September 13, 2019

Do you need a garage door opener that includes a backup battery?

If all you want is an answer, it’s yes. This is especially true if you are in a location where there are power outages on a regular basis.

However, there is more to the answer than that. Below, we’ll share why having a backup battery with your garage door opener is such an excellent idea.

Battery backup

Reasons you should have a backup battery

Before we get into the need for a backup battery, let’s look at a recent change in garage door legislation. As of July 1, 2019, a new requirement in California requires that any newly installed or sold garage door openers for a home are required to include a backup battery. This requirement was signed into law in September of 2018 and all home builders must comply with it.

Curious what led to this change in the state? After a number of forest fires and brushfires in the state over the last few years, there have been some unfortunate deaths. At least some of those were related to situations where individuals were stuck in a home and died because they had no option for manually opening a garage door.

Even if you don’t live in this area, it doesn’t mean you are at no risk. The truth is that climate change has led to a reduction of rainfall and higher than normal temperatures. With this happening, along with low humidity and high winds, the vegetation and trees can easily go up in flames. Even those not in California could be dealing with fire conditions similar to the ones in that state.

You may already be aware that California has a large population, which makes it likely that garage door opener manufacturers, such as LiftMaster and Chamberlain, will make the choice to offer a larger range of products that offer backup batteries. These might be added on by the motor or integrated on the housing over the motor.

Keep in mind that you should certainly have a backup battery if the only way to the garage is through the garage door, such as for an unattached garage. You will see this quite often in high-rise condominiums and apartments.

Be sure to balance your garage door properly

What you need to remember is that your electric garage door opener is a tool that replaces the need to handle the door manually, in the case of a power outage or otherwise. A garage door typically weighs about 125 lbs. / 57 kg if it is a single door of about 9 x 7 ft. On the other hand, a double door of 16 x 7 ft. might be 250 lbs. / 114 kg in size. If the door is made of solid wood, it will be even heavier. This includes the weight of the door sections along with the hardware like windows, rollers, hinges, and reinforcement struts.

Wondering why this matters? It’s because the door spring system is responsible for being a counterbalance to all that weight to bring it down to eight to 10 lbs. (3 to 5 kg) at the most. When a door is only this heavy, it makes it understandable that you can easily open it.

Double Garage Door Opener

Want to check that your garage door is balanced the way it should be? Step one is to disengage the door opener by pulling down on the emergency release handle. Next, use the lift handle on the bottom or second-lowest section of the door and slowly lift the door. Are you having trouble? That means your door is not properly balanced. Contact us as soon as possible and we will help you right the issue. As an aside, you should be checking for balance at least once every two months, but even more regularly if you use the door more than five times on an average day.

All about the actual battery

A garage door opener battery is similar to any other rechargeable battery. The battery will be installed by the motor or on the motor housing based on whether the door opener is manufactured by LiftMaster or Chamberlain. This battery holds enough power to open and close the door around 20 times or more. Once the battery goes dead, it takes less than five hours to recharge to be used again. You should also know that the safety reserve systems, also known as the photoeye reversal system, is also powered by the backup battery so it will remind operations even when you have a power outage.

Battery backup

Model options from LiftMaster

Those who have a modern LiftMaster or Chamberlain door opener may already have battery backup. Take a look at the opened for an icon that indicates this. This means there is already a battery ready for you or that you can pop one in whenever you like. Another thing to know is that only openers with direct current motors can use backup batteries. It does not work for alternating current door openers.

Belt-Drive opener Wled

Don’t worry, integrating or installing a backup battery is pretty simple. The door openers listed also have the ability to use LiftMaster’s MyQ, a modern technology which makes it possible to use your tablet, smartphone, or laptop to open and close the garage door. As such, your garage door can be a part of a modern smart home.

Battery backup

Ready to know more?

If you are located in or near Des Moines or Ames, you can contact us right now. We are experts in garage door openers and can answer all of your questions. We also are happy to help you pick the device that you should purchase based on your budget and needs.

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