Automating Existing Garage Doors

The thought of simple pressing a small button on a hand held transmiter to open and close your garage door can be very appealing, especially if you have a larger than normal single width or a double width garage door of the older one piece up and over type. You do need to genuinely be Geoff Capes to open many older garage doors and quite often need to run away fast when the door closes as it slams down to the closed position. We started our business in 1985 by simply automating existing garage doors and soon learned you cannot just make any old garage door remote control by installing an operator and you have to consider serious upgrades to the operating gear in many cases in order to make the geometry work.

Nowadays of course with enormous advances in technology and manufacturing processes it is quite often easier to just rip old doors out and start again from scratch, however we would never argue with the benefits of automating a perfectly serviceable existing garage door and here are some tips to make sure it is taken seriously: Automating any existing garage door should be perfectly possible with a few exceptions on older one piece garage door models with very odd spring and gearing arrangements. What you should be careful of however is not to assume the electric operator is going to help with either a worn out or badly fitted garage door, both of which will be heavy to operate as they are usually not balanced correctly.

An electric garage door operator should offer standard safety features which ensure the garage door will stop if an obstruction is met during its operation and reverse to prevent damage to the obstacle or door itself. This safety feature is built into all CE compliant modern electric operators and relies upon the garage door being properly balanced as a manual door so the safety reverse feature does not receive false readings due to 'heavy' or 'sticky' spots in the doors operation. This will give you a remote control door that keeps stopping for no apparent reason and defeat the object of door automation - convenience. For roller shutter doors the regulations are even clearer with a bottom edge safety sensor required to stop the roller shutter at any point during closing.

Beware of any electric operator that does not have an auto reverse facility and ideally it should reverse if it meets an obstruction when opening as well, such as a car parked in front of the closed door. A simple rule of thumb with a lot of garage doors is to stand inside and pull from the top of the door (once the door has balanced springs) and and see if you can open the door fully without too much resistance.

On a canopy door for example you will get about two thirds open and find it sticks solid as the door panel requires a push from the bottom of the panel to complete the movement and this is what a 'canopy door bow arm converter' will do. For sectional garage doors they can all be automated by the very nature of their simple and consistent operation method. For roller garage doors, most can be automated but some types do require some serious amendments which can be costly.

The Garage Door Centre has automated thousands of garage doors since 1985 most of which will still be working today, so if you want to make your existing garage door into a remote control dream machine give us a call today.

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