The average American garage door opens and shuts over 1500 times a year. There are many different parts that must work together in order to accomplish this feat. Here’s a look behind the curtain to see just how it works. The garage door operator is made up of four mechanisms, as described below.
Motor & gears
The motor is the power that overcomes the inertia of a non-moving door. It is usually a ½ hp, 6-amp machine that is hooked up to a 120-volt outlet. The motor starts the movement of the door and slows the moving door in order to prevent crashing.
The drive guide, also known as the T-rail, shields and guides the mechanism (usually a chain, belt, or screw) that moves the door open and closed.
The height adjustment is the part of the operator that determines how far the door should travel. This part makes sure that the door opens and closes to the proper distances and also makes any necessary adjustments if the door is not working correctly.
Inverter & battery
The inverter allows the operator to work with a smaller, more efficient DC current battery. Since most homes run on AC power, the inverter switches the AC current to the necessary DC current. It also keeps the backup battery charged in case of a power outage.
While the operator is a key component to the garage door, it is not, in fact, the part of the door that does the heavy lifting. This is actually accomplished by the torsion spring. Placed on the door and attached to the pulley and cable that moves through the operator, the torsion spring is the part of the garage door responsible for the weight that is being moved.