Anyone have any opinions on them? Are Craftsman (sears) good? How about
Genie? What is better, belt or chain? Does the bypass (if electric is out)
come with it? Is outside transmitter necessary?
Any other helpful hints/suggestions?
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Don't know about the relative quality of brands, but I can tell you that
there are LOUD openers and quiet openers, if that makes a difference to you.
Also, while the outside transmitter is a bit of a luxury, it sure is a nice
thing to have if you temporarily misplace a transmitter, or if you want to
give a relative or friend easy access to your garage/house.
While I have had few or no problems with Genie, I only have about 35
years experience with two sets of two openers. I suggest stopping by most
any library and looking up the most recent Consumer Reports listing and see
what they say.
Frankly I like the screw, which is what I have had. However I believe
that any of the three can be good or bad depending on the specific design.
I believe they all come with this.
I would not be without one, but that is up to you. You can add one
later if you change your mind.
I suggest you consider the speed and noise as factors of interest. Some
of the new ones open rely fast. That would be nice. Some (often the same as
the fast ones) also are much quieter than others. Those are the two things
that I would look for if and when I ever need to replace what I have. Those
features were not available when I bought my last set.
My Craftsman chain drive is still going strong after 18 years. I don't
have the currently available DieHard battery backup. I would say that
the outside transmitter may or may not be necessary depending upon how
you use your garage. I have an aftermarket battery operated pushpad type
that I just put up last year because I keep a lot of tools in the garage
and sometimes want to go from yard to garage without tracking dirt
through the house. I got tired of opening a car door in the driveway to
push the remote to open the garage door.
I've had 2 sears openers over the past 25 or so years. With the 1st one the
large nylon gear wore out after about 15 years, but at that time it was
lifting a large (and pretty old) double wide door which has since been
replaced with a much lighter door, so I expect opener #2 to last much
longer! I also installed one on my daughters new build about 4 years ago as
a 'housewarming' gift (the builder wanted $250 to put one in.)
As for the specifics, most, if not all, come with a manual override release
that lets you disengage the opener in the case of a power or other failure.
Since my garage is detached from the house, and has no other door than the
overhead, I installed a keylock release that allows me to pull the manual
release from outside the door.
The 1st opener came with a remote key-pad which was quite handy for opening
the door when I was outside. The second did not, so I have to go in the
house to open it. Not knowing your situation, consider where you are when
you want to open the door, and figure what you'll have to do to get to a
button to open in. If you are in the yard and need to get to a tool in the
closed garage, will you need go all the way thru the house to open the door?
If so, an external keypad (remote or wired) will save you time!
One other thing - particularly oif you get a chain drive. Pay close
attention to the mounting heights and the chain adjustments! In my
daughter's neighborhood of new builds (none more the 3 yrs old) there are a
handful of homes where there is a tell-tale grease slick along the center of
the garage door that is an indication that the chain is either dragging on
the door as it opens, or someone decided to dump a quart of axel grease on
The only really interesting opener is the I-Drive from Wayne Dalton. They
sell it at either Lowes or Home Depot and Wayne Dalton stores. You've got
to see it to see why it is different. It mounts right above the door and
there is not central track to install or look ugly.
Get a LiftMaster (Chamberlain Group) operator(LiftMaster/Chamberlain are the
people who make the Craftman operators for Sears). The LiftMaster belt
drive operator is a good operator which is relatively quiet. An outside
keyless entry is nice to have, it beats having to go through the house to
open the door when you're out stomping in the mud on a rainy day. If the
only way into the garage is through the garage door, maike sure that you
have a "keyed emergency disconnect" installed.
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