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Discussion in 'The OT' started by Mark Holtz, Sep 15, 2019.
From KPIX 5:
Garage Door Backup Battery Required By New California Law
FULL ARTICLE HERE
The funny part is that after I saw this story, the garage door opener in my home fell apart, as it was about 18 years old. I know what some of you are thinking... "if the power is out, pull the emergency release and pull up the door manually." Yeah, that works for me, but my 78yo mother? Nope.
Still, it doesn't help where there are people who, for one reason or another, are absolutely stingy and misery when it comes to making decisions and doing the absolute minimum. You can spot these people a mile away who have pat phrases such as "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." One such example is those who still have a stock of incandescent light bulbs, and refuse to replace the bulbs with LED bulbs. LED bulbs are more efficient in generating light including generating much less heat, the light from a LED is more natural than a CFL, and the LED light bulbs last longer. Slight problem.... the LED light is slightly more expensive at time of purchase. At least the price of LED bulbs has come down and the quality has improved since they were first introduced.
However, light bulbs are cheaper to replace than garage door openers. I just replaced a eighteen year old garage door opener in my home, and the new garage door opener has features that did not exist in 2001. There was no such thing as a battery backup, nor could you control the garage door with your smartphone. (Before someone says that's a silly feature, there have been several times where I thought "did I close the door or didn't I?", and turned out in my car driving 15 minutes back to confirm that I didn't leave the garage door open.) Since my home purchase came with a one year home warranty for repairs, I had to wait for the garage door opener to break, then pay the upgrade fee between a like replacement and what I really wanted.
One of the takeaways from the article I got is when someone is replacing their garage door, and gets hit with the surprise additional expense of "you have to get a new garage door opener with battery backup." What is the life expectancy of a garage door opener--fifteen to twenty years? It is already financially expensive to live in California, and mandates like this doesn't help. But, then again, actions have consequences, and sometimes, those consequences are unplanned, unintended, and unexpected. Each person has to make their own judgment call. My decision making involves not only the cost of the item, but the quality of the item and the features it contains.
From the little I know about garage door openers, the ones with battery backup are usually DC powered. My garage door guy says they are more problematic over time than conventional AC powered ones. He said that if you have one of those DC ones with battery backup then replacing the battery is a requirement a few times over the lifetime of the unit.
I just replaced the chain drive opener in my newly constructed home as it was noisy and about as cheap a unit as the builder could find. Got a good belt driven one, but not one with battery backup. I hadn’t really thought about opening manually, but at 75 there will probably come a time in the not so distant future that it will be an issue.
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Thankfully, I'm a bit handy with a screwdriver, and a replacement battery is about $20-$40 per Amazon.
Last time mine broke it was replaced with one with WiFi and battery backup, it's all they had left on their truck and I just wanted it replaced. I originally said I don't need those features but they've come in handy a couple times. The WiFi was nice when I came back from the car dealer with a loaner car, got home and it was raining and no garage door opener and it was pouring rain. Instead of getting out of the car I used the app on my Apple Watch and opened the door while nice and dry in the car.
Why not get an inexpensive UPS and plug the opener into it ?
I was just gonna ask something similar: Will a whole house generator be sufficient?
Aww, now I want a garage door opener with 'Net connectivity. We use the garage as our main entryway and it gets left open from time to time. Think I'll give the overhead door company a call tomorrow and see if I can get one. Good points!
My opener has a 3' cord on it. I'd have to rewire it or add a 25' extension cord to reach a UPS. Or make a special mount for the UPS up on the garage ceiling.
I replaced my opener several years ago. It was only a $30-40 upcharge to get the battery backup added. About the same price as an inexpensive UPS.
But requiring a battery backup be installed if you're replacing the door seems a bit much. Existing opener may be just fine.
I can agree with recommending or encouraging a battery backed up opener. Maybe offer a $100 tax credit for installing one. But I would not require a battery backup unless it was in a rental property (since the occupant makes less decisions about their own safety). Does the law address doors without openers? Is everyone in California now required to have a garage door opener?
As for my house, the opener is old (probably 20 years) and doesn't even have a built in radio receiver for the remote. I plan on replacing the radio receiver some day and would like to have a Wi-Fi option (to open the door for packages and other deliveries and make sure it is shut afterwards). I came home from vacation one time and found the door wide open and the car I left home's door open. There had been a power failure in the community and apparently someone had been going door to door during the outage. It looks like they were scared off by neighbors. Since then I am always concerned that the door could open itself. I usually unplug the opener when I leave town for more than overnight.
I turn ours off, disconnect the traveler and then lock the garage door.
I avoid "smart" stuff like a opener with net on it. We had to replace ours recently and the installed kept plugging a smart opener, until he was shocked our house was dumber then a pet rock.
Geez, leave it to California to over regulate. Battery backup in a GDO is a recipe for future problems. Some parts of the State get very hot in summer. Garages rarely have temp controls. Batteries don't like very hot temps. Those batteries will need replacement often, every few years.
I do understand the 78 year old than can't pull the emergency cord but now that 78 year old may be spending $100-$200 every few years to keep the battery working right. It won't be a cheap battery and the labor to do it will be a one hour minimum service call if a Pro is used.
The replacement battery for our Chamberlain garage door opener is $19 on Amazon and $23 at Home Depot. We just started our third year (in FL) with this ooener and it is showing no signs of needing replacement.
No matter what someone types, someone will find fault with the it. That's the nature here. I understand. Nothing is 100% of the time is it?
And that 78 year old that can't pull the red cord can order it an Amazon, climb the ladder and replace it? The big picture.
But the battery is optional for you isn't it? Enough government regulation inside the home!
I agree. Seems a bit of an overreach to mandate these. More of a convenience item than something that should be regulated.
Let me clarify this in the proper context as to why this legislation ended up being the law of California. There have been several major fire events in the state of California that can be best described as "Firestorms". Three that stick out in my mind include the Santa Rose firestorm of October, 2017, the Redding firestorm of August, 2018, and the Paradise firestorm of November, 2018. Three three events stick out in my mind because I knew friends who were directly or indirectly affected by these firestorms. The firestorms were so nasty that the authorities told the residents to leave NOW with the clothes on their back. They had zero time to even grab their valuable papers, as the fire was mere minutes away. You take a look at the photos of those fires aftermath, and all you see remaining is the foundation, chimneys, and whole ton of ash. The Charles Schultz museum in Santa Rosa escaped the fire, but they were closed for two weeks after the fire to clean up the smoke damage.
As for the Paradise fire, that town was practically wiped off the map. It was eighty miles north of Sacramento, yet all that smoke blew southward. The air quality index hit peaks of over 300 because of that fire.... a record for that area, and a record you don't want. Consider:
Even on a hot summer day, Sacramento hits a low 100 on the air quality index. Over 300, and you are pulling out air filters afterward that are black. You look outside, and it looks extremely foggy. Going outside? Wear a air mask.
PG&E, which is one of the major electric providers in the state, and which some people (myself included) have nicknamed "Pacific Graft and Extortion", had adopted the policy that they will shut down electricity if there is an increased risk for wildfires with little, especially since they have been held partially or fully liable for those fires. I also believe that there have been land management issues which have contributed to the firestorms.
Should it have been mandated? I don't know. See my comments at the beginning of the thread. I don't care either. At the time of the Paradise fire, I was beginning to pack up and move out of California.
We had a replacement garage door opener installed after the original 25-year-old device gave up. I can still pull the emergency cord if needed to open the door but my wife cannot and in a couple years I doubt that I will be able to do so. The door is wood and heavy. I'm happy with the battery backup.
The last I checked smoke detectors were not required in Indiana homes except rental properties. I can't imagine requiring battery backups on garage door openers.
It is law in Indiana http://www.in.gov/dhs/files/Smoke_detector_statute-portion_for_website.pdf