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Miracle Automatic Garage Door Opener


Inspectorjoe
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I don't know how many times I've gone into a basement garage with low overhead clearance to find part of the ceiling cut out (and often the joists deeply notched) to achieve clearance for the door operator rail. After recommending the damage be repaired and the fire separation restored, I have always been at a loss as to what to recommend as a replacement, other than "get used to lifting the door by hand".

I ran into this nifty operator today. It requires no overhead clearance. The motor is attached to a modified door roller bracket. Other than starting and stopping rather abruptly, it worked great and had a reversing beam.

http://miracleinstrument.goods.officeli ... 20rev1.pdf

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On first glance, I'd agree that it's questionable. That said, I've seen a few door openers where overhead clearance was nonexistent, and side pull brackets were installed that opened the door by "pulling on the corner".

To my amazed interest, they all worked great.

If an overhead door is correctly installed and counterbalanced with torsion springs, pulling on the corner shouldn't torque the door out; its really being lifted by the springs that are pulling equally on both ends of the door with cables attached to the bottom of the door, no?

At least, that's how I figured they worked so well.

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On manually operated doors, where is the pull rope? Attached to a corner bracket. And how about big, heavy commercial doors? Many if not most that I've seen have the lift handles mounted to the side. So I don't think that a properly balanced door is going to suffer any damaging stress from a side mount operator.

I've seen a few jerry-rigged side mounts and they seemed to work fine. A few years ago I saw a single operator located between two doors, operating them simultaneously. I wish I could locate the picture.

I found a Youtube video of a Miracle operator, apparently uploaded by a proud handy-homeowner. If this guy's mechanical skills are on the same level as his foam-in-a-can application skills, I'd say that just about anybody could install this device.

[utube]

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I also ran across a cool German-made operator. It has a fixed chain embedded in the rail that the motor runs along. They make a side-mount option for it.

http://www.sommer-usa.com/Garage-Door-Openers_p_10.html

http://www.sommer-usa.com/Side-mount-kit_p_28.html

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Jack shaft openers still require at least enough headroom to use a front mounted torsion spring, and that is generally 6". Offsetting the opener is a bad idea on a door with extension springs, with a torsion spring you can place the opener anywhere there is a vertical stile.

The only thing I see wrong with this little guy is the power cord. I can imagine all manner of dangerousness happening to it as it swings across the garage.

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  • 1 year later...

Doesn't matter really how well they work or not. What matters I think is the homeowner going to really keep the area where the cable travels clutter free. In an empty garage a mechanism like this will always work. Give the homeowner a few years to accumulate clutter and more stuff like all of us and that cable will get entangled in something eventually. The cable looks like it has a quick disconnect on it just for the purpose of entanglement, but that may not be. In the case of entanglement and separation of the electrical line, what safeguards are in place for this equipment? Years ago I worked at a major garage door manufacturer and I don't ever recall any openers like these included in any line they manufactured and sold.

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