September 13, 2019

Does your garage door opener really need a backup battery?

Needing versus requiring is the focus of this article. In other words, do you require or do you need a backup battery for your garage door opener? If you live in California, you require a backup battery. If you live anywhere else, you may think you do not need or require one, but you’d be wrong.

Battery backup

Why should you invest in a backup battery?

As of July 1, 2019, the state of California made it a requirement for newly sold or installed residential garage door openers to feature a backup battery. This requirement means all home builders, contractors, and other housing industry professionals must install backup battery systems.

Why? It began with horrible wildfires over the past few years and deaths that were the result of homeowners being trapped inside of garages, unable to lift garage doors that were not properly balanced. Had the door openers had electrical service at the time the call to evacuate came, many would have survived.

Such risks exist everywhere, however, and are anticipated to increase with climate change’s impact on rain, wind, and weather.

Keep in mind that a backup battery becomes is also vital if the only access to the garage is through the garage door, which is often the case with exterior garages found at apartment or condo high-rises.

Because of California’s mandate, though, many garage door opener manufacturers, like LiftMaster and Chamberlain, are expanding options for products with backup batteries integrated with the motor housing or attached next to the motor.

What’s a balanced garage door?

We just mentioned the problems faced by people without electricity and with improperly balanced garage doors. An electric garage door opener is designed to replace manual lifting of the door, whether there is a power outage or not.

It might shock you to learn that a metal garage door typically weighs 125 lb. / 57 kg for a single door (9 x 7 ft.) or 250 lb. / 114 kg for a double door (16 x 7 ft.). Solid wood doors are far heavier! The total weight includes the door sections and hardware such as rollers, hinges, windows, and reinforcement struts.

The door’s spring system acts as a counterbalance to the weight, reducing it to no more than 8 to 10 lb. (3 to 5 kg) and allowing anyone to lift a door quickly.

Double Garage Door Opener

So, how can you determine if your garage door is balanced correctly? Follow these simple steps:

  • Disengage the garage door opener by pulling down on the emergency release handle
  • Grab the lift handle and slowly pull up on the door
  • Should you strain while doing this, you’ve found the problem

Contact us right away for us to straighten everything out. Perform this test every two months, and even more frequently when you use your garage door more than five times a day.

What about those batteries?

Does the idea of managing a backup battery make you nervous? It shouldn’t. Just like any rechargeable battery, the battery in your Chamberlain or LiftMaster door opener is integrated with the housing of the motor or installed near it. Every battery holds enough juice to open and close the garage door twenty times or more. Recharging takes only 4 ½ hours.

Battery backup

And even the safety reverse systems (e.g. the photoeye reversal system) connected to the door opener gets power from the backup battery, increasing safety levels!

What are your current choices?

For owners of newer Chamberlain or LiftMaster systems, you can check for a Battery Backup logo. If it is there, you already have a door opener with an emergency battery backup or one that can be easily upgraded. Remember, to install or integrate a backup battery; the opener motor must be a DC (Direct Current) and not an AC (Alternating Current) type. The following are some of your best options on the market:

Belt-Drive opener Wled

It is remarkably easy to install or integrate a backup battery, and you can then enjoy LiftMaster’s latest technology, MyQ. It allows you to open and close your garage door from your smartphone, tablet or laptop, anywhere in the world.

Battery backup

Eager to hear more?

If you live in Serving Eastern MA and Rhode Island, then contact us right now! We know garage door openers inside out and are here to ensure you choose the best system while respecting your needs and budget.

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