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Mike's Blog

Garage Door Openers

New garage doors can work even during power outages

A popular accessory sold with new garage door openers is a battery back-up system that allows you to use your opener several times, even after the loss of power to your home. It’s a wonderful feature that prevents you from being trapped outside in a storm

Sensor Eyes

The Safety Reversing Sensors

The most common reason for the lights to flash on the garage door opener and the door not closing is that the safety reversing sensors are misaligned or obstructed; this is a safety feature of the garage door opener.
When properly connected and aligned, the sensor will detect an obstacle in the path of its electronic beam. If an obstruction breaks the light beam while the door is closing, the door will stop and reverse to full open position, and the opener lights will flash 10 times.
Your garage door opener has a Self-Diagnostic feature. The LED next to the learn button will flash a number of times, and then pause signifying the potential issue.
One (1) flash indicates the sensor wire is shorted. See How do I test or troubleshoot the safety sensor wires?
Two (2) flashes indicate an open, broken, disconnected sensor wire, or the safety sensors are NOT installed. Consult your manual for sensor installation instructions or see How do I test or troubleshoot the safety sensor wires?
Four (4) flashes indicate the sensors are slightly misaligned. See How do I align my safety reversing sensors?

NOTE: The garage door can be closed by pressing and holding the door control push bar until down travel is completed.


Today, I took down an old noisy screw driven garage door opener and replaced it with a new Liftmaster belt driven and my customer was as happy as she could ever be. A couple common problems with the overhead openers: remotes stop working because of the board that is built inside the opener, also the motors have a tendency to lock up. 

Garage Door Opener

garage door opener
"Open sesame!" Garage door openers are the unsung heroes of modern life. Without them we would have to actually get out of the car to open the door. With them we simply push a button and drive right in--unless the opener doesn't work (or the garage is full of broken stuff).
How Does It Work?
Components of a typical garage door opening system.
A garage door opener is an electric motor appliance that opens a garage door at the push of a button. The button can be one that's wired into the household electrical circuit or one that's on a battery-powered remote-control unit usually carried in a car. Most garage door systems have both. The button sends an infrared or radio signal to the control unit that, in turn, activates an electric motor with a track-and-pulley system that moves the door. Most garage door opener units also have a light that goes on automatically and shuts off after a pre-set interval
What Can Go Wrong?
The opener may not respond when the remote or wall button is pushed. The opener may raise the door but not close it. The opener may run but not open the door. The opener may operate without a command. The door may not open or close completely. The door may reverse when closing. The opener may have to work too hard. Because garage door openers are little more than a motor and electronic controls, Its recommended that you get a yearly tune up for your opener. This service typically includes replacing batteries, testing the motor or controls, as well as  lubricating and aligning mechanisms.

There are three main types of openers

chain driven openerbelt driven openerscrew drive opener
Chain Driven Openers- Chain drives are typically the most commonly used and a very reliable type of opener. This drive runs the garage door on its track by using a metal chain. Chain drives are slightly cheaper than belt drives. Chain drive openers tend to be noisy, so if your garage is located below or adjacent to the main rooms in your home, you might consider purchasing a belt driven opener.
Belt Driven Openers- Belt drives are regarded in the garage door industry as the best type of opener. Not only are belt drives as reliable as chain drives, but they are also virtually silent. This drive runs on a steel-reinforced belt and typically costs a few dollars more than chain & screw drive openers. If your garage is attached to your home and has surrounding bedrooms, you'll never be bothered by the noise of your garage door.
Screw Driven Openers- Screw drive openers use a lifting device that runs on a threaded steel rod, rather than a chain or a rubber belt. These openers tend to work best in locations where the weather and temperature is constant throughout the year. In areas with a wide range of temperature throughout the year, a screw drive opener is not recommended. They also are the slowest moving and noisiest of all three openers, but are the least expensive.