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New garage door opener advice

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  • Jul 12th, 2020 7:46 am
[OP]
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Nov 28, 2016
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New garage door opener advice

So my Chamberlain chain garage door opener has been giving me grief the last month. Wont shut all the way sometimes, lights acting weird, door shuts then no power at the manual opener, etc . If I tap the opener, the lights come on, etc. So a short somewhere. This morning it wouldnt work at all.

Looked into it more and its one of the motherboards has a broken solder on it. I did resolder it and it seems to be fine now, but thinking of maybe shopping around now for a future break down.

Im thinking of going belt driven if Im going to upgrade. And I have never had to buy a garage door opener before, they have just always been in the house when I moved.

What should I be looking for if I am looking for an upgrade? And good prices or sales? I have 8 foot doors
29 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
Chamberlain is probably the best brand to get. Personally, I would go with their commercial line Liftmaster.

Just buy another Chamberlain and replace it yourself. Definitely go with a belt vs chain
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Mar 10, 2005
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+1 on Liftmaster. Solid and quiet
"If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid." - Epictetus
[OP]
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Nov 28, 2016
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Gee wrote: Chamberlain is probably the best brand to get. Personally, I would go with their commercial line Liftmaster.

Just buy another Chamberlain and replace it yourself. Definitely go with a belt vs chain
So these are just a swap out. I dont need anything else to change like the rail, the sensors, etc.
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Feb 9, 2006
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Brampton
The difference isn't actually in the opener. It's actually in the hardware/rails between the 2 brands . Eg Chamberlain uses multi-piece center rails while liftmaster uses one solid piece. Liftmaster counts on their resellers and installer network to sell products. While Chamberlain is for big box store and DIY.
[OP]
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tebore wrote: The difference isn't actually in the opener. It's actually in the hardware/rails between the 2 brands . Eg Chamberlain uses multi-piece center rails while liftmaster uses one solid piece. Liftmaster counts on their resellers and installer network to sell products. While Chamberlain is for big box store and DIY.
But Chamberlain and Liftmaster are the same company. So I would need to replace my rail to?
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Aug 29, 2011
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WikkiWikki wrote: So these are just a swap out. I dont need anything else to change like the rail, the sensors, etc.
Hardware wise it's pretty much a swap-one-for-the-other.

A couple of years ago I replaced an older Chamberlain belt-drive with a newer one, and all the mounting hardware, wiring and reverse sensor beam system stayed the same. Only things I didn't reuse were the rail and wall switch (something changed in the electrical design which made the new opener incompatible with the old switch).
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Brampton
WikkiWikki wrote: But Chamberlain and Liftmaster are the same company. So I would need to replace my rail to?
They are the same company. It's like Toyota and Lexus.

Chamberlain is cheaper for your DIYer and sold at big box stores. Liftmaster is sold thru specific resellers and installers.

If you go to buy a Liftmaster you'll see you'll need a truck for the rail. Because it's usually one long piece. Chamberlain's rail is multipiece usually thinner metal.
Thinner metal = lighter
smaller piece = guy in a compact can walk in to home depot to buy a Chamberlain opener.
You can actually buy the single piece rail branded Chamberlain as an upgrade.

The openers are usually exactly the same (the exceptions being lower HP Chamberlain only openers). Liftmaster usually comes in higher HP rated openers and powered gates (IIRC Chamberlain doesn't sell power gate hardware).

I'd recommend a single piece rail and a belt driven opener. It's so much quieter.
Last edited by tebore on Jul 10th, 2020 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
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Brampton
mrweather wrote: Hardware wise it's pretty much a swap-one-for-the-other.

A couple of years ago I replaced an older Chamberlain belt-drive with a newer one, and all the mounting hardware, wiring and reverse sensor beam system stayed the same. Only things I didn't reuse were the rail and wall switch (something changed in the electrical design which made the new opener incompatible with the old switch).
They went from an old Contact system to an "Encrypted" proprietary system in the name of "security" (Literally called security 2.0 IIRC)all it means is you can't use a $1 doorbell switch anymore and have to buy their $50 dollar doorpad.
[OP]
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tebore wrote: They are the same company. It's like Toyota and Lexus.

Chamberlain is cheaper for your DIYer and sold at big box stores. Liftmaster is sold thru specific resellers and installers.

If you go to buy a Liftmaster you'll see you'll need a truck for the rail. Because it's usually one long piece. Chamberlain's rail is multipiece usually thinner metal.
Thinner metal = lighter
smaller piece = guy in a compact can walk in to home depot to buy a Chamberlain opener.
You can actually buy the single piece rail branded Chamberlain as an upgrade.

The openers are usually exactly the same (the exceptions being lower HP Chamberlain only openers). Liftmaster usually comes in higher HP rated openers and powered gates (IIRC Chamberlain doesn't sell power gate hardware).

I'd recommend a single piece rail and a belt driven opener. It's so much quieter.
Both of them say Chamberlain Liftmaster professional on them. So Ill stick with that, but then again, would I need to buy a new rail, when all I want to replace is the motor portion? Or for belt drives are the rails different?
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Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
WikkiWikki wrote: Both of them say Chamberlain Liftmaster professional on them. So Ill stick with that, but then again, would I need to buy a new rail, when all I want to replace is the motor portion? Or for belt drives are the rails different?
You don’t need a new rail. Liftmaster uses a single piece rail and Chamberlain uses multiple pieces so they can fit into a box and be shelf friendly.

I think a single metal rail is a lot better than multi plastic rails
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Aug 29, 2011
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Gee wrote: I think a single metal rail is a lot better than multi plastic rails
Agreed but the consumer version uses metal too.
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Not mine and I installed it in 2018. Unless that’s a very recent change?
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Jun 12, 2007
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Some older Chamberlain uses T shaped rails while newer ones use square rails. I believe the rails aren't interchangeable, the travelling carriage would need to match the shape of the rail
[OP]
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l69norm wrote: Some older Chamberlain uses T shaped rails while newer ones use square rails. I believe the rails aren't interchangeable, the travelling carriage would need to match the shape of the rail
Would it be easier to just change the attachment on the door, and not the actual rail. Theres nothing wrong with anything garage door wise. Just the brains of it all would need to be replaced. Of course with changing to belt a few more things would, but Id prefer to just leave the rail and spring adjustment as is
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Jan 23, 2015
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If space is available, get a Liftmaster jack shaft opener. Once you own one, you'll never go back to a trolley style opener.
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Aug 29, 2011
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Mississauga
Jerico wrote: My next opener will be one of these direct drive units. Get rid of the rail and a lot of the potential for fail.
I really like that. Unfortunately, I don’t have space on either side of the door opening to mount it.

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