Differences between Chain, Screw, and Belt Drive Openers
When it comes to the wide garage door world, there are variations among the operating systems to support different weights and serve different needs. Each door type works better with a special garage door openers type. So hoist operators are excellent for commercial rolling doors. And there are commercial slide operators to serve the needs of heavy duty doors. The most popular opener system is the trolley (carriage) one. And this will support one of the three lift systems: the belt, chain or screw drive system.
Each of these drive types is unique in terms of its structure, parts, and the way it works. So there are differences between them which highlight that each garage door must find its perfect pair. And that’s not all to it. Your personal preferences along with the climate of your location will also be serious determinants when it is time for garage door opener replacement and thus choosing the right drive type. So let us examine the main differences of the three drive systems.
Chain drive openers:
This system operates with a chain, which is similar to that of your bike. It’s metal and thus noisy. It runs through a rail connecting the motor with the carriage. So when the motor transfers electric power, the chain moves and takes turn to transfer the power to the trolley, which activates the arm to pull the door open.
Chain drive openers come out with AC and DC motors. If you choose the latter, the noise won’t be too loud. DC motors with the soft start and stop feature will quiet down the door but don’t expect silent operation. Chain driven options are inexpensive and an excellent solution for heavy doors.
Belt drive openers:
That’s the elegant version of chain driven openers. Instead of utilizing a metal chain, they have a rubber, fiberglass or polyurethane belt which minimizes the noise. Since they are almost completely silent, they are a bit more expensive but they are worth the extra money if you don’t like the noise. They have the same lifting capacities as their chain counterparts and so they make a great choice for any application. They are very popular in residences, where the garage is beneath bedrooms.
Screw drive openers:
Although the first two drive options have some similarities, screw drive openers are quite different. These ones utilize a threaded metal rod to pull the door open via the arm. Their whole structure is different since the trolley rides on the rod as the motor moves it. They have fewer parts and might not need much maintenance as the other two drive types. But the frequency of garage door opener repair will depend on the local weather conditions too. If there are intense temperature fluctuations, they will affect the condition of the screw drive opener. As far as noise levels go, they are midway – not as silent as belt types and not as noisy as chain types.
Looking for commercial or residential openers?
Knowing the differences between the three trolley opener types is vital. But actually choosing the right drive type requires more information. There are differentiations among openers of each drive type too in terms of their power. So you can find chain drive openers with ½ or 1 horsepower. And this makes all the difference to the way the door moves. If you are seeking a new opener for your residential standard size door, you might choose a ½ hp motor regardless of the drive type. But the heavier the door gets the higher the motor’s capacity should be. So there are power differences to serve both commercial and residential doors.
Similarities between the drive systems
The good news is that titans in the opener manufacturing industry, like Liftmaster, Craftsman, Genie, and others, offer motor power options in all drive types. And that’s what all drive types have in common. You can find them in different horsepower versions.
A few more things they have in common are that they are reliable, support battery backup systems, work with the rolling technology, and come out with either AC or DC motors. And if you choose DC motors, their performance is relatively silent – even for chain drive options.
One last thing all trolley systems have in common is their need for service. Screw drive systems have fewer components but this doesn’t mean that the reverse system or the rod won’t ever wear. Since they all include the necessary safety features to ensure protection, garage door opener repair and maintenance services are both vital.
Should questions pop in mind, want assistance in finding the right motor for you, or need new opener installation or service, A+ Garage Doors is here to help.