How Does a Garage Door Opener Work?

So your garage door has been serving you just fine ever since you bought this house. The automatic opener came along with the home and though it was old, loud, and a tad slower than you have come to expect a garage door opener to be, you still thought it had lots of life left in it. Oh, how you were wrong! This morning you activate the opener, and everything sounds normal at first except the door is not moving. There is nothing extremely out of order; the torsion spring did not make a loud sound, the door is not hanging off its track, it has not been dented in by a car, so what is wrong? After calling Choice Garage Door Riverside CA, you might want to read this…

The average American garage door gets open and closed (one full cycle) something like 1,500 times a year while many of the most load bearing parts are rated at around 10,000 cycles. By the time you bought that house, the garage door and its opener were beyond ancient. The fact that they kept working for you as long as they did was a testament to the overall quality of the average garage door product. Well, that is neither here nor there. You have other things to worry about – it is now time have a new garage door opener installed.

The Torsion Spring Does All the Work

Well, it does almost all the work. The other parts of the garage door and opener have a job to do as well but it is the spring that does the heaviest lifting. This spares the motor or the user from having to strain too much every single time you want to open the door, and it is a very energy efficient way to let the door back down and keep it there. With the increase in the insulation qualities comes an increase in garage door weight. Some of these doors are weighing upwards of three hundred pounds now.

What are the Major Parts of an Automatic Opener?

The Motor is the heart of any garage door opener. Even in this electronic, computer age, the motor is still the most important element. Most of the time automatic openers have existed, there were no computers. Most garage door opener motors are ½ horse power running at 6 amps. That is all that is needed to get the door moving or to stop it.

The motor drive is a T-shaped rail with a belt or chain going along it to move the door. This can also be replaced by a long screw system instead of the belt or chain. This is connecting to the trolley which connects to the door.

The inverter and battery system are to allow the AC power source from your home electrical outlet to be converted to DC power. This means smaller motors are possible, which has allowed garage door openers to continue to become smaller, more reliable, and more efficient.

The Home Security Arms Race

The very first remote-controlled garage door openers only had one code to open them and that meant thieves could intercept that code and then open your garage door when you were away. By the 1990s openers were made to have a “rolling code” system which made it extremely difficult to steal a working code. There are now billions of codes and they change after every time you use the remote. Here are some steps you can take to increase the security of your garage door opener.

The Drive System…

As mentioned earlier, there are 3 major garage door opener drive types, each with their own pros and cons. Belt drives are almost always the quietest but they are also the most expensive. It is worth it, though, if you have this garage near the bedrooms of your home.

Screw drives are the compromise between cost and noise. They are not too loud and not too expensive but they do wear out faster and need more maintenance and lubrication.

The chain drive is the oldest, cheapest, loudest. It is basically a bicycle chain.