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Genie Garage Door Openers

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Genie garage door opener
Photo © Jeff Beneke
Genie is one of the biggest names in garage door openers. The first Genie brand opener was introduced by the Alliance Manufacturing Company in 1954. The company claims that this was the first mass produced, radio-controlled residential garage door opener. In 1958, Genie introduced the first screw-drive garage door opener. The company was purchased by the Overhead Door Corporation in 1994.

Today, the Genie brand appears on garage door openers aimed at the DIY market as well as a separate line of openers sold to professional installers. Lowe's, Home Depot and Sears are the primary retailers of DIY Genie garage door openers. (Sears also carries its own Craftsman line of garage door openers.) You can also find Genie's DIY line through Amazon.com. The primary difference between DIY and pro-grade garage door openers is that the latter usually have a one-piece rail, which needs to be transported in a truck. DIY garage door openers typically have a three-piece rail, which fits into the trunk of the car but requires some extra work assembling at home. Single-rail garage door openers are a bit more durable.

Most Genie garage door openers are HomeLink compatible. If your car has a HomeLink garage door opener system, you can learn how to program the system here.

If your current garage door opener is giving you some problems, you may want to see about fixing it before deciding to replace it. See Troubleshooting the Most Common Garage Door Opener Problems for help. But if you've decided to shop for a new garage door opener, take a look at Before You Buy a Garage Door Opener to gain a better understanding of the different types available. Genie offers a full range of drive systems.

Genie Direct Drive Screw Garage Door Openers

Screw-drive openers are the most common type offered by Genie for do-it-yourselfers. That's because they offer a nice compromise between price and performance (especially as relates to noise). Lowe's, Home Depot and Sears all carry 1/2 horsepower screw-drive openers, ranging in price from about $175 to $235.

Genie Belt and Chain Drive Garage Door Openers

Genie manufactures both belt-drive and chain-drive garage door openers. Chain-drive openers are durable and low cost, but they can be noisy. They may not be the best choice for garages located under bedrooms. Belt-drive openers operate the same way as chain-drive models, but with a rubber belt that makes very little noise. A belt-drive garage door opener may be your best choice if quiet operation is a priority. Both belt- and chain-drive openers may be a little harder to find than screw drive models.

Genie's Wireless Keypad

Wireless keypads are a great convenience. The keypad is mounted near the garage door. Once programmed, it allows anyone with the code to get into the garage and house without a key. This is great for kids, trusted friends and relatives, and for those of us with a propensity to lock ourselves out of the house.

Genie garage door opener keypads come in two basic formats. Intellicode keypads (see below) are the top of the line (and highly recommended), while keypads without Intellicode are available at lower cost.

Retailers often carry identical Genie garage door openers, with one product including a wireless keypad and one without. The cost difference usually runs about $20-$30. You can also buy a wireless keypad by itself. I think the convenience of a wireless keypad is worth far more than the cost.

The Genie Intellicode System

Genie's rolling code technology is called Intellicode. The remote controls on older garage door openers worked on a single code, which made it relatively easy for a knowledgeable stranger to capture the code and open the door. Intellicode changes the access code every time the remote control button is pressed (choosing from a whopping 4.3 billion possible codes). If you have an old garage door opener that opens with a single code, you should think seriously about replacing it with a Genie or other product offering rolling codes. (For a list of reasons for buying a new garage door opener, see 5 Reasons to Replace Your Garage Door Opener.)

Genie's Reversing System

All Genie openers come with a Safe-T-Beam reversing system. When installed properly, this sends an infrared beam across the door opening that causes the closing door to immediately reverse to opening mode when anything (think children, pets, cars) passes through the beam. Reversing systems are an important safety feature.

Installing Genie Garage Door Openers

Installing a Genie garage door opener is definitely a manageable project for the average do-it-yourselfer. Your owner's manual will contain thorough instructions, and you should not need to buy any special tools. (Click here for a list of tools needed for most installations.) If you aren't sure whether you want to tackle the installation yourself, take some time to study the instructions in the manual (or, if you haven't yet purchased the garage door opener), download some manuals at the manufacturer's Web site. For a succinct step-by-step guide to installation, see How To Install a Garage Door Opener.

Owner's Manuals

All new garage door openers come with an owner's manual. It's a good idea to hang on to your manual, which provides instructions on installation, troubleshooting ideas, maintenance suggestions and other important information. If you don't have a manual, you can usually find one for relatively recent model garage door openers at this site. Even if you can't find a manual for your exact model, you should be able to find one a similar model. (Check this site for information on manuals for other brands of garage door openers.)

I keep owner's manuals for just about everything I buy, but I also like to download the manual so that I have a PDF file on my computer. It's often easier to locate the version on my hard drive.

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