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 Houston area, 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.