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 was Operations Manager at Guardian until 2012. We hope that you find Roy's articles informative and entertaining. Feel free to leave your comments for Roy.

One-Piece Door Replacement

by Roy Bardowell, CDDC

One-piece doors have been around for many decades and have found a respectable home in California. I don’t have the numbers, but I firmly believe one-piece doors using Jamb type hardware can be found in 50% of homes in California.

Holmes Industries was once the largest producer of one-piece doors in Long Beach, California and had a monopoly on one piece door production for a long time. Back in the day, a one-piece door was known in other states as the California door. Holmes supplied most of the one –piece garage doors sold in California from 1960 to 1975. One-piece doors also found their way into homes in Oregon, Washington state, and many other regions in the Western USA and Western Canada.

From a production point of view, they were easy to build, easy to customize and easy to install. The only issue for installers was transporting the large heavy 16X7 foot wall which could weigh up to 400 pounds. The smarter installers used a small pick-up truck that had a lower rack than the full-sized pick-ups. This permitted an installer to back the truck with the heavy door on his rack into the garage, so the heavy door was in place for the installation. Even today when taking down a one-piece door, it is recommended and easier to lower the open door onto a smaller pick-up truck rack, then remove the spring, and jamb type hardware.

I first started doing garage door service in 1975 in Montreal, Canada and to my surprise I found many one-piece doors in Eastern Canada which is very far away from Southern California. These doors were mostly made from wood, which allowed me to use a circular saw to cut the door into smaller pieces which made them easier to carry to discard. The main difference on one-piece garage doors installed on the East coast, is they didn’t use the standard jamb hardware found in California. They would close off the opening in similar ways, but the counterbalancing was done differently.

One important feature exclusively found in one-piece Canadian made doors was the addition of a man door. Because the Canadian doors were better insulated, they were inherently heavier and thicker, so on these heavy Canadian doors the counterbalancing was accomplished with counterweights instead of a pair of huge extension springs which have their own safety issues.

The counterweights were found on both sides of the door and made from pipe filled with steel washers, concrete, or stones. However, one-piece doors were hard to seal off from the outside elements which made them impractical in the colder climates of Canada. The poly-urethane insulated sectional door type quickly replaced one-piece doors in Canada and is now replacing one-piece doors everywhere in North America. Still, because of the simplicity in manufacturing a one-piece door, it will be some time before the design is completely made obsolete.

Make no mistake, in time, one-piece doors will completely disappear in the history time-line of garage doors. I assume jamb type door hardware for one-piece doors will become difficult to find and also become pricier. If you own a one-piece door, it is safer for you replace the system for the better sectional door system in which replacement components will be around for many more decades.

New home builders discovered the many safer and practical advantages of sectional doors many years ago, so today new home build is being done only with sectional garage doors in the USA and Canada.

In Europe there are a few manufacturers who continue to make them for single car garages, but I imagine this will be short-lived. In Europe there is always a focus on safer designs, so the sectional door should replace your one-piece doors sooner than later.

The biggest threat is; as the one-piece door closes, it produces a scissoring action on either side where someone or a pet can be pinned or trapped. The use of internal sensors and external photo-sensors sold with updated door openers offer some limited protection, except when the door is opened. When a one-piece door using jamb hardware is opened, it swings out toward the driveway where it may contact your vehicle, so it is important to park 4-6 feet from the door to prevent contact. I have heard of an isolated case when the outward swinging door knocked a workman off his ladder, so there is no doubt you must practice extra caution when around one-piece doors.

Truly the only real way to eliminate the many safety problems associated with one-piece doors is a complete retrofit replacement to a sectional door. Sectional doors do not have the same pinch points or inherent danger points, however sectional doors are not completely without some dangers. The counterbalancing extension or torsion springs are under extreme tension and can easily injure someone who is not familiar with the system, or has NO knowledge of the danger points.

Other main area of concern is where any two panels mate when the door is closing. There have been many documented cases of people getting their fingers crushed between two panels when pulling a door down to close it from the outside. A DASMA standard created in 2007 instructs installers to place handles on the outside of the garage door. By placing handles on the door at strategic points, it is hoped this may steer people toward the handles and thwart people from placing their fingertips in the door joint to pull the door down. So, you can see there are many areas on all garage door types where extra attention must be displayed.

Now here is the big one—Unknown to most is there are only a few garage door operators listed with UL 325 that are suitable for one–piece doors. To motorize a one-piece door in California most choices for automation are with operators that are listed with UL325 for sectional doors only. The only exception are residential door operators made by Marantec in Germany. The safer sectional door combined with the appropriate safer UL listed door operator is truly the safest way to go and should be the goal for any homeowner who wants the safest garage door system. With a sectional door installed you have many choices on door openers and can even find many suitable operators in your local DIY hardware store.

Roy Bardowell, CDDC, served as Operations Manager at Guardian Access & Door Hardware until 2012. 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. Roy received the IDEA Commitment to Excellence award in 2008 and IDA’s Jerry R. Reynolds Volunteer Service Award in 2017. Contact him at

  1. Guillaume Dastros's picture
    Sep 20, 2023

    A fascinating exploration of the history and safety considerations of one-piece doors, Roy! Your insights on the transition to sectional doors and the safety implications are eye-opening.

    I'm curious, for homeowners with one-piece doors, what are some key signs they should look out for that might indicate the need for a retrofit replacement with a sectional door? Are there specific safety features they should consider when choosing a garage door opener for their new sectional door?

    Looking forward to more informative blogs like this!

  1. Brian's picture
    Oct 29, 2023

    If the door is no longer safe it is time to replace it.  If springs break, replace the entire door with a sectionsla door.  Once/month, check the door, it should open freely and easily.  Open the door half-way, it should hold that position.  If automated, the door shoul revers on contact with a 1.5" block and at any other time during its travel when it is obstructed.

    When choosing a garage door opener, find the features that are important to you.  Is "quiet" important?  Then an operator with a DC motor will be best.  If you want power and relaibility, an AC motor is best.  A 1/2HP rated opener will open most residential garage doors.  Don't ovepay for more HP than you need. 

  1. Chris Carboneau's picture
    Jul 28, 2023

    Good morning,

    Last week, a service technician came out to fix out door because our panel was struck by lightning. The garage door was locked (he didn't unlock it) and he forced it down. He snapped the cable and then proceeded to tell us we needed an entire new unit for $650. The best part, he charged my wife $40 for breaking the cable. Then told my wife he lost his IPAD and couldn't take a credit card . . . was happy to take cash. He almost hit my wife with the cable and then made some off color comment about "getting darker if he gets anymore sun."

    I called this morning and explained the situation. The first person I talked to said, "your stories off" and hung up. The second time I called, I asked who I was speaking to and who I just talked to. The person on the phone said, "I don't give out that type of information" and hung up. I called a third time and Tanner was super helpful.

    Is there a Northeast Territory Manager I can speak with?

  1. Christie Cubadgee's picture
    Jul 24, 2023

    To the webmaster, You always provide valuable information.

  1. Wayne's picture
    Dec 01, 2022

    Hi, the keyless entry cover broke and I need a replacement. are replacement covers available or I have to purchase a new keyless entry device ?

    Guardian Model 415

    Thank you

  1. Brian's picture
    Dec 01, 2022

    Hi Wayne,

    Unfortunately, the cover for the keyless is not a service item.  If a photo of the keypad can be sent by email to, along with your contact information (name & address) perhaps a cover could be found from an older or returned keypad and sent to you.



  1. Frank's picture
    Nov 14, 2022

    The garage door opener beeps five times and won't open. I've reprogrammed the remotes and that didn't help. I also reprogrammed the limit switch but it still beeps five times after trying to activate the system from the remote or wall button.

  1. Brian's picture
    Nov 14, 2022


    5 beeps indicates that the operator is not programmed or has lost its programming.  Follow the programming steps in the owners manual and the operator should work.  If more help is needed call tech service 424-272-6998.  thanks

  1. William hickman's picture
    May 04, 2022

    Door will operate 2-3 times correctly then will not stay down and beeps 20 times. Red and green lights are on and steady . When using door key pad everything is okay

  1. Brian's picture
    May 04, 2022

    20 beeps and reversing indicates a photo-eye issue.

    1. Make sure the eyes are aligned (steady green and steady red from photo-eye LEDs)

    2. Clean the bottom of the door.  A leaf stuck to the door could break the PE and cause a reversal.

    3. Is bright sunlight shining on the PE with the red LED.  If yes, it could be interfereing the tranmission continuity.  Shade the red PE from the sun.

    4. Verify that all four (4) PE wires have been inserted into a separate terminal per installation instructions.   If the PE wiring was installed as a twisted pair, the stress on the electronics caused by low current over time could reduce PE life and a replacement pair of PEs may be needed.

    5. If the door closes completely while pressing and holding the wired door control push button, it is definitely a PE issue.  If steps 1-4 do not solve the issue, replace the photo-eyes.

  1. Anonymous's picture
    Apr 21, 2022

    randomly - door will open fine, and then start beeping and stall when I go to close.
    This has happened off and on since installed in 2019. I have already changed the panel once and have had the installer out several times, only for it to stop working again

  1. Brian's picture
    Apr 22, 2022

    The operator will learn a force to open and close the door during the initial limit and force learn setup.  It appears that the operator is requiring more force to close than what it learned when programming.  Always check your door first.  Disconnect, by pulling down onthe red handle.  Manually open and close your door and sense any "sticky" points or or poor balance.  Clean your track or call a door pro to adjust your spring if needed.  Since the "stall when closing issue" happens intermittently and the "12-beep" rather than a 20-beep/photo-eye or 25-beep/obstruction reversal, it could be due to low voltage at the power mains.  When the voltage and amps at the socket.  If lower than 120V and 4A when running, this can cause the 12-beep issue.  You could also try manually adding some "down force".  Press and hold the force button for about 2s until the UP LED illuminates.  Press and release the force button again to illuminate the down LED.  Then press and release the up button a could of time to add some incremental force, then press the force button to exit the process.  The operator will beep and flask OK to acknowledge.  See if this eliminate the nuisance stops when closing.

  1. Sam's picture
    Feb 18, 2022

    Friend has a 628 installed with his new garage door. All works ok BUT lights... they dont work at all, they worked initially bu no longer work at all... tried several different bulbs, no help. Door sensors seem to work as designed. Any ideas ??? thanks Sam

  1. Brian's picture
    Feb 19, 2022

    Hi Sam,

    If everything but the lights work, a stuck light relay is most likely the reason why the lights are not turning on.  The light relay is on the logic board.  Sometimes tapping on the cover near the buttons will free a stuck relay.  If not, the logic board will need to be replaced.

  1. Thomas 's picture
    Feb 01, 2022

    I have a question concerning a connection between Guardian V2 and Genie 2128 to access the use of smartphone remote with beam Home. I am using a Guardian Smart Control Kit Installation Guide for the Model V2 when I realize on page 8 of this manual that I am not able to access the webpage suggested by Guardian to get to the diagram for the proper connection of the V2 cable to Genie push-button terminals. Yes, I could guess and maybe I would be right but I would rather ask and if possible receive the diagram Guardian is suggesting to use. Thank you very much for any help you may have on this subject.

  1. Brian's picture
    Feb 02, 2022

    Connect the wires to terminals 3 & 4.

  1. Dave 's picture
    Nov 02, 2021

    New install by a pro 2 weeks ago. Door won’t close now. 20 beeps indicates misaligned eyes. They’re aligned but I don’t see any red or green led indicators. But I didn’t see them before the door quit working either..fix? I don’t see any wires that are disconnected either.

  1. GuardianWebAdmin's picture
    Nov 02, 2021

    Hi Dave,

    First, check to see whether the eyes have been properly wired into the operator's head.  There are 4 terminals for photo-eyes.  All 4 must be used in order to provide full power to the eyes.

    If wired correctly per the manual, cut these wires leaving 6”-8” of wire coming out of both PE and remove the PE’s from brackets at door by removing wing nut and bolt holding each eye to its mounting bracket. Take both PE’s upto the operator directly.

    Remove all PE wiring at board. Working from left to right on the green terminal strip on circuitboard, plug the two wires from the Green PE into terminals 1 & 2 and the two wires from Red PE into terminals 3 & 4.  With power to the operator, point the PE’s directly at each other and note the light status of both PE’s. If they are now illuminated and working--the issue is in the wiring. REMOVE THE EXISTING WIRE AND RUN NEW BELL WIRE. Reattach the PEs using wireor gel caps.

    NOTE:If ona new install, it is possible that there is an internal fault in the wiring and different wire should be used. 

    If only one PE is illuminated, continue to the next test

    If only onePE lights up, let’s say the Green PE in this example, reverse the eye wiring locations at the circuit board.  Wire the Green PE into terminals 3 & 4 and wire the Red PE into terminals 1 & 2.  PE wiring locationson terminal strip should now be reversed from STEP 3 above. One of the following will occur:

    a.If Green PE lights up in terminals1-2 as well as when wired into terminals 3-4, but the Red PE does not light in either location on the circuit board, you have a PE issue. REPLACE THE PHOTO-EYES.  Always replace the bell wire when replacing PEs.

    b.If Green PE lights up interminals1-2 and NOT in terminals 3-4, but the Red PE now lights in terminals1-2 when it would NOT light in 3-4, you have a faulty circuitboard. REPLACE THE CIRCUIT BOARD. Reattach PEs using wire or gel caps.

    Call Guardian Tech Service at 424-272-6998 for more advice.

  1. Miya Pierce's picture
    Oct 08, 2021

    Wow! Thank you for sharing this guide with us, it is really helpful!

  1. Jim Andrews's picture
    Aug 18, 2021

    can my model 600SL be modified to accept the Guardian backup battery. If not, what rating of a plug-in stand alone backup battery should I purchase?

  1. Brian's picture
    Aug 18, 2021

    Hi Jim,

    No, the model 600SL uses a 24V motor and BBU systems are 12V.  A battery backup operator will also require power managemnt circuitry.

  1. Brian's picture
    Dec 03, 2020

    A Genie Intellicode remote control will not work with a Guardian opener.

  1. RON's picture
    Nov 21, 2020

    Will my hand held remote, Genie Intellicode, work with the Guardian opener? I see a lot of listed Genie remotes but not Intellicode.

  1. Brian's picture
    Oct 13, 2020

    Hi Paul,

    myQ is not compatible with Guardian garage door openers.  The Guardian model V2 Smart Control Kit would be your best option to use to have this feature.

  1. Paul DiModica's picture
    Oct 13, 2020

    I have the Guardian 615 opener and would like to add the MYQ Smart garage Door opener. Do you know if it is compatible?

  1. Brian's picture
    Jun 21, 2020

    Hi Thomas,

    First check to see whether the eyes have been properly wired into the operator head.  There are 4 terminals for photo-eyes.  All 4 must be used in order to provide full power to the eyes.  Lack of power can cause the blinking condition.

    A short in the photo-eye wires can also cause the green LED to blink.  Over time, expansion and contraction due to weather, can cause a staple to break the wire insulation. 

    See this link for more advice:

    Call Guardian Tech Service at 424-272-6998 for more advice.

  1. Thomas's picture
    Jun 18, 2020

    My green side is frequently blinking, so the door can't open/close. Lens are clean, no obstructions and we've tried adjusting the green side left/right, up/down with no luck. Sensor wiring appears secure. What am I missing??

  1. GuardianWebAdmin's picture
    May 19, 2020

    Hi Rick,

    Please call 424-272-6998.  The noise could be better described to a tech or he can be allowed to listen to it in order to better assess the issue.  Thanks

  1. Rick Ulrich's picture
    May 17, 2020

    Motor is making noise only when opening door. No noise on closing. Is this a motor lube issue or a replace motor issue? Any input appreciated.



  1. Brian's picture
    May 03, 2020

    Hi Mike,

    The down relay on the circuit board may be stuck.  Please call 424-272-6998 for troubleshooting assistance.

  1. Mike's picture
    May 03, 2020

    Checked the sensors they are solid green and red. When I depress the button it beeps 5x I tried holding down the button no movement. Try resetting the limits it let me reset the up but would not the down beeps 12x any suggestion it is a ,1yr old guardian 6200sl

  1. Brian's picture
    Apr 27, 2020

    Hi Deep,

    Please call 1-424-272-6998 and a tech will be able to assess the issue and provide a solution. 

  1. Deep Chakraborty's picture
    Apr 25, 2020

    Garage door is stuck and not opening....beeps 10 times

  1. Brian's picture
    Mar 14, 2020


    Please call tech service at 424-727-6998.  A technician will help you resolve the issue you are having with your radio controls.

  1. THOMAS FLANNERY's picture
    Mar 13, 2020

    I bought a Guardian Garage Door opener and from day 1 it has been temperamental when using the remote to open and close. If i am too close or push the button to long or too short a time. I had the installer return and ask questions, it appears Guardian knows their problem is the RF signal being sent at too rapid a rate or something of the like.
    DOES GUARDIAN HAVE A SOLUTION TO CORRECT YOUR ISSUE? At present i would never recommend this product or ever buy another, my second door will not be replaced with a Guardian.

  1. Brian's picture
    Jun 24, 2019

    Hi Susan,

    Please call 424-272-6998 for trouble shooting assistance.

  1. Susan's picture
    Jun 19, 2019

    We had a long power outage and when power was restored opener would not open. I pulled the red cord to open manually and now the opener doesn't work at all. It doesn't even seem to be connected. Do I just need to reprogram the opener? Thanks!

  1. Brian's picture
    Apr 30, 2019

    Hi Marty,

    We'll send you some.

  1. Brian's picture
    Apr 03, 2019

    Hi Jim,

    There are no stock sun shields for photo-eyes.  Fabricate a shiled from cardboard or an empty paper tube and tape to the red (receiver) photo-eye.  Another trick would be to reverse the position of the eyes, placing the receiver eye on the shaded side (if there is one eye in bright sun and the other in the shade). 

    You are right, both red and green LEDs should be steady.  The flashing green could be due to misalignment or a poor connection at the operator head.  First, check the PE alignment.  If necessary, remove the wing nut holding the sensor for full range of motion.  Next, check the terminal block on the back of the motor head.  The first 4 terminals (L to R) are for photo-eye wires.  Each terminal should have one wire inserted.  At times, installers twist together pairs of wires.  Not using all terminals cuts the ammoun of current avaialble to the sensor and could cause the LEDs to flash.  If these two steps do not work, call 424-272-6998.


  1. Jim Loges's picture
    Apr 02, 2019

    Hi Roy,

    Thank you for the blog. We have a Guardian Pro Series 628 which was installed about two years ago. We have constant problems with the sensors and believe this is cause by glare from the sun since we experience the problems mostly during the day. Are there specific safety sensor sun shields (that's a mouthful) that work with these units? Also, the green light on that side blinks slowly all the time but the door still goes up/down. Is that normal? I thought both lights should be solid.


  1. Brian's picture
    Jan 23, 2019


    If you plug the photo-eyes that do not light-up when plugged into operator A into operator B and they light-up, the eyes are good.  Replace the logic boaed in operator A.

    Call 424-272-6998 for additonal assistance.

  1. Clinton 's picture
    Jan 15, 2019

    I have no lights on my photo eyes. I have two garage door openers and tried the logic board in the other opener and the lights would come on. This tells me the logic board is good. Wondering if it might be the transformer.

  1. Brian's picture
    Jan 07, 2019

    Hi Clinton,

    If the operator still opens the door and a constant pressure on the push button (PE override) closes the door, then the circuit board is probably not the problem.

    1. Check at the operator head to see if wires are in the 4 photo-eye terminals.  Sometimes installers will twist wires togther and use only 2 of the terminals.  This reduces power to the photo-eyes.  It may work initially, but over time as the wire develops more resisitivity, power declines.

    2. Check the alignment of the eyes.

    3. If LEDs fail to appear, after careful alignement, then replace the phot-eyes.

    4. Call 424-272-6998 for further help.

  1. Clinton's picture
    Jan 05, 2019

    No lights on the photo eyes. I think the logic board is out. Can you help me?

  1. Brian's picture
    Aug 13, 2018

    Dear Jada,

    20 beeps signified a photo-eye misalignment or faliure.  Please call Guardian Tech Service at 1-424-272-6998 to resolve.  Thanks

  1. Jada's picture
    Aug 12, 2018

    Lost power and opened the garage manually, power came back on the door opened almost completely and stopped. Beeping 20 times checked no lights on. Metered the wires for power, 21.08 tried aligning can't get any LEDs on?

  1. Brian's picture
    Jul 04, 2018


    Please call Guardian Tech Service at 424-272-6998 for help.  

  1. Robert Johnson's picture
    Jun 29, 2018

    The drive belt on my 3/4 HP Guardian executive series 600SL has broken. How do I get it fixed? I called your 800-989-8769 phone number and the phone company said the number is disconnected so no one answered

  1. Brian's picture
    May 14, 2018

    Hi Sherri,

    Is the LED back light on the panel glowing?  Check the wiring first.  The plug on the end of the wire leading from the control banel should be securely plugged into the "wall box" recepticle on the motor head.  Check for any wire shorts due to staples holding the wire to the wall.  Check the wire terminal connections on the back of the panel.. If more help is needed please call 1-424-272-6998.

  1. Sherri's picture
    May 13, 2018

    My garage door will not work with the wall panel unit. The remote control units work and the keypad outside works. Any suggestions?


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