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fatherdoug 06-02-2018 12:02 PM

Garage Door Opener Recommendations?
I opened the garage door today and the chain was really slack. I think the gear drive bushing is about to take a dump. I can replace the bushing, but for all the work to do that, I want to replace the entire opener(about 20 years old).

In the 30+ years we have owned this house, we have had 2 garage door openers, both of which have been Craftsman 1/2 hp chain drive. The original door(single door for 2 cars) was a heavy wood door. We have had an aluminum door for the last 20 years, and the opener was changed when the door was changed.

I'm looking for recommendations for a replacement. I am concerned about Craftsman quality nowadays. I am not concerned about noise, so chain drive is okay. However, I'm open to suggestions for different types of drives, such as screw, direct, belt, etc. I am assuming 1/2 hp is adequate with an aluminum door, since the last one survived for 20 years.

CowboyBilly9Mile 06-02-2018 01:02 PM

What I'd be looking for if I were in the market:

* Another screw drive.
* One with express open.
* Ability to be opened/closed + status checked using my phone.
* If the springs are set right you won't need 1/2HP (spend the money saved on a screw drive). In fact, after replacing my torsion springs last year on a 16X7 insulated door (an easy DIY job) it was noted that a 10 year old would have no problem lifting the thing. Someone will probably recommend 1/3HP but I'd bet 1/4 is more than enough, especially if it's got light gauge metal and no insulation.

* My neighbor has a Craftsman, it doesn't use rollers in the tracks it uses nylon slide blocks instead, and yet, there is a pile of metal shavings on the floor next to the tracks. What a turd.

* I would not buy a Craftsman (besides, Sears will probably be gone sometime by mid 2019 so no warranty).

*** And if it somehow helps, I'll send you one of my "I <3 Big Dumps Stickers".

fatherdoug 06-02-2018 01:17 PM

Thank you, Bill. The door is lightweight, but does have insulation. I totally agree on the spring arrangement. If they are set correctly, the door should open with one finger, and not even the long middle one. :D

Changing those springs is scary!

CowboyBilly9Mile 06-02-2018 01:30 PM

Actually, when I did torsion springs it was noted that setting tension is super easy and safe if you have the "sticks". Just turn each spring with your had until it's snug, then walk it with the sticks in 1/4 turn increments until the correct number of increments have been achieved, test, and *maybe* tweak the tension by another 1/4 turn.

fatherdoug 06-02-2018 02:22 PM

I made the mistake of assuming that the same number of turns should be applied to the new as the number of turns on the old. I learned a very valuable lesson. My feeble mind did not comprehend that a stiffer, newer spring would require less turns.

Needless to say, when I released the stop blocks on the door, it went up in a HURRY! I just stood there blinking my eyes. :headbang::headbang::headbang:

dustybumpers 06-02-2018 04:17 PM

Depends on the size of the doors, even on an aluminum one. I have to have a commercial one because my smallest door is 12 x 12
If your door is 8' tall I would use this from Home Depot

It is heavy duty, and is a battery back up that uses the same battery as the tools

dustybumpers 06-02-2018 04:22 PM

BTW, Craftsman is now sold at Lowes.....

fatherdoug 06-02-2018 07:23 PM

My door is 7' tall and is 14' wide. I looked at the Ryobi. The only place I haven't seen Craftsman is 7-11. :D

Sparky83 06-02-2018 09:34 PM

VB house has a 3/4hp Craftsman... my only annoyance with it is that it keeps blowing the bulbs like crazy... gotten to the point of stop replacing them... before that we had a chamberlin... liked that one till the gears stripped... plan to fix it one day... it was only 1/2 hp and lifted the old heavier wooden doors... the one at the NC house was installed by the door installers so not sure on the hp but its a lift master... has great range on the remotes... can hit the button from the street and up the door goes... house sits back on the 3ish acre away from the street...

fatherdoug 06-03-2018 07:22 AM

Thank you all for the info. Now it's time to :waf

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