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Old 06-30-2013, 05:12 AM
cmac2012's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 15,354
Ultra quiet belt drive garage door opener

The same client whose floor squeaks I got rid of (previous thread) had about the noisiest garage door opener I'd ever heard. His bedroom is above the garage and he mentioned once that the noise often bothered him. It's a two car garage and he includes one spot for the tenant in the higher priced large basement unit. If said tenant comes home late, there's that grinding noise.

I'd read about belt drive openers which advertise quiet operation and suggested one. He went for it and I just put in a 1/2 hp Chamberlain unit, this one here:

Chamberlain Whisper Drive 1/2 HP Belt Drive Garage Door Opener-WD832KEV at The Home Depot

Sure enough it's a huge improvement. Another client has been complaining about the same thing. His door is fairly heavy and he wants to go with a strong motor. I found a couple of Chamberlain units which also have battery backup, claiming to power up to 12 cycles during a power outage. One is a 3/4 hp unit, the other says it's a 1.25 hp but it costs less and further down in the specs list, it says .5 hp. Oh well, of more interest to me is their stating that the motors are DC. I'm guessing it does away with the need to invert the battery power for backup use. I'm unfamiliar with AC being converted to power large DC motors.

Anybody know about that? Or the relative quality of Chamberlain? I've read here and there that they are perhaps the best.
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1986 300SDL, 315K
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:06 AM
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Location: SE
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Belt drives and screw drives are quieter. Chamberlains are very good quality. At least they were a few years ago. Proper counterbalance of the door will reduce a lot of the noise and lengthen the units life as well.

The battery backed up units are light years ahead now. The earlier units seemed to utilize adapted cordless drill parts.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubyagee View Post
Proper counterbalance of the door will reduce a lot of the noise and lengthen the units life as well.
Ah was gonna add that but you got here first. This makes a *vast* difference. Had someone out to replace the original (28 year old) springs after one failed. He tuned the new springs supporting the door so the door has almost 0 apparent weight. Right after that I bought a new screw drive Genie device that opens the door in about the time of the previous unit. The Genie was designed to open quickly but close at a typical slowl rate.

Another detail is to lube the guide wheels properly. I read that silicon lube is the preferred way to go. According to an article, the worst thing to use is WD 40 and similar as this kind of substance actually causes the wheels to drag. I found that using silicone eliminated the overwhelming majority of noise the door made when moving. It no longer sounded like a roller coaster climbing the first hill.
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:57 PM
cmac2012's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 15,354
I've replaced springs on both doors, sort of nerve wracking, like using a table saw only more so: all hands on deck. I bought a 36" long 1/2 steel rod and cut it in half for the two winding tools.

Word I've read is you get the springs tense enough to hold the door in balance about half way up. On the door I have yet to install the opener, that didn't quite work as then there was too much spring tension for the motor to close the door. As it begins to close, there is virtually no vertical weight bearing down on the cable/spring so the motor has to tighten the spring until some of the weight starts moving down the guide. I had to loosen the spring a bit to find the balance. Perhaps I could tighten it a tad more for better function.
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