View Full Version : Garage Door Opener Recommendations

Tony Sade
01-11-2011, 3:00 PM
I have to replace a garage door opener on a single bay door, and I'm leaning to a belt drive model as I understand those tend to be quieter. Any suggestions? I probably can't afford the high end stuff, but I'm willing to spend more than I did for the Sears model that's being replaced (which lasted 18 years).

I have a feeling that the (long, coil) springs on the door have seen better days--would it make sense to replace those as well? I assume that weaker springs make the opener work harder. Is that a DYI type of thing (for which I don't have to don a suit of armor) or should I hire a professional for that piece?


Rick Huelsbeck
01-11-2011, 3:11 PM
I just put in a belt drive Chamberlain that I picked up at the Depot. It's belt Drive, 2 remotes, keypad for outside, and the indoor button has a motion detecter so when I open the garage door the light comes on. It is really quite, my girlfriend does not hear it when the tv is on upstairs. The cost was right at 200 because they have a similar one at lowes (does not have the motion senser) and my home depot matched the price of the lowes opener.

The model number is HD600D, and I had it up and working in about 2 hours by myself.

As to the springs I don't know as I have the large one over the door that helps with lifting. My girlfriend had the 2 like yours but I never had to mess with them. Looking at them I would attempt to do it, but thats me.

Harry Hagan
01-11-2011, 3:18 PM
Ive had very good service from the Chamberlain hp unit from Lowes. Its a belt drive and very quiet. Your springs should be adjustable if theyre weak. Lift your door manually to see how much effort it takes. If its easy for you it will be easy for the opener too. If the springs need adjusting Id recommend a professional undertake that task unless you have experience or feel adventurous.

Bill Edwards(2)
01-11-2011, 3:22 PM
Last year we installed a screw drive opener (and door) at my MIL's

It seems quiet and she likes it a lot.

(from Menards)

Wayne Hendrix
01-11-2011, 6:05 PM
The springs are easy to adjust, if you can swap out the opener you can easily adjust the springs. You shouldnt have to replace them jjust add a little more tension. My garage door wouldnt stay open so I added tension to the springs. I googled it and read several instructions on how to properly adjust them. Then I bought a 1/2X36" cold rolled steel bar from the hardware store and cut it in half to make two 18" long adjusting levers that fit into the adjusting holes on the springs. It was considerably easier than I though it would be; just be careful and you will be fine.

Frank Guerin
01-11-2011, 6:16 PM
For a one bay, one car door I just use the grunt one. If your talking cheap, light weight, no insolation then it's much faster than pushing a button and waiting and no real repair money. Of course this is my shop I'm talking about. For a vehicle there's nothing like pushing a button.

Jerome Stanek
01-11-2011, 8:06 PM
A properly adjusted door should stay half open not go up or down. I think you are talking about the stretch springs not the torsion ones they are very easy to adjust. Just open the door and push it a little higher and clamp it off and do your adjustment.

Larry Frank
01-11-2011, 9:45 PM
Treat the garage door springs with a great deal of care as they can bite really bad if they get loose or break. If you are careful, you can adjust them.

Tony Sade
01-12-2011, 9:26 AM
Thanks for the replies, and especially the instructions on how to adjust the springs, Jerome.

I got the Chamberlain 3/4 hp and put it together last night. I should be able to install it and adjust the springs tonight.

Again, thanks.

Tom Esh
01-12-2011, 11:33 AM
Unless they're really fatigued, coil tension springs can be adjusted by taking up slack in the cable. Check them carefully for corrosion and wear at the anchor points - that's usually where they eventually break. Whether you replace them or not, be sure to run a safety cable through them. Otherwise they can inflict sustantial damage to persons and property if/when they break.

Tony Sade
01-12-2011, 3:43 PM

Can you explain what you mean by a "safety cable"? I think I get the concept, something that prevents the spring or pieces of it from moving if it breaks, but I'm having a hard time thinking of what a cable that would be big enough to contain the spring at its most stretched point, without getting caught or drooping down when the door's up, would look like.


Edit--OK, I get it. As they say, Google is your friend. I'm pretty sure they're in place. (Not at home now.)

Charlie Jones
01-12-2011, 3:49 PM
I rebuilt my Lift Master recently. The plastic gears wear over time. According to my instructions the Lift Master, Sears, Chamberlain and many other brands are the same and made by Chamberlain.

Curt Harms
01-13-2011, 8:16 AM
A properly adjusted door should stay half open not go up or down. I think you are talking about the stretch springs not the torsion ones they are very easy to adjust. Just open the door and push it a little higher and clamp it off and do your adjustment.

I had to replace a frayed cable on the stretch type and it was no adventure. The door being open takes all the tension off the spring. The torsion type that winds does have a bit of a reputation as a widow maker to the unskilled. We have a screw type Stanley that while not all that quiet has been very reliable. (now watch it crap the bed today:o)

Bryan Morgan
01-14-2011, 3:51 PM
I've always used Genie screw drives. Never had to replace or repair them. :)