Signs It’s Time to Replace a Garage Door Opener

Signs It’s Time to Replace a Garage Door Opener

When your old garage door opener begins to fail, it’s only noble to send it off peacefully and prepare for a replacement. Your garage door secures your valuables while granting easy and convenient access to your home. The last thing you want on a busy day is to have trouble accessing your garage. 

We use garage doors year-in-year-out. Sometimes, we forget they require maintenance or replacement. The good news is that there are clear signs that your garage door opener needs to be replaced.

What Are the Types of Garage Door Openers? 

There’re several garage door openers with distinct operational differences. The most common are:

  • Screw drive garage door openers: This opener is easy to maintain and is fit for light doors. The trolley rides on a threaded metal rod, allowing the doors to open and close. 
  • Belt drive garage door openers: For this opener, the chain is replaced with a rubber belt to move the door. This feature makes it quiet to operate. They’re suitable for light doors, such as residential garages.
  • Jackshaft garage door openers: The jackshaft is a reliable and unique option for large doors. Operationally, they have motors that drive the pulleys and cables turning the torsion. This mechanism opens the door.
  • Chain-drive garage door openers: This type of opener is the most popular and works on many different garage doors. They have chains connecting the trolley to the motor. 
  • Torsion spring automatic garage door openers: This opener comes in many stylish models found in major brands. The opener has a torsion spring, making it faster and quieter to operate.

How Long Does a Garage Door Opener Last? 

Many factors contribute to the life span of a garage door opener. Usually, it depends on the spring resource. Many springs can withstand up to 10,000 cycles. The more durable openers could have up to 25,000 opening and closing cycles. You can expect to replace your garage door opener every 10 to 15 years. 

You can increase your garage door opener’s life span with proper maintenance. The logic is that well-planned and regular preventive maintenance could make your garage door opener healthier. Quality maintenance includes:

  • Checking the automatic shutdown
  • Lubricating the parts
  • Testing the springs
  • Clearing the weatherstripping
  • Cleaning the garage door

Besides good maintenance, you could expect quality garage door openers to last longer. Also, ensure you correctly install the openers and conduct regular inspections.

What Are the Signs Your Garage Door Opener Needs Replacement?

Many people ask if they need to replace their garage door opener. Your garage door opener will likely warn you when its end is near. Paying attention to these signs will allow you to prepare adequately for a replacement. In such an occurrence, it’s advisable to switch to manual control. Some common signs that your garage door opener needs replacement include: 

1. Unusual Noises

Garage doors are not completely silent — they generate a sound when used. However, as the years go by and the engine loses its power, the door becomes more challenging to open, and it starts producing unusual sounds. If your garage door opener springs or other parts are noisy, you should replace your door opener with a newer model. 

2. Garage Door Will Not Open and Close Effectively

The primary aim of the opener is to assist you in quickly opening and closing the garage door. The defect may indicate that the opener’s battery needs replacement or is not connected correctly. Nonetheless, when you properly connect the garage door opener and confirm it has enough power, yet it does not open, you should consider a replacement.

3. Moves Slowly

The garage door makes access to your garage convenient. Sometimes the garage door will open and close, but the speed slows down. An unusually slow movement indicates that the garage door opener may need replacement.

4. Constant and Unusual Vibration

The opener’s engine will lose power with time. One of the signs of losing power is that the opener begins to vibrate. In the beginning, you may not notice the vibration, but with time, it will become more intense. Be sure to replace the garage door opener, as this vibration can eventually cause it to detach. 

5. Unpredictability

Another sign that your garage door opener needs replacement is that it works intermittently. The door might respond slowly when you open and close it, or it may open halfway, then halt or open in reverse. Other times, the door does not respond altogether. Once the door becomes unpredictable, check the opener to ascertain if it’s faulty and consider an upgrade if necessary. 

Why Should You Replace Your Garage Door Opener? 

The garage door makes your life easy — at least, that’s one of its primary purposes. The opener’s life span depends on several factors such as its usage, maintenance and overall durability. There are several reasons why replacing your old or damaged door is essential. These include:

  • Time is up: Garage door openers have a production date and an average timeline. The installation date is vital, too. If you have used your garage door opener for more than 15 years, replace it before it fails. 
  • Safety features: Newer models of garage door openers offer beneficial safety features. These include photo-eyes, also called electric eye safety systems, and sensors to enhance security, such as pin codes and smartphone control. Replacing your garage door openers keeps your household safer.
  • Burglary: Generally, older garage door openers are easier to breach. Older openers have fewer safety precautions and breach mechanisms than technologically advanced models. For instance, the newer models may send you notifications when they need repairs. 
  • Noise: As the engine loses its power and efficiency, the opener may start producing unusual sounds. New garage door openers are devoid of creaks and clangs, offering a more peaceful experience. 

How Do You Replace a Garage Door Opener? 

Installing a garage door opener correctly facilitates efficient and safe usage for many years. It’s helpful to employ the services of professionals to install the opener. There are many reasons to contact a professional when your garage door opener shows signs of failure, including:

  • Safety: You and your family’s safety is a top priority. Installing a garage door opener might require tasks that are unsafe for someone who isn’t experienced. To prevent injuries, call a professional to inspect and replace your garage door opener.
  • Tools: Working with garages requires special equipment and tools most people don’t have on hand, which is why it’s often easier to rely on a professional.
  • Cost: With parts, tools and the time it takes to complete the job, your do-it-yourself garage door opener installation may cost the same or more as a professional job.

Replace Your Garage Door Opener Today!

Garage door openers often show signs that warn you before they fail. Usually, they vibrate or produce unusual noise, or become unpredictable and slow. The door opener may also fail to respond altogether. 

Olympic Garage Door offers high-quality garage doors and openers from LiftMaster and Clopay. Contact us to take advantage of our affordable, personalized solutions.

Fixing An Unbalanced Garage Door

Fixing An Unbalanced Garage Door

Have you noticed that your garage door closes unevenly? Homeowners and business owners typically share this experience years after installing a new garage system, even without an uneven floor. 

If your garage door is not level when closed, it’s important to take steps to fix it. An unbalanced garage door can cause damage to your driveway, garage floor, vehicles or those who use the door regularly. Rest assured that Olympic Garage Door can help repair and maintain your garage door if this instance occurs. 

The most common cause of an unbalanced garage door is damage to the torsion spring. You can find these springs mounted inside the garage directly above the door. When they break, usually after years of service, the metal begins to wear down and the springs cannot properly open and close the garage door or only lowers one side. The cables may continue forcing the door to move, but the door will not be able to balance on the ground without the springs’ coiling and uncoiling functions.

How to Tell if a Garage Door Is Balanced

While a balanced garage door’s status is more evident from its ability to function properly with every use, there are many cases where a working door system will begin showing signs of deteriorating over time. Regularly check your garage door for signs of damage or wear to prevent this.

A promising sign your garage door is properly balanced is checking if you can still open it manually and automatically. If it can move up and down, the torsion springs are still functioning. The best indicator of a balanced garage door is checking if the bottom of the door is level with the ground. In some instances, the door will move, but the garage door closes unevenly. One side typically touches the ground before the other or rises higher when stationary. This uneven garage door issue can also result from damaged torsion springs. 

If you can confirm that the door is level, can move on command and can pass the balance test, your garage door is properly balanced. To ensure your garage door stays balanced, keep all door parts clean and free from obstruction. A damp cloth can wipe away any dirt or grime in the sensors, rails or hinges. A vacuum can help clean those hard-to-reach places above the door. For other maintenance services, we recommend contacting an expert to perform routine maintenance procedures to ensure everything goes smoothly. 

Conducting the Balance Test Step-By-Step

Conducting the Balance Test Step-By-Step

Testing the balance of a garage door at least twice a year ensures its condition is in top shape. We recommend testing your garage door before and after the winter season to make sure it’s strong enough to withstand heavy snow without moisture damaging the springs or cables. 

This simple movement test can let homeowners know if their garage door is appropriately balanced:

  1. Make sure the door is closed completely and remove any objects or people from the immediate area.
  2. Pull the red release rope hanging from the garage motor trolley. This rope will detach the garage door from the automatic opener. You can now open and close the door manually. 
  3. Lift the door by the bottom or hinges halfway off the ground and step away from the door. 

If there is minimal movement, your garage door is properly balanced. If the door shuts forcefully or opens the entire way, you may need to replace your torsion springs. 

If you suspect your garage door is unbalanced, you will most likely notice it visually or audibly. If your garage door is crooked, it could be the first indicator of an imbalance. Another option is to listen to how the door responds to an automatic opener. If you press the garage door button from inside the garage or through a remote, an unbalanced door may creak loudly or sound heavy as it slowly opens. Audible signs like this may accompany what seems like a level door. However, these noises may indicate the torsion springs are weakening or already breaking. 

Checking the springs can also tell you whether the garage door is unbalanced. The spring should stretch from the middle of the door to about halfway to the other side. Take notice of any withered metal within the spirals to tell if a spring broke. An obvious separation of the spring from the rest of the structure may prevent the door from moving properly. 

What to Do if Your Garage Door Is Unbalanced

Once you have finished conducting the balance test, evaluate what precautions you can take to ensure you and anyone using the garage remain safe. Consider these steps:

  • Keep the door stationary: If the springs cause the door to become stuck in an open or closed position, keep it in this stationary location. Forcing the garage door in a particular direction when the springs are not intact can permanently damage the door and any object around it. 
  • Prop the door open: If the door sits unevenly, place a heavy, solid object between it and the ground to ensure it doesn’t snap shut on something or someone passing underneath. 
  • Do not attempt to rebalance the door: Try not to move the door to balance the sides. This shift can cause the springs or cables to snap. If this happens, the door may open or close quickly, which can damage the door itself. Any movement or weight change on the door can cause the system to overload and stop working altogether. The best thing you can do is make sure the door is left alone with a solid object underneath until an expert can take a look. 

If you find the corresponding torsion springs no longer support the door’s weight or structure, call a garage door expert immediately. Do not try to repair this issue without the help of an experienced professional, or you risk injury or damages that could leave you with costlier repairs. 

Trust Olympic Garage Door to Fix Any Garage Door Issue

Trust Olympic Garage Door to Fix Any Garage Door Issue

Rest assured that repairing your garage door is no longer a chore. At Olympic Garage Door, our expert maintenance team is qualified to ensure top-of-the-line repair services to fix any garage door problem. Your garage door repair needs are our top priority. We offer professional advice during each inspection to aid in selecting the best services for your personal situation. We operate on a schedule that works best for you, so you can relax while we work our magic. 

Contact us today or visit our Port Angeles location for more quality care garage services.

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