The top 5 reasons to replace your old garage door opener involve both safety and performance. As a general rule of thumb, older garage door openers should be replaced if repair costs are over half of the original value. In other words, don’t let old garage door openers turn into money pits. All machines manufactured prior to 1993 without photo eyes should be replace at the first sign of damage.The decision on whether to repair or replace your old garage door opener can be difficult, but is best made based on economics.
Old garage door openers tend to be noisy. Worn parts on operators tend to vibrate and rattle during operation. Lubricating your garage door operator chain can reduce the noise. Rails are often made up of multiple pieces that connect together. Consider purchasing a solid one piece rail to reduce vibration and noise. Belt drive and side-mount jackshaft garage door openers are always more quiet than chain and screw drive openers.
Old garage door openers are a safety hazard. Up until 1993 garage door operators were not required to have safety sensors to protect against entrapment. Without photo eyes children and pets run the risk of being crushed under the door. Make sure you have external photo eye sensors installed in the correct location of your door to protect against accidental entrapment. All motors needing repair manufactured before 1993 should be replaced.
New garage door openers offer greater range, reliability and safety. New features like battery backup and MyQ smart phone technology offer increased convenience. This new technology allows homeowners the ability to operate their garage door from anywhere in the world with cell phone or wifi service. These openers also have wall controls that can be set to automatically close your garage door after a selected time interval. New belt drive openers are much quieter while side mount jackshaft motors help free up the space above the door in the open position.
Safety & Security Features
New operators must be sold with entrapment protection devices. This consists of constant pressure to close or photo eye sensors installed near the bottom of the door. Any machine manufactured after 1993 must utilize photo eye safety sensors or constant pressure to close. Operators have a J arm which locks the door closed , while side mount openers have a lock kit to bolt into the track. Liftmaster’s MyQ technology allows the homeowner to operate the door from anywhere in the world with a WIFI connection.
Pouring money into an old garage door opener is foolish – especially on system manufactured before 1993. These systems didn’t utilize entrapment protection devices like safety sensors. Judging the cost effectiveness of repair over replacement can be tricky, but generally machines over 15 years old should be replaced. This is especially the case if you have to hire a repairman. New belt drive operators come with long warranties and even lifetime warranties on some parts. Professional and elite series machines last longer than old box store bought units.
I write tutorials about garage door repair, installation and maintenance. With over a decade of experience in the overhead door industry I’ve learned a lot and I’d like to share my knowledge with you.