Is it time to replace your garage door opener?

December 23, 2014

Garage door openers typically have a pretty long life span, but don’t take a working opener for granted. There are some obvious, and not so obvious, signs that it might be time to upgrade your remote.

Is it time to replace your garage door opener?

An obvious indicator

  • A fairly noticeable sign that your garage opener needs to be replaced is when there’s a humming or grinding sound when you push the button but the door won’t open.
  • Before you jump the gun and rush off to the hardware store, check for stripped gears.
  • With a little bit of troubleshooting, you may be able to avoid the cost of an unnecessary purchase and get your current opener working again.

Some not-so-obvious indicators

Safety reversal failure: Since 1993, all garage door opener manufacturers are required to equip all units with a safety reversing mechanism.

  • This feature works by using two sensors situated approximately six inches above the garage floor level on both sides of the door.
  • These sensors are triggered when an object, child or pet passes through while the garage door closes.
  • The sensors trip the opener to immediately stop the lowering of the garage door and reverses to raising the door.
  • If your current opener doesn’t have this feature, or if it no longer reverses, then it's highly recommended that the opener be replaced.

Noise control failure: If you’ve noticed your neighbours looking in your direction every time you open or close your garage door, or if your family has complained about the garage door noise waking them up at night, it may be an indication it's time to replace your opener.

  • Chain drive openers (something that looks like a bicycle chain near the motor unit) are the noisiest of the drive types in openers.
  • Replacing it for a quieter belt or screw drive model will allow your family to sleep better at night.

Security failure: Older models may be more vulnerable to thieves so replacing with an opener that comes with a password keypad feature may help deter thieves from even trying.

Getting a brand new opener

If you're looking to upgrade your garage door opener, consider keyless/remote-free access.

  • This type of opener simply uses a passcode keypad mounted outside the garage door, which can come in handy if you've lost your keys.
  • Before replacing the opener, take a look at your current model. Many older garage openers did not offer the passcode keypad feature, however some models will allow you to add the feature without having to replace the entire unit.
  • Another option is using a fingerprint recognition technology, where one can gain access by simply touching the keypad.

If you're thinking it might be time to replace your garage door opener, just be sure to do a bit of research first to find out if you need to make the purchase and, if so, the best one for your needs.

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