Garage Door Openers

Important Garage Door Opener Features

Important Garage Door Opener Features

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 matters.

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.

Battery Backup

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.

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.

Wifi Integration

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!


Should I have a battery backup for my garage door opener

Should I have a battery backup for my garage door opener

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 ( 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.



How To Troubleshoot Your Garage Door Keypad

How To Troubleshoot Your Garage Door Keypad

Your garage door not opening can be a frustrating and daunting problem. It can be easy to jump to all sorts of extensive and time-consuming conclusions. Yet, we encourage that before you think it could be a large problem, have you stopped to consider that it could be something as simple as the battery in your garage door keypad to your Liftmaster garage door opener? Or maybe you just need to reset your pin code. Before you call to have a garage door repair technician come to your home, you might want to troubleshoot your garage door keypad first. Here is how to Troubleshoot your garage door keypad.

Reasons Why Your Liftmaster Garage Door Keypad May Not Be Working

Your batteries have died.

Out of all that could be wrong, this the simplest and easiest to fix. Your batteries at some point will need to be changed regardless. The battery in your garage door keypad will last depending on how often it’s used. Be that as it may, if it has been a year since the keypad was installed, it probably needs new batteries. To fix this issue, all you would need to do is just replace the batteries.

  • Lift the cover of your keypad and take a look under the number pad. There should be a compartment for the batteries to be slotted in. If you’re not sure where this is, take a look at your manual to find the information you need.
  • Slide the cover of the battery compartment in order to access the batteries.
  • Insert a 9-volt alkaline battery.
  • Replace the cover, and then test the keypad to see if it works. (buttons light up)

The keys are sticking.

Your garage door keypad sits outside in the weather every day, and it will accumulate dirt and grime over time. Sometimes this can cause the keys to start to stick and cause problems. If this is happening, all you need to do is clean off the keypad. Use a few drops of appliance cleaner on a soft cloth and clean off the keypad, making sure to get into the spaces between the keys. If you can remove the front of the box, remove it and remove any dust with a clean dry cloth.

The PIN has been reset.

Did you put in your pin code wrong one too many times? If you have put what you thought was your code, only to accidentally hit the wrong key you might have triggered a security measure in the keypad. In some models, once the wrong code has been entered several times, the system will ‘lock-up’ and won’t work again until you set a new PIN. Press the ‘learn’ button on your motor and put in a new PIN to use.

In another instance, it may be just those particular buttons that may be wearing out. Resetting your pin code using a fresh set of numbers on keys that haven’t been used could do the trick!

Loose or frayed wires.

Over time, the wires in your keypad may have come loose. This means it can’t register when you press certain buttons, so it won’t work. If this is happening, you can remove the front of the keypad and inspect it for loose wires. Reconnect any that have come loose and try the keypad again.

Reboot your garage door keypad system.

If you have changed the batteries and looked for all the other possible issues, it may just be best to reboot. Like any other computerized system, sometimes you just need to turn it off and on. Rebooting the system will clear the memory which can fix stubborn issues. Unplug the system for around five minutes, and then plug it back in. Try it again and it will likely work again.

The garage door still not opening?

If the garage door still won’t open, then it may be time to call in a professional. If you live in the Houston area, the Houston garage door repair professionals at Spectrum Overhead Door LLC can be there in the same day and give you a free quote. With hundreds of satisfied customers and homeowners over the last 12 years, you can be sure you will be treated to fast, friendly and affordable service.

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

Power Outages and Your Garage Door

Power Outages and Your Garage Door

As we enter winter this year, we wanted to talk about something that happens from time to time: power outages. More specifically, power outages and your garage door. Here in Houston, we do not get a lot of winter weather, but when we do, it can be brutal. That includes high winds and ice on the power lines that can take them down. Your garage door opener needs electricity to operate properly. Without some sort of electrical power running to your garage door opener, you won’t be able to open or close your garage door. That is why we wanted to introduce to you an important garage door safety feature, the garage door opener battery backup.

What’s a Garage Door Opener Battery Backup?

A backup battery ensures your garage door will open and close during times of power outages, More specifically, it is a small, 12-volt battery unit that has stored power that is used to open and close the garage door when a power outage occurs. Many brands of door openers currently provide this battery backup option, including Liftmaster, Chamberlain, and Genie.

With Liftmaster professional series, they have been offering this option since 2003. For instance, with Liftmaster, there are some with the battery (485LM) incorporated into the motor housing, like models 8550 and 8550W, and somewhere the battery (475LM) is over the housing, as the models 2500, 3800, 8500, 8360 and 8360W have.

When Is it Time to Change the Backup Battery?

Depending on the backup battery model you use in your garage door opener, you’ll hear a beep every 20 or 30 seconds in addition to seeing an orange or red light indicating the state of the battery. We recommend looking it up on your garage door opener manufacturer’s website for exact instructions on what you should do and when, and follow them closely.

What Other Ways Are There to Open the Garage Door?

If you have an older model garage door opener or opted to by one without the battery backup option, your only other option during a power outage is to open the garage door manually. You have to pull down on the red emergency release cord on the door opener which disengages the trolley, manually lift the door, move your car out of the garage, then close the door and reengage the trolley by reconnecting it to the release mechanism. Reconnecting the release mechanism is vitally important because if not done, your garage becomes vulnerable, as it can be easily lifted and closed by anyone. An alternative to reengaging the trolly is a sidelock that can be installed on the inside of the door in the second section. By pushing the steel bar on the lock into the vertical track, you’ll lock your door so that no one can enter.

One Last Note: Your Garage Door Opener Logic Board

There are times here in Houston we have a power surge. That power surge or the surge after a power outage can cause problems with the garage door opener logic board. If the motor unit has power but won’t respond to any remote or the wall control, the logic control board could be the problem. Unplug the garage door opener and check the wiring connections on the panel. If the wiring connections are okay, wait a few minutes before plugging the garage door opener back in. Disconnecting the power resets the logic board after a power outage or surge. Then test whether the opener works. If not, you’ll likely need to replace the logic board

If you’re not sure of the condition of your battery backup option or logic board or would like to install an opener with a battery backup or logic board, you can contact a garage door repair specialist to review your options. If you are in the need for garage door repairs Houston you can give Spectrum Overhead Door LLC a call at 281-748-9542 for a free quote. Spectrum Overhead Door LLC has been serving the Houston area since 2006, with a 4.9 rating on Google and A+ rating by the BBB.

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


7 Reasons Your Garage Door Could Open on Its Own

7 Reasons Your Garage Door Could Open on Its Own

It’s a weird phenomenon, out of nowhere your garage door just opens, on its own. This can be startling and even a bit scary. If you have experienced this phenomenon before, as unnerving as it can be, there is usually a simple explanation. If you are having this happen, it’s something you want to fix because a garage door that spontaneously opens can still be a security risk as well as increase your home’s heating or cooling bills if the door is left open for extended periods of time. Here are 7 reasons your garage door could be opening on its own:

  • The batteries may be getting old-Oftentimes, the simplest possibilities are the likeliest. Aging batteries in your garage door remote may be the cause as old batteries can cause malfunctions and random opening of the door is the most common one. Start here to fix your issue.
  • Buttons that stick-Over time, dirt and debris can cause buttons on the mounted buttons or the remote to stick. When the buttons stick, this can cause them to be semi-depressed all the time and result in random garage door opening and closings. Some cotton swabs and a bit of soap and water can help to clean the buttons and get it back into perfect working order.
  • Faulty wiring-Sometimes, the wiring of your garage door opening system can become frayed, either due to age or possibly an animal that has gotten into the housing and caused damage. In either case, if the wiring has created a short in the electrical system, this can cause the door to open and close on its own unexpectedly. As with all electrical issues, it is best to have a professional diagnose and fix this issue if you believe this may be the cause.
  • Power overload-An unexpected power surge due to an electrical storm or a surge to a shared power grid can sometimes cause garage door openers to malfunction and cause the issue of unexpected opening and closing. If your issue is rare or seems to be an isolated incident, this could very well be the cause. If the lightning storm or power surge did not cause permanent damage to your garage door opener, there may be no maintenance required and the opener may go back to normal operation on its own.
  • Circuit board issues-The circuit board is the internal computer or basically the “brains” of the garage door opener and controls all external operations of the system. If this is damaged in any way it is likely that you must call a professional garage door repair facility to examine it for repair or replacement if needed.
  • Old Transmitters – Garage door openers that were made back in the ’90s was made with the same transmitter frequency. If you have an old garage door and someone else in your neighborhood has an old garage door, it is possible you are catching their signal.
  • Heavy Door – If your garage door has swollen and gotten heavier over time, it is possible that it has tried to close too hard for the sensors, causing it to go back up

So, rest assured that there is likely a very normal (and usually FIXABLE) solution to the problem of our garage door opening and closing on its own. If you find that you do have one of the issues above, or still can’t find the reason for the problem, Houston garage door repair experts at Spectrum Overhead Door LLC can take a look and diagnose the issue without a trip charge. Schedule for your free diagnosis and quote by calling 281-748-9542 or use the form below.

Benefits of a Wall Mounted Garage Door Opener

Benefits of a Wall Mounted Garage Door Opener

Normally when you think of garage door openers, you think they are placed overhead in terms of where they are in your garage. Yet there has become a trend of wall mounted garage door openers, also known as side-mounted openers and Jackshaft openers. These openers are mounted to the wall instead of overhead, and their placement, as well as construction,  offers some real key benefits. Here are some benefits of a wall Mounted garage door opener.

First, lets’ look at the obvious, space. The jackshaft garage door opener is mounted to the wall. This 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. If you have a large vehicle parked in the garage, the fact you have to worry less about clearance is a huge benefit. You also do not have to worry about excess or leaking lubricant dripping on your vehicle. Also, many homeowners like to use the space a traditional garage door opener would take for storage or shelving. With a side mount, you don’t need rails to hang your opener from.

A wall-mounted garage door opener has fewer malfunctions than an overhead garage door opener. This is partly due to the fact there is no chain or belt to worry about or maintain. This also makes the wall-mounted garage door opener easier to maintain.  Without a chain or belt, you do not have to lubricate the opener. Also without a belt or chain, the garage door opener is quieter than it’s overhead counterpart.

There are also some great security features to a wall mount opener. The LiftMaster 8500 Model is equipped with Security+ 2.0 technology, which ensures greater security for remote control codes. This model can also be operated remotely using a smartphone, tablet or computer. The Jackshaft openers are equipped with the same safety reversal systems (mechanical and photo‑cell) as overhead garage door openers. Traditional overhead garage doors have a red emergency release cord that can be pulled to detach the door from the opener, so homeowners can manually lift the door during emergency situations. While this serves it’s purpose, with a coat hanger, a potential burglar could grab the cord after slightly bending the top of the garage door, making your garage unsafe.  Wall-mounted garage door openers don’t have these cords and can’t be manipulated by potential burglars.

There are a few things you do need to know though before choosing a wall-mounted garage door opener. They do work the best in homes with garage ceiling heights much higher than those of the garage doors. It cannot be used on low headroom doors. This type of door opener can only be used with a torsion spring system since the opener is connected to the shaft (tube) on which the springs are installed. Your garage also needs to have an outlet at the head of the garage near the door. Lastly, you must have space on the sides of the door to install side mount garage door openers.

Thinking about getting a new garage door or opener motor? Give Spectrum Overhead Door LLC a call at 281-748-9542. We have been serving the Houston area since 2006 and have a A+ rating from the BBB, which means we have experience installing and repairing garage doors of all models, sizes, and types and strive for customer satisfaction.

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

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