Every year about this time we see a sharp increase in the number of drive gear and sprocket failures in garage door openers. We have customers asking "Can I get just the large plastic gear by itself?" Most of these customers have seen "cheap" aftermarket gears on the internet. Many of these gears are made in Venezuela or other aftermarket sources and include just the large gear and not the drive gear on the motor shaft. These will work for awhile but if put any value on your time you should always change both gears at the same time and be sure to lubricate them well.
Garage Door Co Repair Pros has received the pdf versions of the new Liftmaster 8355 model literature and owners manual. These are both available on our website at www.gdcorp.com Literature is available on our home page and the manual is on the instructions page (click the link near the top of our home page). We expect stock on the new model next week and still have some model 3280 belt drive openers for sale. See our previous post about the additions and changes for this new model.
The recent flooding in the Chicago area (especially near our Park Ridge, IL office) has damaged many garage door safety eyes (aka ir sensors). These sensors are mounted on both sides of the garage door opening and within 6 inches of the floor. All openers manufactured after 01/2003 are required to have these sensors per UL325. They are designed to reduce entrapment risks by sending an infrared light beam from one side of the garage opening to the other. If the sensors are not working properly then the garage door opener will NOT close from a remote control.
This week many of are customers in the Chicago area are on spring break. If you are going to be out of town and NOT using your garage door you may consider unplugging the motor unit from the outlet on the ceiling in the garage. This will prevent anyone from using the garage door in your absence. You can also use the mechanical slide lock on the inside of your garage door (if equipped) to act as a deadbolt lock. Be sure that you disconnect the power before using the manual lock to prevent damage to the door or garage door opener upon your return if you forget that you locked the door.
The new Liftmaster myQ opener models 8550 & 8360 and the Chamberlain and Craftsman DIY models maybe controlled by a smartphone. This feature is part of the internet gateway option (requires an annual subscription of $14.95/year). The first year of the subscription is included with the purchase. Today an update was available for Android devices. This update cannot be installed since it has an invalid code signing signature per Google.
A massive power outage has hit the Chicago and suburban areas due to the storms last night. We are already getting the panic calls from those who cannot figure out how to get out of their garage. All garage door openers sold in the U.S. since the 1970's MUST have a manual release by UL requirement. This is usually a red string (a chain on some old units) located near the connection of the garage door opener arm to the garage door. In openers made after 1982 you simply pull down on the release sting and lift the door manually.
In order to prevent damage (rusting) caused by foreign matter adhering to the garage door, the door should be cleaned at least twice a year (normal environments) or 4 times a year (coastal environments). The garage door may need to be cleaned more frequently if road salt accumulates in a winter climate. The garage door should be wiped down with a mild household detergent and rinsed with clear water.
Note: Be sure to clean behind stop molding on the sides and top of the door.
Is your garage door wall control panel mounted five feet above the floor?
SAFETY TIP: Children playing with the garage door wall control panels of your automatic garage door opener can lead to accidents that might cause either personal injury or property damage. We recommend that you educate your child about the potential dangers of playing with the wall control panel. As an added safety measure, we recommend mounting your garage door wall control panel at least five feet above the floor, out of the reach of young children.
Have you checked the spring on your garage door ?
SAFETY TIP: Beware of old springs. Keep in mind that garage door springs are tightly wound and under high tension. Eventually, all springs will wear out and break. A breaking spring that is not properly contained could lash out and strike property or people. If you have an older garage door, be certain your springs are inspected and replaced by a professional installer if needed. If your door has two springs, replace both, even if one is not broken.
Are there any frayed or worn strips hanging loose from the spring system of your garage door?
SAFETY TIP: If the cables that attach from the spring system to the bottom bracket on either side of your garage door have frayed or worn strips hanging loose, your cables are in danger of breaking, which could cause serious injury or property damage. Have the cables inspected immediately by a trained professional who is aware of the potential dangers from spring tension.