Garage Door Openers

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!

Contact Us About Your Garage Door Issues and Get a FREE Quote Today :

What Size Garage Door Opener Motor Do You Need

What Size Garage Door Opener Motor Do You Need

When shopping for a new garage door opener motor, determining the size, you require might be difficult. Motors come in various sizes, each with its own set of advantages and applications. Here, the multiple sizes of garage door opener motors are discussed and what each one is suitable for. There will also be coverage for choosing the suitable motor for your needs and keeping your garage door opener motor in good working condition.

When selecting a garage door opener motor, the first factor to consider is the size of your garage. What size garage door opener do you need? Well, it depends. For example, you won’t need a large engine if you have a small garage. In contrast, you will require a larger motor if you have a huge garage.

More considerations may include;

  • The frequency of use. A larger motor may be needed to prevent wear and tear if the frequency is high.
  • How many garage doors will the opener be operating? If there are many doors to be served, a larger motor may be needed to function correctly.
  • The type of garage door. If the garage door is made of wood, it may need a  larger motor to open and close it.
  • If you have an automatic garage door opener, you will need a more potent motor because it will have to lift the door and close it automatically.

Once you have considered all of these factors, you should be able to narrow down your choices to the one that suits you best.

There are four different sizes of garage door opener motors.

Quarter horsepower

(QHP) motors are the most minor and most common type of garage door opener motor. They are best suited for light-duty applications and small garage doors. They are characterized by low noise and low efficiency.

Half horsepower 

motors are larger and more potent than QHP motors and are best suited for heavy-duty applications and large garage doors. Their characteristics include high noise and high efficiency.

Three-quarter horsepower 

Three-quarter horsepower motors are even larger and more potent than HHP motors and are best suited for heavy-duty applications and substantial garage doors. They are characterized by very high noise and very high efficiency.

Full-horsepower motor

Full-horsepower motors are the most significant and potent type of garage door opener motor. They are best suited for commercial applications and weighty garage doors. They are characterized by exceptionally high noise and extremely high efficiency.

If you are unsure which size you need, the garage door opener installation professionals at Spectrum Overhead Door LLC can assess your needs and recommend the right size motor for your application. 

Maintain your garage door opener motor regularly to avoid garage door opener repair. 

The motor is one of the most common causes of garage door opener repairs.  Here are a few ways to maintain your opener motor. 

  • Checking the garage door opener motor for dirt and debris. The motor can overheat and fail due to dirt and debris.
  • Looking for any loose or damaged parts on the garage door opener motor. Components that are loose or broken might make the engine work harder and eventually fail.
  • Checking the alignment of the garage door. If your garage door is out of alignment, it will make the motor work harder.
  • Checking the lubrication of the garage door opener motor chain. 

You may avoid garage door opener repair and prolong the life of your garage door opener motor if you maintain it regularly


If you are still unsure of which garage door opener motor is best for your garage door, the pros at Spectrum Overhead Door in Houston can help you with choosing the right size and installing it for you. We have been installing garage door openers since 2006. Call 281-748-9542 to schedule your appointment. 


Maintain your electric garage door opener

Maintain your electric garage door opener

Automatic garage door openers are a significant investment for many homeowners. Despite being built to last, many automatic garage doors barely make it past a decade of use. Taking good care and learning how to maintain your electric garage door opener will spare you money in the long term.

Garage doors are often one of the largest moving items in a home, and when neglected, they can strain moving components, which can be costly to repair. While it’s okay to perform minor repairs on your own, it’s best to leave complicated repairs to qualified garage door technicians for garage door opener repair. Below is a guide you can follow when conducting garage door opener repair.

How to Maintain your electric garage door opener.

  1. Watch out for unusual sounds or movements in your garage doors.

Sometimes, faults in your automatic garage door opening mechanism may result in scraping or screeching sounds. A properly tuned garage door will move seamlessly along the rails and should be mostly quiet. Inspect each system component from the cabling to the pulleys and springs to ensure they are properly aligned.

  1. Confirm the garage door opener remote works

Remotes are often overlooked during routine maintenance checks. Dead batteries could be a reason why your garage door isn’t working. To confirm your remote is in good working condition, try pressing any button and check for flashes in the LED light. If the remote fails to activate the door opener or the LED fails to light up, it may be time to replace batteries or the remote altogether.

Inspect the antenna wires that stick out of the automatic garage door opener. The antenna should be intact and straight; bending or folding may affect the remote functionality.

  1. Test your garage door opener’s balance

An inappropriately balanced garage door will strain the automatic opening mechanism leading to more wear and tear. If neglected, the homeowner may incur hefty costs to repair or overhaul the opening mechanism. Follow the steps below when testing your door’s balance.

  • Pull the release handle to free the automatic opener.
  • Manually lift the garage door until it is about halfway open. If the door springs are in good condition, you should be able to lift the door without using too much force.
  • The door should hold its position without your help. However, if the garage door slides up or down, the springs may be worn out, leading to an imbalance of the garage door.
  • Spring repair or replacement is often a complex procedure that is best left to qualified garage door repair technicians.
  1. Test the auto-reverse safety feature

In 1993, the United States and Canada made it mandatory to include two reverse systems in automatic garage doors as a safety mechanism. The first system is contact-based, where the electric motor reverses the door is the bottom section hits an object or encounters physical resistance. The second reverse mechanism relies on a photoelectric mechanism consisting of an infrared emitting unit and a receiver. If an object blocks the infrared light as the garage door closes, the receiver signal the motor to stop and reverse the direction of the door.

It’s advisable to test the auto-reverse safety feature at least twice a year. Follow the steps below when testing this feature.

  • Place a piece of brick or wood underneath the garage door. If the reverse feature works properly, your garage door should automatically reverse upon contacting the object.
  • To inspect the photoelectric mechanism, stick out your leg as the door closes. The door should automatically reverse and slide upwards.
  • If you still have your instruction manual, you can follow the direction of adjusting the auto-reverse system. Call in a technician if the task is too daunting to attempt on your own.
  1. Inspect, replace and lubricate rollers

The rollers lie along the edges of the garage door, where they attach to the frame through hinges. Roller inspection should happen at least twice a year. Remove dust from any debris along the roller trail using a clean cloth. During the inspection, watch out for cracks or chips in the rollers. Replace faulty rollers by unhooking them from the brackets that hold them against the door. Avoid tampering with the bottom-most rollers because they are often under extreme tension.

Improve the roller condition by applying lubricant to minimize friction that leads to wear and tear. Lubricate all moving parts using a premium spray lubricant at least twice a year. Remember to lubricate the ball bearings contained in the rollers. Redistribute the grease evenly on the roller system by opening and closing the garage door several times.

  1. Inspect the cables and pulleys

The lift cabling and pulleys often attach to the bottom-most roller brackets on the garage door. Garage door mechanisms often have two springs: extension and torsion springs. Extension springs run horizontally on the upper portion of the garage door track. Torsion strings attach to a metal rod just above the garage door opening.

The pulleys and springs work together when lifting and lowering the garage door. During your inspection, watch out for any broken strands or damaged cables that need repair.

Professional help

Regular inspection and maintenance of your automatic garage door opener are crucial in preventing property damage and injury when operating the system. Protect your friends and family from harm by following the above steps for your garage door maintenance.

Are you looking for a Houston garage door repair specialist? Spectrum overhead LLC offers professional garage door repair in Houston and its environs. Spectrum has over fifteen years of experience handling garage door maintenance, from spring replacement to garage door balancing. Main Office: 281-748-9542, East Houston 713-557-3407


Types of Garage Door Openers

Types of Garage Door Openers

One of the central pieces to your garage door system is your garage door opener. This is the machine that allows you to click a button on your remote or smartphone and open or close your garage door. the average Houstonian opens their garage door roughly 1500 times per year lifting garage doors that door can weigh to an excess of 400 hundred pounds. If you are building a new home and need to install a garage door opener, or yours is over 15 years old or older and needs to be replaced, you have some options as to the types of garage door openers that are out there. Here is a breakdown of the different types of garage door openers.

Common Garage Door Opener Types

Ceiling-Mounted (Overhead) Openers

The ceiling or overhead mounted garage door opener features the main motor unit attached to the ceiling of the garage. and uses a track to pull the garage door up and open. For overhead openers, there are three main versions available:

  • Chain: one of the most economical and inexpensive yet effective drive systems, the chain drive features a chain that pulls the door up to open. The downside to chain drives is they are the drive system that produces the most noise out of the overhead drive systems.
  • Belt: an updated alternative to the chain drive system, the belt is made of rubber or polyurethane and features a much quieter opening experience and is almost as cost effective.
  • Screw drive: this method uses a threaded metal rod to pull the garage door along the track, offering a more reliable and longer-lasting track system. To ensure the best performance though, you will need to lubricate the mechanism regularly.

No matter which option of track you use, the ceiling-mounted overhead opener is a great choice – granted you have the necessary overhead space to install the opener and track above your car or other valuables.

Wall-Mounted Openers

The second option often found in homes with smaller garages is the wall-mounted opener. In this style, the opener is installed on the wall of the garage as opposed to the ceiling. When activated, a jackshaft opens the door via the garage door’s torsion bar.

Wall mounted garage doors are great for those who want the overhead space to be used for something else. A wall mounted garage door opener frees up a good amount of space in your garage. For one, you do not have to worry about clearance. That clearance means less vertical space for stacking storage boxes. They also take less maintenance as they do not have a chain, belt, or screw you need to keep lubricated as you do with the overhead mounts. If you are interested in more information about wall mounted garage door openers, you can read about them in our post Benefits of a Wall Mounted Garage Door Opener

Key Questions Before Choosing Your Garage Door Opener

Knowing what type of garage door openers are out there available to you gets you a step closer to choosing the right one for your situation. Yet there is more to consider, such as which openers comes with which features. LiftMaster is one of the top garage door opener brands available and the one Spectrum Overhead Door LLC recommends. Read the Top 5 LiftMaster Garage Door Opener Motors to get acquainted with which ones have which features. Then take all you have learned about the types of garage door openers and features and apply that knowledge to your situation by answering the following questions.

  • How do I want the garage door to open? Is it triggered by a remote, a keypad, or an application on my phone?
  • Do I have enough clearance and room for the installation of a ceiling model, or should I consider a wall-mounted opener?
  • Does the model feature security features and safety elements that ensure safety for my family and pets?
  • Does the opener work with my particular door style?

By ensuring that you have taken the time to consider the options and features of each style of opener, you can be confident that your money will be well spent and you will save yourself the headache of incorrect installation.

Choosing the Right Garage Door Opener is Easy with Spectrum Overhead Door

As we have seen, there are several great options to consider when it comes to choosing the right garage door opener for your home. If the choice seems overwhelming, don’t worry! Our expert team at Spectrum Overhead Door LLC has been helping homeowners across Houston discover the best garage door options for their specific needs.

If you are in the market for a new garage door opener or any other garage door needs, give our team a call today! With professional services in all kinds of garage door installation and repairs, there is no job too big or too small for the Spectrum Overhead Door team. Visit our office or call 281-748-9542 today!

Contact Us About Your Garage Door Issues and Get a FREE Quote Today :


Garage Door Motor Has Stopped Working

Garage Door Motor Has Stopped Working

A frustrating scenario for any homeowner is driving home just to find that you can’t get into your garage because the garage door will not open. This would be even more frustrating to those that use their garage door as a front door. If your garage door will not open, it is possible your garage door opener motor has stopped working. Here are some ways to troubleshoot and find out if indeed your garage door motor has stopped working.

First Clue, Age.

There are several other reasons a garage door just stops opening, so you have to ask yourself, why am I thinking it’s the opener motor? One big answer could be the age of our garage door opener. After about 10 to 15 years, a garage door opener just might give out. If your opener is older than 10 years, then you can do the next steps as a process of elimination.

Check Your Garage Door Hardware.

Again, even with an older garage door opener motor, you can’t just assume that is the issue. You will want to check for other issues before concluding it’s the opener motor. Check your garage door hardware. Inspect your garage door tracks to make sure they do not have debris blocking the rollers, and that the tracks are vertically aligned as they should be. Inspect your garage door springs and make sure that they have not broken. If all checks out, open your garage door manually. To do this, disengage your garage door opener from your garage door. Pull the red release cord. The release cord should be located near the front of the door. If the garage door opens and closes manually as it should, move on to the next step.

Check Your Power.

Your garage door opener requires power to operate. Making sure your opener is getting power is the next thing to troubleshoot. This is also good to check if your opener motor has stopped working after one of our Houston famous power surges or outages. In regard to the motor, make sure it’s plugged in properly. It may be a good idea to unplug then re-plug in the opener after waiting 15 minutes, making sure the motor cools, and has not overheated. After re-plugging in the motor, use the wall switch and see if the garage opens and closes. If it does, move on to the next step.

Check Your Remote.

If your opener motor works from the wall switch, then it is possible it’s your remote, not the garage door opener. Replace the old batteries of the remote control. If after replacing the batteries it still does not work, you may need a new garage door remote.

One Last Thing, Your Sensor.

Before your run out and buy a new remote, make sure your garage door sensor is still in its correct place. Garage door sensors tend to shift away from their original position after having consistent use of the garage door to open and close.

This is Houston, where the pollen and dust can get everywhere. Inspect the garage door sensor to see if dust particles have been blocking the lenses of the sensor. Stored-up dirt around the sensor’s surroundings tends to cause a poor connection from the remote to the unit of the garage door motor. Wipe off your garage door sensor with a clean rag and then try opening and closing the garage door with your remote.

If you have followed these steps and the garage door still won’t open, it’s a good chance your garage door opener motor has stopped working. If you are in the Houston area, Spectrum Overhead Door has been repairing garage door openers and installing new garage door openers since 2006. We deliver fast friendly service, at reasonable rates. Call 281-748-9542 or if you’re on the East side of Houston 713-557-3407 for a free quote and appointment today! Same-day appointments are available.

Contact Us About Your Garage Door Issues and Get a FREE Quote Today :

Comparing Liftmaster and Chamberlain Garage Door Openers

Comparing Liftmaster and Chamberlain Garage Door Openers

The garage door opener (along with its accessories, like a remote) is the single piece of equipment that keeps you from having to get out of your vehicle and manually open your garage door. The average door opens 1,500 times per year. Needless to say, we don’t think you want to get out of your vehicle or go to the garage door before driving your vehicle out 1,500 times in one year. This is why you want a reliable garage door opener. There are really two top brands that are good, reliable choices, Liftmaster and Chamberlain. So, we will be comparing Liftmaster and Chamberlain garage door openers.

Same Parent Companies

Now, first off, the reason why these are the top two major brands of garage door openers is that they are made by the same parent company, Chamberlain group. Chamberlain Group’s line of companies includes LiftMaster, Chamberlain, Merlin, and Grifco.

Brand Positioning and Marketing Segments

Now that we have established that they are made by the same parent company, that does not mean they are the same product lines. Indeed, Liftmaster and Chamberlain garage door openers are aimed at two different groups of people. If you go into a Lowe’s or Home Depot and try to buy a garage door opener, Chamberlain is going to be an option you’re presented with, but not Liftmaster. Chamberlain’s openers are high quality, but with a simpler design aimed at do-it-yourselfers. Liftmaster’s openers are professional grade, meant for operations that need more power (such as a garage door taller than 7 foot). Another example of differences is that LiftMaster door openers are generally built with a sturdy steel one-piece trolley system that lifts your door. Chamberlain door openers have a multi-piece trolley system that in many cases is built from sturdy plastic. It’s strong enough to lift lighter garage doors.

Chamberlain Garage Door Openers

Like stated above, Chamberlain garage door openers are more geared to the general do-it-yourself public. As such, it makes them readily available from a number of sources, from Home Depot and Lowe’s to even Amazon. Chamberlains are great for those who have a small garage or do not use their garage door every single day. This is mainly due to the aforementioned trolly rail system. It’s a multi-piece system built for lighter garage doors. The rest of the garage door opener is built with good, sturdy material.

If you are looking into a Chamberlain, you might consider something like Chamberlain Group B1381 Drive Garage Door Opener, which comes with a built-in garage light. If you are looking for a belt-drive, the Chamberlain B550 Smart Garage Door Opener that is ultra-quiet might be a good choice for you.

Liftmaster Garage Door Openers

As they say, we saved the best for last. Liftmaster garage door openers are professional-grade and are the brand we recommend for anything heavier than a light single garage door. These garage door openers are made from premium materials and are built to last. They use a single steel trolly system built to pull heavier garage doors.

Other than the construction, it’s the features that really make them worth spending just a little more on.  They now come with smart home integrations and have a model with a video camera for extra security.

If you are looking to get a Liftmaster Garage Door Opener, here are some of the best ones to consider. The 3/4 HP LiftMaster 8550 belt drive with battery backup and the ability to connect to your smartphone. For a more economical choice, choose the Liftmaster 8365 quiet chain drive to enjoy the professional reliability that LiftMaster delivers every time. If you are looking for an integrated camera, might we suggest the LiftMaster 85503 267 DC Battery Backup Belt Drive Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener with Integrated Camera?

Being award-winning garage door professionals, it makes sense to us to endorse and install Liftmaster garage door openers. Their premium construction and feature-rich openers are perfect for any home garage door. However, if you’re looking for a more affordable choice, and have a lightweight garage door, the Chamberlain garage door openers could work well for you.

If you are looking to replace and install a new garage door opener, Spectrum Overhead LLC has over 15 years of experience installing garage door openers in Houston. Call us at 281-748-9542 or 713-557-3407 for fast, friendly, award-winning service. Same-day appointments are available!


Contact Us About Your Garage Door Issues and Get a FREE Quote Today :

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