Monthly Archives: May 2012

Considering a Side-Mount (Jackshaft) Garage Door Opener?

Are you considering a Jackshaft garage door opener?

Garage Door Opener Installed in Spokane, WA

Side Mount (Jackshaft) Garage Door Opener

What Is A Jackshaft opener?
Occasionally, I have customers who do not think they can install an automatic garage door opener in their garage due to space issues. Fortunately, LiftMaster makes a scaled-down version of their heavy duty commercial garage door openers for lighter, residential use. Jackshaft openers typically are the solution when you need to save space, have clearance issues, have an oversized/heavy door, cathedral ceilings, or other miscellaneous obstructions.

How does it work?
It mounts on the wall just to the side of the garage door opening and attaches to the shaft of the torsion system spring line. Some customers prefer the Jackshaft opener due to how quiet and aesthetically pleasing they are in contrast to traditional rail-style automatic openers. I prefer to install Jackshaft openers on heavier doors (for which they were originally designed) and for high-ceilinged garages.

Some possible issues…
If you have a light door, Jackshafts are a little more prone to throwing cables off of the drums. Installing a Jackshafts can be more difficult than a traditional rail opener, you also need a power outlet in a place that there generally are none available (a quick fix for an electrician).

If you are going to attempt to install a Jackshaft opener on your own be very careful when you are programming the travel limits because you can easily throw the cables off of the drums causing a lot of damage. So please take your time when doing this and follow the instructions carefully. I know how hard it is to be patient when programming the limits because you feel that you are on the homestretch and just want a little instant gratification in seeing the opener in action but please be careful so you don’t cause damage to your door or yourself!

Before installing a new garage door opener, PLEASE VIEW THIS HOW-TO VIDEO on how to properly check the balance on your garage door. This simple, easy to perform maintenance procedure will allow you to determine if your torsion springs are still functioning properly. Nothing will ruin a garage door faster than when the springs are no longer counter-balancing the weight of the door. As the torsion springs fatigue the garage door will get heavier and heavier.. until the springs break or the opener quits working properly (or forever).

In fact, if you own a garage door period… you should find out how to perform this simple procedure.