Known as the Door Operator Guru, Roy Bardowell is one of the most respected and knowledgeable men in the garage door and operator industry. His special passion for residential garage door, commercial door and gate operators leaves an impression on everyone he meets. Roy's training sessions at IDA Expos are always the one of the most widely attended sessions. He has been recognized by IDEA with the "Commitment to Excellence Award" and is an IDEA Certified Door Dealer Consultant. Roy joined Guardian in 2012 and is currently on a medical leave of absence. We hope that you find Roy's articles informative and entertaining. Feel free to leave your comments for Roy.
By Roy Bardowell, CDDC
On hollow metal doors it is best to install a structural angle or an ARB bracket so the operator has a strong point to lift the door from. Actually the ARB bracket should be provided on every steel door. Make it a habit! At minimum you should supply a 21 inch piece of punched angle and screw it vertically from the center hinge to the top section. Homeowners who install their own operator usually forget this important item and their door starts to bend and will crack in time. Always have an ARB door bracket with you in case you visit a garage with a damaged top section.
Most operator motor heads are 10 inches wide. If your new operator head is around the same width it may line up with the support angles already bolted to the ceiling saving you time on the installation.
The overall length of an operator and rail for a seven foot high door will be approximately 124 inches long. This can vary by manufacturer, but it will only vary by a few inches.
If you want to electrically operate a door over 7 feet high you will need to use the rail for the next length up (8’). This must be observed even if the door is only 3 inches over seven feet high.
Operators with dual lighting on the sides are superior to the one light in your face when you drive into a garage at night. After-all you really want to provide light here people exit the car and walk.
On a sectional door the curved arm connects to the door bracket, but on a one-piece door the straight arm connects to the door bracket and the curved arm connects to the trolley. With sectional doors set the down limit so the straight arm is angled slightly back toward the motor head when the door is closed. With your left shoulder next to the door the straight arm should point at 1 o’clock and no more. Pointing it more will cause you to lose power at start.
So garage doors that are slightly higher than 7 feet need an operator rail for a 8 foot door. Price and plan the job accordingly. A nine foot high door needs the rail for a 10 foot door. Consult the factory if not sure.
Chain drives are strongest and the most durable. Belts are quieter, but weaker than chain, and more expensive.
Screw drives are less efficient than chain or belt drives. They are inefficient because of the extreme friction produced. This is why screw trolleys continuously fail or wear out.
Remotes and wireless keypads transmit on low power RF which stands for radio frequency. And must be approved by the rules and regulations of the FCC (Federal communications commission under CFR 47 article 15)
47 C.F.R. 15.5 contains a general provision that devices may not cause interference and must accept interference from other sources. It also prohibits the operation of devices once the operator is notified by the FCC that the device is causing interference.
Basically article 15 says our remotes cannot produce any interference that may affect other wireless devices, but must accept interference from other RF transmitters. It is due to this standard we sometimes have interference in our radio devices. It is a federal rule!
When you attach the red release handle to the trolley, ensure the handle or knob is only 72 inches from the floor so children can reach it.
Make sure all wires are secured well and not breached by a staple. Shorted wires are a common issue. If the homeowner claims the door has opened on its own, check the wires; most of the time the problem will be a short circuit from a staple. On dry days everything will be fine then after a rain storm, the humidity goes up and the damp staple shorts the circuit. You should also inspect the wires behind the pushbutton. If you come across an old fashion key switch you should convince the homeowner it compromises their security and offer the more secure keypad.
Remotes on visors also compromise security. In warmer climates people sometimes leave the car window open a few inches where someone can reach in and steal the remote or walk up to a car parked in the driveway and press on the remote button with a stick and open the garage door.
The best way to prevent this and enhance their security is to upgrade the customer to mini key chain remotes. Then the mini remote goes with the person’s keys in their pocket or purse and typically brought inside the home every night.
Roy Bardowell, CDDC joined Guardian Access & Door Hardware in 2012 as Operations Manager and is currently on a medical leave of absence. He has been in the door and operator industry since 1973 and is known as one of the industry’s most experienced operator technicians and trainers. Contact him at email@example.com