Garage Door Myths and Facts

Posted 1/26/2014

So many times I hear things and asked about garage doors and openers that people have heard from their uncle, the guy down the street, Bob the handy man and installers that is either out dated or straight up not true, but still believe in it. I will try to clear some of all the confusion here.

I just saw the video on YouTube where they open the garage door with a coat hanger in less than 6 seconds. Is that possible?

  • Yes, it is possible, but if your garage door and opener are installed and adjusted correct you can’t push in the top section to get a clear view of the emergency release arm. You can probably still get a coat hanger in between the header and the top section, but without any windows in the top section you have to guess where it’s at and make it very difficult to do in 6 seconds. To secure the emergency release arm with a zip tie I do have a question about that. The emergency release is there in case of an emergency. In one video I watch, she broke the zip tie, but she had to put all her weight in pulling it down.

I can always open the door when I pull the emergency release?

  • Yes, that’s what it’s there for, but no. If you have a broken spring, pulling the emergency release will not make the door go up. The spring/springs are there as a counter balance to the weight of the door. The emergency release is there so when the power is out or opener failure you can pull it and disconnect the door from the opener to open and close the garage door by hand.

I don’t need the safety sensor or I can just disconnect the safety sensor, because the guy next door doesn’t have any safety sensor on his door.

  • Most openers made since 01/01/1993 will not operate probably without the safety sensor connected, so don’t try and disconnect the safety sensor and hope it will work. If your opener is manufactured with safety sensor, they have to be connected. Without the safety sensor the opener will not close the door, it will think something in the path of the safety sensor. In the manual it’s recommended to mount the safety sensor 4-6 inch from the floor. If you don’t see the safety sensor in the garage at the guy next door, he might have an opener that’s more than 20 years old or as we see some do it yourself people mounting the safety sensor where ever they like to. On the other hand if your opener was made before 01/01/1993 and has no safety sensor, there is no way to add safety sensor to your opener.

People can drive around and randomly open other people’s garage doors with their remote?

  • Many openers today have the rolling code technology that make the opener more secure. Dear child has many names depending on what manufacture you are looking at, but work the same way. Every time you use your remote, outside keypad or homelink it will change the code that’s transmitted. Chamberlains product has over 100 billion codes never to be repeated. When the remote is programed to the opener it will keep track of what remotes are allowed into the system. All new systems today use electronic codes, not as back in the early days with dip switches; you had to match the switches in the remote with the switches on the opener. There is a limited amount of combinations when you only have 9-12 switches with 2 or 3 positions so yes it was and are today possible to open a garage door with an old opener on it with the dip switches.

My car is in the way, the door will stop before it hit the car and go back up. Right!!!

  • Yes and no, if the car is parked so it breaks the beam for the safety sensor, then you cannot close the door, but if the car is not all the way in or you parked half way in then the beam from the safety sensor will go under your bumper or the car and you can close the door, but with a correct adjusted opener and healthy door it supposed to stop and reverse when it hit your car. It should do so before major damage to your car and garage door, but bottom line it’s your responsibility as operator to make sure the opening are clear before operating the garage door opener.

I have a broken spring on my garage door, but it opens fine no problem.

  • Yes, but no, you have a problem you need to have taking care of ASAP before anyone get hurt. If your garage door opener are incorrect adjusted yes you can open the garage door with no problems, but with a high risk of damaging the top section of the garage door and if you pull the emergency release in the open position the door will drop and be damaged be on repair. Also if you continue using the door and opener you putting a lot more stress on the garage door and the opener then what they was design for.

I have two springs on my garage door, so one is for opening and the other for closing?

  • NO, the springs are there as a counter balance to the weight of the door. Both springs has lifting power to assist open the door, as you open the door the tension on the springs are released, gravity will do the work when closing and the tension on the springs will build up so the door don’t drop by itself.