How Can I Automate My Manual Up-And-Over Garage Door?

Electric openers are quiet, safe, and easy to install. They can provide a high level of convenience when wanting to park your car in the garage and are essential for older family members who might struggle with opening and closing a heavy garage door. With electric openers being such a useful addition to the garage, we have decided to put together a brief guide on automating your garage door.

Firstly, you need to know which type of garage door you have, so you can be confident the electric motor will work with it. A canopy door usually has springs across the top and vertical side channels. When the door is open, 1/3 of the door hangs outside forming a canopy. If an electric operator is attached to a canopy garage door, it will jam as canopy doors require a lifting force from the bottom, but the operator will be pulling from the top. You therefore need to install a Bow Arm Converter when you install the electric motor. The Bow Arm Converter will apply force from the top and bottom, allowing the canopy door to open smoothly.

If you have a retractable door, then an electric motor can be installed without any need to change the mechanism or the settings. A retractable door has springs at the side, horizontal channels installed at head height, and when it opens the entirety of the door slides back into the garage.

A leaf door is when there are two doors, hinged at the side, that swing inwards when opening. These are sometimes called swing doors or barn doors as they are usually found on farm buildings. These doors will require an adaptor to utilise a traditional garage door electric motor.

Sectional garage doors open upwards, with the door folding up into 3 or 4 different sections. These doors can be automated, the same way as a retractable garage door.

Once you have confirmed that you have a garage door model which can be automated, you need to make sure you select an electric motor strong enough for the job. For single width doors, the Sommer Aperto 868 L is the best choice. For double doors, or heavy single doors (perhaps custom timber doors) the Sommer Aperto 868 LX should be used. Please note that electric motors are designed to replace the human effort used to open a door, they are not there to replace springs. The garage door springs should be left in place.

Share article