September 13, 2019

Is a backup battery necessary for my garage door opener?

The necessity of a backup battery is dependent upon a number of factors. However, the more important aspect is that anyone can benefit from a garage door opener that has a backup power supply.

Let’s dig a little deeper to help you understand just why it is such a good investment to choose an opener system with a a backup battery.

Battery backup

It starts with California…

As of September 2018, California had signed a bill into law that changed regulations for residential garage door openers. Effective July 2019, all new residential openers sold and installed in the state have to include a backup battery for safety.

California has been the victim of a number of wildfires in recent years and they only seem to be getting more severe. In fact, a number of victims of the 2017 and 2018 fires ended up being trapped in their homes because they did not have a backup battery on their garage door and had no other way out.

It’s not just California, either. Climate change is changing temperate zones, causing less rain, and leading to extremely high temperatures. This, combined with increasing winds can turn a lot of areas into a tinderbox, expanding the wildfire risk well beyond the state of California.

Fortunately, California is so highly populated that many of the major garage door opener companies are going to respond in kind, including LiftMaster and Chamberlain. As time goes on, the number of available products with battery backup is only going to increase. You’ll notice these batteries either in or near the motor housing.

A backup battery is only necessary if you have no other way to get out of the garage. Typically, this happens in the large commercial garages of apartments and condo complexes.

Make sure your door is balanced

If your door isn’t balanced, your battery backup (and regular opener) won’t work like it should. Your garage door opener is only replacing what you should be able to do by hand, after all, so keeping the door properly balanced is a must. Single garage doors (9 ft. x 7 ft.) usually weigh around 125 pounds or 57 kilograms. If you have a double door, it can weigh as much as 250 pounds or more.

When you lift the door manually, it doesn’t feel that heavy at all. It actually only feels like 8-10 pounds, rather than the hundreds that it actually should be. The spring system on the door counterbalances the weight and makes it easy to operate.

Double Garage Door Opener

It isn’t hard to check your garage door for balance occasionally, and it is important for you to do for a number of reasons. Start by pulling the red emergency cord that releases the door from the opener system. Then, use one hand to lift the door. If it feels like it takes any serious effort, you probably have an issue. Give us a call for assistance as soon as possible.

This is good to check every couple of months, and more frequently if you use the door more often.

Get to know your battery backup

The backup power supplies provided for garage door openers act a lot like any other rechargeable battery. With LiftMaster and Chamberlain models, the battery will either be located in the motor housing or right on the outside of it. These batteries hold enough power so that you can use the door about 20 times on a single charge. A full charge takes about four and a half hours. The best thing is that your safety reversal system will stay connected to the system and operate on battery power.

Battery backup

Available LiftMaster models with backup power

If you have a newer Chamberlain or LiftMaster door opener, you might already have a battery backup or the adaptability for it. If you check on the motor housing, there will be a logo that indicates a battery backup is either already installed on the unit or that one can be added. If you’re going to consider this, you’ll have to have an opener with a DC, or direct current, motor.

Belt-Drive opener Wled

The Jackshaft 8500W is available with battery backup, as is the WLED belt-drive model. The 8550W belt-drive model and the 8360W chain-drive opener also have backup power integration.

If you’re thinking about installing a system with battery backup, you’ll be pleased to know it comes with another perk. There are a number of models that also include the MyQ technology from LiftMaster that incorporate home automation connectivity. This gives you the tools to manage and operate your door from anywhere.

Battery backup

Ready to learn more?

If you are in the Toronto and Mississauga area, call us today. We know all about garage door openers and battery backup and can help you find the best solutions for your home. Contact us today to learn more.

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