International Door & Operator Industry

SEP-OCT 2017

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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operator to lift a broken door is dangerous. If a power outage occurs and someone releases the heavy door it will be like a huge guillotine which can injure, crush or kill someone. Specs, rules, guidelines, observations, and common data on residential operators: • Regardless of whether the operator has an AC or DC motor, the operator will plug into a standard house 120-volt receptacle. Most residential door operator manufacturers provide a 4 to 6-foot power cord which can reach the majority of outlets in garage ceilings. • When wiring homes, electrical contractors have historically been confused by the placement of the operator outlet. Many new homes are pre-wired for an operator, but the pushbutton wires are often placed too low. The pushbutton should be placed 5 feet or higher above the standing surface. I recommend that if the button was pre-wired and lower than 60 inches, the installer should make it right even if it requires placing the bell wire on the wall and ceiling with staples…safety overrules looks! ALL THE TIME! • If the garage has no available power outlets (which is rarely the case), it is NOT the installer's responsibility to wire and provide one. Rather, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to have a licensed electrician supply the power receptacle. Many times there is a light in the middle of the garage and the homeowner may think this will suffice. Although there will be 120 volts at the light, it is on a switch which can be turned off. • Many times I have found the outlet 7' back from the header and an extension cord is not recommended. I guess electricians think the operator for a 7' door will be seven feet long. If a doorman can make this mistake, then any other person can and will (Murphy's Law). • Some operator manufacturers provide a slightly longer power cord that will reach a misplaced outlet, and you should carry one or two of these units just for these weird garages. • Federal Law dictates that all residential door operators manufactured for sale in the US must be evaluated, approved, and meet the requirements of the UL 325 standard for residential operators. • All residential door operators are provided with a set of photo sensors that pulse infrared light. Many believe the photo beam is a straight line like a laser, but in reality the beam is pulsing like a strobe. Infrared light is invisible to the naked eye, but surrounds us all day within the regular light spectrum from the sun. The receiver sensor could fault if it gets direct sunlight. This usually happens during sunrise or sunset when the sun is on the horizon. • One side of the sensor unit emits a pulse of light and the other side looks for it and counts the pulses. The unit that transmits light is called the TX (sending eye) and the unit that receives the light pulses is known as the RX (receiving eye). Most manufacturers pulse at 7-10 times per second. This is referred to as the pulse code and is the reason why photo-sensors are product brand specific and not universal. If the receiver is looking for 7 pulses per second and sees only 6, it will think it is an obstruction and reverse the door. Even a leaf blowing through the invisible beam can be detected and change the count received. Both units must be installed no higher than six inches from the floor. This is known as the six-inch rule which now applies to every operator including commercial. • It is best to install a structural angle or an operator reinforcement bracket on hollow metal doors so the operator has a strong point to lift the door. Actually the support should be provided on every steel door. Make it a habit. At minimum, you should supply a 21" piece of punched angle and screw it vertically from the center hinge to the top section. Homeowners who install their own operator usually forget this important suggestion. Always have an operator reinforcement bracket with you in case you visit a garage with a damaged top section. • Most operator motor heads are 10" wide. If your new operator head is approximately this size, it may line up with the angles already bolted to the ceiling, saving installation time. • The overall length of an operator and rail for a 7' high door will be approximately 124 inches long. This can vary by manufacturer, but it will only by a few inches. • On sectional doors, the curved arm connects to the door bracket and the straight arm connects to the operator trolley. However, on a one-piece door the "...residential door operators are provided with a set of photo sensors that pulse infrared light... the beam pulses like a strobe and is invisible to the naked eye, but surrounds us all day within the regular light spectrum from the sun. The receiver sensor could fault if it gets direct sunlight. This usually happens during sunrise or sunset when the sun is on the horizon." Continued on page 38 36 International Door & Operator Industry™ (continued from page 35) TECHNICAL

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