Auto-reverse ?

otmsheffieldApril 7, 2008

One of our garage doors was broken recently when it failed to automatically reverse after encountering an obstruction. The item that fell into the path of the door did not break the light beam near the floor, so the door didn't reverse but crushed it instead & in the process broke the door. I thought that garage door openers are required to have an auto-reverse safety device, but have been told that inclusion of such a device is voluntary. Most GDOs instead have the light beams that trigger a reversal. The problem is that there are numerous instances in which something or someone could be in the path of a closing door and not break the light beam (such as on a bicycle when the light beam passes between the wheels or in a car that's far enough in or out of the garage that the tires don't trip the sensor.)

We're lucky that the only damage was to the garage door and the item that fell into its path, and no people were hurt. Once we get the door replaced, I want to also replace our GDOs with ones that have both an auto-reverse feature and a battery backup. Can anyone suggest a reliable, quiet GDO that has both of these features? Thanks.

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Openers have had auto-reverse for many years but a malfunction or mis-adjustment can prevent their working properly. You will find what you are looking for in a new opener from Liftmaster model #3850 or Sears Craftsman model #53939.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 6:26PM
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Shef, between the two of them, the force reversal and interrupter cup on all liftmaster/chamberlain/sears produced since 1993 do what you describe. The infrared sensors were added across the board in 1993, and add extra protection. Note that the IR beam MUST be low to protect small animals and kids. What did you crush, a car? Or was it a conventional (tilt up) door?

Most objects in the crushing path of a rollup break the beam, unless its like atable left straddling it.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 10:32PM
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Thanks. Liftmaster sounds like just the thing.

Techdave, I didn't see what happened, and am waiting to find out if the damage is in any way covered (it seems that the GDO wasn't properly adjusted and exerted way too much force) so I probably shouldn't say more about it.

The light beam unfortunately would not help if the front or back end of a car was under the path of the door but the tires weren't breaking the beam, or if the beam was between the front & back wheels of a bike, or - well, you get the idea. Within our extended family, we have folks who are severely hearing impaired, in a wheelchair, suffer from Alzheimer's, etc., and I'd rather replace all of our GDOs than to risk anyone being injured. It's not possible to eliminate every risk, but this is one I can manage.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 3:37PM
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