Are Garage Doors with Backup Batteries Needed?

There are so many options when it comes to garage door openers, and an electric opener with a backup battery is one of those options. However, homeowners often wonder if this is a necessary function that will be needed in the long run.

LiftMaster backup battery

In this article, we are going to explore the reasons why a backup battery may be needed.

Who Needs a Backup Battery?

Recently, the state of California has passed a law that states all newly sold and/or installed garage door openers must have a backup battery if they are being used in a residential property. The governor signed rule into law, and now it is necessary for all builders to comply.

The reasoning for this new piece of legislation has to do with the recent catastrophic forest and brush fires that have ravaged the state. There were several deaths that occurred that likely could have been prevented if the people were able to open their garage door and escape. Unfortunately, due to the power outages, the garage doors could not be opened, and people were unable to escape.

If you do not live in California, the risk still applies. A house fire could cause the same issue. Plus, with the onset of climate change, it is predicted that other areas of the world will be similarly affected by widespread fires as temperatures rise and humidity drops.

It is especially important to have the backup battery if there is no other way to exit your garage other than the rolling doors. This will ensure that you are never trapped inside, no matter the circumstances.

Besides, it may come to pass that all electric garage door openers begin carrying the battery backup options. California has a huge population, and houses are being built all the time. The major garage door opener manufacturers, such as LiftMaster and Chamberlain, may simply carry the backup battery as a standard feature in order to always be in compliance with California law.

Garage Doors Need to Stay Balanced

While we are discussing important safety features, it is a good idea to take a moment to talk about balance. The purpose of the garage door opener is to replace the amount of manual force that is needed to open the door. The garage door weighs more than 100 pounds if it is a single door and over 200 pounds if it is a double door. If you start adding things like fancy accessories and solid wood finishes, the weight can go up exponentially.

LiftMaster Jackshaft garage door openers installed

When your spring system is perfectly balanced, the door should feel like it weighs around 10 pounds when you are attempting to open it with just one hand. That means the door can be lifted with very little effort.

To check whether or not your garage door is balanced, it will involve disengaging your electric garage door opener by pulling the emergency release handle. Once that is done, you can use the lift handle which will be found on either the lowest or second to lowest section on the garage door. When you lift the handle, you should not have to strain to open the door. If you do, that means your springs are not balanced, and you need to contact us for service. It is a good idea to do this check every few months because constant daily use can knock it out of alignment.

Understanding the Backup Battery

Whether you purchase a Chamberlain, LiftMaster, or some other brand of garage door opener, you will find that the backup batteries all run about the same. They are rechargeable units that are integrated into the system usually near the motor or right in the motor housing. A single battery charge should allow you to use your door at least 20 times before it will run out of charge, and a completely dead battery will recharge in about 4.5 hours.

LiftMaster backup battery 475LM

The backup battery will also keep the photoeye reversal system operational as well.

Various Models of Backup Battery Openers

You may already own an opener with a backup battery if you have purchased yours in the last few years. There is a logo you can check for that indicates a battery backup was included or that there is a capacity for adding a backup battery. All motors with rechargeable backup batteries will run on direct current (DC) and not alternating current (AC.)

Here are a few of the offered models you may wish to consider:

  • Jackshaft door opener
LiftMaster 8500W electric garage door openerLiftMaster WLED electric garage door opener

In addition to adding a backup battery to your set-up, the newer garage door openers offer technological upgrades like MyQ. LiftMaster has created a smart garage door that can be added to your smart home package and is controllable via an app on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. You can open and close your garage door from anywhere you happen to be...even on the other side of the world.

Visualize where the backup battery is located in the electric opener

Ready to Learn More?

If you are in the market for a new garage door opener and you live near Laconia, feel free to contact us right now at 603-524-4778 to discuss your questions. We know garage door openers better than anyone, it is our specialty! We can help you find the best device to suit your needs and your budget.

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