951-679-3405

Mon-Fri 9-4

mgdor@pm.me

mgdor.com


FAQs

Programming the HomeLink system built into the car

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HomeLink systems are often built into the car’s touch screen computer system. So the owner’s manual for each make, model, and year must be studied! (You can’t just poke your head in and look for three buttons on the visor, rearview mirror, or somewhere else and visually tell if the car has HomeLink.) HomeLink also has a YouTube channel describing how to program the various HomeLink systems. As of today there are 141 videos available at www.youtube.com/@HomeLinkGentex/videos. The HomeLink website is www.homelink.com/

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HomeLink can also connect via WiFi to show whether the garage door is closed or open. HomeLink cannot only open the garage door and gates, but can also work the home’s security systems, lighting, climate control, stereos, etc.. There is a lot that HomeLink can do!

When should torsion springs be replaced?

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Now. Right now!
(In most cases.)

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Keep in mind, our springs cost $249 and are rated for 50 to 60 years on a 7' high door. Other garage door companies charge about $350 during the week and $650 on the weekends. While using springs that may last only six years. (Many franchises use 9,000 cycle springs which only last six years if the door is opened and closed 1,500 times per year.) The calculated average price a homeowner is charged for replacing torsion springs is about $430. That’s (5*350 + 2*650)/7. These are the numbers used for the calculations below.

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  1. The typical homeowner.
    The average California homeowners tenure is less than 17 years. Torsion springs are usually rated for slightly more than 10,000 cycles, and the typical door is opened 1,500 times a year. Therefore the homeowner will need to replace their springs twice in that 17 year period. By replacing their existing springs as soon as they buy the home saves them over $600. (2*430-249 = $611.)

  2. The lifer.
    A first time home buyer expecting to live in their house until they die. The age of a first time home buyer is 36. Life expectancy in the USA is now about 77 years. The lifer would be living in his home for 41 years. If the lifer immediately replaces their current working springs with ours, they’ll never have to buy another pair of torsion springs. Actually our springs will last 10 to 20 years past their expected life, until they are 86 to 96 years old. And in that average life expectancy time they would have saved 41/8*$430 - $249 or close to $2,000. And if they lived to 96 they would have saved close to $3,000. In conclusion the lifer saves much more by buying our springs as soon as they move in.

  3. The short-termer.
    Only planning to live in their home for a few years. In summary the tipping point is four years. If living in the home for four or more years immediately get new torsion springs.

Years Savings

1

-$195

2

-$141

3

-$87

4

-$33

5

+$21

6

+$75

7

+$129

8

+$183

How long do torsion springs last?

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All springs we sell are rated for over 80,000 cycles on a 7 foot high door. Our best springs are rated for close to 200,000 cycles.

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Most door manufacturers and repair companies use springs rated between 9,000 and 14,000 cycles. Some of the best springs coming with new doors are rated for 29,000 cycles. These are usually advertised as "Lifetime" and come with free hardware replacement. Like some springs from Martin and Hörmann doors. Though the springs are warrantied the labor is not. You can call the manufacturer and verify. So buyer beware.

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There are other repair companies that make a point of selling good springs. For instance one national franchise uses 29,000 cycle springs and gives a lifetime warranty. (The springs are very beautiful and expensive in shiny green.) However, the best torsion spring I’ve ever seen from another repair company in the last 20 years was a 50,000 cycle spring.

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The following links to the laws and standards may help clarify things:
  • Section 6.1
    Residential and commercial door systems shall be designed to operate at a minimum of 10,000 cycles when they are properly selected, installed, operated, and maintained. A door system shall be designed to operate the specified cycle life when more than 10,000 cycles are specified.

  • 2.2 Cycle.
    A door or grille moved from the closed position to the fully open position and returned to the closed position.

  • Section 2.8
    Residential Door. A sectional door which is intended for use in a residential garage, and normally expected to be operated less than 1,500 cycles per year.

Is it safe to repair a garage door yourself?

It all depends on the problem. However, if you have so little faith in yourself that you ask this question, then you should call. Here are some things you should certainly call for even if you have confidence in yourself:

  • A broken torsion spring. Sure you can order them online. Simply do a search at home depot. You will probably not order the right ones, they take at best days to arrive, and they will only last a fraction of what I use. Oh, and price. You are not saving very much money.

  • A door off track. Very few people know how to fix this even if they are mechanically inclined. Often times these mechanically inclined people call only after they get scared…​

  • When you have better things to do with your time than work on a door.

What are the pros and cons for Screw, Belt, Chain Drive and Jackshaft openers?

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Screw Drive

A long 6' to 14' screw rotates and a trolley/carriage is moved across it like a nut.

  • Pros

    1. Some of the early models from the 60s were built well and are still working.

    2. On tall doors a screw drive that does not flop about like a chain is a benefit.

  • Cons

    1. Many, most?, of the newer models in the last few decades are built so poorly they should never have been sold.

    2. Most need to be greased on a regular basis or they are very noisy.

    3. If the wrong grease is used it will be noisy almost forever.

    4. The grease often globs and falls onto the floor.

    5. The coupler connecting the screw to the opener often breaks.

    6. The trolley/carriage often wears out.

    7. If the screw is assembled using multiple pieces the C clips often break.

    8. Some are built to operate the door faster. This usually results in the door being destroyed over time.

Chain Drive
  • Pros

    1. On tall doors chains rather than belt drives are often used.

    2. Prices are usually best.

  • Cons

    1. Chain drive flops about.

    2. Chain often breaks the sprocket off or destroys the bearings.

Belt Drive

These are similar to chain drive units but use a belt instead of a train. In my opinion they are the best.

  • Pros

    1. Quiet.

    2. Usually has a lifetime warranty.

    3. Because of the flex in the belt the door and opener last much longer.

  • Cons

    1. They cost a wee bit more, $20 or $50, than chain drives.

Jackshaft

These attach directly to the pole and spin the pole so the door goes up or down. They are really meant for doors that go straight up requiring 14' or higher ceilings. Not for normal garage doors that go up and back over the cars. Unfortunately they are being sold with garage doors that go up and back over the cars. Causing endless grief for many people.

  • Pros

    1. No motor hanging from ceiling.

    2. Saves garage space.

    3. Mandatory if the door goes straight up and does not turn away from the wall. This obviously requires a 14' or higher ceiling.

  • Cons

    1. An electrician must put a power receptacle next to where the motor will be mounted.

    2. Expensive, double or triple the initial price of normal openers.

    3. There are many issues that could end up costing hundreds in repair each and every year. Forever.

    4. They are not meant for normal garage doors we have in Southern California. Sure the vendors will take issue with my opinions here. Sure many home owners have never had a problem with their jackshaft operators. And some other garage door companies love them because they make so much money on service from them.

Train track style

The motor is the trolley. The rail is like a train track.

  • Pros

    1. Light weight and clean looking.

  • Cons

    1. Not common.

Why can we get to you so fast?

- Because only Menifee is serviced. Driving from one side of Menifee to the other side takes only 20 minutes. Not the hour or so it takes to drive to Temecula and then another hour to drive back. So ask yourself how does a company handle multiple cities? The answer is by charging more and being slower.

Why don’t we handle everything garage door related?

- I’m only one old and weak man. I do not have the time to install a new door or opener. I’m too weak to repair an old wooden flipper door that has fallen down. Substandard, dangerous, or products prone to failure I avoid. So I will sometimes pass on jobs, not charge anything, and give suggestions so you are not ripped off while dealing with somebody else.

What’s Genie customer support like?

- Their chat program from a computer gets you a real person. Unfortunately the last real person I chatted with could not answer simple questions. They are a waste of time. The last time I called for tech support, in August of 2023, the wait time was nearly three hours. They have a call back feature though so you can give them your number and they will call you back as if you waited in line. They have different support levels though and if you need a level 2 support tech like I did they may have to call you back. The level 2 tech support person called me back 48 or so hours later. They were also of no help. In my case I merely wanted to know if they had a replacement trolley/carriage for an opener they discontinued recently. Apparently this is too difficult for anybody including their level 2 techs to answer. The movie "Idiocracy" comes to mind…​