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The Professional Line - Garage Door Service and Repair in Plano, TX


Say Goodbye to Screw Drive Garage Door Openers

For a stretch in the 1980’s until the early 2000’s, screw-driven garage door openers were all the rage.  They were quieter than the old chain drive openers, and they looked a whole lot better as well.  The Liftmaster 2000SD and 2000SDR were two of the more popular garage door openers in the past few decades, but soon they will sail into the sunset.

So why get rid of such a great product?  The truth is that although they were wildly popular, quieter, had more security features, and had more compatible accessories; they were in fact more temperamental in extreme temperatures.  They also utilized a plastic coupler and many other plastic components that just didn’t hold up like everyone had hoped.  The screw drive openers allowed for a smoother and more controlled operation, but they needed lithium lubrication at least once a year in the winter time.  And let’s face it, for the most part homeowners ignore their garage door openers until they stop working.

The other main reason is that Liftmaster developed a belt driven garage door opener that was actually even quieter than the screw driven rail.  They put in a ultra quiet DC motor and utilized belts that are steel reinforced such as the ones you can find powering your engine components under the hood.  It took the general public several years to buy into the concept of having a belt lift their opener when they were used to watching a shiny steel screw rod spin around inside an aluminum rail that (even to this day) looked more durable than the new style.  The difference was undeniable and therefore the market adjusted.  The new belt driven garage door openers had a lifetime warranty on the belt and the motor, whereas most of the screw driven openers had a five year warranty on the same components.

There is no doubt that technology will continue to evolve, and the belt drive is likely not always going to be king.  The good news is that Liftmaster and other brands are still producing replacement parts for the old screw drive garage door openers, and customers that have had them installed recently can still expect them to hold up for another five to twenty years depending on how they are maintained.


Submitted by Nick J. McGregor, CEO of Plano Overhead Garage Door

LED Bulbs and Garage Door Opener Interference

When your garage door opens by itself, or doesn’t close when you click your remote; it’s an uneasy feeling for sure!

LED lights can indeed interfere with garage door openers, but a majority of instances are when an improper bulb is located within the garage.  A list of recommended bulbs for Liftmaster Garage Door Openers can be found HERE.

Standard bulbs over 100W, CFL bulbs over 26W, and Halogen Bulbs can all cause interference.  It’s important to note that LED bulbs can cause interference with remote transmissions as you approach your garage as well, giving the illusion that something is wrong with the opener/motor in the garage when it may in fact be a coincidence that your garage door opener may have just started having issues soon after a neighbor put up their LED lights.  In other words, if you hit your remote button next to a house with a ton of LED lights, it may take a few times for it to register or it may not work at all because the stronger signal usually wins.

The easiest way to tell is to determine if the problem is happening only when you use your handheld remote control, or if it happens whenever you push the wall button inside the garage as well – since the wall button is hardwired to the opener and cannot be interfered with.

We give free estimates, and would be happy to come out and see if we can detect any interference near the garage.  Our senior techs carry Frequency Testers that detect interference.  They’re not perfect but they can often point to what might cause the issue.  Sometimes it turns out to just be a faulty circuit board within the opener-which we can determine by replacing the circuit board (as long as it’s newer than 1998) and seeing if that alleviates the problem.

If that doesn’t work, customers usually elect to install a new Liftmaster 8550W (our bestselling opener!), which operates on a level of Megahertz that is protected by the FCC to prevent any possible interference (it’s the same frequency that the government uses).  You can read more about it here:

Liftmaster 8587W – Heavy Duty Chain, WiFi

Liftmaster 8587W H.D. Chain Drive








Call today to learn more about the heavy duty Liftmaster 8587W.  We keep them in stock and can often times install them the same day that you call.


Call now!  972-422-1695


Submitted by Nick J. McGregor, CEO of Plano Overhead Garage Door

Liftmaster 8550W- The Best Opener on the Market!

Liftmaster 8550W

My “Want List” for a Garage Door Opener…

With the features I want, it’s almost like buying a car! Here’s why –

I want a unit I can depend on (current unit chooses it’s own hours of operation!).

I want a unit that is quiet and smooth.

I want a unit where the manufacturer stands behind their product with a Lifetime Warranty on the motor and belt and at least 5 years on the parts.

I want bells and whistles!! (Safety features, Timer, Motion Detector, a back-up battery, etc)

Last, but not least, I want it to have Wi-Fi so I can control it from my phone wherever I am.

And that’s why I’m getting a LiftMaster 8550W Garage Door Opener.  It’s all this and more!!


Click Here to Learn More About the Revolutionary Liftmaster 8550W



By Nick McGregor, General Manager of Plano Overhead Garage Door

Angie’s List Q&A content to be Published

Angies List Ask Angie Column

A writer from Angie’s List recently contacted us regarding information that they would use to help write one of their national columns about garage door openers.  We wanted to share the information, and hopefully you can see it coming soon to their website nationwide when you research garage door openers!


  1. How can a homeowner tell the difference between a quality garage door opener and one that’s not so great? What should they look for when shopping? (any warranty on openers?)

There are two main factors: Rail construction and Warranty.  If the rail is included inside the box on the shelf with the motor unit, it is likely a contractor grade opener.  Retail stores cannot afford the shelf space to keep solid “one piece” opener rails in stock with the units at their price point.

Quality openers in our industry will include a Lifetime Warranty on the Motor and the drive mechanism (either the belt, the screw rail, or the chain).  Sometimes the manufacturer will package excessive accessories to mask the fact that the opener is lacking in other areas.

  1. Can a garage door opener be installed on any type of garage door? What would necessitate the purchase of a new garage door (if anything)?

With the variety of garage door openers on the market, there is a garage door opener for just about every application.  However, there are a few red flags that prevent proper installation.  Unbalanced garage doors must be adjusted to where they will remain open half way without continuing to roll downward or upward by itself.  Homeowners often think that the motor is opening their garage door, but in reality- it’s the torsion springs doing the work.  The garage door opener is designed to simply guide the door open and closed.

Stretch springs- located along the side rails of the horizontal upper tracks- can prevent an opener from functioning properly due to their tendency to create a jerking and rocking motion as the door closes.  A torsion spring conversion on the garage door is often required in this case.

Garage doors without a reinforcing strut at the top of the top section also require modification.  Without a reinforcing strut across the top section, the pressure from the tow-arm that attaches the opener to the door can push or pull too hard and cause the top panel to crease in the center and sag (and sometimes come out of the track completely and land on their car).

And finally, any garage door that lacks the structural integrity to withstand motorized operation will require replacing defective or worn parts, adding reinforcing struts, and in some cases complete garage door replacement.

  1. What are the benefits of buying a garage door opener from someone like you rather than buying it from a Home Depot/Lowes? (or, does it not matter?)

Home Depot & Lowes do not have in house customer service.  If you can’t get the Homelink or remotes to program, you might wait on hold for a half hour or more with the manufacturer’s 1-800 number, but if you use reputable local companies, they should have staff that can walk you through troubleshooting issues.

Availability.  If your garage door is 8’ tall, over-sized width, contains wood or added materials, or requires special operation (overhead storage, attic stairways, light fixtures, high lift, low headroom, etc.); then you are out of luck.  It takes anywhere from 3 to 8 weeks to order anything other than what you see on the shelf- which usually isn’t the ideal opener for your garage door.  Many of the optional accessories for different brands aren’t available in stock- such as additional remotes for large families.

Convenience factor.  Lowe’s & Home Depot are not service oriented companies, most of the time they subcontract labor as a “next-available” schedule- which often times can be several weeks down the road.

On the job adaptation.  Many new openers with Wi-Fi compatibility require Homelink Repeater Kits in order to work with your vehicle.  You can wait for Homelink to send you a kit in the mail, or you can have it installed for you during installation with a reputable local garage door company.

  1. Should a homeowner attempt to install a new garage door opener on his/her own? Or should they leave that task to the experts? Why?

Most homeowners can install a garage door opener on their home over a weekend.  The most common feedback we get is that it takes them roughly 10-12 hours.  Professional installation takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on the accessories.  Assembling the opener and removing the old garage door opener are fairly simple, but programming and setting the force settings, travel limits, and mounting the opener properly to the garage door and ceiling seem to be the hard part.  The opener will not operate until you adjust the internal settings to a safe operating zone.  Customers tend to think that this project will be just like replacing a ceiling fan, but the fine-tuning required is much more complex.

If you install the opener yourself, you’re on your own (and liable) if something goes wrong.  Professional installation usually includes labor warranties that can cover any trips needed to come back out and adjust safety sensors, replace parts under warranty, etc.

  1. How much does a garage door opener cost for a two-car garage? What about for a one-car garage?

One car garages typically only require a ¼ or ½ hp opener, while a two car garage door requires a ½ or ¾ hp motor.  But usually, the stronger the motor the better the quality of the garage door opener.  This is why we sell ¾ hp motor openers at over 95% of our customer’s homes.

Customers can expect to pay $150 to $300 retail for a garage door opener.

  1. How much do you charge for installation?

Home Depot & Lowes offer installation for $99 to $150.  We charge between $125 and $350 plus parts to finish an incomplete installation, or install the opener from scratch.

  1. Is the installation process (and cost) different for a garage that’s never had an opener before? (new installation vs. replacement)

Yes.  For new construction, or at a home that has never had a garage door opener before; the installation will take longer.

Angle-iron back hangs will need to be added to the ceiling to hang the opener motor from, and all new wiring will need to be added either as “pre-wire” in the walls, or across the ceiling to the sides for the safety sensors, and also for the push button on the wall.  Most openers come with wiring included, but some homeowners don’t like how it looks running across the ceiling in all directions.

An electrical outlet and/or junction box will need to be added above the area in which the garage door opener is going to be installed as well.  Hard-wiring the opener directly to an existing breaker, or existing wiring is strongly discouraged.

Some companies charge for services such as these (the ones with hourly labor rates), but we do not.

  1. Does the type of garage door (steel, composite, wood, etc.) make a difference as to what type of opener you should buy?

Definitely.  Steel, composite, wooden, fiberglass, one-piece tilt-up, roll-up, high-lift, and low-clearance garage doors each require a different garage door opener for different reasons.

Heavy duty openers (3/4 hp and above) are best suited for oversized, composite, high cycle usage, any garage doors with a thickness of 2.25” or more, and one-piece tilt-up doors.  If your garage door falls into these categories, or has an existing ¾ hp unit that needs replacement, do not attempt to install these garage door openers yourself.  These doors are much more dangerous, and require special training for proper operation.

Standard garage door openers are good for most garage doors that “came with the house when you bought it”.

High lift (used to open door all the way to the ceiling for car jacks), and low clearance garages (low ceilings or obstructions) typically require jackshaft driven garage door openers that mount to the side of the torsion shaft and don’t take up as much space above the garage door when it opens.  Jackshaft garage door openers are rarely available over the counter, and require a VERY skilled professional installer.


By Nick McGregor, General Manager of Plano Overhead Garage Door

Why Does My Garage Door Remote Have 3 Buttons?

3 Button Remotes

Do you find yourself saying, “I only have one opener – why do I have a remote with multiple buttons?

Here’s why:

Most homes have the traditional single or double-car garage; however, more homes are being built with multiple garage doors and/or entry gates.  Also, it makes it possible to control your kids or parents openers from your personal remote. Now days, most manufacturers provides multi-button remotes to accommodate these different devices; therefore eliminating the need to have several remotes.

(An easy analogy:  your TV and the coffee table that overflows with remotes!  One to turn it on, one for the cable box, one for the game box, for the Blue Ray…) The same applies to your door openers, gate, etc.)

1 Button Remote

You do; however, have options. If you’re only in need of a one-button remote, simply visit our showroom where we stock several makes and models of remotes and purchase the one that is compatible.  Either way, simply assign and program each button for each device.  (Please check with your specific opener manual for different manufacturer instructions). Or, if you prefer, allow one of our professional technicians to come out and take care of your door or opener repairs or needs.

(Note: Programming openers at another address (parents, etc) would incur additional service fees. Please ask showroom sales staff or your technician for information.)


By Nick McGregor, General Manager of Plano Overhead Garage Door

How to Disengage Garage Door Openers for Manual Operation

Emergency Release Cord

There are circumstances where you have to dis-engage your garage door opener from your door. The most common is when your opener is either without power or it’s failing to perform its’ normal operations.*

VERY IMPORTANT: The door MUST be closed to do this. If you cannot close the door, DO NOT attempt. The garage door could drop hard and fast, and either hurt someone or damage the garage door or structure of your garage.


First, locate the “release cord” that is hanging off the opener rail close to your door. This is usually a red cord with a pull handle (somewhat like a lawn mower). Pull cord down and back (towards motor) with a small amount of force. You will feel it disengage, as well as, visually see the small spring on the lever open up. You can now open and close your door manually. If you cannot lift the door once the door is dis-engaged from the opener, stop immediately and call a professional- you likely have a broken spring.

To re-engage opener, push the wall console button to start the motor, and allow it to travel until you can see mechanism on the bottom of the rail (known as the “Inner Trolley”). Now locate the piece that slides along the bottom of the opener rail as the opener chain, belt, or screw is turning. This is the part that needs to be re-engaged to the carriage, trolley, or other mechanism that attaches the black elbow looking tow arm to the opener rail to raise the garage door. On some models, the door should reconnect automatically when motor stops its cycle. You will hear it “click” in place- this is usually for a belt-driven opener. For most other garage door openers, you will have to either pull down on the red emergency release cord, or down and towards the lights on the motor unit until you hear a click- or see a tab flip towards the motor lights on the opener unit on the ceiling. Then, you can either manually raise or lower the garage door until the outer trolley meets the inner trolley, or you can press the wall button and allow the opener to re-engage itself. Note that doing it manually is much safer, is less likely to cause damage, and is more likely to solve the issue. Please note that there are limit and force settings that may need to be re-adjusted before normal operation can continue.

If you cannot get the trolley and/or carriage to engage, or if your opener isn’t working properly, allow one of our professional technicians to come out and take care of your door or opener repairs or needs. As a fully staffed, family owned business since 1977, our company technicians use stocked trucks, we offer same-day service and provide FREE estimates. We have A+ ratings with Angie’s List AND Better Business Bureau (the only company in Plano with this recognition and rating).

*The directions mentioned are in laymen terms for most LiftMaster brand openers. For more specific instructions please refer to the opener manual. For other brands than LiftMaster (ie: Genie, Overhead, etc.), please contact the manufacturer of your opener for more specific instructions.


By Nick McGregor, General Manager of Plano Overhead Garage Door

Garage Backup Battery in Plano, TX

battery backup

Does it need to be replaced?

Having a backup battery in your opener can be a huge lifesaver. If your power ever goes out or the power source to your opener stops functioning, the backup battery will activate allowing the opener to still function properly. If the backup battery is dead, this feature is useless. How can you tell if your battery is dead or going to die? Once the battery begins to die the opener unit will begin to beep, notifying you of the problem. Be sure to check that the beeping isn’t coming from a smoke detector or other electronic device. Once you have narrowed down the location of the beeping you are ready to replace your battery.

Where is the backup battery?

The location of the backup battery varies depending on the opener. The Liftmaster 8550 belt driven opener, for example, uses a 485LM backup battery located behind the light cover. Older models, the Jackshaft 8500, and heavy duty openers use the 475LM standby power system. The 475LM may be mounted either directly on top of the motor unit or secured on a structural support above it.

Replacing Battery Backup

Replacing the 485LM backup battery

When replacing the 485LM, disconnect the opener from the power source. Once the opener is unplugged, remove the light cover by gently pulling it away from the opener. With the light cover removed, unscrew the lightbulb giving you full access to the battery. Now, using a Philips head screwdriver, remove the plastic cover exposing the battery. Remove the old battery and discard (or we can discard of it for you). Partially insert the new battery into the motor unit with the terminals facing out. From this point, connect the red (+) and black (-) wires from the opener to the corresponding terminals on the battery. After completing those steps, replace the battery cover, lightbulb, and light cover.

Replacing the 475LM standby power system

Directly to the motor unit:

Position the 475LM directly on top of the opener with the power cord drawn out from beneath the battery, sitting firmly on top of the opener. Be sure to adjust the placement of the angle iron (the support system for the opener) so that it is out of the way of the battery installation.  Align the two screws

Secured to a structural support:

The 475LM can be mounted to either the ceiling or a wall within 3’ of the opener motor. Secure the battery in the desired position using the mounting holes on either side and the 1-1/2” lag screws provided.

Connecting the battery to the motor unit:

Before connecting your battery to the opener, be sure to unplug it from the power source. Connect the 475LM power cord to the end panel of the motor. Once the battery is connected to the opener, plug the opener back into the power source. This will allow the battery to activate causing all LED’s to turn on for 3 seconds. The green LED will flash notifying that the battery is installed properly and beginning to charge. Allow 24-48 for the battery to fully charge.

Need a backup battery?

Stop by our conveniently located showroom to replace your dead backup battery. Don’t want to do it yourself? Call our office at 972-422-1695 to schedule a time for one of our trained technicians to come out and install it for you!




By Nick McGregor, General Manager of Plano Overhead Garage Door

The Importance of Safety Sensors in Plano, TX

Garage Door Smashes Watermelon

Why are safety sensors required?

Many homeowners underestimate the power and weight of garage doors. Because the spring holds the majority of its weight, people tend to forget that a garage door is a very heavy and potentially dangerous piece of equipment. Even the most basic garage door could easily cause serious injury or death without proper precautions. Many children, pets, and unsuspecting adults have been seriously injured because of faulty or nonexistent garage door safety sensors. According to their website, between 1982 and 1992, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received reports of 54 children between the ages of 2 and 14 who died or became seriously injured after becoming entrapped under doors with automatic garage door openers.

Who requires safety sensors?

Safety sensors are a relatively new requirement. Before 1982 there were virtually no requirements for garage door safety; however, after that time, some basic standards were put in place that only addressed a small amount of the safety issues. Over the years, garage door safety has become more and more of a priority. Safety sensors were made a requirement by the CPSC for all garage door openers manufactured on or after January 1, 1993. The entrapment protection requirements are part of a Congressional mandate in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 1990. The CPSC recommends that consumers with automatic garage door openers test the openers according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, to make sure they have a reversing feature.

Infrared Safety Sensors for Garage Door OpenerHow do safety sensors work?

Garage door safety sensors are infrared safety beams (ISB’s) that use infrared light to detect any obstruction under your garage door. These sensors send a signal to your opener unit that something is in the way of the door.  These little square boxes at the bottom of your garage door must be aligned in order for your door to close. Is nothing under your door but it is still reversing? Check to be sure that nothing is blocking the sensors, and try loosening the wing nuts to adjust them.  Sweep the area around the sensors and make sure that nothing on the door or tracks might be obstructing the path of the beam.  Both safety sensors should be lit up a solid color, not flickering or off.  If both lights are lit up on either side, your opener might need to have its’ force settings or travel limits adjusted on the unit.  This is something that a professional should perform.  Routine maintenance can help prevent sensors from coming misaligned due to vibration and loose tracks or hardware on the garage door.

Do you have any questions about or problems with your sensors? As with all garage door/openers, we recommend service once a year. Schedule a tune-up today to ensure that your door and all safety features are working properly. Call our office at 972-422-1695.


By Nick McGregor, General Manager of Plano Overhead Garage Door

How to Program Your Remote or Keypad in Plano, TX

Have you recently purchased a new opener or a remote for an existing opener? Programming your remote or keypad to your opener is simpler than you may think. Not all openers, remotes, and keypads are alike but in a few easy steps you should be well on your way to effortlessly opening your garage door.

programming remote LM

Determine what opener you have

The first step in programming your remote or keypad is to determine the type of garage door opener that you have. It is important to ensure that the remote or keypad that you purchased is compatible with your opener. Be sure to get as much information about your opener as possible, such as the make and model number, before you make your purchase.

What about a universal remote? As wonderful as universal remotes may be, they are not 100% “universal”. Be sure to double check that your opener is compatible with the specific universal remote that you choose, especially if you have an older system.

LM Learn Button

Locate the learn button

All garage door openers have a learn button used to program your remotes/keypad.  The learn button will be a small button located on the opener itself; however, color, shape and location depend on the make and model of your opener. Be sure to check under the light cover, on the back, bottom, and sides of your opener. In most newer models, you can locate the learn button by following a small wire hanging from the back. Once you have located it you will be ready to program and/or purchase your remote.

LM Remote (1)

Program your remote

The process to program your remote varies depending on the type of opener, but most use a similar process. Always check the instructions provided with your specific remote as some steps may vary slightly.

Generally, to program your remote, press and release the learn button on your opener which should cause the indicator light to blink. Once that light is blinking your opener is in “learn mode”. This will allow you to program your remote by pressing and releasing the button you will use to open your garage. Be sure to test that your remote is working properly by pressing the remote again to see if the door opens.

*Note: Pressing the learn button until the indicator light stops blinking will erase any remotes currently programmed to your system.

LM Keypad

Program your keypad

Programming your keypad will be a familiar process if you have ever programmed a remote. Similarly to your remote, press and release the learn button until the indicator light blinks. Once your opener is in “learn mode” you will be able to type in the desired code on your keypad. Some keypads require you to press the asterisk (*) or pound (#) symbol after your desired code or to enter the code a second time. As always, check the instructions provided with your keypad. Enjoy the easy access to your garage!


By Nick McGregor, General Manager of Plano Overhead Garage Door

Plano Overhead Garage Door

1100 N. Central Expy Suite #A
Plano, Texas 75074

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