Your Options When Replacing A Defective Garage Door Opener

The original garage door opener motor installed in your home when it was built has finally worn out. The model is old enough that it is no longer available. Not only do you have access to a number of new and similar models, you could have one of the more powerful or quieter units installed this time. Here are your choices in garage door opener mechanisms.

The Basic Layout Stays the Same

All of these garage door options use the same following components:

  • Two or more high-tension garage door springs attach to the top of the door and the ceiling to counterbalance the weight of the door. These springs allow a small motor to be used to open the door and makes it easy for you to manually lift the door when the electricity is off in your home.
  • A steel track sits beside both sides of the garage door and curves up and under the ceiling. Rollers attached to the edges of the door travel in this track to move the door up and parallel with the ceiling.

The motor and central rail between the tracks is what differs in these garage door openers.

Type of Garage Door Openers

Chain drive - This is the standard model used in new home construction. The motor sits on the ceiling between the tracks. It uses a chain, much like a bicycle chain, to move the door up and down along a rail that extends from the top of the door to the motor. The chain is noisy as the door moves and becomes louder as it stretches with age.

Belt drive - The setup is similar to the chain drive but this model uses a rubber or fiberglass belt instead of a steel chain. The belt is quieter than the chain making it a good choice should the garage be located under a nursery or master bedroom.

Screw drive - Instead of a belt or chain, this model uses a long threaded rod on which travels the arm that pulls the garage door open and shut. This design makes more noise than the belt model but less than the chain. Another advantage to this unit is that it opens and closes the garage door faster than the other units.

Direct drive - With this design, the motor is attached directly to the top of the garage door and rides along the central track as it pulls the garage door behind it. With no belt, chain or screw between the motor and the door, this is the quietest of all the garage door openers.

Jackshaft - This is the most unusual model as the motor is mounted on the wall next to the garage door. It uses a series of pulleys and cables to raise and lower the garage door. It still uses the high-tension garage door springs but needs no central rail. This frees up space on the ceiling for storage. It is also a good unit in a garage with a lower ceiling.

For more information on garage doors, talk to a professional like Crawford Door Company.