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Tips for Installing a Garage Door Opener

Garage door openers are installed differently depending upon the manufacturer’s specifications. In general, you should have a garage door technician install your garage door opener. In this article, we’ll go over some tips and tricks for installing a garage door opener that you may want to remember if only to tell that you’re garage door technician is doing it right.

Check the garage door first –

You want to make sure the garage door is in good working order before you replace the garage door opener. Make sure the garage door springs are fine. If not, you may not need a new garage door opener. You may need a new garage door. Call in a professional to finish the assessment and let you know what you do need.

Choose the right horsepower for your garage door opener –

Making sure that you choose the right horsepower (hp) is essential. You don’t want a garage door opener that’s got too much hp or too little. For a single garage door, you want to choose a 1/3 to 1/2 hp opener. For a double garage door, choose 1/2 hp and for one that’s wooden or has a faux wood overlay, which can be really heavy, it’s best to go with the 3/4 hp. (Note – putting in a higher powered garage door opener isn’t going to open your door faster. Garage door openers go at a set speed.)

There are three types of garage door opener to choose from. The first is a chain drive. In this type, a chain pulls the door open and closed. These are the least expensive but the loudest. Screw drives are priced in the mid-range. They are less quiet than the chain drive, but they are more expensive. Screw drives operate on a long threaded rod that drives a mechanism that opens and closes the door. Finally, there’s the belt drive. These are the most expensive and the quietest brands. A belt drive uses a rubber belt to open and close the door.

During the install –

Remember to install the power unit high enough that tall people won’t run into it. 7 feet from the floor is possible is a good height. A garage door opener has a manual disconnect cord. Run that about 6 feet high so any adult can get to it. Put the push button control about 5 feet off the ground so small children can’t get to it.  Also, place it in a location where anyone operating it can easily see the garage door. Always adjust the safety reverse system and the electric eye system so they are in good working order. You’ll want to remind your professional installer to do those things too.

There are parts to the garage door opener repair or replacement that you could do yourself; however, we recommend that you hire a professional to do them. Why? Garage doors and garage door openers are very sensitive mechanisms and potentially very dangerous. We, at Texas Garage Repair, can repair your garage door opener or replace it quickly and safely. Give us a call today at 512.518.6606.

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Important Garage Door Opener Facts for Homeowners

Garage door openers open and close your garage door. What else do you know about garage door openers? If you answered not much, then this article is for you. Here, we’ll explore some important garage door facts for homeowners.

  • Garage door openers make life easier. It’s so much easier to get into and out of your garage with a garage door opener. For example, you can just open the door from your car and enter the garage with no problem. The same is true for exiting.
  • Garage door openers help you figure out signs that your garage door is in need of repairs. If, when you open the garage door, you hear strange noises coming from the door, then it’s time to call a professional to get a repair. You should always have professionals perform garage door and garage door opener repairs because these mechanisms have lots of parts and are dangerous to work with.
  • Garage door openers work on electricity. They may come with locking and unlocking accessories like switches, remotes, keyed or wireless entries.
  • Garage door openers have a power unit with an electric motor, which is attached to a track. Door openers come with different mechanisms such as chain drive units, belt drive openers, screw-drive openers, jackshaft openers and direct drive units.
  • Garage door openers allow you to open the door differently, depending on the unit. Some are on a wall console. Others are door remotes. There are button remotes of differing types. You can get a sophisticated wireless keypad – some even work on just your fingerprint. Then, there’s the keyless remote.
  • It’s important to get a garage door opener with a manual emergency release mechanism, especially when the power goes out. Otherwise, you’ll be unable to use your garage.
  • Garage doors usually open slowly, but you can get a garage door opener that will allow your door to open faster.
  • You have the choice between AC and DC motors. DC motors are usually quieter. For your best results, look for a motor with .5 horsepower.
  • Get a garage door opener with a vacation setting so if you’re going away for a longer period, you’ll have the added security of knowing your garage door will remain closed and that no one can break into your garage or home while you’re away.

Garage door openers are an important mechanism, one that can help protect your home from break-ins. Now that you know more about them, hopefully you’ll treat them with the respect that they deserve. We, at Texas Garage Repair, know about garage door openers and are happy to help you if they need a repair. Call us today at 512.518.6606 for more information.

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10 Garage Door Safety Tips

You can never be too safe when it comes to your garage door. Garage doors injure about 30,000 people annually. Granted – many garage door accidents happen because of faulty garage door equipment. However, one can never be too cautious when considering garage door safety. In this article, we’ll explore 10 garage door safety tips you can use to keep you and your family safe.

  1. A garage door opener remote is not a toy. Do not give your children access to the garage door opener until they are old enough to handle the responsibility of it – like when they are old enough to drive a car.  There’s really no reason for younger children to have access to the garage door opener unless it’s the only way to get into your house. If that’s the case, then a child of 10 or 11 could probably handle the responsibility, but it’s be wiser to reevaluate the way you get into your home for safety’s sake.
  2. Make sure you mount the garage door opener mechanism out of the reach of small children. It should be at least five full feet above the floor and in a location where you have full view of the door so you can make sure the door is opening and closing correctly.
  3. Read through the garage door manual. Make sure you know how to use the garage door’s emergency release feature. You never know when you may need it.
  4. Each month, take some time to visually inspect the garage door. Look at the springs, cables, rollers and pulleys. You are checking for signs of wear and tear. If you notice problems, call a garage door technician like the ones we have at Texas Garage Repair. Many accidents occur each year when people attempt to fix their garage doors themselves.
  5. Again monthly, test the garage door opener’s reversing mechanism by placing a 2X4 board or a roll of paper towels under the door. If the door does not reverse after coming into contact with the object, call us for a repair. Also, if your door opener has not been replaced since 1993, prior to when the reverse mechanism was required, you should upgrade to one that has the reverse safety mechanism. It’s time.
  6. When closing or opening the door, keep an eye on it. Make sure no child or animal is trying to get in during this time. Please don’t make a game of ‘dodge the door’ with your children. It could prove fatal.
  7. Please keep fingers and hands away from any section of the door when it is opening or closing to prevent injury. You don’t want your fingers or hands to get in the way or the door’s operations.
  8. Maintain your garage door annually. Have a qualified professional look over your door at least once a year to make sure it’s in good working order. This will help keep it operating safely.
  9. Don’t get in the habit of leaving your garage door partially open. When activated again, it might travel downward and come in contact with an object in its path. Besides, leaving a door partially open leaves your home vulnerable to security breaches. Burglars often look for open doors to rob.
  10. In that vein, never, ever, leave a garage door opener in your car or with a parking attendant. Burglars like to steal garage door remotes so that they can gain access to your home. Always look the door to your home from the garage so that the burglar can’t get in. It may be mildly inconvenient to have to take your garage door opener with you everywhere, but it’s better than the alternative.

We hope we made you aware that your garage door is a very important and potentially dangerous item in your home. You should treat it appropriately and make sure that it is properly maintained. If you notice any problems with your door, day or night, you can call us at Texas Garage Repair. We are open 24/7 for you. We take you garage door safety seriously.

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Do You Need a Garage Door Opener Repair, Part II?

Last week, we discussed troubleshooting a garage door opener repair. In the article, we dealt with several problems your garage door opener could be having and talked about how to determine if they need a garage door opener repair or if you can do the job yourself.

This week, we delve into deeper problems with the garage door opener. Most of these fixes will have to come from the pros like Texas Garage Repair. Without further ado, let’s go.

Problem #1 – The Door Doesn’t Open or Close

Well, there are a few issues it could be. For example, the door may fail to completely open or close. If that happens, the culprit could be the safety sensors. Following the instructions above to see if that handles the problem. If not, then it could be the limit switch. The placement and appearance of a limit switch depends on the garage door opener. Usually, they’re found on the back of the garage door opener unit in the box attached to the door track overhead. If that’s the case, call your garage door opener repair company and have them come around to fix it because it’s a dangerous fix, requiring a step ladder and work with the garage door.

Problem #2 – The Garage Door Reverses Before or After Closing

If your garage door reverses before or after closing, you should check the close limit switch. You will want to try to adjust it accordingly. To repair, you’ll want to climb a stepladder to reach the garage door opener and look for the knobs. Retest the door . Turn the desired control clockwise slightly to adjust and then retest or hire someone like Texas Garage Repair who’s equipped to handle difficulties like this.

If the garage door opener reverses before it even hits the floor, the culprit is likely the close force adjustment. This could be related to your springs. If your springs are to blame, the best thing to do is to have a professional take a look. Garage door springs are difficult to repair and dangerous.

Problem #3 – The Garage Door Motor Won’t Stop Running

If the door closes or opens but the motor keeps running, the limit switch is probably the problem. You can try to troubleshoot it yourself by adjusting the switch or you can call a professional who will know exactly what to do.

Problem #4 – The Garage Door Opener Hums but Doesn’t Operate

At least it hums so you know there’s some power getting to the door. You’ll want to check the moving parts to make sure that the rails aren’t blocked and the armature is connected to the garage door. Make sure the unit is engaged and not in manual mode. The force adjustment could also be the culprit. Old and weak garage door springs may shift the lifting of the door to the opener motor ad drive system. The unit may not be able to handle the weight. Get in a professional to fix the garage door opener springs and the force adjustment on your garage door opener.

Problem #5 – The Garage Door Opener is Noisy or the Door Vibrates

Obviously, some openers are louder than others. However, as long as the door operates properly, you’ve got nothing really to worry about. Of course, if the door shrieks or there’s smoke coming from the exit, then you might want a professional’s opinion.

Noises can result from loose nuts and bolts or a failure in the track system.  You can try to tighten them and lubricate the track system. However a garage door opener repair technician can do these things for you quickly and relatively inexpensively.

Well, there you have it – some of the more common problems a garage door can have. We, obviously, advocate for calling in a professional most of the time. We feel that it’s better to get a professional touch on a delicate and heavy system like the garage door and garage door opener. If you try to undertake a garage door opener repair yourself, it could lead to injury and might cost you more money in the long run when you haven’t fixed the problem and only exacerbated it.

If you’re garage door opener is giving you trouble, call the experts at Texas Garage Repair. We can be reached 24/7 at 512-518-6606.

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Troubleshooting a Garage Door Opener Repair

Determining whether you need a garage door opener repair can be an interesting process. It needn’t be too difficult to figure out, but there are a few things you can check out to see if a garage door opener repair is necessary. In this article, we’ll delve into some of the things you can do to determine if you need a garage door opener repair. Hopefully, it will show you what to do next time your garage door opener isn’t operating at an optimal level.

The garage door opener makes life easier for us, most of the time. However, when it doesn’t and you think you may need a garage door opener repair, there are a few things you can troubleshoot to help your technician get to the heart of the matter. Some of them are so simple that they may be able to be fixed easily by you. However, remember that a garage door and a garage door opener are complex mechanisms and relate to one of the biggest apparatuses, if not the biggest, in your home. It’s wise to call a professional if you are unsure how to proceed. The professionals at Texas Garage Repair are well versed in garage door opener repair and can get you up and running again in no time flat.

Let’s start with troubleshooting.

  1. Does the car remote work? If the car remote or wall unit will still activate the door, then chances are you have weak or dead remote batteries. You can just replace them and all should be well again. Some remotes have a blinking LED light that flashes and displays a code to diagnose operational problems. In that case, consult the owner’s manual for more information.
  2. Check the batteries in the wall unit. Of course, if it uses them. If the remote works okay but the wall unit doesn’t, you should first consider the power source. If it’s batteries, then replace them and see if that’s enough to fix the problem. If it’s plugged into your home’s wiring system, examine the wiring to see if there’s been an issue with it. If so, complete the next step.
  3. Make sure it’s not electrical. Check the house breaker or fuse box and make sure the circuit controlling the garage door opener is active. You can reset a tripped breaker – you’ll know it’s tripped because it will look half on and half off – or replace the fuse altogether. Once you fix it, wait about a minute before turning it back on again. This should reset the connection. If it doesn’t, you should call an electrician for damage to your home’s wiring.
  4. The sensors – are they blocked? If your garage door opener is relatively new, the sensors may be causing the problem. Safety sensors work in pairs. They are mounted on either side of the garage door about a foot high. Each one beams a light – one is red and one is green – across the opening. If the beam gets obstructed or when the sensors can’t catch each other’s light, the garage door opener will not engage or it will stop mid-operation. Just check for anything obstructing the sensors. You should consider clearing out obstacles, position the sensors across from each other or even clean the sensor’s surface to remove any debris. Then, try opening the garage door again. If it works, then you’ve solved the problem. If not, then call Texas Garage Repair.

What if it’s not any of these problems?

Then, we’ve got more investigating to do. Next week we’ll continue with our garage door opener repair scenarios. In the meantime, if you have a garage door opener that’s not working, try contacting Texas Garage Repair at 512.518.6606. We have technicians available 24/7 to handle your garage door opener repairs.  If you decide you need to buy a new garage door opener, we can install that too.

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Liftmaster Garage Door Openers: 8550 Elite Series

Liftmaster are among the best garage door openers on the market. Known for their reliability and durability, they are a good choice for someone looking for a quiet and smooth garage door opener.  In this article, we’ll review the 8500 Elite Series garage door opener.

The Liftmaster 8500 Elite Series will power up when the power is down. It has MyQ connectivity. This enables you to securely monitor and control your garage door opener and even your home’s lights with a smartphone, tablet or computer. You can receive alerts as email or push notifications on your mobile device so you’ll always know the status of your door and lights. MyQ is a free download and has no annual activation fee.

The Alert2Close feature provides a visual and audible alert to let you know that an unattended door is closing. This is beneficial to make sure that no one is in the way. The TTC (Timer-to-close) feature automatically closes the door after a specified time period. It can be adjusted in the programming. Prior to and during the door closing, the door opener lights will flash and the mechanism will beep.

You can have up to 4 keyless entries with this garage door opener. There’s also a protector system in place. There are safety reversing sensors that detect an obstruction in the path of the infrared beam so the door won’t close if there’s an obstruction there. In fact, as it’s closing, the door will reverse to a full open position and the opener lights will flash 10 times so you know something’s going on. The safety reversing sensors do not affect the door opening.

You can activate your garage door opener through a wall-mounted door control, remote control, wireless keyless entry or the MyQ accessory. You can program your remotes through the door control or on the Learn button on the garage door opener.

Performance-wise, the 8550 has a P3™ Motor. It’s reliable, durable and powerful. There’s a DC motor belt drive system that’s powerful and ultra-quiet. It’s virtually maintenance free. Equipped with energy efficient operation, the garage door opener consumes 75% less power in standby mode. It has a lifetime motor and belt, 5 year parts and 1 year battery backup warranty.

Security features include the Security + 2.0 that safeguards your household with every click a new code is sent to the garage door opener so the door opens only for you. PosiLock® locks down your door by electronically monitoring it against a forced opening. The Motion detector activates the garage door opener lights once you walk in so you don’t have to fumble around in the dark.

Overall, the Liftmaster 8550 Elite Series gets high marks for security and accessibility. It has a decent warranty and is fairly quiet.  It’s reasonably priced and can be installed easily.

We suggest that you contact us, Texas Garage Repair, for a full install and to make sure the door is working with the opener. We love Liftmaster products and are happy to put one in for you. Call us today at 512.518.6606.

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Garage Door Opener Buying Guide

Buying a garage door opener is no simple task. There are tons of garage door openers on the market today. When you shop for a garage door opener, there are several things you’ll want to consider. We go over those in this garage door opener buying guide. In the coming weeks, we’ll put different garage doors to this buying guide test to see which rate better than others. We hope you enjoy the article and look forward to your feedback on our Facebook page.

Size

Measure your garage door to ensure you buy the proper garage door opener. Garage door openers are sized according to the height of the door. For a 7 foot tall door, for example, a 7 foot garage door opener is needed. Most single-car garage doors can use a garage door opener with 1/3 horsepower. Doors that are 10 feet wide or larger need at least ½ horsepower. They may need to go as high as 3/4 horsepower. Regardless, you should always choose a door opener with a motor that has adequate power to lift the door. When in doubt, go larger.

Drive System

Garage doors have three different drive systems.  First, there’s the chain drive. It’s the most commonly used garage door opener. A chain lifts the door. It goes through the motor and out the other side to lift itself.  A belt drive is identical to a chain lift except that it uses a rubber belt instead of a chain to lift the door.  It’s the quietest and perhaps most expensive version of garage door opener. Finally, there’s the screw drive. A metal bar is threaded through the drive and pulls the door up. It’s a slow process, but less noisy than a chain belt. Now you have to consider the type of garage you have when purchasing the drive system. If you have stable cabinets and garage door shelf units, then a chain drive should be fine because it shakes the foundation of the garage. If you have less stable items in your garage, go with a belt or screw drive system.

Safety Features

A garage door opener controls the heaviest moving object in your home – did you know that garage doors can weigh as much as 600 lbs.? Safety is critical. Since 1993, federal law requires that garage door openers include sensors to prevent the door from striking anybody in its path. Automatic reverse – this stops the door and lifts off any obstruction – is another safety feature you should have.  A computer controlled system monitors the operating speed of the door and compensates for changing conditions like an obstruction or the door closing too quickly. Garage doors produced today use rolling codes for more security. This means that each time the door is opened a new, random code is generated. This prevents code theft and makes sure that your neighbor’s garage door opener won’t open your garage.

All doors have a manual release so that you can open the door when the power is out. Some higher-end model doors have a feature where the door will open just high enough to let a cat or a dog out. Many door openers have a security light that comes on when you activate the system. It stays on long enough for you to get out of the car and get into the house. Many remotes include buttons that turn on the light without activating the door.

Accessories

Wall-control buttons can be simple like a doorbell or complex like a complete control panel. They can prevent  the door from being used by locking it. This may be good to have for when you go away for an extended period. Door-control buttons are mounted inside the garage. They are near the entry of your home.

Another accessory to look at is a keyed emergency release kit. This is mounted on the door and attached to the opener emergency–release mechanism by a cable. If the power goes out and you need to get to the garage door from the outside, there’s a key that unlocks the kit and you can pull the release handle from the outside.

Entry Options

Different types of garage door openers have different types of entry options. There are remotes and keyless entry pads. A remote is battery powered and can often attach to the visor of the car. Other garage door openers have keychain remotes, which can be much safer. Sometimes burglars get into the house via the garage door opener on the visor.

If you have guests, you may want to get a garage door with different codes so that they won’t know what your code is. The guest can have a temporary key code when they visit.

You may also want a delayed closing. This allows you to enter and have a few minutes to exit the garage before the door begins to lower.

Installation

Do you want to install your garage door opener yourself? It usually takes about four hours and requires some know-how. We suggest you call a professional for garage door opener installation. We, at Texas Garage Repair, have the knowledge and the ability to install your garage door quickly and painlessly. Call us today for more information. We can be reached at 512.518.6606.

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What to Remember While Purchasing Garage Door Openers

Garage door openers are an important piece of hardware to have to go along with your garage door. When you need to purchase a garage door opener, there are certain things to keep in mind. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the things you should remember while purchasing garage door openers.

How much power do you need?

Garage door openers are offered in three different sizes – 1/3 horsepower, ½ horsepower and ¾ horsepower. Do you need to lift one or two doors? What’s the material and size of the doors?  For double door, you need at least a ½ horsepower door opener. A single, door can be lifted with 1/3 horsepower. Please note that doors with more power tend to last longer. Oversize, large and heavy doors will require the most horsepower.

What type of drive do you need?

Chain drive

This is the most commonly used garage door opener. A chain is responsible for lifting the door. It goes through the motor and back out the other side to lift itself. It’s the least expensive garage door opener, but also the noisiest.

Belt-drive

A belt-drive opener is identical to a chain drive opener except they use a rubber belt instead of a chain. The belt-drive garage door opener is the quietest one out there. However, they are more expensive than other types of garage door openers.

Screw drive

Screw drive openers are another type of garage door opener. A metal bar is threaded through the drive and pulls the door up. It’s a slow process but much quieter than chain-drive belt.

What security features do you need if any?

Most garage doors have a rolling pass code so every time you open the door, there’s a new passcode. Some doors have an electronic lock feature. The garage door can detect if someone is trying to force their way in and, when this happens, the door opener will initiate the motor to close the door and keep it closed. Sometimes, a garage door will allow you to set up a temporary password that you can give to friends and family so the door will open for them.

There is a security light with many garage door systems. When you pass through the door, you’ll walk through a beam which will turn on a light in the garage.

Do you want a remote control?

There’s the single remote button which just opens and closes the door. Then, there is multi keypad option where you can program the door to open and close multiple garage doors.

What about keyless entry?

Keyless entry allows you to set up a numeric keypad on the side of the door outside the garage. If you need to get into the garage and don’t have your remote, you can type in a code and the door will open.

As you can see, there are a quite a bit of things to consider with a garage door opener. We, at Texas Garage Repair, can help you get the garage door opener you dream about. Call 512.518.6606 today for more information.

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Guide to Troubleshooting Your Garage Door Opener

Garage door openers are made up of wires and chips. They are supposed to work seamlessly with your garage door to open and close it at your request. However, because they’re made of wires and chips, they sometimes have malfunction. In this article, we’ll delve into some of the more common problems with these mechanisms and teach you that troubleshooting your garage door opener can be worth the effort. Read More

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Tips for Picking the Best Garage Door Openers

Garage door openers are a vital part of your garage opening system. There are different factors you need to take into account before picking the right one. Garage door openers are available in different styles and sizes, but don’t get overwhelmed. There are tips for picking the best garage door openers. Read More