March 13, 2015

How Does a Jackshaft Garage Door Opener Work?

Jackshaft Garage Door Opener

Most residential garage door openers are installed above the center of the door, a style called a trolley bar. A more recent addition to the market is a model that can be installed on the side of the door, called a Jackshaft garage door opener. This type of opener is used for specific applications and is best known for its commercial uses.

A recent trend we have noticed in new home construction is building homes with garage ceiling heights much higher than those of the garage doors. So what can homeowners do if they want to maximize their storage, and don’t want a rail system blocking the space above their garage door?

Special Applications

Here are some situations where it is recommended to use a Jackshaft garage door opener.

  1. Garages with a high ceiling: Your door may be 8 feet in height while the ceiling is 12 feet high or more. Using a rail system with a vertical system lift keeps most of the space above the door accessible.
  2. Sloped and cathedral ceilings: A door opener with central carriage is an option, but in this situation, it is more convenient to use a Jackshaft. It will allow better accessibility for servicing and troubleshooting.
  3. Where the depth of the garage is not sufficient to install a central door opener: There must be at least 48 inches of clearance above the door to install a traditional door opener. A boiler or pipe can also prevent its installation.

What you need to know...

  • First, a jackshaft opener can be used on full vertical lift, standard lift, and high‑lift doors. It cannot be used on low headroom doors;
  • This type of door opener can only be used with a torsion spring system, since the opener is connected to the shaft (tube) on which the springs are installed;
  • For installation, a clearance of at least 7 inches beside the door is required. In addition, at least 3 inches is required above the tube;

Advantages

  • Jackshaft garage door openers can be used for a door measuring up to 14 feet in height, or a door with a maximum size of 180 square feet.
  • The LiftMaster 8500 Model is equipped with Security+ 2.0 technology, which ensures greater security for remote control codes. This model can also be operated remotely using a smartphone, tablet or computer.
  • Jackshaft openers are equipped with the same safety reversal systems (mechanical and photo‑cell) as trolley door openers.

What are the differences between the two types of door openers: Jackshaft or Trolley type?

  • When the specifications are equal (for example, same engine power), the two types of door openers are equivalent in terms of their technical capacity, long‑term performance and their warranty.
  • The Jackshaft model is very useful in the specific applications explained above.
  • As for price, a Jackshaft costs about 25% to 30% more than a trolley door opener. Installation time is the same for both models.

Before choosing your garage door opener, speak to the technicians at Environmental Doors. We will guide you through the many available features and help you choose the most suitable model for your garage door needs. Call us at 616-453-0164!

For all your garage door needs contact us now. We serve Grand Rapids, Ottawa County and West Michigan areas.

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