Garage door opener on last leg

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Tamales
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Garage door opener on last leg

Post by Tamales » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:53 pm

My garage door opener (a Chamberlin chain drive, a bit over 20 years old) is on its last leg. Or, just past its last leg actually. Need to replace fairly quickly.

As I have not looked at openers in over 20 years, I have no idea what to look for, or if there are some must-have new features in new openers, wireless code security, etc.

I'm looking to self-install (but if installation is fairly cheap I could be convinced to go that route).

Any recommendations on features, brand, and model number?

As far as local stores, I have home depot, lowes, costco. I suppose amazon is an option as well.

Any info appreciated.
PS, just checked consumer reports and surprisingly, nothing on garage door openers.

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Kenkat
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by Kenkat » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:06 pm

When I’ve done this in the past, I was able to buy the latest model Chamberlain at Home Depot an install the head unit right onto the existing hardware and rails - everything matched up. I stowed all the extra parts in the basement for awhile but eventually just threw them out. I did set the metal parts out so that the guys that cruise the neighborhood on trash night could recycle them.

ThriftyPhD
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by ThriftyPhD » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:11 pm

Had a pair of old chain-drive foundation-shakers die at the same time. Replaced them with Chamberlain belt drive (very quiet) units with battery backup, keypads, etc. Much quieter than the old openers. Paid to have them installed so I'm not sure how much of a pain the install is.

random_walker_77
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by random_walker_77 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:17 pm

Get a belt drive model as they're much quieter. Most come with battery backup, and extra wireless keypads. Replacing an existing garage door opener is pretty straightforward so long as you can reuse the old safety sensors. Did your old one have the optical beam at the bottom of the garage door? If so, you can probably reuse it. If not, you'll need to run the low-voltage wires from the garage door unit down the sides to the bottom of the door. Which is straightforward so long as you're not picky about hiding the wiring.

Put a price alert on slickdeals.net -- there was a chamberlain belt drive opener on sale for $138 just last week. That's over now, but another deal comes by every couple of months. Columbus day is coming up, and after that, black friday.

Y.A.Tittle
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by Y.A.Tittle » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:52 pm

No advice on openers, but if you want to improve quiteness use two pairs of rubber isolators (LiftMaster - Garage Door Opener Vibration Isolator Kit 89LM) when mounting the head unit. They cost $12 on Amazon.

Also use nylon door rollers instead of steel rollers on the door. A set of ten costs $13 on Amazon.

mmmodem
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by mmmodem » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:09 pm

The belt versus chain versus screw type is still constantly debated. There are pros and cons to all. Choose the one you want. New wireless security that includes millions of changing codes is on all openers now, I believe.

The only thing that interests me is the new WiFi enabled openers that allow you to open and close the door wherever you have internet. Also it texts you if you forget to close the door which is a god send to OCD folks like me.

koozie
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by koozie » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:17 pm

I just replaced mine this summer. I learned a few things....
-I don't have a use for knowing my garage door status or operating it over the internet.
-I got a controller with a self closing feature and love it. If I worry I left the door open I know it will close in 10 minutes.
-Garage door openers changed to a new frequency around 2010 or so. That means that a car from 2009 or before with a built-in door opener won't work. This bugged me so much I bought a new HomeLink mirror off eBay to replace the one in my 2009 Subaru.

RudyS
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by RudyS » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:30 pm

koozie wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:17 pm
I just replaced mine this summer. I learned a few things....
-I don't have a use for knowing my garage door status or operating it over the internet.
-I got a controller with a self closing feature and love it. If I worry I left the door open I know it will close in 10 minutes.
-Garage door openers changed to a new frequency around 2010 or so. That means that a car from 2009 or before with a built-in door opener won't work. This bugged me so much I bought a new HomeLink mirror off eBay to replace the one in my 2009 Subaru.
My 2008 Subaru Outback's homelink was able to synch with my Sears garage door opener that is at least 20 years old.

koozie
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by koozie » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:42 pm

RudyS wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:30 pm
koozie wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:17 pm
I just replaced mine this summer. I learned a few things....
-I don't have a use for knowing my garage door status or operating it over the internet.
-I got a controller with a self closing feature and love it. If I worry I left the door open I know it will close in 10 minutes.
-Garage door openers changed to a new frequency around 2010 or so. That means that a car from 2009 or before with a built-in door opener won't work. This bugged me so much I bought a new HomeLink mirror off eBay to replace the one in my 2009 Subaru.
My 2008 Subaru Outback's homelink was able to synch with my Sears garage door opener that is at least 20 years old.
Yes, but your 2008 HomeLink would not be able to synch with a new opener since they are not compatible. A new HomeLink or other built-in controller (~2010 or after) can open any new or old opener, but an older HomeLink will only be compatible with openers from ~2009 or before. I'm not certain of the exact year they switched frequencies.

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Thrifty Femme
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by Thrifty Femme » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:13 pm

We just got a LiftMaster that connects to the WiFi :annoyed

SittingOnTheFence
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by SittingOnTheFence » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:26 am

Gee, all this talk about chain & belts....I liked the comment about replacing only the head. Problem for me is that I have a worm drive. Guess they are hard (impossible?) to find.

There is a guy in the SF Bay Area who make a slick little blue tooth controller that replaces the controllers on newer openers (mine must be 40+ yrs old). It allows you to operate it from a phone, don't have to worry about hackers scanning wifi or digital signals. I found that device on Amazon but could not use it due to the older electronics on my opener. It is certainly worth your time to check it out if you are concerned about security.

Chip
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by Chip » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:58 am

Kenkat wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:06 pm
When I’ve done this in the past, I was able to buy the latest model Chamberlain at Home Depot an install the head unit right onto the existing hardware and rails - everything matched up. I stowed all the extra parts in the basement for awhile but eventually just threw them out. I did set the metal parts out so that the guys that cruise the neighborhood on trash night could recycle them.
I did exactly the same thing, though the extra parts are still in my basement. Thanks for the reminder to get rid of them. :beer

Because of the frequency change mentioned by another poster my old remotes wouldn't work with the new opener. I had purchased the cheapest opener that HD had in stock, which only came with one remote. I bought another one (new) on ebay for $15.

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Toons
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by Toons » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:59 am

I am satisfied with Chamberlain Products,
Lowes installed 2 of them for us :happy

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Chamberlain-1- ... 1000276735
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

silverlitegs
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by silverlitegs » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:42 am

If you garage has a torsion spring (is mounted to front wall) instead of the stand springs along the side tracks, I would look into a jackshaft opener.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BS28SP8/re ... P85203080/

Bacchus01
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by Bacchus01 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:54 am

silverlitegs wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:42 am
If you garage has a torsion spring (is mounted to front wall) instead of the stand springs along the side tracks, I would look into a jackshaft opener.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BS28SP8/re ... P85203080/
I have two of those. Saves overhead space. Quieter. Had automatic deadbolt as well. Warranty is good.

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lthenderson
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by lthenderson » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:58 am

Lots of good advice above and I really don't have any additional advice to add on garage door openers. However, while you are working on installing the garage door opener, one thing I have done that I really love was install a pair of parking lasers that tie into my garage door opener. Instead of those tennis balls on a string or stop signs on wobbly poles or tripping hazards laying on the floor, I mounted a pair of parking lasers to the ceiling and point them to a spot on our car dashes. It allows us to pull in just enough so the garage door clears our bumpers by a few inches every time and leaves as much space as possible at the head of the cars to leave accessible all the other goodies that are stored up there. I wish I had done something similar decades ago.

michaeljc70
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:45 am

I got a Chamberlain at Menards and installed it myself. I don't know the exact model, but it was under $150.

A few things I like are
  • belt driven so it is quieter.
  • Automatically closes if you forget to (user settable time)
  • Motion sensor turns on light (love this)
  • Notifies me on my phone when door opens or closes
  • Can remotely open/close the door (I haven't used this but think it could be handy for when having work done in the house and not wanting to give a key as garage is attached)

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:59 am

I had a sears one crap out on me. I bought the best, on sale new sears one I could find (best here means cheapest). Used some shop your way points and a sears master card for random extra points. I think delivered (free by upping to shop your way plus, whatever that means, it was free) it was under $100. I replaced the main unit and the wires/door sensors since the ones I had were 15 years old. Took everything else and threw it on my metal recycling pile.
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btenny
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by btenny » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:01 am

My old opener died early this summer. I found out I had to replace everything. I needed 3 new wall remotes and a head unit and a new belt drive and two new optical safety sensors. The old wall switches and outside keypad don't talk to the new opener so you have replace them. I needed two new car openers (old cars). So it was a lot of stuff to install and program. I also got the springs adjusted and serviced. Total bill for 3/4 HP motor unit was $430 including 3 service calls to get everything finished. I could not do all the work myself. So what you do depends on your old stuff.

Good luck.....

nickjoy
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by nickjoy » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:30 pm

Hello Everybody,

I used to install garage doors, openers, entry doors, everything. Commercially and Residentially. My father owned a business from 1986 til about 4 years ago when he sold it for cost to my uncle who was working with him for 26 years.

As far as the screw v chain v belt debate. That debate has been long over for a while.

Screws suck, you have to get a giant one piece rail, or get one broken into three sections that you bolt three different screws together in. If there's a single kink in the screw, you get a god awful noise from then on out, and the only way to fix it is to replace the entire rail. Also, you can never grease that screw, because the opening for it (to allow the carrier, the part that attaches to the arm which attaches to the door) is on the bottom. So if you put some grease in there, as soon as you activate it, it will throw grease down, right on top of your nice car, or nice floor. They are very quiet for about a year or two, and then are the loudest pieces of crap from then on, they don't work well, and they seem like they're gonna fall out of the ceiling. Pretty much Genie is the only/main brand that makes them, and there's a reason why the others don't.

Chain drive, this is the classic. You can't go wrong with it, but you can do better. This one you'll have to maintain chain tension on it about every two years because all chains get longer over time. Do not overtension it. It should not float above the rail. My rule was to rest the chain on the t-rail, pluck it, and it should bounce three times and almost a fourth. The parts that wear out fast on this is the plastic gear inside. About a $6 part. It's intentionally made out of plastic so that's mostly what you replace. Real easy to replace, just make sure you grease the ever loving crap out of it when you install it. And unplug the operator, the contactors and last screw holding the assembly in are very close and you will shock yourself. The entire shaft assembly can go as well, that's the metal sprocket on top. What kills that is people over tightening the chain. About a $40 part.

Belt drive, this is the way to go. It's the best of the chain drive, but using the exact same kevlar belt that Harley Davidson uses in their motorcycles, except 17 feet long, and half the width. Rarely you'll have that plastic gear wear out. The shaft assembly never has to be replaced because the belt can handle more tension, and the gear for it is wider and lower to the unit and thicker in general, so there isn't a great deal of difference in torque between the top of the gear and the bottom where it starts to go into the head unit. Also, these are the quietest out of the bunch and don't wear.

Jack shaft operator. For the love of god, stay away from these UNLESS you have a door with vertical lift (goes straight up at least 4 feet and THEN starts to curve back). Following the slope of the roof could work to, but you start to get into gray area. These work by turning the shaft on the torsion spring system directly. Sounds like a great idea, power is put directly to the springs. Wrong. If there is any kind of hiccup and that door gets caught on one side, or there's something underneath of it that stops it from going all the way down. Boom, the cables that wrapped around the drum on the sides of the shaft just unspooled, the door dropped, and then respooled super tight, in a knot, around the shaft which is 1 inch in diameter while the drum is about 5-6 in. in diameter. It's a massive knot that's under constant tension by the spring. It's a pain to undo this, and you really should know what you're doing because with the amount of tension on those springs, it will grab you and try and pull you all the way around that shaft. Basically, you need to have constant down pressure on the door/cables, as soon as that comes off a little, you will have problems. That's why it works better with Vertical lift, since there is more downward pressure throughout. Regular doors go horizontal very quickly and sometimes won't have enough pressure when the door is up. Not saying this will happen every time, but these don't save you any money, have a much higher chance of a failure where you can't get your car out, and can't be fixed by disconnecting the operator from the door (because the cables control the door, if they're spooled up, the door doesn't want to move).

Chamberlain makes Liftmaster. Another good brand is Horman. Horman is by far the quietest, but the remote controls for it suck. Liftmaster is the best around, and has been for over 40 years. Liftmaster is just the better version of Chamberlain.

You do not need a high horsepower motor. They used to make 1/3 and 1/4 HP motors and they worked fine. Remember, the motor doesn't lift the door, it sets into motion the door, and the springs lift the door. Torsion springs are essentially a captive catapult.

Torsion springs do not require jackshaft operators. They were fine, even better, with regular Head Unit + rail.

If you used homelink with a Chamberlain product, it will work with Liftmaster. They are made by the same company.

Our rule, was that if a operator was over 10 years old, don't repair it, replace it. The cost of parts and labor would break even, but at that age the chance of something else breaking in a few weeks is high. Two repair calls equal almost a brand new operator installed. Don't get rid of it at 10 years, definitely ride it til it dies. I once serviced a Heath kit operator that was built in 1954 in 2007. I didn't replace it, I just lubed it up, adjusted the door, and it worked perfectly.

As for model numbers, anything by liftmaster is good, anything by Horman is good except the remotes. Recently they've been changing the pushbuttons from old doorbell ringers to pushbuttons with circuitboards that have to be replaced when you get a new operator. But they're usally included with a new operator.

Sorry for the book. If you have any questions, let me know. This is one area where I know a lot for my young age.

meebers
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by meebers » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:36 pm

I have 2 Chamberlain GDO's, both belt units. The single door one stripped a belt about 6 months ago and so I called Chamberlain to get a price on one. To my amazement, after I told him the model and S/N, the CS guy told me that I am one of the few who bought this model and that everything on it is guaranteed for life. He said no matter what breaks call in for a replacement, do not dispose of it. It is probably 15 yrs old, the belt was delivered and was free of charge. The newer one, 3/4 hp with battery backup is ok but had a heck of a time installing it because the rail was misformed and would not let the slider pass over it at the joint. It took a while to file it down to make it work. I don't like the wire connection blocks (lift up a handle and slide the wire in and then release the handle), the old one had screws that you wrap the wire around and tighten it down. Had to replace the battery once so far. The stop limits are much easier to adjust on the old style then the new one. I prefer a GDO without any WiFi connectivity, just me. Been thru chain and screw drive units, belt is by far the quietest. I did replace the steel rollers with the nylon type on all but the bottom rollers. I am not about to unbolt these ones when the spring tension is on them full force :shock:

Tamales
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by Tamales » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:48 pm

nickjoy wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:30 pm
I used to install garage doors, openers, entry doors, everything. Commercially and Residentially. My father owned a business from 1986 til about 4 years ago when he sold it for cost to my uncle who was working with him for 26 years.
...
Sorry for the book. If you have any questions, let me know. This is one area where I know a lot for my young age.
Thanks Nickjoy.
What's the deal with roller replacement? Anyone I've ever talked to about having a garage door technician come out to their house says the technician always claims you need to replace the rollers. I've only had a technician come out once and sure enough he said I need to replace the rollers (I didn't (I think he quoted around $200), and that was about 10 years ago). Other than (for metal rollers) checking to see that they all spin, what is the failure they experience? Is complete roller replacement something your really need to do on a regular basis? Is it an easy DIY job?

destinationnc
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by destinationnc » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:18 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:45 am
I got a Chamberlain at Menards and installed it myself. I don't know the exact model, but it was under $150.

A few things I like are
  • belt driven so it is quieter.
  • Automatically closes if you forget to (user settable time)
  • Motion sensor turns on light (love this)
  • Notifies me on my phone when door opens or closes
  • Can remotely open/close the door (I haven't used this but think it could be handy for when having work done in the house and not wanting to give a key as garage is attached)
Installed a similar Chamberlain style unit but from Home Depot - all the big boxes sell it. The first note is my favorite - it is incredibly quite compared to a chain when you are in a room above your garage door. It was a fairly easy replacement installation and well worth it.

nickjoy
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by nickjoy » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:10 pm

Tamales wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:48 pm
nickjoy wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:30 pm
I used to install garage doors, openers, entry doors, everything. Commercially and Residentially. My father owned a business from 1986 til about 4 years ago when he sold it for cost to my uncle who was working with him for 26 years.
...
Sorry for the book. If you have any questions, let me know. This is one area where I know a lot for my young age.
Thanks Nickjoy.
What's the deal with roller replacement? Anyone I've ever talked to about having a garage door technician come out to their house says the technician always claims you need to replace the rollers. I've only had a technician come out once and sure enough he said I need to replace the rollers (I didn't (I think he quoted around $200), and that was about 10 years ago). Other than (for metal rollers) checking to see that they all spin, what is the failure they experience? Is complete roller replacement something your really need to do on a regular basis? Is it an easy DIY job?
Hey there,

Haha, roller replacement. Yes, they do need to be replaced every so often. However this is a common thing that certain companies will abuse and tell every house they go to that their rollers need to be replaced. To see if they need to be replaced, look at them when the door is down (so there's no pressure on them), grab the wheel while it's in the track, try and wiggle it. If it wiggles, it's going bad. A little wiggle is find, but you'll immediately know if it's too much wiggle.

If you have wheels that are just plastic form pressed onto the metal shank, they're the cheapest rollers you can get. But, I've seen them last 5 years. If the door starts to bind up, or get really loud, swap them out. Rollers are the majority of the noise of the door.

That seems a little expensive for rollers. I remember selling the super nice plastic wheel rollers with the nice bearings for $13.50 a piece so 135 per door. Plus labor.

When they fail, the wheel will start going caddywompus on the shaft and can possibly bind up. When they really fail, the wheel will fall off the shaft, and then it's hard for that panel to make the curve in the track. (But it will still make that curve weirdly enough)

Rollers are the easiest thing to make a door quiet again. But I wouldn't replace them until they're bad. Unless you have living space above the garage, in which sound is the primary concern.

It's mostly a very easy job, for 80% of the rollers. The middle ones are real easy to replace, they all take about 5 minutes to do, just pop off the hinge and put the new one in. Make sure you do this one at a time though. The top ones are tricker, you don't need to take off the hinge, but there is an adjustment up there to make sure the door seals tight, but not too tight. It's a balance job. I would recommend not doing the bottom rollers at all because the bottom bracket that holds the roller on, also holds that cable I mentioned in the earlier post that holds 1/2 the tension on the entire door. There are a couple of tricks that you can do on light doors without the correct tools. But to do it right, you need 3-4 visegrips, and either a klein tool and come-along or torsion bars and another visegrip. This is all for torsion spring doors, if you have extension, it's much easier, do the middle ones normal, put the door up, and vise grip it, and then take the cable off the bottom bracket. When the door is up, there is no tension (or almost none) on those cables. Don't do this with torsion springs, trust me, they're just different.

WARNING!!: I have come to several jobsites with blood and people missing chunks out of their foreheads cause they take that bottom bracket off. If you do it without knowing what you're doing, the entire door will jump and that bracket will fly up and gouge out your forehead faster than you can blink.

If you door likes to walk from side to side as it goes up, make sure you get long-stem rollers in the corners. They cost a little more but are worth it. You only need them in the corners unless your door really really goes side to side, and then you might want to adjust the backhangs.

Tamales
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by Tamales » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:30 pm

Thanks nickjoy. Since my rollers were >20 yrs old, I ordered some nylon sealed 13-bearing rollers ($14 for all 10 so I figured, why not), and found this video on replacing them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlajnxXjSNQ
I didn't do it quite as quickly as the guy in the video, but I think replacing all 10 took under 15 minutes. It eliminated some popping sounds while the door was in motion and is certainly quieter overall.

IMO
Posts: 176
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 6:01 pm

Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by IMO » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:27 pm

nickjoy wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:30 pm
Hello Everybody,

I used to install garage doors, openers, entry doors, everything. Commercially and Residentially. My father owned a business from 1986 til about 4 years ago when he sold it for cost to my uncle who was working with him for 26 years.

As far as the screw v chain v belt debate. That debate has been long over for a while.

Screws suck, you have to get a giant one piece rail, or get one broken into three sections that you bolt three different screws together in. If there's a single kink in the screw, you get a god awful noise from then on out, and the only way to fix it is to replace the entire rail. Also, you can never grease that screw, because the opening for it (to allow the carrier, the part that attaches to the arm which attaches to the door) is on the bottom. So if you put some grease in there, as soon as you activate it, it will throw grease down, right on top of your nice car, or nice floor. They are very quiet for about a year or two, and then are the loudest pieces of crap from then on, they don't work well, and they seem like they're gonna fall out of the ceiling. Pretty much Genie is the only/main brand that makes them, and there's a reason why the others don't.

Chain drive, this is the classic. You can't go wrong with it, but you can do better. This one you'll have to maintain chain tension on it about every two years because all chains get longer over time. Do not overtension it. It should not float above the rail. My rule was to rest the chain on the t-rail, pluck it, and it should bounce three times and almost a fourth. The parts that wear out fast on this is the plastic gear inside. About a $6 part. It's intentionally made out of plastic so that's mostly what you replace. Real easy to replace, just make sure you grease the ever loving crap out of it when you install it. And unplug the operator, the contactors and last screw holding the assembly in are very close and you will shock yourself. The entire shaft assembly can go as well, that's the metal sprocket on top. What kills that is people over tightening the chain. About a $40 part.

Belt drive, this is the way to go. It's the best of the chain drive, but using the exact same kevlar belt that Harley Davidson uses in their motorcycles, except 17 feet long, and half the width. Rarely you'll have that plastic gear wear out. The shaft assembly never has to be replaced because the belt can handle more tension, and the gear for it is wider and lower to the unit and thicker in general, so there isn't a great deal of difference in torque between the top of the gear and the bottom where it starts to go into the head unit. Also, these are the quietest out of the bunch and don't wear.

Jack shaft operator. For the love of god, stay away from these UNLESS you have a door with vertical lift (goes straight up at least 4 feet and THEN starts to curve back). Following the slope of the roof could work to, but you start to get into gray area. These work by turning the shaft on the torsion spring system directly. Sounds like a great idea, power is put directly to the springs. Wrong. If there is any kind of hiccup and that door gets caught on one side, or there's something underneath of it that stops it from going all the way down. Boom, the cables that wrapped around the drum on the sides of the shaft just unspooled, the door dropped, and then respooled super tight, in a knot, around the shaft which is 1 inch in diameter while the drum is about 5-6 in. in diameter. It's a massive knot that's under constant tension by the spring. It's a pain to undo this, and you really should know what you're doing because with the amount of tension on those springs, it will grab you and try and pull you all the way around that shaft. Basically, you need to have constant down pressure on the door/cables, as soon as that comes off a little, you will have problems. That's why it works better with Vertical lift, since there is more downward pressure throughout. Regular doors go horizontal very quickly and sometimes won't have enough pressure when the door is up. Not saying this will happen every time, but these don't save you any money, have a much higher chance of a failure where you can't get your car out, and can't be fixed by disconnecting the operator from the door (because the cables control the door, if they're spooled up, the door doesn't want to move).

Chamberlain makes Liftmaster. Another good brand is Horman. Horman is by far the quietest, but the remote controls for it suck. Liftmaster is the best around, and has been for over 40 years. Liftmaster is just the better version of Chamberlain.

You do not need a high horsepower motor. They used to make 1/3 and 1/4 HP motors and they worked fine. Remember, the motor doesn't lift the door, it sets into motion the door, and the springs lift the door. Torsion springs are essentially a captive catapult.

Torsion springs do not require jackshaft operators. They were fine, even better, with regular Head Unit + rail.

If you used homelink with a Chamberlain product, it will work with Liftmaster. They are made by the same company.

Our rule, was that if a operator was over 10 years old, don't repair it, replace it. The cost of parts and labor would break even, but at that age the chance of something else breaking in a few weeks is high. Two repair calls equal almost a brand new operator installed. Don't get rid of it at 10 years, definitely ride it til it dies. I once serviced a Heath kit operator that was built in 1954 in 2007. I didn't replace it, I just lubed it up, adjusted the door, and it worked perfectly.

As for model numbers, anything by liftmaster is good, anything by Horman is good except the remotes. Recently they've been changing the pushbuttons from old doorbell ringers to pushbuttons with circuitboards that have to be replaced when you get a new operator. But they're usally included with a new operator.

Sorry for the book. If you have any questions, let me know. This is one area where I know a lot for my young age.
Awesome post with great insight.

Almost had to buy a new opener recently (repair was viable) and this type of post would have been extremely useful. Who cares if the post is long ...

J295
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by J295 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:54 pm

I bought lift master from local dealer and installed because I thought it would be fun. It was! Probably only saved $100 but head more than $100 of fun!

Nickjoy you are awesome ... Great info!!

daveydoo
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by daveydoo » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:08 pm

nickjoy wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:30 pm


Sorry for the book. If you have any questions, let me know. This is one area where I know a lot for my young age.
This is brilliant! Saving this for later. Many thanks!

queso
Posts: 334
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by queso » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:10 pm

Are these the ones you guys are going with?

https://www.amazon.com/2-Inch-Nylon-Gar ... or+rollers

queso
Posts: 334
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by queso » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:11 pm

Y.A.Tittle wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:52 pm
No advice on openers, but if you want to improve quiteness use two pairs of rubber isolators (LiftMaster - Garage Door Opener Vibration Isolator Kit 89LM) when mounting the head unit. They cost $12 on Amazon.

Also use nylon door rollers instead of steel rollers on the door. A set of ten costs $13 on Amazon.
I may give this a shot too, but these look like run of the mill sandwich mounts so I'll probably buy a bag of them from McMaster-Carr and I'll have enough for the rest of my natural life.

https://www.mcmaster.com/?orderview=new ... s/=19rnd75

EDIT: As much as I love McMaster-Carr the amazon variant isn't a bad deal since it includes free shipping. I'll either find a bunch of other stuff to order on MMC or go with the Amazon ones.

Link - https://www.amazon.com/LiftMaster-Garag ... r+Kit+89LM

nickjoy
Posts: 37
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by nickjoy » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:00 pm

queso wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:10 pm
Are these the ones you guys are going with?

https://www.amazon.com/2-Inch-Nylon-Gar ... or+rollers
Those ones don't quite look right where the ball bearings are supposed to be. I've also never heard of National brand. Might be a reseller though. My price was more than that, and I used to be a dealer. Also, in the reviewer's picture, you can see the wheel sagging to one side, if they were good bearings, that wouldn't happen. That's not supposed to happen even under load. Just food for thought. They honestly might work.

You can always call up your local garage repairman and buy them directly from him. Granted, I'm biased.

EDIT: Just realized that it said pack of 10, not per

queso
Posts: 334
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by queso » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:21 am

nickjoy wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:00 pm
queso wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:10 pm
Are these the ones you guys are going with?

https://www.amazon.com/2-Inch-Nylon-Gar ... or+rollers
Those ones don't quite look right where the ball bearings are supposed to be. I've also never heard of National brand. Might be a reseller though. My price was more than that, and I used to be a dealer. Also, in the reviewer's picture, you can see the wheel sagging to one side, if they were good bearings, that wouldn't happen. That's not supposed to happen even under load. Just food for thought. They honestly might work.

You can always call up your local garage repairman and buy them directly from him. Granted, I'm biased.

EDIT: Just realized that it said pack of 10, not per
I took a shot and threw them on over the weekend. Garage door is easily 2/3 quieter than before. Granted, they may be low quality and may not last, but only time will tell. Easy install and only $13.

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alpenglow
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Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Post by alpenglow » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:28 am

Kenkat wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:06 pm
When I’ve done this in the past, I was able to buy the latest model Chamberlain at Home Depot an install the head unit right onto the existing hardware and rails - everything matched up. I stowed all the extra parts in the basement for awhile but eventually just threw them out. I did set the metal parts out so that the guys that cruise the neighborhood on trash night could recycle them.
I did the same thing - very simple!

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