Saturday, August 30, 2014

The great garage door opener project...

The great garage door opener project...  I just finished installing two replacement garage door openers (our garage has two roll-up doors).  The old openers were 22 years old and practically falling apart.  I discovered this while prepping the garage for painting.  When I was up on a ladder, I could see down into the chain drive mechanism – and what I saw wasn't good.  I'm fairly certain that none of the moving parts that required lubrication had ever been lubricated.  Some chain links were worn right through, and all were loose and “rattly”.  I checked into replacement parts, and they would cost nearly as much as a new unit – so I opted for two new units, this time with quieter belt drives.

I got lucky on the doors – they are quite nice quality, with sealed ball bearings in the wheels and in the torsion spring assembly.  The hinges and wheel brackets needed lubrication, as did the torsion springs, but everything else was in great shape.

I'd never installed a garage door opener before, so this was a learning experience for me.  It was actually pretty easy; the instructions were very clear and complete.  The old openers' wiring had been installed by stapling it to the ceiling and walls, which was quite ugly and also vulnerable to an accident (shovel handle, rake, etc.).  So I tore out all the existing wiring, spackled up the staple holes, and installed all new wiring inside of 1/2" PVC pipe hung from properly fastened conduit hangers (also PVC).  Then I primed and painted the pipes to match the garage walls and ceiling.  The result is, I think, much better looking than the stapled wire – and it is certainly more resistant to any physical abuse I might give it!

Some photos:

Wiring is inside the pipes
Wiring detail, photo sensor
Chain drive mechanism
Wiring detail, motor unit
Motor unit from above

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