Maybe your existing garage door motor has just died, has become unreliable or is getting noisier and you are weighing up whether to repair or replace it. Here are some tips and information to help you decide whether to repair your garage door motor or replace it with a new one.
Weigh up the cost
This may not be as straight forward as you think! A higher upfront cost could actually save you money over a 1 -2 year time frame.
Lets consider this common scenario.
You garage door motor suddenly stops working one day and you call your local garage door Service Technician out to diagnose the issue. He or she tests the unit and informs you that it has blown a circuit board. A new circuit board is available and will cost $200 supplied and installed with a 2 year warranty.
Initially this seems like a good option, it’s much cheaper than $500 to $900 to replace the unit with a new one and you are happy that it is covered by a 2 year warranty even though it is only that specific component that may be covered. However, let’s look into these cost comparisons a little more.
If your motor is older than 5 to 7 years it is likely to have more than 1 worn component
This can include things such as the drive gears, AC or DC motor, chain, pulleys and remote controls.
The likelihood of 1 or more of these other components failing increases as they age. The problem can be compounded on older models as some replacement parts may no longer be available. So the near new circuit board may not be of much use if your DC motor seizes up and replacements for that model are no longer produced.
Not only may you be up for the costs of new parts to keep the old motor going but you will most likely be paying a Service Technician for their attendance and time on each occasion.
Some older remote controls can even cost $100 each! So if yours is just about worn out that may add to the costs also.
We have encountered customers that have spent in excess of double the cost of a new garage door motor unit on upkeep of the existing unit.
Almost all newer garage door motors are considerably quieter than older units and have features such as ‘soft start, soft stop’. This not only reduces noise and vibration but it may actually help prolong the life of the garage door it is operating.
A new garage door opener will also likely be a belt drive vs chain drive. Belt drives have significant advantages over older chain drive systems such as resistance to corrosion, less risk of finger entrapment, quieter and they don’t require any maintenance. Most people believe that a chain drive must be stronger but high quality belts such as those used on the Jaytech 1200 contain steel braided cable. This makes them virtually unbreakable. They also won’t rust and weaken over time like chains do and won’t drip oil on your new car!
Modern garage door motors also should have bright LED light boards which means you never have to replace globes.
Some of the newer motors may be force rated up to 1200N. This can be double the power of some older openers!
Australian Standards and RCM requirements have changed and evolved over the years also. Your old motor may no longer be compliant and could actually be hazardous. Modern garage door motors have intelligent sensing which means they can monitor the force your garage door requires to open and close and recognise when an obstacle is present. Read more on garage door safety from the Australian Garage Door Association.
Our in house testing revealed that an older AC motor can use as much as 8 times the power consumption of a newer DC motor whilst in operation and 4 times more at rest. Even though your garage door motor may only operate for a couple of minutes a day, over the years of operation the added power consumption cost can really add up. The issue is compounded if you have more than 1 automatic garage door !
As a general rule of thumb we recommend that if your existing garage door motor is older than 5 years serious consideration should be given to replacing it rather than repairing it. This can save you money in the long run.
If you would like to talk to someone regarding your garage door opener, contact one of our stockists in your local area. They will be happy to assist.