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.
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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!
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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.
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 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.
The garage door opener doesn’t always work.
You push the button…nothing. You push it again, still nothing. Then, a third time, and finally the garage door opens. This is a common occurrence and can often caused by bad batteries (if you are using your handheld garage door opener fob), or simply a poor connection in one of the wires somewhere. A simple diagnosis can often uncover the problem and get your garage door opener working perfectly again. But, if you have tried everything and the garage door is still unresponsive, the motor may have seen its last day and the time to replace has finally come.
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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At the heart of your garage door system is your garage door opener. It is the motor that opens and closes your garage door without having to do it manually. Yet, there is not exactly a one size fit’s all garage door opener. The one you want to get depends on what garage door features you are looking for. Today we are going to look at several important garage door opener features that can affect the decision on which garage door opener to get.
Garage Door Opener Features
The Type Of Drives a Garage door opener has.
There are several types of drives a garage door opener can have that raise the garage door up and down.
Chain Drive: The chain drive features a chain that pulls the door up to open. The upside to these types of drives is they are usually the least expensive to purchase. There are two major downsides though. The first is they are the types of drives that require the most lubrication. The Second is they are usually the ones that is the noisiest.
Belt Drive: In belt drives, the belt is made of rubber or polyurethane. The belt drive is almost as cost-effective as the chain drive. Another upside to the belt drive is they produce fewer vibrations than a chain drive which helps contribute to the fact they are quieter.
Screw Drives: The screw drive uses a threaded metal rod to pull the garage door along the track, offering a more reliable and longer-lasting track system. The upside to this is the screw drive consists of fewer moving parts than a chain drive.
Wall-Mount Jackshaft: Jack Shaft Garage door openers are mounted to the wall instead of the ceiling. Jackshaft openers are connected to the garage door’s torsion bar to raise and lower the door. This system is suitable for any type of garage door including full vertical lift, standard lift and high lift doors. The upside to these types of openers are that they are incredibly quiet and require less maintenance because there is no chain, belt or screw. The downside is they do cost more than the other options.
Horsepower is defined as follows; a unit of power equal to 550 foot-pounds per second (745.7 watts). Every garage door opener has a horsepower rating. Generally, garage door openers range from 1/3 horsepower to 1.5 horsepower. Generally, unless you have a single car garage with a light aluminum garage door, you want to look for ½ on up. ½ to ¾ horsepower will work for a two-door garage. Large houses or custom heavy doors may require more horsepower.
Safety Features of Garage Door Openers
Auto Stop and Reverse
Garage door photosensors are 2 small little devices with lenses on the front that are positioned about 6 inches off the ground on either side of the garage door track. What does this have to do with the garage door opener? When something crosses that beam it triggers an auto-stop and reverses feature inside your garage door opener. This is to protect small children and pets from being crushed under the weight and torque of the garage door.
Rolling Code Technology.
With everything becoming more digital, you have to stay ahead of want-to-be thieves that are smart enough to use more than a crowbar. Rolling code technology is one of the next steps to doing just that. Every time you use your garage door opener remote, your remote and your opener randomly choose a new code, with over a million possible codes available. This has become standard technology on Liftmaster garage door openers since 1993.
Some garage door openers come with a battery backup option. This can come in handy in case of a power outage in your home. You will want to check your manual for how many times can it be used during a single outage, as they do have limits. The only other downside is they will have to replace about every 2 to 3 years.
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.
Although not exactly a security feature in itself, it does allow you to use apps like MyQ, a garage door app that let’s you control and monitor your garage door wherever you are. It can alert you when your garage door has been opened and let you see inside your garage if you have a camera.
If you are considering getting a new garage door opener or having issues with your current garage door opener motor, Spectrum Overhead Door LLC has been giving award-winning garage door service to the Houston area since 2006. Call either our main office at 281-748-9542 or East Houston office 713-557-3407 to schedule an appointment for a free quote with no trip charge!
Houston is a notoriously stormy area. When you are looking at all your home systems that could be affected, a question that should come up if you don’t already have one is: Should I have a battery backup for my garage door opener? Now, keep in mind, that from July 1, 2019, all newly made Liftmaster garage door openers come with a battery backup built-in (liftmaster.com). Yet a lot of Houston homeowners have older garage door opener models. So, is it worth the trouble of buying an extra battery backup? And what is a battery backup and how does it work?
Let’s take on the first question, is it worth the trouble? It’s important to note here, that if you Google this question, you’re going to get a lot of info about it being required in California after people getting trapped in their homes. Yet, if you live in the Houston area, and you are asking this question, it’s probably due to storms and hurricanes, not wildfires. However, the answer will be the same, yes, it is worth the trouble. Now, can you lift the garage door manually if the power goes out? Yes…yes you can. Yet if you are trying to come home in a storm and the power has gone out in your home, do you really want to get out in the rain to manually open your garage door?
The second question was what is a garage door battery backup and how does it work? Battery backups are 12-volt battery units that supply power to the garage door opener when the power goes out. The batteries can be distinct units connected to the motor that drives the door opener or are placed alongside the motor inside its housing. With LiftMaster and Chamberlain models, the battery will either be located in the motor housing or right on the outside of it. These batteries hold enough power so that you can use the door about 20 times on a single charge. A full charge takes about four and a half hours. It is important to note that some features like the garage door opener light will not work. Yet, your safety reversal system will stay connected to the system and operate on battery power as that is a required safety feature of the garage door.
Liftmaster Backup Power Integration
Now as stated from July 1, 2019, all newly made Liftmaster garage door openers come with battery backup built-in. If you just bought the home and are not sure whether your Liftmaster has a battery backup or battery backup adaptability, check on the motor housing, there will be a logo that indicates a battery backup is either already installed on the unit or that one can be added.
If you are thinking of purchasing a battery backup and installing it yourself, we suggest buying local from Parts 4 Garage Doors. Here is their listing for Battery Backups.
If you are looking to upgrade your garage door opener or need your backup battery installed, Spectrum Overhead Doors LLC has been installing and repairing garage door openers with award-winning service in the Houston area since 2006. Call 281-748-9542 or if you are closer to East Houston 713-557-3407 for a free quote today.
You probably don’t give much daily thought to your garage door opener. Yet, the average American opens their garage door roughly 1500 times per year. Add in that each garage door can weigh to an excess of 400 hundred pounds and you might start getting the idea of how important a garage door opener really is. The idea of having to open your garage door manually up to 1500 times a year is gone. The thought of pulling up, getting out, unlocking the garage door, and heaving it up (and possibly throwing out your back) is gone. And yet, it can get a bit confusing when trying to decide which system is right for you. Well, we have a break down for the different types of garage door openers to help you out.
Common Garage Door Opener Types
Ceiling-Mounted (Overhead) Openers
The first option to consider is the overhead opener, which features the main motor unit attached to the ceiling of the garage. In this style, the ceiling-mounted opener 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.
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!
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