plant. These are direct speed with a jerking motion at the beginning of each opening and closing cycle. Some new products now have DC motors. These are much smoother and have a gentle start/stop cycle to help reduce noise and wear on your garage door while providing the quietest operation. Operators are also available now with up to 1-1/4HP for maximum lifting force.

Garage Door operators have two distinctive safety features. Older generation units only had one. Many of us know about the sensors or cameras, as some people call them. Their technical name is photocells. Photocells were introduced to bring on a secondary form of safety, but they play a critical role in the operation of a garage door operator. Photocells should be legally installed 6″-8″ above the ground on each end of the vertical tracks. They aim to prevent an opener from closing the garage door if something obstructs the path. If a child, pet, or anything stands in the way of the photocells line, the operator will refuse to close the door. Photocells are sensitive objects, and nothing should be placed around them. They can easily be damaged and bumped offline. It is not recommended to touch these and leave it up to the professionals to ensure they are properly installed. Water or physical damage will ruin most photocells, and keeping the lenses clean will help ensure your garage closes. The other safety mechanism that has always been available, even with the older generation of openers, is the safety reversal system, otherwise known as the force or clutch settings. The operator sets these settings to dictate how much force is required to open and close your garage door. If force settings are set too high, and the door becomes obstructed by something, the operator will continue to force or push/pull the door open. These settings must be set and tested by professionals in the industry. A door that has become obstructed could potentially hurt someone and damage the garage door or even the operator itself.

Garage Door Operators have changed from just a push-button operation into a vast array of helpful technologically advanced systems to help with the ease of operation and the best in security and easiness. All our products come standard with WIFI Technology built right into the operators. Wi-Fi operators are proven safe and connect right to your home network. They allow you full control of your garage door from anywhere in the world from an app within your mobile or electronic device. Wi-Fi operators allow you to see the status of your garage door at any moment. Whether the door is open, closed, or in use, it also allows you to open the garage door from wherever you are in the world! Companies like Amazon have partnerships with some manufacturers of garage door operators. Through the app, you can have a package delivered and placed inside your garage without the fear of having your package stolen. Other operators' advances include Battery-Back-up systems where your garage door opener will still run even if the power is out. These battery backup systems last an average of 72 hours on standby and can run a cycle approximately ten times before the battery needs to be recharged. The battery backup units are mounted into the operator’s head and are monitored by the Smart Wall Control Panel.

In addition to all the technological advances made in garage door operators, the newest trend we see now is 360-degree pivoting cameras mounted on the base of the operator’s head. This allows you full control from your device’s app to see and hear what is happening inside your garage anytime!

It is important to note that Garage Door Operators DO NOT PULL, LIFT, or CARRY the weight of your garage door. They are there to ASSIST in the opening and closing of your garage door. Check out our blog on springs to understand how a garage door operates and why we can lift a heavy door with merely one hand. Garage Door Operators should also be installed, set, tested, and lubricated by trained professionals.

Here at Lions Gate Garage Doors, we take the time to install your operator right the 1st time. We review all of the various safety measures, Wi-Fi technology and remotes, keypads, and HOMELINK for your vehicle to ensure you have all the knowledge you need to operate your garage door safely.