Retrofitting the garage door operator
Forget about ever having to get out of the car again to open the garage door
In bad weather conditions, and especially as winter approaches, manually operating a garage door is often nerve-racking. So why not retrofit the garage door with an electric garage door operator? Existing garage doors can also be conveniently opened and closed by radio using a door operator.
It's snowing, stormy or pouring with rain and still you have to get out of the car to open the garage. Then you have to close the garage again, in bad weather, with your hands full of shopping. With an electric garage door opener, you can easily control your garage door. Control is achieved using a transmitter or a smartphone app. This allows you to open and close your door at the touch of a button. We explain how a garage door operator can be retrofitted and what you should look out for.
Retrofitting the garage door operator: When doing so ensure:
To retrofit a garage door opener, you should find out how big your door is and its approximate weight. Depending on the door type, weight and size, you will need a suitable electric motor, that has the necessary pull and pushing force to open and close the door. Common garage door types are sectional doors, one piece doors and roller doors. Hinged double doors are used less, but can also be retrofitted with a door operator; special fittings may be required.
In principle, an electric garage door operator can be retrofitted to any garage door. It does not depend on the technology. The motor only replaces the manual force required to open the garage door.
Automate existing garage door
Garage doors have their own system in which they are guided. This system is still necessary and ensures a correctly adjusted garage door. This is important, because an incorrectly adjusted door can lead to a heavy load on the operator motor and to unpleasant noises. In addition, a door that does not run freely and is sluggish reduces the service life of the operator and the door fittings. The garage door should open and close easily by hand. If a mechanical locking device is present, it must be removed or shut down, since this task is performed by the motor.
A garage door operator requires some space under the garage ceiling. Under certain circumstances, a SUV, pick-up or off-road vehicle, which up to now barely fitted into the garage, no longer has enough space in height.
When retrofitting an electric garage door operator, also take safety into account. Power-activated doors are machines and, as such, the requirements of the Machinery Directive must be met. SOMMER door operators are developed and manufactured in Germany and comply with the latest international standards For example, an electronic motor monitoring system monitors the closing forces in accordance with EN 12453 and thus ensures greater safety.
Compatibility: Operator and door should be certified
SOMMER has certified over 5,000 door/operator combinations in cooperation with external test stations. This means that most doors are compatible with SOMMER garage door operators and are certified. Under Certifications you can check whether your door is compatible with a SOMMER garage door operator based on the manufacturer or door type.
Have the garage door operator retrofitted by professionals
With our dealer search, you can quickly and easily find a dealer near you to retrofit a garage door operator by entering your postcode. Our specialist dealers provide safe and perfect all-around service for complete customer satisfaction. Find a specialist dealer near you and get expert advice!
Operator recommendation to retrofit a garage door operator
With our operator recommendation for garage door operators, you can find the right garage door operator for your garage door in just a few steps.
Video tutorial: Retrofitting a garage door operator
In our video tutorial we provide you with an example of how to install the SOMMER base+ garage door operator on a sectional door. The installation and operating instructions provide other important details and steps.
Tools for retrofitting a garage door operator
You will require the following tools to mount the garage door operator:
- Measuring tape and spirit level
- Screwdriver and spanner
- Metal saw and file
- Drill and drill bit
- Ratchet and hammer
- Pen and scissors
- Safety equipment
Lay out the required tools beforehand to ensure fast and safe installation. Wear your personal protective equipment. This includes safety glasses, safety gloves and a safety helmet.
Summary of the most important installation steps
To retrofit a garage door operator, roughly the following steps must be taken. Depending on the garage door operator model, the installation steps may differ from the example shown here.
- Check the scope of delivery before starting installation
- Assemble the tracks and fit the chain
- Mount the ceiling control unit and tension the chain
- Attach lintel bracket and ceiling holder to track
- Close the garage door completely
- Mount the track
- Screw the door fitting for the motor carriage to the door
- Adjust limit switch
- Check door for correct opening
- Adjust emergency release to height
- Optionally: Install accessories
Initial operation and programming
- Connect the operator to the power supply
- Start the programming process: press the first button on the handheld transmitter provided
- Confirm end positions
- The operator learns the required forces independently by repeatedly opening and closing
Subsidies for garage door operators
Retrofitting the SOMMER base+ or SOMMER pr o+ garage door operators is subsidised by the KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) if a garage door certified in accordance with 18194 is installed in parallel.
Learn more about the subsidy and the savings potential for electric garage door operators in our article Financial subsidies for anti-burglary garage door operators of resistance class RC 2
Garage door operators for retrofitting
Garage door operator SOMMER base+ with ceiling control unit
Garage door operator SOMMER pro+ with separate control unit
Yes, an electric garage door operator can be retrofitted for existing and new prefabricated concrete garages, as well as brick-built garages. The selection of the electric door operator depends on the door type, weight and size. A SOMMER garage door operator can be retrofitted to a sectional door, one piece door, roller door or hinged double door.
Find the right garage door operator for your garage with our garage door operator recommendation.
You can install a garage door operator yourself, or you can hire a trained specialist dealer to do so. Specialist dealers provide safe and perfect all-around service for complete customer satisfaction.