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Garage Door Openers Must Now Have a Battery Backup in California

It would seem to me that a service door to the outside is important for s garage. At least people wouldn’t be trapped in the garage if the power failed.

Yeah it might be set to close a little tight like mine. I want a tight seal on the bottom of my doors to stop water and rodents so it is set to shut a little stronger, plus I have those rubber seals on the concrete so I get a good seal, especially in the winter. When I pull the release, the door does spring back a little. Thing is you’ll never get the door completely shut again until the power comes back so you need a vice grip to hold the door shut.

I’ve never had a real long lasting power outage, but my back up plan is a small generator. Getting the door open in a long term power failure is the least of my worries, so a generator is a better back-up than a battery (except for the computers). Now if you ever had a spring or a cable break on a two stall door, it takes everything you can throw at it to get the door open to get the car out to shag the parts. So what do I do? I replace springs and cables on a preventative schedule, like I replace other car parts. Other people will just call a door guy and have a cup of coffee while they wait.

I am one of those that call the overhead door people. Several years ago I was tightening the new spring I put on with 2 large screw drivers . One slipped and was sent flying to the front of the garage and stuck in the drywall .

Yes you have to be very very careful winding those springs. I have the steel rods for winding but always take it slow and stand to one side on the ladder just in case. I’ve seen the power of those springs. Although the extension spring and not the new torsion springs, one night in our other house about 1982 I heard a huge bang from the garage. I went down and one of the springs had broken, traveled across the hood of my new car, and put a huge gouge in the wall. Anyone standing in the way would have been seriously injured. I replaced both springs and installed safety cables to keep them in place if it happened again (which it did). Shortly after that I saw that safety cables such as I devised were being installed around. Tremendous force in those things.

At least when torsion springs break, they’re “contained” by the bar that they’re wrapped around.
A few years ago, after I pulled in my car, I heard a big “bang”. The torsion spring broke in two. Scared the *&^% out of me.
After trying several companies to come out and repair the spring, I gave up, watched a few videos, and ordered a replacement spring and bearings to replace the cheap plastic bearings I had.

Yes, you have to pay 100% concentration to what you’re doing. The “second” winding bar gets inserted before the first one comes out, rinse & repeat, apply paint across the spring to aid in counting number of turns, etc.

Agreed. The title of the post indicates that it is; reading the associated post I wasn’t so sure.

Whether is it or isn’t, I still think the legislature is getting too involved in running their constituents’ lives.

No thing an be idiot proofed because idiots are so ingenious. How much of a protected bubble can one expect? Freezing cold, school bus breaks down sue them my kid was not dressed for weather. CA immigrant no license, makes his wife with no experience behind a wheel drive, she drives into a pond and they win million dollar lawsuit because no guardrail, meanwhile wife rear ended while stopped at a light, 50k ins he had, so now respected lawyer is negotiating bills so we don’t end up owing money, 3fu system

People have no idea how to release the door. And how many people that do know ever actually try it?

However, I do feel that every overhead garage door with an electric opener should have a handle on the inside of the door, by the floor, so you can actually pull the thing up. It’s an unnecessary challenge to find something to grab on to and lift the door off the floor. If the opener system came with one in the box, that would be a start.


There are likely people who could manage to lock themselves out of a Shelby Cobra.:wink: (Cobra image provided for those who don’t get the joke.)


Yes, that’s an accurate description. But the radio news reports – which I heard several yesterday, coming every 1/2 hour – say all that needs to be done is the Gov’s signature, and that appears to be a formality. But if anybody can figure out how to dissuade the Gov from signing it pending further study and an injection of a little common sense, go for it.

Door opener


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Battery backups for garage doors closer to becoming law

Also, The bill will not require existing homeowners to install new openers or add backup batteries to their existing units

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There was a totally unrealistic storyline on the TV show Station 19 this last season, a full fire crew in full equipment was trapped inside a garage of a burning house because the owner had forgotten hes security password and had fortified the house. You could see the garage door was an ordinary door with an ordinary track. It would not take any real firemen 5 minutes to get out of there. To top it off there was an suv and keys with them and one of the firemen wanted to start it up and drive through the door but was stopped by everyone else because “it might make everything worse”. That show is n0 Chicago Fire.

I have had to use the emergency open the garage door in the 29 years we have lived in our house.
I really don’t like having an attached garage, but it is a convenience. We always leave the keys in the ignition when the vehicles are in the garage so that I could get them out quickly in an emergency and not have to hunt for the keys.
The house my parents owned when I was growing up had an attached garage. They converted the garage to living space and built a garage separate from the house. Having a detached garage lowered the property insurance.

Oh boy, even worse. From the article “Diem knew how to pull the cord to disengage the opener but the DOOR WAS TOO HEAVY TO LIFT” What does that mean folks? The door wasn’t balanced and the springs weren’t working to lift the door. You should be able to lift the door with one hand without the opener. So continuing to use that opener for the full weight of the door would have burned the thing out and maybe started a fire. Tell that to the Governor. They should make sure people have their doors adjusted instead of a battery back-up.

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I thought that it was SOP to include an inside handle near the floor.
Going back as far as the early '70s, all 3 garage-equipped houses in which I have lived had such a handle.

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Just put out the news of what happened and suggest each home owner might want to think about coming up with their own plan to open the garage door when the power is lost.
Maybe the California legislature might want to outlaw fire.


Sounds utterly ridiculous to me. Many, many years ago during an economic downtown here (oil boom went bust…) I was laid off of my mechanic job along with everyone else; soon followed by the dealer folding.

A good friend of mine offered me a job installing overhead doors and electric operators. I did that for about 6 months until a mechanic job surfaced. I can say that from my somewhat limited experience and conversations with co-workers that we never heard of a disconnect failing on an operator activated door.

Bing is also correct. Have the door checked for operation and adjustment once in a blue moon and there won’t be any problems.

VDCdriver is also correct that every door has inside handles; at least on the ones I installed, serviced, and so on. The door kits always come with external and internal handles.

I have two firm opinions on this. First, replacing a simple mechanical system with a system involving electronics and an electrochemical reaction is a great example of lobbying by a product maker to a state legislature. Second, having recently replaced some older garage door openers, pretty much all the decent ones now have a battery backup and the idea that they would add $500 to the cost is a great example of people exaggerating a situation needlessly.

We’ve used ours a few times and the battery backup works great. It works best when you arrive home in a storm and the power is out. This is the current version of one we bought four years ago:

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