Garage Door Opener Basics – The Parts And How They All Work Together
Article by Andrew Stratton
Nowadays even the most technologically challenged folks on your street have an automatic garage door opener. Do you ever see anybody getting out of their car and lifting their garage doors? No way… but you do sometimes see somebody up on a ladder, swearing and attacking the thing with screwdrivers. The downside of technology is that sometimes it breaks.
That’s why it’s good to know how it all works. You sometimes have to replace parts, and if you don’t know what does what, this can be a real challenge. Let’s dissect your garage door opener and get it all sorted out.
The Power Head
This is the main brain of the whole operation. It’s a metal or plastic box that is installed usually on the ceiling in the center of the garage. It’s attached to the main track on openers where the track runs down the middle.
It’s called the “power head” because it has the motor and the receiver. It operates the whole system. When you hit that remote control button, it’s the power head that knows what to do. Most power heads have a light installed underneath.
When there is trouble with the motor, it can usually be fixed by removing the box and having a look inside. It will have a quick release switch that will disconnect the whole system and allow you to get in there.
The Track And Carriage
You’ve probably seen how this works. After you hit the button, a carriage makes its way down the tracks. The motor sends the carriage down a steel track along a set or rollers. As the carriage goes down, it releases the tension on the mechanism. When this tension is released, the whole thing comes up.
Sometimes there is trouble with the alignment of the carriage, the rollers on the track wearing out, or the track getting nudged out of place. These are by far the easiest door opener problems to fix.
Most models use springs, although there are some that are belt driven or use other devices. These babies are some seriously heavy springs. Think about it; if they can lift a garage door, they must have some real muscle to them.
There are two kinds: Extension springs and tension springs. Extension springs are used in models where two tracks run along the walls of the garage. These are used in single car garages, and they’re not as common as tension springs.
Tension springs models are used in two car garages. With these, one track runs down the middle of the garage, from the power head to the door. These coils are much heavier than extension springs, and they are very dangerous, so don’t mess with them. They are under lots and lots of pressure and coiled tightly. The tension coils are the one part that you don’t want to deal with yourself. If you have trouble there, call a professional.
The limit switch stops the doors when they’ve reached the end. All door openers are now equipped with infra red sensors that detect when an object is in the way, and the doors automatically stop, allowing you to play Indiana Jones by sliding under it with no risk of injury.
That’s how it all works. Most minor problems can be fixed by you, and you can find replacement parts at your local hardware store. If it’s anything serious, call a professional.
About the Author
Garage door openers in New Jersey stores are available in both 1/2 and 3/4 horsepower. Don’t know which of them is best suited for your garage door? Learn more here, http://www.aspengaragedoors.com