An automated garage door opener can be a tremendously useful labour-saving device for any garage owner, and a wide variety of models are available to suit practically any garage door configuration. However, even the most expensive high-end door opener is a pretty useless device without a power supply to operate its motor, and different models of garage door opener draw their power from different sources.
Choosing which power supply your garage door opener draws power from may seem like a fairly inconsequential decision, but making the wrong decision can lead to major headaches if you have an opener installed only to find that your chosen power source is unavailable. As such, you should note the individual pros and cons of choosing each type of power supply and then choose an opener that utilises the most suitable power supply for your needs.
Many garage door openers draw their power from your home's mains electricity in the same way as your other electrical appliances, and choosing this option practically ensures that your door opener will never be short of power. Mains electricity is therefore suitable for powering door openers servicing large, heavy garage doors, especially those found in multi-car garages.
Openers that run off of mains electricity can be connected to their power supply in one of two ways:
- Hardwiring involves having your door opener wired directly into your home's power supply, creating a constant, reliable source of power.
- Outlet-powered openers are plugged into a conventional power socket inside your garage.
Having your opener hardwired into your mains power supply is generally the most reliable option, and it prevents valuable socket space in your garage from being taken up by a door opener that requires constant power. However, hardwired door openers are more difficult to disconnect if they need to be powered down for repairs or service, and they are more expensive and time-consuming to install.
If you choose a mains-powered garage door opener, you should also bear in mind that your garage door will have to be operated manually during power outages. Many mains-powered garage door openers are therefore fitted with backup batteries, ensuring your door can be used even during prolonged power outages.
While many mains-powered openers use a battery as a backup source of power, many others eschew the mains supply entirely and run entirely off of battery power. These openers are generally compact and cost significantly less than openers utilising other power supplies. They are also tremendously easy to install and can be placed almost anywhere without having to take the location of electrical wiring or sockets into account.
However, the battery that powers a battery powered door opener is as finite as any other battery, so it will need to be charged periodically to remain effective. A battery-powered opener that is entirely drained of power will not function, and does not have the benefit of a backup battery to pick up the slack. This makes battery power a less desirable option for remotely-controlled door openers, which need to be powered on constantly to sense incoming signals from the remote.
The most modern and environmentally-friendly way of powering your garage door opener, solar-powered garage door openers are completely independent of outside power supplies, making them remarkably reliable. They are powered by a small and simple array of solar panels which can be installed on the roof or walls of your garage, and are generally equipped with robust backup batteries so they can be used reliably during less sunny periods.
Unfortunately, the addition of solar panels and extra wiring makes solar-powered door openers quite expensive to purchase and install, and panels located in exposed locations can become damaged by debris and require expensive repairs. Solar-powered door opener motors may also be somewhat underpowered if fitted to particularly substantial, high-security garage