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What is a Jackshaft Garage Door Opener and Do I Need One?

By Jim Sorenson Subscribe to RSS | February 16th 2012 | Views:

In a normal automatic garage door system, there are several functional pieces. The one that most people notice right off the bat is the motor and pulley system. It’s generally a box that is mounted on the ceiling at the center rear of the system between the garage door tracks. It attaches to a bicycle-type chain which runs inside a track that attaches at the other end of the chain to your garage door. You press the garage door button, the engine kicks on, the chain moves toward the motor, and the garage door rises. Hit the button again, the chain in moves the opposite direction, and the door lowers.

It would be easy to think that this motor supplies the power to raise the garage door, but it actually supplies very little in that department. The motor is there to guide the door, but the actual raising and lowering is supplied by the use of torsion springs. These springs work like a counterbalance weight to the door. When the engine goes on, the springs tighten and raise the door. When the door needs to lower, the springs loosen. The engine merely starts it on its way.

What is a Jackshaft Garage Door Opener? :-

The Jackshaft Garage Door Opener was originally designed to work in commercial facilities. Like the normal system, it uses a motor and a torsion spring. Where it differs is how the motor and springs interact. The Jackshaft motor mounts on either side of the door and uses no chain. In this system, a small powerful DC motor actually turns the torsion spring itself to raise and lower the door. It uses less space and the lack of a chain makes it very quiet. Also, because a bulky motor does not need to be installed in center, the door rails can actually go much higher in the garage, giving considerably more space above in the garage. Doors can go as high as fourteen feet.

Would this be Right for Me? :-

As stated, the distinct advantage of this type of system is the ability for the garage door to raise itself to right above the ceiling. If you have a taller vehicle, this gives you much needed headspace in the garage.

The more important reason to install a system like this would be the type of ceiling you have in your garage. A garage with a tall or Cathedral ceiling makes a conventional garage door system difficult to install. Also, a very low ceiling would be a candidate for a jackshaft opener because there would be no ceiling space in which to mount the opener and the track. The center mounted motor in that system has to be installed at the level of the top of the door and mounted to the ceiling. In the Jackshaft system, it is installed on the side along the track, out of the way.

The last advantage to the Jackshaft system is the noise factor. A system without a chain and pulley is much quieter than the standard and the DC motor installed here reduces sound pollution by a great degree.

Jim Sorenson - About Author:
Seattle Garage Door Repair provides professional garage door repair and opener service for Seattle, Washington. Feel free to contact us 7 days a week, 24 hours a day for friendly, courteous, affordable Garage Door Repair Seattle. We look forward to serving you and earning your business.

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