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Most people envision a garage door opener as an overhead system. A jackshaft garage door opener is an exception that, instead of mounted near the ceiling, it’s installed on the right or left side of a garage door. It is typically placed at the attachment points of the garage door springs and provides as much power as more familiar belt-, chain-, or screw-drive models.
Jackshaft openers work by turning a torsion bar. The force of the bar on the garage door springs raises and lowers the door on its tracks. This setup can be used with any type of garage door (except single panel doors), even those up to 14 feet high. Residential models are therefore quite versatile. Although you might spend a little more, jackshaft garage door openers come with a wide range of benefits.
Some of the greatest advantages include:
- Suitability for All Garage Designs: Whether your garage has a low height, sloped ceiling, cathedral ceiling, limited depth, or ceiling-mounted pipes, a jackshaft opener provides a convenient alternative when you don’t have the minimum 48 inches of clearance for an overhead trolley system.
- More Storage Room: By installing a jackshaft opener, you free up space for storage of items such as bicycles, camping equipment, canoes, and other large items. You can get as creative with storage as you want, as garage ceiling space won’t be taken up by so many garage door components.
- Quieter Performance: Jackshaft garage door openers are very quiet compared to other common models. You can expect virtually silent operation. This is great if your garage is located near a bedroom or other living space.
Are Jackshaft Garage Door Openers Safe?
Jackshaft openers include all the latest modern safety features such as photo-eye sensors and automatic reversal systems. Some models include lights for added safety. All can be manually operated in an emergency and use rolling door codes each time the system is operated. Like with other types of garage doors, this prevents thieves from copying the code to gain entry.
Can I Link My Jackshaft Opener to My Smartphone?
Many jackshaft models have the latest connectivity features. It is quite common to find Wi-Fi connectivity and remote smartphone control and monitoring. With LiftMaster jackshaft openers, the free MyQ app allows control of your garage door from anywhere with an Apple or Android device. You can even synchronize the door with other home automation and security devices/systems.
Jackshaft garage door openers are easy to maintain. There’s no need to reach up to the ceiling to inspect or adjust one. They also offer peace of mind, as there are no motors or metal components hanging above your head or car. In addition, some openers have an optional backup battery that kicks in when the power goes out.
Choosing Your Jackshaft Garage Door Opener
You want to select a jackshaft opener that is properly sized for your garage, delivers an appropriate amount of power, and that has all the features you need. There are different models, features, and configurations to consider. Other than cost, there are few downsides. The exceptions being a retrofit may be required for installation, an electric outlet must be located within six feet of the system, and adequate space is required. Clearance requirements include at least 7 inches on the side and 3 inches above the torsion rod.