Your New Garage Door Opener May Require Some Modifications

When you've lived for a long time with an old manual garage door, you don't realize just how convenient a garage door opener can be. The installation of a new opener — so that you don't have to lift up that heavy door by yourself anymore — is a good thing, but if your home has never had an electric opener in the garage before, you may need to make some modifications in order to get the opener to work with your door. These modifications range from following local electrical codes to finding a different model of door opener because of the type of door you have.

Double-Check Electrical Outlet Requirements

First, that opener will need to be plugged into an outlet. Depending on the local electrical codes in your city and state, you may need to install a new electrical outlet. The opener doesn't necessarily have to be on a separate circuit, although you do need to be sure that the power draw by the opener won't exceed the circuit's available power when you add up all the different appliances on that circuit. In most cases, the opener has to be plugged directly into an outlet, and not hooked up through a series of extension cords or surge suppressors. Check to see if there's an outlet that's close by; if not, you'll have to have an electrician install one.

Opener Placement and Your Existing Door

The opener will have to be placed at a certain point on your garage's ceiling to ensure it can pull the door open all the way, and pull it open efficiently and without placing strain on the opener assembly. But if you have an older door, particularly a large door, then to open the door all the way, you might have to place the opener too far back in the garage. Speak with a representative from the garage door opener company to be sure that, when your current door is open all the way, it won't physically interfere with the opener.

Door Height and Opener Model

Garage door openers are generally divided into residential and commercial. Residential openers often have door height limits because larger doors are heavier, and some are too heavy for a residential opener to actually lift up safely. If your garage has an unusually tall door, such as on garages meant for trailer or 5th wheel storage, you may need to look for a commercial garage door opener to ensure safe operation.

Have an installer or other representative come out and look at your garage. Discuss what changes you'd have to make and which models of openers might need the fewest modifications done to your garage. Contact a company like Raynor Door Company to learn more.