Tale of two Garage Door Openers


My first post…

About a week ago, Sense discovered one of our garage door openers. Wouldn’t you know it, it discovered the one that is used the least often and about 17 years old.

The amazing part is, this older garage door opener is used to open a single door, using anywhere from 450-600W! The newer opener, maybe 7 years old, is used to open the larger, double door and it only uses 45-60W.

I don’t know that it justifies purchasing a new opener, but I thought I’d share my findings.

Garage door is not detected after 6 months

Interesting. I have new construction and a garage that has two doors, each has the exact same opener. Sense found my garage door opener, but since they are identical, it can not differentiate them. I am fine with that since I rarely open both at same time.


Give it time. The old one might have a more definitive signature. I don’t think garage doors are as difficult as LEDs , EVSEs and other slow ramp signatures so it will probably show up in the next 30 days or so.


It really isn’t about it ONLY finding the one. I was really expressing the watt usage difference between an older model vs a newer model.


No more than it is on it probably does not justify a new one, but yeah, that’s a big difference. What is the HP difference between the two? What if you greased the old one? Sense is addictive!


That’s a huge difference between the openers. When I replaced my 20 YO openers with comparable Liftmasters, there was only a minor (400W->390W) decrease in opening/closing power. The big difference was 9W-> 3W reduction in Always On power (remote control radio and control electronics).

  • power isn’t everything. The real measure is how much energy it takes to open and close the door. If the newer opener runs 8x longer due to mechanical gearing, that’s about the same energy.

  • what is the power rating of each motor ?

  • wonder if there is a big difference in door weight / counterbalancing between the two ? Big load differences could also have impact.


Just came back to make the same comment. Release the emergency handle and see how difficult it is to lift and lower by hand.


MachoDrone agrees it’s not worth replacing the older machine. And that a kill-a-watt meter would be an interesting reading on each machine when they are on standby.
I haven’t gotten around to that on my garage doors, yet since we don’t use our garage for cars… It’s a work area.
By the way, Which garage door is used the most?
Something else to consider is that the older garage door opener may cost less over time than the newer one because it may never wear out nor need replaced… It may not be working as hard as the newer garage door opener.


Using the P4400 KILL A WATT P3 I did some more research. Furthermore, I disengaged the doors from the equation all together running the door openers up and down while unscrewing any related light bulbs.

Older Opener
Single door / Manufacture Date 2000 / 1/2 H.P. / Chamberlain
5W Always on
480W max going up
510W max going down

Reconnecting the single door, which freely opened by hand, added approx. 20 watts more in either direction

Newer Opener
Double door (same manufacturer as the single door) / Manufacture Date 2007 / 3/4 H.P. (assumed) / Chamberlain
6W Always on
63W max going up
34W max going down

Reconnecting the double door, it too moves freely when opening by hand, maxed around 150W when going up.

Nothing on the opener itself or 2 page owner’s manual would indicate H.P.
I will indicate that this opener is considered a Whisper Drive and is belt driven vs the older opener that is chain driven.

*All max readings last for a brief period of time. I was dong this test by myself and thus was pressing the button on the wall and quickly running over and looking up at the Kill A Watt for all readings. I did not have handheld remotes for this test and missed the first couple seconds of each reading.

Both doors travel at similar speeds. But to be completely honest, the newer one on the double door is slightly faster. The double door is also the one that is used daily for our two vehicles. The single door maybe a few times a week for lawn mowing or to remove a bicycle.


@cory_grimm There are several other tasks you can try to improve the wattage usage on the older garage door opener.

  1. Oil the guide wheels and the guide rails (or apply a light grease).

  2. Oil the garage door tension spring. Your user manual suggests oiling every 6 months.


A follow up to topic and perhaps an influential piece of why one garage door opener used so much more power than the other.

As of a couple of weeks ago the older garage door opener that was being used to open the single garage door stopped working.

Upon further inspection, I can see in a small opening to the inner components of the opener. Inside I can see white shavings with no movement of a gear or shaft.

I wonder if this larger consumption of electricity was a sign that it was going out?

My father-in-law has already bought me a replacement for Christmas! Once installed, we’ll have to see how long it takes Sense to find and compare power consumption. :slight_smile:


I have two that are the same and Sense can’t tell one from the other. The strange thing is I would think one would pull more amps than the other as one is on a single door and one is on a double door. Really don’t care it only sees it as one item.