How Does a Garage Door Opener Work?

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  • Pressing the remote control on your car visor to open the garage door can be taken for granted. The technology involved is actually fascinating when you take into account all that occurs. Also if you realize that you may be able to open other garage doors on your block with your remote, you may be inviting unwanted visitors to your home.

The Basic Mechanics of Garage Door Openers

  • All garage door openers operate on the same mechanical principle. An electric motor is energized through a dual set of motor contactors. These motor contactors turn the motor on in a clockwise direction to raise the door. Then it goes in a counterclockwise direction to close the door. The "off" sequence is performed by small limit switches that are positioned or tuned to accurately open and close the door. A long bicycle type chain then translates the rotational motion of the motor to raise or lower the door. The limit switches are generally placed along the upper edge of the chain track .

Safety Features

  • Some garage door openers also have a photo eye that is placed in the jamb of the garage door. The height is placed as such that when in the closing mode, the door will immediately open in case an object is in the way of the lowering door. These safety features are a must with any one who has small children or pets. This feature will also save the car from damage if it is not pulled all the way into a garage. A safety breakaway rope is generally a good idea to keep installed on the chain drive of the door opener. This will allow you to manually open or close your door in case the power goes out or the motor unit fails to operate.

The Remote Control

  • The remote control uses a radio frequency of a very low power to control the door. This is a one-time signal that energizes the motor contactors to either raise or lower the door. Inside the remote control, you will see there are a series of small switches that can be either turned on or off. A corresponding set of switches are placed on the garage opener itself. These switches must correspond with each other in order to operate correctly. If your remote opens other doors in your neighborhood, you may want to change the frequency setting so as not to invite unwanted openings and closings of your door.

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