Got Grease?

It is always a good idea to keep your garage door and opener lubricated. However, the Genie garage door opener carriage in the picture shows what happens when you apply too much grease.

Opener Grease.jpg

You should use a light spray lube on the hinges and rollers of your door. Your local hardware store will have a spray formulated for garage doors. While you are in the lubricant department at the hardware store grab some low temperature grease for your opener rail.

You should lube your garage door rollers, springs, hinges, and tracks about three or four times a year with spray lubricant. The rail on the opener should only be lubed once a year with the low temperature grease.  Over application is messy and the stuff stains whatever it comes into contact with.

That should keep your door running quiet. If you find your door needs a lot of lubricating throughout the year you may need to have it tuned up. If you are in the Fort Worth area give us a call for a free estimate.

Lock + Garage Door Opener = Trouble

We got an email from a potential customer this morning for a service call. He said that his son had accidentally locked the garage door from the outside and then went inside and tried to open the door by using the garage door opener. This is a very common mistake.

Most garage doors have some type of locking device. These are installed to secure the garage door if there isn’t a garage door opener. When and if you install a garage door opener on your door you should disable the locking mechanism.

All garage door openers will keep the door locked and secure when it is in the closed position. Any time we install a garage door opener we disable the lock to prevent this from happening.  We disable the lock by screwing the lock rod to the door so it can’t be used unless you take the screw out. Hopefully your opener will always work and you won’t have to use the lock.

It is especially important to disable a lock that is accessible from the outside because it can be locked from the outside without a key. It is usually kids playing outside and messing around with the garage door handle and unknowingly locking the door. Then you come home and hit the button to enter the garage and this happens.

Garage Door Cable Off

 

We ended up going out to the customer’s house and repairing his garage door.  It was an easy fix, but something that could have been avoided.  Do you have a lock on your door with a garage door opener?  Take a look at your garage door today.

To Replace or Not to Replace?

That is the question.

We had a customer that called us to replace his garage door and opener. I went out to give him an estimate. I noticed that his 50 plus year old one piece door and Montgomery Ward screw drive opener still operated smoothly and flawlessly. He told me although it worked, the one piece door wouldn’t go up high enough for him to pull his suburban in.

We installed a new garage door and opener so he could pull his car in. There was a better reason to replace the door and opener though. The old door and opener had none of the current safety mechanisms that are required by federal law. The old remotes were the size of a shoe box so that was nice to get some modern and safe equipment.

Sometimes operational equipment needs to be replaced for safety reasons. What is the oldest door or opener you have come across?

Need a Lift?

We had a customer this week that had a unique situation. He had a two car garage with two single garage doors.  He has three cars.

He came up with a brilliant idea to install a lift on one side of the garage.  That way he could pull one car in the garage, lift it up and pull the other car underneath it.

He ran into a problem after the lift was installed.  He couldn’t lift the car all the way up because of the overhead door.

He called us to get a quote on adding 12″ of high lift. We gave him a quote on the high lift as well as  a Liftmaster 3800. He has to use a jackshaft opener because a traditional trolley type opener won’t work due to the high lift.  He’s better off with the jackshaft opener anyway. It has more bells and whistles and it is much quieter.

He liked the quote so we scheduled it and got it done. What a great set up this is! It’s so quiet and clean looking. He could go ahead and do it to the other door also so it looks uniform on the inside. However, this didn’t change the appearance of the outside at all.

Here is a before and after picture from inside the garage.

Before and After High Lift

 

Liftmaster Belt Drive Openers

Before garage door openers.

Before garage door openers.

This customer needed new garage door openers for his brand new home. He looked around on line to see if he could get a good deal. He also went to the local hardware stores to see what they had.

There are so many different garage door openers to choose from. There are screw drives, chain drives and belt drives.  He checked around and had a good idea of the kind of opener he wanted.

He called us for a quote on installation of the openers if he bought them from the hardware store.  We quoted him on installation of his openers.  We also quoted him on our LiftMaster belt drives that we could bring out.  He was surprised that our belt drive openers were less expensive installed than if we installed his store bought openers.  Our warranty was better and we could save him a trip back to the hardware store.

He went with the LiftMaster model 3280 belt drives which has a lifetime warranty on the belt and motor. We scheduled an appointment and had them installed in around two hours.

These openers are very quiet and reliable. There is a bedroom above this garage so whatever openers went in had to be quiet. He was very happy with the end result. You can’t hear a thing from that bedroom when the openers are operating.

Another happy customer!

After installing belt drive openers.

After installing belt drive openers.

 

How to Shorten a Chain Drive Opener

Our customer received a Craftsman garage door opener for Christmas and called us out to install it. It looked like a typical install.  So I took the new unit out of the box along with all the parts. I assembled everything on the garage floor and then took down their old Genie.

I lifted the new opener up to install it. This garage has a header or structure support protruding down from the ceiling just behind the door when it’s up.

Garage Door HeaderThe new opener is about 10′ long. The header is 9’6″ from the header above the door. In short this means the opener I just assembled is about 6″ too long to install. It would not fit. I could either take it apart and put it back in the box so they could return it or I could modify the opener to fit.

I already had their old opener down and the new one assembled so I decided to modify the opener. I needed to cut down the opener rail and the drive chain by about 6 1/2″. I cut the rail down 6 1/2″ and then I had to cut the chain down 13″.  I had to cut the chain down double the length that the rail was cut.  The chain is a loop so it had to be cut down the length of the rail that was cut.

Tools used to modify a garage door opener.

If you have to cut any more than 6″ off of the opener it won’t open a 7′ garage door all the way. I had a couple inches to spare.  I then reassembled the opener and installed it.

This install would have been easier if the new opener were a screw drive instead of a chain drive.  In a screw drive there is not a chain to cut or master links to bother with. You simply cut the screw rail down to the desired length and install.

Hope this information and pictures help when dealing with a garage door opener that will not fit.

Garage Door Opener cut down

Modified chain drive garage door opener installed.

Cold Weather Garage Door Problems

Garage Door Opener Chain Hanging

There are a lot of garage door problems that occur as a result of colder temperatures. One of the most common cold weather problems we encounter are gear and sprocket kits.

Usually a homeowner will call us and say something like “The chain on my opener is hanging,” or “I can hear my opener working but nothing is moving.” Nine times out of ten this is a faulty gear and sprocket kit.

You can see in the pictures that you have to disassemble the garage door opener to install the new gear kit.  It is a fairly complicated process. You can get a gear kit online from places like Amazon or ebay and install it yourself.  Or you can call a reputable garage door company.

We install a lot of these gear kits.  They usually takes around 40 minutes to install from start to finish. Please note that there could also be underlying issues with the garage door to cause this to happen. These issues usually just need adjustments to correct the problem. We lubricate, adjust and balance the garage door when we replace the gear kit.

A new gear kit is a less expensive option than replacing the garage door opener.  Also, at the end of the day you don’t have to open the door by hand. Literally.
Gear KitGarage Door Gears Up CloseGear Kit

Residential Jackshaft Opener

Finally a residential  jackshaft garage door opener that is totally reliable.  LiftMaster thought of everything when making this opener.  This garage door opener is the top of the line.

Where do I begin?  Let me start with the back lit wall control which has a digital display that rotates time and temperature.  It has a motion sensor that automatically turns on the opener light when you enter the garage at any time.  You can also turn the motion sensor off and use the light manually.

On to the remote control.  The remote that goes in the car has three buttons for operating up to three devices.  The remote buttons are lit for night time operation.  It has a proximity switch that allows the remote to light up when your fingers get near it.  This is a really convenient and cool feature.

This jackshaft garage door opener has a dead bolt that automatically locks and unlocks with every use.  You can visibly see and hear the deadbolt lock when your door shuts all the way.

This garage door opener has all the safety features that the other models have and more.  There are lots of benefits to having this opener such as less wear on the top of your garage door.  This opener doesn’t lift your door from the top so it doesn’t ever bend the top section of your door.  The jackshaft opener mounts directly to the torsion tube.  You have all of that extra headroom because this opener doesn’t hang in the middle of your garage ceiling.  That’s another benefit.

The jackshaft opener is one of the quietest garage door openers I have ever heard.  It has a DC motor so it is super quiet.  It plugs into a regular 120v outlet.  It also has an optional battery backup for when the power goes out.

This is a great opener for your garage as well as for the door in your shop.  It will lift a door that is up to 14′ tall.  If there are obstructions above your door that won’t allow for regular garage door opener installation, this is perfect for those low headroom situations. 

There are a million applications for this opener.  It rates 10 out of 10 on our scale.  We have them in stock and available for installation.  Call us for a price and get yours today.