Signs That You Need to Replace Your Garage Door Opener

Garage door openers are incredibly valuable property features. With these innovative yet simple devices, you can open and close a garage door at the touch of a button. There’s no need to manually open and close the door, making leaving and returning home safer and more convenient. For most homeowners, the garage door acts as a home’s main entrance and exit. 

While openers can last quite a few years and don’t require much maintenance, there are times when you will need to replace this component.

If a garage door opener fails, the door can cause immense and costly damage to a property and the vehicle that may be trying to enter or exit through the door. 

So, what are the signs that you need to replace your garage door opener?

How Long Do Garage Door Openers Last?

A quality new garage door opener should last at least 10 years. For example, a Chamberlain garage door opener lasts 10-15 years, while a Liftmaster garage door opener lasts about 15-20 years. However, this depends on the specific model and several other factors. 

The age of the component, its condition and the condition of the garage door, general wear and tear, maintenance of all parts and other factors will determine how long the opener can last. For example, an opener that needs to lift an unbalanced garage door will experience a lot more wear and tear and have a much shorter life span. At the same time, older garage door openers that are used excessively will need replacement sooner than an opener used less frequently.

Moreover, a garage door opener remote can also last about 10 years, although you must routinely replace the batteries.

How to Extend The Life of Your Garage Door Opener

Instead of waiting until your garage door opener malfunctions and damages your property, prioritizing ongoing maintenance and the upkeep of all working parts can prevent this and extend the component’s life span. It’s often helpful to know the functional parts of the opener and their life spans.

Garage door openers typically work with the following parts:

  • Rollers: The rollers are essential to moving the door up and down. Rollers are made from various materials, although steel, nylon and plastic are the most common materials. Plastic rollers have shorter life spans, steel rollers that use ball bearings last about 10-15 years, and nylon roller parts can last up to 20 years. 
  • Tracks: The tracks hold the rollers and guide the door up and down. This part ensures a garage door can open and close smoothly. But if the tracks are poorly maintained, warped or damaged in another way, the door will open and close with jerking movements.
  • Springs: The door’s springs ensure the door is balanced while moving. If the springs are damaged, the door will endure severe wear and tear and the opener may not work. Even so, garage door springs should last about seven years. 
  • Cables: The cables keep the door in motion on the tracks. If the cables are frayed or damaged in another way, the garage door can run off track and cause severe property damage. These cables usually last between eight and 10 years. 

Track the age of each working part, and ensure each part is properly lubricated. If parts are not lubricated sufficiently, the opener will have to work much harder to keep the door on track while in motion, eventually leading to damage. Even the slightest increase in strain on working parts can shorten the opener’s life span by several years. 

How to Troubleshoot a Garage Door Opener That Is Barely Working

Beyond understanding the different working parts and their life spans, it’s also beneficial to know how to troubleshoot issues. You’ll be able to identify problems sooner and fix them before they worsen. Here are some tips for garage door opener troubleshooting:

  • Noisy operation: While garage door openers are known to make some noise, if you notice a new or louder sound coming from the opener during operation, it’s wise to reach out to a technician. A loud or unusual noise often indicates an opener is due for replacement. 
  • Slow movement: An opener might struggle to move the garage door for various reasons. Sometimes, the rollers and tracks need lubrication. Other times, you might need to contact a technician to diagnose the problem as the opener itself might be damaged. 
  • Unreliable or jerky movement: If the door doesn’t open or close all the way or gets stuck halfway and then resumes to usual operation a few minutes later, the opener is due for repair or replacement.
  • Failure to open or close: A garage door opener can fail for several reasons. Some issues may be easy to fix, such as if the sensor tripped, the door is locked or the opener is disconnected from the power source. However, it’s best to consult an expert if the tracks need straightening or the spring is damaged.

If you are experiencing any of these common problems, it’s worthwhile to lubricate the working parts and contact a professional technician if this effort doesn’t yield results.

The Importance of Professional Repair and Replacement

Even though garage door openers are fairly straightforward devices with few working parts, it’s not recommended to attempt repairing the device yourself. A professional technician can diagnose, repair or replace the device quickly. Doing so yourself may lead to property damages, and because garage doors are incredibly heavy, you will also need to consider the safety risks involved.

An experienced technician will find cost-effective solutions to get your garage door running smoothly again. And you will benefit from repair warranties when relying on a professional.

If you need a complete garage door opener replacement, professional garage door opener installation is quicker and safer than trying to do it on your own.

Contact Viking Overhead to Repair or Replace Your Garage Door Opener

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