How do I know when it’s time to replace my garage door opener?

You’d be surprised how many service calls we get where one of our competitors have already come out and said a repair isn’t possible. They give a quote for a new opener or garage door. They charge a service call and leave. We usually get the call for another quote which we offer for free. Usually because the competitors quote is very expensive. We can usually do that type of quote over the phone, but if we can make it out in our route, stopping by for 5 minutes is always nice. A lot of the time, we can fix the underlying issue that was left unresolved from the last guys. So, my first advice, is just because a repair company wants to charge you for both a service call and a new opener, doesn’t necessarily mean you need a new one.

When we work on old openers, we do offer some specific words of advice. If it was made before 1997 and doesn’t have safety eye sensors, we cannot work on those and recommend replacement. Yeah, there are still some beasts out there still going strong. However, replacement remotes and parts are very hard to find for them. The new safety features in newer models have made incredible strides from almost 20 years ago. I do follow the idea that if it’s not broken and it works safely there isn’t always a good reason to buy something new and shiny.

New Garage Door Openers have all kinds of bells and whistles today

Newer doors not only reverse with the eye sensors, they also have upward and downward force settings to determine if an obstacle has been hit on the way down, or if a door problem or jam has occurred while opening. Not only can these features save lives, they can also prevent property damage to obstructions in the door’s path, but also to the door themselves.

Security has also been improved. Old openers had remotes that may have had dip switch codes or even codes set by the manufacture. These could be cloned or duplicated. Neighbors sometimes would have the same remotes as each other. Newer remotes having rolling codes. The newest remotes have even more secure features to increase the security of the opener.

The newest openers of them all can even be opened with your smart phone. Did you leave the door opener? Your phone can tell you now and even close it for you from anywhere on the planet. Optional features of course, but available to those interested.

That was a long answer for the first reason. Your opener is really old. Just because it’s old though doesn’t mean it needs to be replaced. If some of the safety and security features are in place and the opener still works appropriately, unless you are looking for upgrades like quieter operation and those not available to yours, I don’t recommend replacing your opener.

Can you fix my really old garage door opener?

Now, when things go wrong, that’s another story. The service call and sourcing of parts and repair for really old openers are usually much better spent on a new opener. Unfortunately, the fancy new openers have a lot of advanced circuitry now. If boards need replacing, I recommend a new opener as well. Simply, the cost of those parts, plus the repair labor, can usually cost a hefty chunk of what a new opener costs. Sadly, the underlying root cause of why the circuit board may have gone bad may be difficult if not impossible to diagnose and who knows how long the repair may last if there are other underlying issues. My recommendation is to install a new opener with a solid warranty instead.

I hope this article has been helpful. If you’re unsure, or would like to chat, give us a call at 740-414-4500. We don’t mind helping you out over the phone with such a decision. Of course, we’re available to come take a look as well.