September 13, 2019

Should you get a garage door opener that has a backup battery?

If you are someone who lives in an area where power outages happen, then you will undoubtedly want to make sure that you choose an opener that has a backup battery. Even if you don’t live in one of those areas, it is a good idea to have a backup battery.

Battery backup

Why are backup batteries important?

Do you need one? They really can be instrumental. In fact, on July 1, 2019, it became a requirement in the state of California for newly sold or installed garage door openers in residential homes to have a backup battery. Now, builders are required to abide by this law.

Why is this a law in California? Unfortunately, the answer is a tragic one. During terrible wildfires, there have been instances where people have become trapped in their garage because they were unable to open the garage door manually. This risk could be spreading to other parts of North America, as well. Temperatures continue to climb to unprecedented levels and rainfall has dropped in many areas. Combined with winds and low humidity, it creates fire conditions in many parts of the country.

It is quite likely that major garage door opener manufacturers like LiftMaster and Chamberlain will be increasing the number of openers they offer that have backup batteries. Even if you don’t live in California where this is now a requirement, you might find that it is a good idea to make sure that you are choosing an opener with a battery backup. It can be a huge benefit, and if you are using the garage door as a primary means of getting into the garage because there is no access door, it is a necessity.

Proper balance is essential

The garage door opener removes the need to lift your garage door manually. The weight of a garage door is typically around 125 lb. / 57 kg for a single door that's 9’ x 7’ and about 250 lb. / 114 kg for a double door that measures 16’ x 7’. Some doors will weight much more.

To lift this amount easily, doing so manually or you are using the opener, the spring system will have to counterbalance the weight of the door. It will drop the amount of weight of the door to feel as if it is between 8 lbs. and 10 lbs. (3 kg to 5 kg). You should be able to lift the weight without any trouble at all.

Double Garage Door Opener

However, if the door isn’t balanced right, opening the door will be a struggle. To determine if your door is adjusted correctly, you can pull down on the emergency release handle. Then take the lifting handle and try to lift the door. If it is not balanced correctly, you will strain to open the door, and it might not be able to be opened at all. Contact us as soon as possible if you find this to be the case. We will be able to take care of the problem for you. Keep in mind this is a check that you should do every couple of months to make sure that your garage door is still in good working shape and that you don’t need service.

The battery

The garage door battery is rechargeable. In some cases, it will be in the housing of the motor. Other times, it might be installed near the motor instead. The battery should store enough energy so that you can open and close the door about 20 times. If the battery is dead, it will take about 4.5 hours to recharge. The backup battery will also take care of running the photoeye reversal system when needed.

Which Models from LiftMaster Have Battery Backup?

Those who have Chamberlain and LiftMaster garage door openers will find that there will be a logo that indicates that it has battery backup. It will mean that there is a battery backup already in place, or that you can add one if needed. Keep in mind that if you are going to be getting a backup battery installed, the opener motor will need to be DC rather than AC.

  • Jackshaft Door Opener (8500W)
  • Belt-Drive Door Opener (WLED and 8550W)
  • Chain Drive Door Opener (8360W)
Belt-Drive opener Wled

Installing and integrating the backup battery tends to be rather easy, fortunately. When you have one of the newer doors, you will also find that it comes with MyQ technology.

And this will allow you to use your smartphone, tablet, or laptop to control your phone no matter where you might be in the world, which is a huge benefit. Door openers are quickly becoming a significant part of smart homes today.

Find Out More

Those who live in or near Mississauga or Georgetown will want to contact us right now. We understand the ins and outs of garage door openers better than anyone. We want to help you find the perfect device for your needs, and we want to make sure that you can still stay within your budget.

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