Are garage door openers universal?

Automatic garage doors allow you to get in and out of your garage with a simple button. But like all electronic items, these remote controls can spoil. So when trying to get a replacement, you may ask, are garage door openers universal?

Most garage door openers are compatible with a universal remote. The ones that aren’t may be due to age or security. So, when getting a universal remote, check for compatibility, pick the right type of remote, and read setup instructions. But you can program it once you identify the Learn Button.

It’s important to keep your garage door openers safe. If you should leave your garage door opener in the car or somewhere where anyone can access it, you should reprogram it as soon as possible to avoid theft. Here, we discuss whether all garage door openers are universal and how to use universal remotes.

How Automatic Garage Door Openers Work?

The garage door opener is a motorized device that opens and closes your garage door. Most of these doors have a switch to control them and come with a remote. While the motorized system might differ, the openers work similarly. The door is connected to a motor that opens it by pulling it up or letting it down when you press the remote.

With a button, the remote and electric motor of the door communicates via infrared radio signals. So it activates the motor and raises or lowers the door as the case may be. The door is on a track and stops automatically when it gets to a preset point in the track. But you can stop it before that by pressing the remote again. The infrared sensors are usually about 6 inches above the ground. This is for safety measures, given the weight of the door. It’ll prevent it from descending if there’s any obstruction.

Are All Remotes Compatible with Door Openers?

When you install a door opener, you’ll get a remote designed by the manufacturer for that particular door. But this remote could get lost or damaged, or you may need an extra remote. In that case, the best thing to do will be to go for universal remotes. Universal remotes are general-purpose remotes that are compatible with most garage door openers. 

With these remotes, you can open almost all kinds of garage doors. Generally, you may need a universal remote even if the manufacturer-designed remote is still working. Universal remotes are cheaper and can serve other members of the household.

But not all garage doors are compatible with a universal remote. Some garage doors won’t work with any other remote, but the manufacturer designed one. These usually happen for two reasons.

  • Age: An old garage door opener might be selective with the remote it works with. This is most likely due to differences in technology.
  • Security: Some garage door openers don’t work with universal remotes for security reasons. Such openers have security features that make them incompatible with any other remote.


Getting a Universal Remote

If you’re getting a universal remote for your garage door, here are the steps to follow:

1.  Check for Compatibility

Compatibility is important. With over 50 brands of garage door openers available, there’s a chance that yours doesn’t work with a universal remote. There are several types of universal remotes too. So, you need to check the remote packaging to see which brand and model of doors it’s compatible with.

Another way is to check the Smart or Learn Button on your garage door opener. This button comes in various colors. They include green, yellow, red, orange, purple, etc. The color lets you know which universal remote will work with your door opener. Generally, door openers with yellow buttons won’t connect with other remotes apart from manufacturer-designed ones.

2.  Select The Type of Remote You Want

There are several types of universal remotes. Universal remotes can have multiple buttons that you can use for different automatic entrances, including the electronic door. These remotes use different kinds of batteries. You may have to make a serious choice in the number of buttons.

You can get a universal remote with one button if you have only the automatic door. But if you have multiple doors, it helps to get a multiple button door opener. These remotes can have up to four buttons to open three doors. You can program the one button to switch on the garage lights.

3.  Read Setup Instructions

Most universal door remotes have comprehensive instructions on how to program them. The instructions for setting up and using a universal remote for a garage door opener will be on the instructions for the item. But even if they don’t, the principles for setting up a remote are still the same.

The garage door opener works based on the electrical code that the remote sends to it when you push a button. So, if you want to use a universal remote for the door, you’ll have to first access the code. You can do this by pressing the learn button or smart button on the garage door. Once you do this, the new remote will register the code and connect to the garage. Then you’ll have to set up the button that’ll activate your garage door.

Steps For Setting Up the Remote

If your universal remote doesn’t have clear instructions, you can set it up using the following steps:

  • Locate the Learn or Smart Button on the garage door. If you can’t find it, you may need to look under the plastic cover of the motor light 
  • Use a ladder or a well-balanced chair to reach the motor on your garage door. Press the Learn or Smart Button
  • If you’re adding a new universal remote, you only need to the press the Learn Button for a second 
  • If you’re reprogramming the code, which will reset all the remotes and clear the existing codes, you’ll have to press the Learn Button for about 30 seconds.
  • Press the Universal remote button you’re programming for the door. In some cases, you only have to push the button once. Some require up to three or five presses before they can program.
  • Once it’s successful, you’ll see a sign such as a light coming from the motor when you press the button, or the door will go up.

In Conclusion

You should be able to get a universal remote for your garage. However, not all garage door openers are compatible with a universal remote. In that case, you’ll have to get specific remotes from the manufacturer for them. You can also get wireless keypads. They’re great to use if you lose your remote or want to let guests in. They’ll require you to enter a security code and can open up to 3 doors.

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