What would you do if you had a power failure and could not open your garage door? What if one happened next week? Instead of stressing, did you know you can install a backup battery on your garage door opener as a precaution?
It will save you a lot of hassle and time, and will work perfectly to get your car out (or in) your garage during a power failure…. So what is a backup battery and can it be installed in any garage door opener?
WHAT IS A BACKUP BATTERY?
Basically, it is a small, 12-volt battery unit that the opener uses for power when an outage occurs. Many brands of door openers provide this option: LiftMaster, Chamberlain, Mastercraft, as well as Genie and Linear. If you had a LiftMaster installed after 2003, it has the option to add a backup battery, so you can go for this option.
For LiftMaster’s professional series models of openers, there are some with the battery (485LM) incorporated in the motor housing, like models 8550 and 8550W, and some where the battery (475LM) is over the housing, as in the models 2500, 3800, 8500, 8360 and 8360W.
In other models, when the battery is inserted in the motor housing, its size is approximately 9 x 20 x 7 cm. When the battery is installed over the motor, its size is 31 x 21 x 14 cm. Unfortunately, it is not possible to install one brand of battery on to another brand of door opener.
- A fully charged backup battery can supply 24 hours of standby power to operate up to 20 full open-and-close cycles, at a temperature of 15-25°C
- To fully charge takes 4-5 hours
- Fully recyclable like any other battery
DO I NEED TO REPLACE THE BATTERY?
Yes, sometimes. Depending on the battery model you use, you’ll hear a beep every 2 or 30 seconds as well as seeing an orange or red light indicating the state of the battery. The best approach is to go to LiftMaster’s website and read the instructions about the battery closely, whether it needs something fixed or replaced.
HOW MUCH MIGHT IT COST?
If you want to add a battery to your present door opener, budget about $200-300. If you are wondering how much it costs for a battery incorporated into the motor housing, you can estimate $100-200 over a door opener without a battery.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T HAVE A BACKUP BATTERY?
If there is a power failure, you may have to open the door manually. (read our post on How To Open a Garage Door Without Power). Basically, this is done by pulling on the red cord usually found near the opener, which disengages the trolley. Then you are free to manually push the door open, move your car out of the garage, then close the door and reengage the trolley by reconnecting it to the release mechanism. If you choose not to or forget to reconnect the trolley, anyone can open your garage door manually, meaning your possessions are no longer secure.
To avoid this situation, a side lock can be installed on the inside of the door on the second section. By pushing the steel bar on the lock into the vertical track, you’ll lock your door so that no one can enter. When power is restored, don’t forget to unlock this lock and reengage your opener.
GETTING A FREE QUOTE FOR A BACKUP BATTERY
Just contact a garage door specialist in your area and they can guide you through the process with ease. We here at the Perth Garage Door Company have installed many garage door openers with and without backup batteries, while also adding backup batteries to garage doors for people who don’t want the inconvenience of an automatic door that doesn’t open automatically.