Garage Door Openers

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.

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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 :

Remembering to close the garage door

Remembering to close the garage door

Just about every homeowner has been there. You’re in such a rush, trying to get out the door for your morning commute, weekend getaway or just doing the daily chores and forget to close the garage door.  Though this could seem just a small little “oops”, it can compromise the security of your home. It can be just as bad as leaving open your front door. An open garage door can look very inviting to thieves. Yet it can just pain be hard to keep remembering to close the garage door with such a busy life. Chamberlain, a major garage door opener company with brands like Chamberlain and Liftmaster, has thought of situations just like this when they created the MYQ app.

Chamberlain (and it’s brands like Liftmaster) garage door openers are wifi compatible. The MyQ app work on your smartphone, allowing you to close your garage door even when not your not there, even if your 100 miles away! With smartphone control you can monitor and control your garage door from anywhere using your smartphone or tablet. The app also give you notifications as well. My q app lets you check to see if your garage door is open, and when the last time it was closed. Parents, this is a great feature if you have a teenager that loves to try ton sneak out of the house using the garage.  You can also set notifications on how long the garage door has been opened. That is a great feature in case you are going to bed and forget to close the garage door.

Now, at this point, you might be thinking, “ but I have an older unit that does not come with that built in capability”.  That has also, been thought of. The MYQ Smart Garage Hub is compatible with most garage door opener brands manufactured after 1993. If your garage door opener has safety sensors, it is likely compatible. Click here for more information on compatible garage door openers.

Here are a list of Key Features of the MYQ app:

  • Built-In Wi-Fi – The first garage door opener on the market with built-in Wi-Fi. Connects directly to your home’s Wi-Fi router and sets up in minutes using your smartphone, no additional hardware needed.
  • Smartphone Control
  • Smartphone Notifications
  • Smart Home Partnerships – Will integrate with Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings and others, Nest and Wink Devices.
  • Battery Backup – Built-in battery allows for 3 days of use when the power is out.
  • Homelink Compatible – Works with the Homelink buttons built into most cars.
  • Motion detecting light!
  • Thermometer

So, if you live life in a rush, are a parent or just pain forgetful sometimes, we definitely recommend the MYQ smartphone app for your garage door. It can take some of the pain out of having to try to remember to close your garage door all the time.

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

Houston area Top 5 LiftMaster Garage Door Opener Motors

Houston area Top 5 LiftMaster Garage Door Opener Motors

If you are looking to get a new garage door opener in the Houston area, LiftMaster is considered widely by most garage door professionals as one of the best and is the top opener motor manufacturer today. Liftmaster is also the professional grade of Chamberlain, the parent company of the LiftMaster brand. These are professional grade garage door opener motors that come with a one-piece rail instead of the multi-piece rails you get at big box stores. Also, all Liftmaster openers now come Wi-Fi capable. We have put together a list of the Houston area top 5 LiftMaster garage door opener motors covering a wide range for your possible needs.

Top 5 LiftMaster Garage Door Opener Motors for Houston and Surrounding Areas

LiftMaster 8550W

Liftmaster 8550WThe LiftMaster 8550W is the Cadillac of garage door opener motors. These opener motors have all the amenities you could want out of a motor.

  • Extremely quiet
  • DC drive
  • Belt drive
  • Battery back up
  • Built-in Wi-Fi,





LiftMaster 8587W

Liftmaster 8587W Houston Garage Door openersThis opener motor is a workhorse. The 8587W is built on an I-beam rail system perfect for heavy operation garage doors, like wooden doors or carriage style overhead steel doors. If you have a custom heavy wooden door, this is perfect for you.

  • I-Beam rail
  • ¾ horsepower motor
  • Perfect for heavy doors
  • Built-in Wi-Fi




LiftMaster 8500W

LiftMaster 8500WIf you are going have hanging shelves from your garage ceiling or just do not want the motor overhead, the LiftMaster 8500W is perfect for your situation. This is a wall mount garage door motor built on a jackshaft. The 8500W frees up ceiling space in your garage and reduces noise and vibration.

  • Wall mount for freeing up ceiling space
  • DC Drive
  • Battery backup
  • Built-in Wi-Fi




LiftMaster 8355W

Liftmaster 8355W Houston Garage Door Motor InstallationIf you are looking to get a professional grade opener motor, but looking to keep it budget-conscious, the LiftMaster premium series Liftmaster 8355W might be the one you are looking for. It uses a belt drive system for smooth performance that is quiet. You get a bit better price, but it does sacrifice the battery backup.

  • AC Belt Drive
  • Built-in Wi-Fi





LiftMaster 8365W

LiftMaster 8365WThe last of our top 5 LiftMaster garage door opener motors is another from the LiftMaster premium, the Liftmaster 8365W. This opener motor consumes up to 75% less power in standby mode. This opener motor uses a ½ horsepower chain drive. With this model, like the previous one above, you get a bit better price but sacrifice the battery backup.

  • ½ horsepower Chain drive
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Standby power saving mode




Why choose a professional grade motor and installation over a big box store motor?

First off, there is no denying that buying a garage door opener motor from a big box store and having them install it is cheaper. Yet it does come with some disadvantages as well. When you buy a motor from a big box store and have them install it, that crew does not work for the big box store. It is usually subcontracted to the lowest bidder. That means it can be a pain if you have to chase down that same crew to do a warranty repair. If you buy from the big box store and have a professional company install it, they can only warranty the install itself, which comes out to a 3-month install warranty. When you have a professional garage door company install a professional grade garage door opener, you get a 2-year warranty. The average difference between a big box store purchase and installation and one from a garage door repair company like Spectrum Overhead Door LLC is usually $40-$50 (and can be more or less depending on the model purchased), but you get better quality and peace of mind that your opener should work properly for years to come.

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