A Buyers Guide to Automatic Garage Door Openers
As buying a garage door operator is a long term investment there are a number of important points
that should be considered. The following notes explain the facts, terminology & features :-
|What Drive System ? - screw, chain or belt drive|
Advances in chain drive technology have driven the noisy but once popular screw-driven operator from popularity in the UK. Modern chain driven operators are extremely quiet and have the added ruggedness & strength advantage a chain offers over units driven by a plastic belt as currently offered by some manufacturers.
Most modern door operators feature a fairly efficient low voltage DC motor but the amount of power consumed while the door is in motion is of little consequence as the motor only runs for a about 15 seconds to operate the door, the important figure here is how much energy the unit consumes during the remaining 99.9% of the time while the unit is in standby ! Operators with low energy toroid type transformers offer considerable savings in running costs due to the improved efficiency of toroidal transformers. This can amount to a considerable saving over the lifetime of the operator !
Choose an operator capable of lifting in excess of the force required to move the door so that the machine is not constantly working at the limits of its capabilities. It is most important that the door is properly balanced. To check this open the door half way by hand and let go, if it sinks the door is 'under sprung' and requires attention. As a general rule a motor rated at around 45kgs pulling force is adequate for doors up to 8' wide, while a unit capable of 60kgs or more is recommended on larger doors.
|Soft start & soft stop|
This concept was originally developed to reduce stress on the door and drive mechanism by gently accelerating the motor to full speed in a controlled manner to improve reliability. Soft start & soft stop motors are therefore particularly beneficial on heavy doors but do also offer the added luxury of very quiet & gentle closure, a feature of great importance regardless of door size, on integral garages where the family sleep above.
This is obviously of great importance, a garage door is a large heavy object and you want the motor to stop immediately if the door is obstructed. Recent changes in safety regulations require that door operators which don't incorporate a self-learning safety protection system be fitted with an additional 'break-beam' safety device or a pressure sensitive safety sensor switch across the lower edge of the door, these extra devices can involve considerable cost so choose an operator with an effective self-learning safety stop system that can automatically learn and memorize the precise operating characteristics of your door and stop the motor immediately if an obstruction is detected, this will ensure the highest possible level of safety for your family & pets whilst saving money & installation time.
|Wall mounted push-button|
If you have an integral garage with direct access to the house, a wall mounted push-button is likely to get as much use as the remote control. Its worth checking that a good quality push-button is included, an internal wall control switch is regarded by many manufacturers as an optional accessory at extra cost.
|External emergency release|
If your garage has no alternative pedestrian access door an emergency release device will be required to allow manual operation of the door in case of power failure. Most garage door operators require an additional lock to be purchased separately & fitted into the door to enable it to be opened manually from outside, these additional locks are unsightly, very fiddly to use and can result in reduced security. A well designed electric operator will have a cable operated manual release system which can be connected to the door's original locking handle to provide 'simple to use' manual operation in the event of a power failure.
Access is by coded radio control signal but operators with an anti-scan 'rolling code' remote control systems offer the ultimate in security by eliminating 'code grabbing' (copying and duplicating the security code) An electric garage door operators hold will the door securely shut at the top when closed but if security is an important issue a device such as our patented 'Securi-Dor' automatic locking system can be fitted to automatically engage the door's original manual side latches after the door has closed to provide secure multi-point locking.
Look for a totally maintenance free operator, units with self adjusting drive tensioner's can eliminate the need for costly service calls.
Remote controlled operator guarantee's range from 1 - 5 years. As a general rule the longer the guarantee the more confidence the manufacturer has in their product.
|Availability of spare parts|
You'll rely on the product for many years so make sure you choose a manufacturer that will continue to provide a full range of spare parts long after the product has ceased production such as Seip Antriebs Technik. Sadly most other manufacturers will leave you with no alternative than to scrap and replace the entire machine if a minor component fails outside the warrantee period.
You want your garage door opener to give years of trouble-free service but this largely depends on the build quality and design of the product. Having specialised in garage door automation over twenty years Amourelle Ltd have found one operator manufacturer to be the clear leader in terms of outstanding quality, design and refinement - at a below average price ! - this being German manufacturer Seip Antriebs Technik
Don't just take our word for it ! - Read what ours customers say !
|I placed an order for a Seip TS75 around 12.00 noon & received confirmation about an hour later. It arrived the following morning, and was mostly fitted by the afternoon. Fitting completed the next day, and it has now been working perfectly for five days. I am very impressed with it's robust construction and efficiency. I am so pleased I found Amourelle on the web, and was able to replace my old inefficient operator so quickly. A very good service! |
Ernie Ford, New Romney, Kent.
| ||I have just finished installing a Seip TS75 garage door operator to my Hormann double door this very morning. I did the whole job myself in a couple of evenings including the installation of the Securi-Dor AP2000 automatic security locking device. (with Nick's help in 2 or 3 phone calls) Amourelle provide a first class service with great attention to detail. Well done !|
Nick Rosenberg, Bexhill-on-Sea, E. Sussex
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