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Chain Drive VS Screw Drive Garage Door Opener?

January 6, 2006

I installed a Stanley screw drive garage door opener about 9 years ago. I have a solid wood sectional double-car door that is quiet heavy and the opener just won't lift the door anymore. I had a repair man out today and he says i need a new opener. He says that companies will tell us to put in a screw drive but he says they are bad in the cold and he would only put it a chain drive. He also thought that I would be better off buying a good Sears chain drive and installing it myself. What do you think? My self installed opener only lasted 9 years. Are professional openers better than self installed openers? Should I go with a Chain or a Screw Drive?

Comments (8)

  • Don_

    You need to find yourself another "repair man". There is no opener on the market that will open a "quite heavy" door for very long if at all. Call a garage door company and get your real problem fixed.

  • sdknecht

    The "repaor man" was from a well known, quality garage door company and he is not the one that will be doing the work, he just came to give the estimate. We are the only people in our nerighorhood that have had any trouble with our opener. The houses were all built in the 1970's and they all have the same garage door. We had a professionally installed Genie screw drive opener before the Stanley and it lasted for 20+ years and everyone in the neighborhood still has their old Genie screw drive. I guess my big question is should i spend the extra money to have the pro's do it, and should i go with a chain or screw drive?

  • sdknecht

    I just had a Genie Pro Max Chain Drive opener put in yesturday. It works great! It's extremely quiet and lifts the door with ease.

  • yadax3

    We just installed a "quite heavy" solid cedar garage door with a chain-drive opener on the recommendation of our Overhead Doors dealer. They said a screw-drive opener would be a mistake in our climate and requires too much maintenance. Since they sell/install both types and the difference in cost is negligible, I didn't have any reason to question their advice. They did, however, recommend a 1/2 HP opener (even though our door is only a single) instead of 1/3 HP because of the weight. Good luck!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Overhead Door Openers

  • gahandy_man

    I would look at Chamberlain's 3/4 HP chain drive opener.

    Here is a link that might be useful: 3/4 hp opener

  • HerringboneD28

    Did the repairman say anything about the condition of your garage door springs? True - wooden garage doors are quite heavy, but the springs are supposed to compensate somewhat for the weight. Sounds to me like you need a spring or two replaced if the new opener simply cannot lift the door, That may be something you'll want the pro to do.

  • WendyB

    just found this thread as I am in the market for a new garage door opener.

    My 8 year old screw drive opener (craftsman 1/2 hp) is fine, except it just lost a circuit board from lightning and power spikes. The repairman (Overhead Door) also replaced the pulleys while he was here. It opens a lot smoother now with the new pulleys.

    My 25 year old Craftsman 1/2 HP chain drive opener is in need of replacement (motor died). My Overhead Door dealer doesn't sell screw drive openers. So now I need to get a new one for that bay. decisions... decisions... I'm tempted to go with Craftsman 1/2 HP again, but I don't see the screw drive choice on their website.

    As far as the OP goes, probably a 3/4 HP would solve that problem. I would think that the HP would be more important than the chain or screw drive or belt style factor -- or who installs it.

  • thedurk

    I am very happy with my Overhead Door branded Phantom II opener which is now about 11 years old. I have a massive 1960 vintage double-wide heavy wood door (made to go end-to-end on two original single bays built in 1937, and also from Overhead Door). This thing has a Kevlar belt and a 1/2 HP DC traction motor like the ones on subway cars. It has been zero-maintenance (other than one change of the remote batteries)and trouble free. I do keep the door well-lubricated and did tighten the torsion springs once.(Scary job, but I was careful). The price at the time was quite reasonable. Call your local Overhead Door guy and get an estimate.

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