I have owned both chain drive and screw drive openers, most recently a Genie
screw-drive unit I installed about 18 years ago. As I am now looking for a
replacement, I would much appreciate any thoughts about what is a really
durable and low maintenance replacement.
I see screw, belt, and chain drives being sold, and there may be other
methods used now as well. Is any one approach vastly superior, and is any
specific brand really exceptional?
Thanks in advance.
Thanks Nelson. My first unit was a chain drive and it seemed to require
adjustment once a year or more to keep it working right. Is this still an
issue with the chain drive units, or did I have a poorly designed one? I
pulled the chain unit out after 5 or 6 years and put in the Genie screw
drive, and never had to do anything other than oil / lube it occasionally,
and rarely adjust the limit switch sensitivity.
Repair parts is indeed a very big issue. I did have very good service from
my 18 year old Genie screw drive, but I now see that the long track and
drive screw have been replaced with shorter pieces which are spliced
together at the job site. I also get the impression that the whole unit,
including motor and drive mechanism is lighter and cheaper in construction.
I am actually bothered by the fact that my 18 year old unit cost me about
$140 and the replacement unit sells for only $30 bucks more, 18 years later.
Before committing to another Genie screw drive unit strictly based on past
performance, I want to see if there are newer, better, more recent designs
which I should consider.
Thanks for helping me and I very much appreciate any advice.
the belt drives are quieter and faster. My overhead door units have metal
sprockets and one piece tracks. The ten footer is a belt, the nine footer
is a chain.
The tracks (belt or chain) are interchangeable with the legacy head units.
"Smarty" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
Thanks very much. I went to the Overhead Door web site at:
and it appears they use their own private label brand openers, and that the
belt drive model is called "The Phantom". I will check it out and see how
much they charge to install their opener. I also see that they (as well as
Genie) now sell 3 different types, belt, chain, and screw. Must be that
there is demand and need for all 3......
Overhead Door owns Genie. Looking at the two web sites, the Genie Pro
Stealth appears to be the same opener as the Overhead Door Phantom.
In all probability, Genie remotes would also operate Overhead Door
openers. The remotes certainly *look* identical.
Wayne Dalton interesting unit. My parent's has had one on a Wayne Dalton
double door for 3.5 years with no problems. They also make a unit for non
Wayne Dalton doors:
I am thinking of replacing my 3 openers with these units.
Thanks Art. What a radically different approach! I never realized that such
a device exists. I watched the installation video on their website and it
seems within the realm of a good DIY person. I wonder what they charge to
put one of these units in? I imagine it is quite expensive but who knows.
The low noise is a nice plus...
I put in a idrive Torsion when they first came out in my area a
over 3 yrs ago. I absolutely love both how quiet the unit is and how
little space it takes up! On the minus side, the gearing in mine
stripped and locked up in the third year. I've also gone through
premature failure on the set of two remotes that came with the
unit. The remotes would not stay latched shut - touching them
would make them pop open and their batteries spill out.
To their credit, Wayne Dalton replaced all the items with no
problems, but it was a self-install and the rep was hinting that
WD may not re-replace the unit if it strips out again. So, I'm a
leery about their build quality and how far their warranty service
They may stand behind their product a little better if its installed
by a rep. I think they suspect that my garage door is mis-balanced
or is sticking (though the door was professionally installed
and opens manually one-handed). That's OK, I suspect their
original design didn't have enough mechanical margin. The
replacement unit has some noticable design changes in the
electronics, so I'm hoping that they also beefed up the gearing
a little too...
I am coming to the conclusion that.....I've been so satisfied with my prior
Genie screw drive unit after 18 years of solid use that I should just go out
and buy another one, even though something better may be out there. Thanks
to all for great assistance.
I've had the Genie screw drives at 2 houses over about 30 years. 1st one
was the one-piece drive, more recently the 2 piece. They both worked well.
Only thing I don't like about the newer ones is the way they shut off the
light automatically when the door is UP (on the old one the light remained
on indefinitely when the door was open). Usually if the door is up, I'm out
there & if I want the light OFF, I'll shut it off. Plus on more than one
occasion with the old one, I'd glance out & see the light on in the garage &
it would remind me I had forgotten to shut the door. I'm sure this is an
energy thing, but especially with compact fluorescent the energy is
negligible, plus I think having the light ON when the door is open deters
theft. As to screw or chain, all other things being equal, a screw drive
has FAR fewer moving parts, so will be more reliable. It's just a better
design, again all other things being equal.
As an interesting aside, according to the inflation calculator at
http://www.westegg.com/inflation/ the $140 you paid 18 years ago would be
equivalent to $239.51 today, so the same unit costing $170 today probably
doesn't indicate any real difference in quality. They probably make/sell
more of them now than the did 18 years ago, lowering per unit costs, not to
mention the fact they're probably made overseas now all or in part, which
may not have been the case 18 years ago.
I agree with everything you've said Dan, and conclude that another Genie
screw drive is the way to go. I too am disappointed with the change in the
lighting control, and also both rely on the light when I am out there in the
garage and also will occasionally be reminded that the door is open by
seeing the lights. All considered, I will still get the new Genie and live
with the modern "feature". The price is really reasonable, all considered.
Wayne Dalton store near me is excellent on service. I had them fix an
opener. 9 months later the spring broke in the door. Completely unrelated
failures but they did not charge me any labor on the second repair because
they had fixed the opener for the same door 9 months earlier.
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