garage door security

 

Belt Drive Garage Door Openers

Advantages and disadvantages

compared to over other types of garage door opener drive mechanisms

Many people prefer a belt drive garage door opener to the screw or chain driven type due to its smooth, silent of operation. Belt drives are well suited for garages with a room above it, especially a bedroom, where silence is golden.

The function of a garage door opener is not exactly the obvious - to open the door. Instead, it operates a trolley mechanism that runs across a rail along the ceiling of the garage. The trolley is attached to an arm that is in turn attached to the top of the door. This arm pulls the door open and closed as the trolley runs backward and forward. The door is generally attached to a counterweight and a spring, so that the force required to open it is reduced to a minimum.

A belt driven trolley is in the form of a steel reinforced belt, usually made of rubber, which moves the trolley. Any cables or pips running along the ceiling will have to be relocated if they happen to be in the way of installing the rail. For this reason some people prefer what's known as a jackshaft system. This type directly operates door roll-up shaft without needing any ceiling attachments.

The alternatives to the belt drive are the chain and screw drive door openers which tend to be noisier than the belt driven type. But belt drive garage openers have their own weaknesses. First, the more cheaply made belts can wear quite quickly.

Plastic belts in particular are cheap, but not very durable, and you pretty much get what you pay for. The most durable belts are the steel-reinforced rubber belts and then the fiber reinforced belts which are better than plastic, cheaper then steel reinforced.

Also, heavier doors can tax a belt driven opener equipped with cheap plastic belts. A chain drive is best for heavy door applications, while belts are ideal for aluminum and light weight steel panel doors common in most residential areas.

If you're mechanically inclined, you can usually install your own garage door opener. There is some mechanical and aptitude required, so don't try it if not completely comfortable with this scale project.

If this is a new installation, bear in mind that you will need an available electrical socket to plug the power into. And keep in mind while shopping for your belt driven garage door opener, that security features vary - better systems use advanced controller code swapping algorithms to ensure that a burglar with $5 worth of circuits can't sniff and snoop your remote opener code.

A belt drive garage door opener is ideal for anyone looking for a secure and silent way of opening and closing the garage door automatically. It may not have the power of a chain driven system, but it offers a smooth silent operation that you might be thankful for if you are getting home a bit later at night than you want anyone to know!