How do garage door openers work?
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. Operators for many years 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 other units come as a screwdrive or a combination of chain & cable. Non the less, the older generation of operators had large, clunky remotes and a small “doorbell” type of wall control.
We are seeing more and more diverse products flooding the market as technology advances. There still are basic chain drive operators available today, but the new product’s now belt-driven models. Belt operators are smooth, quiet, and very efficient. Some manufactures 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 the way the steel within the core of the belt itself. 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 manufactures 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 in 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. Their purpose is to prevent an opener from closing the garage door if something is obstructing the path. If a child, pet, or anything stand 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 leaving 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. These settings are set in the operator 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 on 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, 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 as well as the best in security and easiness. All the products we offer come standard with WIFI Technology built right into the operators. Wifi 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. Wifi operators allow you to see at any moment the status of your garage door. 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 manufactures 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 advances in operators are things like Battery-Back-up systems where your garage door opener will still run even if the power is out. These battery back-up 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 back-up 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 are 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 going on inside your garage at any time!
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 go over all of the various safety measures, Wifi Technology and remotes, keypads, and HOMELINK for your vehicle to ensure you have all the knowledge you need to operate your garage door safely.