Garage door openers rarely fail without a lot of warning. If you believe something is not working properly, start by detaching the operator from the door and see if the door operates smoothly and is balanced. This is determined by whether the springs are doing the lifting on the door. Garage door openers are designed to move doors rather than lift them. It is the springs that do the lifting. If you lift a door halfway up the door should stay in place. If it free falls to the floor there is a problem with the door which can damage the operator.
But, like all mechanical devices, your garage door opener won’t last forever. It also won’t self-improve and keep up with advances happening with garage door opener technology. Garage door safety, security and efficiency have improved leaps and bounds in the past decade. The only way to keep current is to replace your old garage door opener.
Automatic garage door openers have been around for decades. Early models were simple. They had few features other than being able to lift a heavy door up and down several times a day. Over the course of a year, this could be a thousand or more cycles. And over several decades, this amounts to twenty thousand-plus back and forth trips. No wonder they wear out.
How do you know when it’s time for replacing a garage door opener? Usually, it’ll let you know. The signs start when your garage door opener begins operating erratically. It’ll get slow and protest with creaks and groans. The noise gets louder as it gets older.
Understanding these warning signs will pay off. They’ll alert you when to replace a garage door opener before it quits for good.
Warning Sign To Replace Garage Door Opener
Usually, there are obvious signs your garage door opener needs replacing. The first thing you may notice is your opener starts working intermittently or it ceases to work at all. This can leave you stranded and forced to get out in the dark or in harsh weather to wrestle open a 16-foot, double-wide door by hand.
Slow-Moving or Detaching Garage Door Opener
You may find your garage door moving slower when rising. Or worse, it detaches from your opener and free falls to the floor. That scenario is dangerous and could be deadly, causing serious damage to your car or loved ones as a result. Sometimes you’ll notice the opener hesitating, that’s a sure sign it needs to be replaced.
Loud or Unusual Noises From Garage Door
Noise provides another huge red flag your garage door opener is ready to pack it in. Older garage door openers seem to be intentionally designed as noisy. Chain drives are especially loud and obnoxious. Rattling drive chains are usually the first thing someone inside your home hears when you arrive home. That’s even before you nose your car up to the garage door.
Slack and vibrating chains aren’t the only noise culprit telling you it’s time for a new one. Electric motors get really loud when they near their end. A garage door motor change will quiet things down. But usually, the entire assembly is shot. The only real remedy is replacing your entire system.
Random Garage Door Opening/Reversing
Opening and suddenly reversing is a common sign of a failing garage door opener. This problem might be with the safety “eye” feature models installed after 1992 were equipped with. But, more often, reversing is due to faulty electronics within the actual opener. Replacing a unit is almost always better than spending the time and money trying to fix an antiquated machine.
Intermittent operation is a common warning your opener is on its way out. You push the remote and nothing happens. You push it again, and maybe it connects. When it gets to half a dozen tries until something finally happens, you know it’s time to call a professional and have your old, outdated garage door opener replaced with a new, high-tech unit.
Vibration on Garage Door Opener
Something else to watch for in a worn out opener is vibration. You’ll see this rather than hear it. Old motors with worn armatures or bent shafts will vibrate inside their housings. If the damage is severe enough, you’ll likely notice the opener mounts shaking loose. That can result in a catastrophic failure where your opener breaks free from the ceiling attachment and falls on the roof of your car.
You expect more than just convenience from your garage door opener. Certainly, you want your opener to operate dependably every time you need it. That goes without saying. But security makes up a highly important part of your entire garage door opener system. Your opener has to keep your door shut and unauthorized people out.
Older garage door openers weren’t designed with the advanced security features today’s new models have. Some manufacturers build security features into an opener. Others become available as options or upgrades. Often, it’s a case of what your budget will allow, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can get for a few dollars more.
On the other hand, think of the potential loss you can take when your garage door fails to keep burglars out, and they make off with ten times more than a new opener costs. Sure, your insurance might cover some loses, but every claim will affect your premium rates. Plus, your insurance company might require you to replace your garage door opener if it let thieves gain entry.
Smart technology isn’t just safer, it’s also much more efficient and convenient. Anywhere you can get a Wi-Fi signal, you can operate your garage door. You can check on security when that moment nags and leaves you wondering if you forgot to close the garage door when you left home. You can open your door for a delivery without leaving work and rushing home. You can let in friends or neighbors at your convenience. And you can permanently lock the door for extended vacations.
Smart technology also extends to multiple users. Older garage door openers had a single remote control and that caused a hassle for countless people. Second remotes were optional as an added expense and needed to be programmed individually. That was always a hassle. With today’s internet or web-based controls, every member of your family can use their smart device to enter and exit through your garage door.
This is an added convenience for guests who need temporary access. You no longer have to cut them a key or hide a spare one under the doormat. Now, all you need is to text them a code or have one sent to their device. This is not possible with an old opener. If this situation sounds like the one you’re living in, it’s just one more sign it’s time to install a new opener.
Concerned with that happens when the power goes out? Don’t be, power outages are no longer a concern with today’s smart garage door openers:
That smart convenience extends to door opener lights. Once your door is powered by its high-tech battery and headed up, your opener lights will be on and running off the same battery power.
Advancements in battery technology and light developments like LED bulbs allow full brightness,as if your power was back on. That’s not just convenient, it’s far safer.
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