Garage Door Openers


Maintain your electric garage door opener

Maintain your electric garage door opener

As a leading garage door repair and installation company in Houston, Spectrum Overhead Door understands the importance of maintaining your electric garage door opener. A well-maintained garage door opener not only ensures smooth operation but also extends its lifespan, saving you money and hassle in the long run. Here’s our expert guide on how to keep your electric garage door opener in top condition.

Understanding Your Electric Garage Door Opener

Before diving into maintenance, it’s crucial to understand the basics of your electric garage door opener. Typically, a garage door opener consists of a motor unit, drive mechanism (chain, belt, or screw), and a control system. Each component plays a vital role in the opener’s operation and requires specific attention during maintenance.

Regular Inspection and Testing

  1. Visual Inspection: Every few months, inspect your garage door opener for any signs of wear or damage. Check the drive mechanism, springs, cables, rollers, and pulleys for any visible defects.
  2. Balance Test: Disconnect the opener (using the manual release handle) and manually lift the door. It should lift smoothly and stay open about halfway. If it doesn’t, the door may be out of balance, requiring professional adjustment.
  3. Reversal Test: Place a piece of wood (like a 2×4) on the ground where the door would close. The door should reverse upon hitting the wood. If not, the force limit needs adjustment.

Lubrication is Key

A well-lubricated garage door opener operates more smoothly and quietly. Use a silicone-based lubricant or a garage door-specific spray on the opener’s chain or screw. Do not use grease as it can attract dirt and grime.

Keep It Clean

Dust and debris can hinder your garage door opener’s performance. Regularly cleaning the tracks, removing debris, and gently wiping the sensors with a clean cloth can prevent operational issues.

Check and Replace Worn Parts

Over time, parts like rollers, springs, and cables wear out. Inspect these parts regularly for signs of wear. If you notice frayed cables or broken springs, call a professional for replacement.

Safety First: Sensor Alignment and Testing

Electric garage door openers come with safety sensors that prevent the door from closing on objects or people. Ensure these sensors are correctly aligned and clean. Test them by placing an object in the door’s path; the door should reverse immediately.

Remote Control and Keypad Maintenance

Don’t forget about the smaller components. Keep your remote control and keypad in good working order. Replace batteries annually, and keep the remote and keypad clean and dry.

Weather Stripping and Seals

Check the weather stripping around the garage door. If it’s cracked or broken, it needs replacing. Good seals not only keep out the elements but also reduce strain on the garage door opener.

Professional Maintenance

While many maintenance tasks can be done by homeowners, some require professional expertise. Annual inspections and servicing by a professional can catch issues early and ensure safe, efficient operation.

Keep the Area Around the Door Clear

Ensure the area where your garage door operates is clear of objects and debris. This not only prevents damage but also reduces the risk of accidents.

Upgrade When Necessary

Technology evolves, and so do garage door openers. If your opener is more than 10 years old, consider upgrading to a newer model with advanced safety features and better efficiency.

Conclusion

Regular maintenance of your electric garage door opener is essential for its longevity and safe operation. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your garage door system runs smoothly for years to come. Remember, if you’re unsure about any maintenance task or encounter significant issues, it’s always best to consult with professionals in garage door opener repair like Spectrum Overhead Door in Houston. We’re here to help keep your garage door system in prime condition

Signs That You Need a New Garage Door Opener

Signs That You Need a New Garage Door Opener

Many homeowners grapple with the question of when to replace their garage door opener. Your garage door opener is an essential component of your home’s functionality and security. While they are built to last, they don’t last forever. Understanding the signs that indicate a need for a new garage door opener can save you from unexpected breakdowns and enhance your home’s safety. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the key indicators that suggest it’s time to invest in a new garage door opener.

The Age of Your Garage Door Opener

The age of your garage door opener is a good indicator of whether or not you need a new one. If your opener is more than 15 years old, it may be time to consider a replacement. Older openers may not have the safety features and energy efficiency of newer models, which could put you and your family at risk.

If your Garage Door Opener Makes Noise

Older garage door openers often make a lot of noise. If your garage door opener is creating more noise than usual, such as grinding, rattling, or straining sounds, it might be a sign of internal wear and tear. Newer models are much quieter, with some using a belt drive system that is almost silent.

 If The Garage Door Opener Malfunctions

If your garage door opener is malfunctioning, it might be time to replace your garage door opener. Malfunctions can include the door opening or closing on its own, the door not opening or closing at all, or the opener making unusual sounds. These malfunctions can be caused by a variety of factors, including worn-out components or a faulty motor. We do want to stress that malfunctions do not straight away mean you need a new garage door opener, but combining it with other factors may lead to that determination. Sometimes it’s hard to know whether it’s better to repair or place the garage door opener, and that is where a garage door professional like Spectrum Overhead Door can help. 

Slow Response Time

A noticeable delay between when you press the remote and when the door begins to open is a sign of a problem. While a slight delay is normal, a delay of more than a few seconds can indicate issues with the opener or the door itself.

Vibration During Operation

An opener that vibrates excessively might be a sign of a motor that is struggling or internal components that are wearing out. This vibration can become severe enough that it poses a risk of the opener dislodging from its mounting.

Lack of energy efficiency

Older garage door openers may not be as energy efficient as newer models, which can lead to higher energy bills. If you’re noticing a significant increase in your energy bills, it may be time to upgrade to a newer, more energy-efficient model.

Your Opener Lacks a Battery Backup

The Houston area is prone to outages. A garage door opener with a battery backup is really a good idea. It ensures that your garage door can operate even when the power is out.

The Lack of Safety Features

 Safety should always be a top priority when it comes to garage door openers. If your opener doesn’t have safety features such as automatic reversal, photoelectric sensors, or rolling code technology, it’s time to upgrade to a newer model. These safety features can prevent accidents and injuries by stopping the door from closing on people or objects.

Security Concerns

Older garage door openers are more vulnerable to burglaries. Newer models offer rolling code technology, which changes the access code each time the remote is used, preventing unauthorized access. Also, newer Liftmaster models come with a built-in security camera and 360 lighting, letting you know what’s going on in your own garage.

Incompatibility with smart home technology

If you’re interested in adding smart home technology to your garage door opener, your current opener may not be compatible. If you’re looking to upgrade to a newer, more compatible model, you’ll be able to control your garage door opener from your smartphone, tablet, or another internet-connected device.

In conclusion, if you’re experiencing any of these signs, it may be time to consider a new garage door opener. By upgrading to a newer model, you can improve the safety, security, and convenience of your garage, as well as reduce your energy bills. When choosing a new garage door opener, be sure to look for one that has the safety features, security features, and convenience features that you need for your specific needs. Additionally, make sure to choose a model that is compatible with any smart home technology you may be interested in.If you are in the Houston area, Spectrum Overhead Door can help to help you choose the right model for your needs and ensure a proper installation of your garage door opener motor.

 

Why Do the Pros Trust Liftmaster Garage Door Openers?

Why Do the Pros Trust Liftmaster Garage Door Openers?

If your garage door opener has quit on you and you are shopping around for garage door openers and installation, you have a fair amount of choices on openers.  You can even walk into a Walmart and can see a row of Genie garage door openers. So why is it that just about every garage door company recommends and trusts LiftMaster garage door openers? When you ask a garage door professional they usually just give you the short answer “Well, its professional grade”. Yet what does that really mean?  Is getting a professional-grade LiftMaster garage door opener any better than picking up an opener from Walmart? Spoiler alert, it usually is. We know from both installing openers here at Spectrum Overhead and selling them at our sister company, Parts 4 Garage Doors. We are going to tell you why generally, LiftMasters are trusted by the pros. 

Who is LiftMaster?

LiftMaster is a part of the Chamberlain Group. The roots of The Chamberlain Group date back to the mid-20th century. The company initially began as a manufacturer of home and commercial door operators. Over time, they diversified their portfolio and expanded into the garage door opener market. Chamberlain makes three brands of garage door openers, Chamberlain, Craftsman and Liftmaster.

LiftMaster garage door openers are specifically targeted towards professional installers, differentiating itself from the DIY market segment. LiftMaster quickly gained a reputation for its durability, reliability, and innovative features.

Why is Liftmaster Considered a Professional Grade?

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Reliability

LiftMaster has a long-standing reputation for producing highly reliable and durable garage door openers. These openers are designed to withstand frequent use, making them ideal for commercial settings, such as parking garages, as well as for residential use.

Quality Construction

LiftMaster garage door openers are built with high-quality materials and components. They are known for their robust construction, which contributes to their longevity and ability to handle heavy garage doors.

Advanced Technology 

LiftMaster consistently incorporates advanced technological features into their openers. This includes innovations like MyQ Technology, which allows homeowners to control and monitor their garage door opener remotely using a smartphone app. This level of technology integration is highly valued in both residential and commercial settings.

Security

 LiftMaster places a strong emphasis on security features. Their openers often come with rolling code technology, which generates a new security code each time the garage door is operated, making it extremely difficult for unauthorized individuals to gain access.

Quiet Operation 

Many LiftMaster models are designed for quiet and smooth operation. This is especially important for residential settings where noise can be a nuisance.

Professional Installation

LiftMaster products are typically installed by trained professionals. This ensures that the opener is properly set up, calibrated, and maintained, reducing the likelihood of issues down the line.

Warranty 

LiftMaster stands behind its products with warranties that often exceed industry standards. This reflects their confidence in the quality and durability of their openers.

Customer Support

LiftMaster provides excellent customer support and resources for both homeowners and professionals. This includes online manuals, troubleshooting guides, and a responsive customer service team.

Industry Leadership

LiftMaster is an industry leader and innovator. They invest in research and development, continually improving their products to meet the evolving needs and expectations of customers.

Overall, LiftMaster’s reputation as a professional-grade brand is built on a combination of reliability, durability, technological innovation, and a commitment to security and customer satisfaction. These qualities make LiftMaster a trusted choice for homeowners, business owners, and garage door professionals alike.

Spectrum Overhead Doors has been installing LiftMaster garage door openers since 2006. If you are in the Houston area and need to replace your garage door opener, give us a call at  281-748-9542 to schedule your appointment. 

 

Understanding Genie Garage Door Opener Error Codes

Understanding Genie Garage Door Opener Error Codes

Genie garage door openers are one of the more common budget garage door openers on the market. When all goes right, they get the job done, opening and closing the garage door as it should. However, just like any other piece of machinery or electrical equipment, it can malfunction from time to time. The good thing is, Genie garage door openers have red and green lights that can help you diagnose some of the basic issues going on with your garage door opener. This can help you save time and money by not having to call a garage door repair company for a simple fix. Let’s look at Genie garage door opener error codes.

Garage Door Opener Error Codes

Genie chain and belt drive garage door openers flash the red or green LEDs lights next to the Learn button to signal error codes. Here are the error codes and what they mean.

Red LED blinks once, pauses and repeats: Means A remote device transmitter has not been programmed.

What should you do: Program the remote device following the instructions in your owner’s manual.

 

Green LED blinks once, pauses and repeats: Obstruction between the sensors, door is binding or door travel limit needs programming.

What should you do: Remove any obstruction between the safety reversing sensors. Pull the emergency door release and check the up-and-down travel of the garage door for binding. Repair the garage door if it doesn’t travel smoothly. Program the door travel limits following the instructions in the owner’s manual.

 

Green LED blinks twice, pauses and repeats: Continuous obstruction between the sensors, sensors are out of alignment, bad wiring connections on the power head, or door travel limit needs programming.

What you should do: Remove any obstruction between the safety reversing sensors. Realign the safety reversing sensors if askew. Unplug the garage door opener and reconnect any loose wires on the power head. Program the door travel limits following the instructions in the owner’s manual.

 

Green LED blinks 3 times, pauses and repeats: Travel limits are backwards

What you should do: Clear and reprogram the travel limits following the instructions in your owner’s manual.

 

Green LED blinks 4 times, pauses and repeats: The wall control wires are reversed on the power head or the wall control wires are shorted

What you should do: Reverse the wall control wires on the power head if improperly connected. Unplug the garage door opener and replace the wires for the wall control if damaged. If the wires are okay, replace the wall control.

 

Green LED blinks 5 times, pauses and repeats: Chain/belt is too tight or control system failure.

What you should do: Adjust the chain/belt tension following the instructions in your owner’s manual. If the chain/belt tension is okay, replace the control board assembly.

 

Some of these fixes are fairly simple and some are a little more involved. In either case though, if it’s not something you are comfortable working with, then it might be best to call in a garage door opener repair professional. If you are in the Houston area and you own a Genie garage door opener that gives you one of these error codes, Spectrum Overhead Door can repair your Genie garage door opener for you. Call 713-913-1721 to schedule your appointment.

 

 

Benefits of Installing a Smart Garage Door Opener

Benefits of Installing a Smart Garage Door Opener

Here in Houston, as in most places, technology for everyday use is advancing at a rapid pace. This includes technology for the home itself. As a garage door company here in Houston, we have seen that trend extend to garage door openers. Some smart features have been around for a few years now, however, if you are living in a house you bought 5-10 years ago, you may not have heard about the different features of a smart garage door opener.  Smart garage door openers offer a number of benefits that are well worth considering for anyone looking to upgrade their home’s security and convenience. Here are a few benefits of installing a smart garage door opener.

Smart Garage Door Opener Benefits

Security Lights.

Many modern garage door openers, including the newer Liftmaster garage door openers, come with a security light.  The security light turns on automatically when the garage door opener is activated. Many of the models with security lights are now motion-activated, allowing deterrence of intruders.

Wireless Open and Close Through Apps.

Smart garage door openers are connected to WIFI and now can be controlled through an app like the MyQ app through Chamberlain. These apps allows you to open and close your garage door from anywhere using your smartphone or other device. This can be incredibly convenient if you need to let someone into your garage while you’re not home, or if you simply want to open or close the door without having to get out of your car. Another great benefit is when you have guests coming over, but won’t be there in time to open the garage door. With an app like the MyQ app, you can create a virtual key from your smartphone to theirs. This can be a temporary key as You can set it to expire on a specific day and time. The Chamberlin MyQ app was designed to give homeowners full control of their garage, even when they are not there. The MyQ app is partnered with Amazon so that when you order from Amazon, the delivery driver can securely leave your packages in the garage.

Video Camera on the Garage Door Opener.

LiftMaster is one of the major brands that offer this great feature. We are talking about having a video camera right on your garage door opener. A video camera that allows you to see what’s happening in and around your garage at all times. The video camera can come with motion detection and alert features, so you can be notified if someone is in your garage when they shouldn’t be. These work seamlessly with apps like the MyQ garage door app.

Integrated Battery Backup.

Here in Houston, the power tends to go out in the summertime, and we just had a winter with a massive power outage. That can leave you without the ability to get into your garage in the middle of a storm without having to get out of your car and manually lift your garage door.  For older garage door opener units, to have battery backup you had to incorporate a backup battery. There are newer Liftmaster models that come with integrated Battery backup allows you to open/close your door even when the power is out.

Conversion Kits

If you are not ready to buy a newer garage door opener but want the benefits of newer technology, companies like Chamberlain and Genie offer conversion and upgrade kits that give you virtually all the same features.

If you want to upgrade your garage with a smart garage door opener, but not sure where to begin or how to install it, Spectrum Overhead Door LLC in Houston has been reliably installing garage door openers for over 15 years. Call 281-748-9542 or if you live on the Eastern side of Houston 713-557-3407 for a free quote on upgrading your garage with a smart garage door opener.

 

Common Garage Door Opener Problems

Common Garage Door Opener Problems

Your garage door opener is a reliable piece of machinery that drives the springs and cables to open and close your garage door. Yet, no matter how reliable that piece of machinery is, all machines break down and need to be replaced. Now if your opener quits working altogether, that is a sure sign you need a new garage door opener installed. Yet sometimes your opener has issues or problems that are indicative of it needing to be replaced that can be overlooked. Here are some common garage door opener problems that might mean you need to replace your opener.

Remotes and Wall Switches

Remote Control nor Wall Switch Will Open or Close the Door.

If the opener will not respond to the wall switch or the remote, the simplest answer is usually the case, which means the opener is not getting power. Check to see if the opener has been unplugged from its power source. Make sure the cord is plugged in all the way. If the cord is plugged in, you may want to check your circuit breaker or fuse. If none of those options have worked, it’s possible the garage door opener’s motor has burned out and isn’t operating at all. This means it would be time to replace the garage opener.

The Wall Switch Works But the Remote Doesn’t.

If the door operates with the hardwired wall switch but not the remote, it’s likely the battery needs replacing in the remote control or keypad. If that has not helped, check to see if the antenna on your garage door opener has been damaged or is not pointing down.

The Remote Works but the Wall Switch Doesn’t.

If the remote works but the wall switch doesn’t, you may have to replace the wall switch, or the wall switch wires. First, you have to determine which is the problem. Unscrew the switch from the wall and touch the two wires together. These are low voltage wires so they will not shock you. If the opener runs, you have a bad switch. Purchase the one recommended for your model and replace the switch. If the opener doesn’t run when you touch the wires at the opener, use a small wire and jump those same two wires at the opener terminal. If the opener runs, the wire that connects the opener to the switch is bad. You can replace it using 18- to 22-gauge wire.

Opening and Closing the Garage Door Does Not Work Correctly

Your garage door opens, then immediately reverses direction.

If you push the button and the garage door begins to open and then completely reverses direction, this could have a simple explanation. If the sensors are blocked, dirty, or an object is in the way, this could be the root cause. However, if your garage door continues to act this way despite repeated attempts to clear the sensors and area of debris, it may be time to look at replacing the opener.

The garage Door Won’t Close All the Way.

If the garage door goes down when you hold down the wall switch, your safety sensors are probably out of alignment or going bad. These are near the bottom of the door track on both sides. They are electronic eyes that require a clear line of view between them. The small light on each sensor should be lit up when nothing is between them. If there is no red light at all, that probably means they need to be replaced. If you do see a red light, that means they probably need to be realigned. Sometimes, vibrations from the door in the tracks can loosen the brackets holding the sensors, changing their alignment, and need to be realigned. Also, make sure there is nothing blocking the line of sight between the two sensors. Also, direct sunlight shining on the sensor eye can trick the sensor.

The garage Door Does Not Open Completely.

If the garage door opens, but not all the way, one of two things are probably the issue. Either damaged rollers can also cause the door to stop short of fully opening or the up-limit switch may need to be moved toward the motor unit. In most cases it will be the rollers, in which case the rusty roller needs to be lubricated, or damaged ones need to be replaced. The up-limit switch is a rarer occurrence. This switch is usually a simple touch-lever mounted on the end of the track near the motor unit, and if it is too far ​away, the motor will stop the door before it fully opens. The solution is to move the switch closer to the motor unit.

The garage door opens and begins vibrating.

A little vibration during opening or closing is normal, but if your opener begins vibrating violently when in operation, this could be a sign of a serious internal problem that should be checked out immediately.

You start hearing the opener make weird noises.

In addition to vibrating, if the opener suddenly begins making noises you have never heard before, it might be time for a service call or a complete replacement. The existence of a noise you are unfamiliar with is almost always indicative of some type of internal problem so if you begin hearing something you have never heard before, take action immediately. If you catch the issue in time, a simple repair versus a replacement may be in order. Older chain-driven models are certainly much noisier and the noise could be from a rusty chain-driven opener. Newer garage door openers are belt-driven and are generally much quieter but any new noise that you do not recognize should be investigated immediately.

If you are experiencing any of these signs, the Houston garage door repair experts at Spectrum Overhead Door LLC can diagnose your garage door opener problem and see if it is best to replace or just repair your opener motor. The greater Houston area is the only market we serve because our company is locally owned and operated.  We have two office locations: 11020 Katy Freeway #116b Houston, TX 77043 in which the number is  281-748-9542, and 16023 East Fwy #11
Channelview TX, 77530 in which the number is 713-557-3407. Call us at either location or come by and we can schedule you an appointment to repair or replace your garage door opener motor. Same-day appointments are available!

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