How Automatic Garage Door Opener Systems Work

Nobody wants to come home on a rainy night to get out of the car just to lift open the garage door. This is already a thing of the past.  Automatic garage door openers make your home life easier. There’s no need to get soaked in the rain or open your garage door manually.

Do you know what goes inside this helpful home device? Every piece in the opener contributes to make the device work. To understand how a garage door opener works, read below its anatomy and processes.

Automatic Garage Door Opener
Photo www.ronmendell.com

The Anatomy

A garage door opener is composed of various working parts. The motor is usually responsible for the power of an opener. The most common openers have 1/2 HP motors that overcome the inertia of the door. It also slows down the door during transit and prevents it from crashing down to the floor.

The T-rail protects and guides the screw, belt, or chain as it moves in the system during operation. This also connects the operator to the trolley, which is connected to the door. The garage door opener’s height adjustment settings determine how far the door travels. The opener makes adjustments in case the door isn’t opening or closing properly. Most garage door openers use DC power to allow more power. An inverter switches the power from AC to DC. A backup battery, which is an optional addition, lets you use your opener even if there’s a power outage.

Drive mechanisms in the opener moves the trolley, which in turn lifts open the garage door. Different garage door openers have different drive mechanisms. The chain-drive system uses a metal chain that drives the trolley and moves the door. This is a common and affordable system, but tends to be noisy during operation. The belt drive is a quiet opener that uses a rubber belt to move the trolley. Lastly, the screw drive has a continuous threaded shaft that rotates and drives the trolley.

How it Works

The garage door opener works through a counter balance. It uses a certain force in order to offset the weight of the garage door. It has two types of systems: torsion spring system and the extension spring system. Both depend on springs to provide this necessary force.

The Torsion Spring System

Torsion springs are the most common spring system used by garage door openers. These are usually mounted horizontally above the door. As the door goes down, the cables attached to the bottom part of the door winds up the springs. This winding movement energizes the entire system. When the door is opened, the spring unwinds and the force is transferred to the door and lifts it up. The cycle is just the same during every operation of the garage door.

The Extension Spring System

This second type of system is where springs are used to lift the door. The extension springs are attached to the door’s bottom corners. Unlike the torsion springs that are being wound, the extension springs are being extended to lift the door.

How it Works with the Remote

The garage door opener remote works like a radio transmitter. The modern openers are like radios that work at 315MHz. Remotes send a signal to the opener, which has a built-in radio receiver. When the opener gets the signal, it activates and starts the motor.

Older garage door openers used simple transmitters and receivers. Usually, only one remote could open the garage door. However, when garage door openers started to become a common home device, this posed to be a problem.

Modern openers today already transmit a binary code. The receiver looks for the right binary code and only opens the door if it gets the correct one. To prevent security breaches, each time the remote control button is pressed a new code is generated. Both the transmitter and the receiver use this same system in generating new codes after each use.

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