The Basics of an Automatic Garage

December 6, 2021

More homeowners are investing in automatic garage doors for a good reason. First, they help increase curb appeal. Millennials are willing to pay 20 percent more for an automated home, while70 percent also feel optimistic about using smart technology on their property.

Second, they make it easier for homeowners to automate other components in their homes. Installing a garage door can be an essential first step when upgrading to gate and access control systems. Finally, the safety, security, and convenience they offer lead to increased property value.

But an automatic garage won't work without its two major parts: the panel and the door opener.

What Makes Up Your Garage Door Panel?

In a garage-door sense, a panel is a section of a vertically moving door that can independently open and close from the other sections. It comes with many parts to make it work:

  • Barreled Panel: A barreled panel is a section of a vertically moving garage door connected to the ceiling and floor tracks. The track will guide the panels as it moves up or down. A barreled panel does not have side guide tracks to move independently.
  • Barrel Rollers: This is the roller attached to the top of each end to act as a track for the panel.
  • Snap Rollers: This is the roller at the bottom of each end that will swing into place once it passes under the bottom guide rail. They're about half an inch wide and half an inch deep, with a groove on one side attaching the panel.
  • Bottom Rail: The bottom rail is a thin metal rod connecting to the snap rollers and guiding. The panels will run along with it until they reach the end, where they swing down and snap into place under the barreled rollers.
  • Snap Rails: This is a set of rails running horizontally across the bottom of a barreled garage door. Two snap rails are used per panel, one on each side. The panels attach to these open and close with grooves cut into their sides.
  • Cord and Rope: The pulley system works with the torsion bars to open and close the garage door. The rope will run through the cord and is pulled as a garage door section opens or closes. The line runs up to a pulley on a barreled track, which will allow for smoother operation and help control the movement of the panels.
  • Torsion Bar:This is a long spring used to lift and lower the garage door when installed.
  • Track: The track is the long metal bar that guides the panels vertically up and down. The rails are attached to this bar, making them move in unison with each other.
  • Bottom Guide Rail: This is a thin metal rod that runs along the floor of each side of a garage door track. It acts as a guide for the panel to roll along.
  • Top Guide Rail: This is a thin metal rod that runs along with the ceiling of each side of a garage door track. It acts as a guide for the panel to roll along.

The automatic garage can stall immediately if one of its significant parts malfunctions. In this case, homeowners should call for an emergency garage panel door repair service. This way, they can keep all parts working together

The Primary Components of a Garage Door Opener

A garage door opener is a device that attaches to the inside of your garage. Its primary function is to lift and lower your garage door. The most common type of opener is cable-drawn. Cable-drawn openers are attached to the rail that goes up and down along the door. There are one or two cables that connect the opener to the door. You can also have a chain-driven or screw-driven opener, which uses a chain or a metal rod to raise and lower the garage door.

Besides the cables, other parts of the garage door opener include:

  • Circuit Board: it determines all the signals sent to your garage door opener.
  • Transmitter: This is what sends an open or close command to your garage door opener. The transmitter also tells whether it's daytime or nighttime through a photosensor found in some models.
  • Remote Control: This control works in conjunction with the transmitter. It tells what command to be sent to your garage door opener.
  • Motor: This is the component that opens and closes your garage door, along with other devices like a light sensor, a photosensor, or an anti-tilt device.
  • Switches: These are located in the circuit board and act as output devices.
  • Sensors: These are input devices. The most common type of sensor is a photoelectric beam sensor. It has a little light that sends out a beam of infrared light and looks for the same thing coming back. If it works, then the door's closed. If not, then the door's open.

Automatic garage doors improve your quality of life and increase the house's value. However, they also need regular maintenance. Knowing the essential parts can help a homeowner spot problems before they worsen.


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Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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