Troubleshooting Your Electric Garage Door Opener

Posted:  Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 9:15am

What are the standard sizes of residential garage doors?

Standard sizes are whole width increments starting at 8' wide and going to 20' wide. Some door series have sizes smaller than that.  Standard heights are 7' and 8' tall. Odd-heights and odd-widths are also available and vary by individual door series.

I have a low ceiling in my garage. Will a garage door and opener work in this space?
Yes. A residential garage door requires a minimum of 4 1/2” of headroom space. Your garage door system may need a low-headroom track system or a low-headroom-torsion rear-track system. For a garage door opener, you will need slightly more headroom (about 6 1/2” minimum).

Do I need a lock on my garage door?
If an electric garage door opener has been installed on your door, it may not be necessary to have a lock. Newer electric openers function as the lock, making it improbable that an intruder would be able to lift your door from the outside. If you have an older opener, check to see if your door can be lifted from the outside. DASMA, the trade association for the garage door industry, discourages homeowners from attaching a lock when an opener has been installed, because too frequently, a child or other family member will accidentally lock the door. If someone then tries to open the door using the electric opener, the opener will pull against the lock causing the door to be damaged. If no opener is installed on your garage door, a lock is highly recommended.

What is the difference between the Belt and Chain drive garage door openers?
Chain Drive: rugged and reliable. Suitable for most garage doors.

Belt Drive: quiet and smooth performance. Ideal for garages adjacent to living areas.

WinsMor Garage Door Co., Inc. offers several LiftMaster Models with the most popular being:

LiftMaster 3255 1/2HP Chain Drive, Multi-Function Control Panel(1) Single-Button Remote Control, 4-Year Motor Warranty , Single Light 100 Watts Lens Cover

LiftMaster 8550 Elite Series® - DC Battery Backup Belt Drive, Smart Control Panel®, 3-Button
Premium Remote Control Lifetime motor and belt warranty, 5-year parts warranty,
1-year warranty on Battery Backup Battery, 2 Lights200 Watts Total2 Lens Covers CFL
Bulb-Compatible, Elite Series™ -DC Motor Belt with EverCharge®Smart Control Panel®3-Button
Premium Remote Control

How can I program a garage door opener to work with my HomeLink® system?
To program the HomeLink® transceiver, some vehicles may require the ignition to be turned on or the vehicle to be running. For additional garage door opener help, view the HomeLink® programming instructions.

Our garage door opener will not do anything at all when we push the button. What should we look for first?
The first thing that you should verify is that the opener is still plugged into the electric outlet. Secondly you should confirm that there is power coming out of the electric outlet or plug the opener into another outlet with a temporary extension cord. If there is power to the operator then there is some type of mechanical or electrical problem within the garage door opener itself and may need to be diagnosed by a qualified service technician.

The light comes on but the garage door opener will not open or close the door. What should we look at first?
If the light on the garage door opener comes on the opener is getting power and the problem would be in the electrical or mechanical workings of the opener. Be sure to unplug the operator before making any attempt to remove the motor head cover. To avoid the possibility of electrical shock have your garage door opener repair made by a knowledgeable service tech. If your garage door opener is more than ten years old you may want to consider replacing the garage door opener to one with the latest safety features.

Our garage door opener was working fine, but all of a sudden we have to hold the wall button down to get the door to close. How can we get the door opener to start working properly again?
It sounds like the photo-cell safety beams are blocked, misaligned, or malfunctioning. Move any objects that may be interfering with the signal and verify that the photo-cell LED lights are illuminated as per the manufacturer's instructions. (The photo-cells can not be permanently removed from garage door openers that were built since 1973).If the infrared beams are not blocked and the photo-cells appear that they are aligned, then contact your local garage door opener repairman to diagnose and repair the problem. You will not be able to close the door with the remote control transmitter until the photo-cells are in proper working order.

For answers to garage door or additional garage door opener questions not listed here, please contact us at 207-930-DOOR (3667) or by email at
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