Learn Garage Door Basics from Automated Door Systems

If you had a garage without an electric opener, you probably remember what a fantastic change occurred once the opener was installed. It is doubtless that these devices make life easier…until they don’t. After all, they can run into trouble, and it is often at a time when we least need the hassle.

Designed to last many years, and rarely needing replacement, they do require service and upkeep. When they do reach the end of their life span, replacing them is the safest thing to do. Do you know how to do that? The first step is to call a garage door specialist, but before you do, use our list of terms and facts to help you get the best results.
Service calls will typically emphasize the garage door openers, and focus on replacing broken parts or adjusting certain components. That is what we’ll focus on below:
You may be surprised to learn that the majority of service call requests are related to the garage door opener or one of its accessories. Readjusting or replacing a broken part of the opener cover a good portion of the requests from consumers for garage door repairs.

The Garage Door Opener

To understand what your specialist is explaining, let’s look at common terms associated with door openers .


Your expert will talk about one of two common models. Either a chain drive (which, as you might guess, uses a metal chain) or the belt drive (which relies on a steel fibre reinforced belt) will be installed. The belt drives are the quietest.


A specialist will describe the type of door opener as AC (Alternating Current), which is the most common and affordable or as a DC (Direct Current) type that can have a backup battery and which opens in a way different from the AC. Usually the DC starts slow, goes a bit faster, and then slows again before stopping.

Level of Power

There are two kinds of HP (horsepower) in use – the ½ HP and ¾ HP. If your door is properly balanced, and weighs between 8 and 10 lb. (3.5 and 4.5 kg), you will not require more than the ½ HP.

The Trolley

Again, there are two options here – the one-piece trolley that is known to be very sturdy or the three piece that has to be fitted together. The trolley is responsible for pushing and pulling the door open and closed.

The Other Major Components

This is usually reserved to the gear system. Most door openers rely on gears made of rigid plastic that will work well for years. However, if the door is not balanced (which can be due to many issues) it will wear the gears and lead to trouble.

The Electronics

The most common electronic issue relates to the “logic board” that controls the motor and the safety features of the door. It is also what works with the automatic opening system. If this encounters a problem, it will need replacement.

Opener Accessories

In addition to the terms above, you will want to know about the opener accessories that a specialist might discuss with you.
Remote Controls
If you know that your remote control dates to before 1993, it is time to replace it. This is because it is a security risk as it does not use rolling code technology. This puts you at risk for theft of the code, which is fixed rather than generated new each time the opener is used.
Control Panels
Openers will have either a door control button or a more detailed panel near the main doorway into the house. The control is a nice option as it lets you shut down the use of remote controls for the garage door, and is helpful if you are away for a longer period.
Automatic Reversal Systems
Just as the remotes upgraded in 1993, so too did security on openers. It was then that they were all fitted with safety features that include a mechanical safety which shifts the system into reverse at the first sign of resistance, and a photoelectric system that uses sensors about 6″ (15 cm) from the floor. When their beams are broken, the door stops and reverses.
You will also want to know about some of the options becoming available:
Wi-Fi Connectivity 
As you might guess, this is to allow you to use an app to open, close and even monitor the usage of the door from anywhere and using a mobile device or computer.

Exterior Keypad

Different from a control panel, this mounts just outside of the garage and uses a PIN to let you manually activate the door. It is great for parents with kids who need to get in on their own but who you prefer not to have a key.

Laser Parking

If the tennis ball and string system is not your preferred approach, this will ensure foolproof parking.

Mini Remote

Why put yourself at risk with the remote stored in the car when you can opt for a keychain fob that does the trick!

Learn More

If you need more answers about garage door basics, just get in touch with us at (416) 239-7777. We are happy to send an email quotation or pay a visit to your property to help you learn more about door and opener options. You can also test out your favourite styles using our online design center, or steal a few ideas from our image gallery.

  • Jack Davis

    Great post ! Common basic terms regarding garage door openers like models, type and other major components are provided in simple language. It will give a brief idea to the people who want to go for automated garage doors… Visit–http://www.egaragesystems.com.au/

  • Roman Hamilton

    Just came across your blog and found to be a good resource on every thing related to garage doors, this article is one such great example. Many thanks!