garage door renovation

Can We Use Any Remote On A Garage Door?

A universal garage door remote is a device that can be programmed to work with various garage door openers. They are often popular as replacement units for those who need another remote control. Finding original remote controls to work with specific garage door openers can be a time-consuming process.

All garage door openers work similarly. The automatic garage door is connected to a motor, which pulls the door open or lets it down using a chain connected to the door. The door is also on a track. The remote gives the command to raise or lower the door.

If a remote is lost or damaged, the quickest way to replace it is often the universal garage door remote. This remote can be programmed to work with some different garage doors. 

In most cases, a universal remote should work with the most popular brands of openers on the market. The packaging will often provide information about which brands and models it will work with.

However, there may also be cases when a universal garage door remote does not work with a certain door. This may be because the opener is an off-brand that is not supported by the remote, or it may be because the security features associated with the opener do not allow it to be used. When this type of remote is not compatible, the only option is to get another one from the manufacturer.

The garage door remote is usually programmed using one of two methods or a combination of both. The first method is to use the switches inside the remote and find the one that works with your particular brand. 

The garage door opener may also be able to program the universal garage door remote through the push of a button on the motor housing. Detailed instructions are usually included in the remote opener packaging that details how to accomplish the task with certain popular openers.

Like most remote control openers, a universal one can come with many different options. They have from one to three buttons. These buttons can control multiple doors or doors and automatic gates. 

The power source for the remotes is a battery. Some are standard 9-volt batteries. Others may be run on other batteries, such as those commonly associated with watches and other such electronics.

Set Universal Garage Door Remote

Every manufacturer provides remotes set to operate the units they make. However, suppose you have lost one or want an extra. In that case, you can select a universal device to activate the opener already installed in your home. 

There are many options available, and how to set universal garage door remotes will be described in detail on the instruction sheet that comes with the one you purchase. Nonetheless, they all use the same principles and are not difficult to understand.

The garage opener's motor turns on via an electronic code sent by the push of a button. To reprogram current remotes or add one with universal features, you need to access this code by pressing the Learn Button on the mechanism. 

This allows your new remote to register the code and connect with your garage. You can then decide which button you wish to program on the remote. Then, set the remote to activate the garage by pressing that button. If available, follow the manufacturer's instructions.

While setup instructions will vary, they all follow this pattern. Each has specific instructions on setting the clicker, including how to access the code and which buttons to press. If your system also has an external keypad, you must reprogram it.

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Not One Size Fits All.

When it comes to garage door remotes, universal does not mean it will work on any garage door opener. Older opening systems use DIP switches to set the codes, so the remote must also have DIP switches that can be set to match. 

Newer systems that use rolling code technology will have learning buttons that sync with the remote, but even that does not mean the universal remote will work for your opener brand. When shopping for a universal remote, check that it lists your brand and model as one that is compatible with that remote.

Get The Right Features.

Universal remotes today are available with more options than earlier designs, but it will likely take some research to be sure the unit you choose will do the job. Remotes may have two, three, or four buttons that can be programmed to open multiple doors and lights in the garage or house separately. 

Some remotes may also use different technology, which may impact the programming depending on the colour of the learn button on your garage door opener. This is especially important to know if you currently have a remote and you are adding a universal remote to your system, as the remotes may not be workable at the same time.

Programming Steps Vary

Your universal remote will likely be a bit more complicated to program than the remote provided by the manufacturer. Depending on the brands and models for which the remote is compatible, you may need to toggle through several choices to set each button to a door or light properly. Each remote is different, and properly setting yours may involve pressing and holding a button while toggling through the brands and models.

Universal remotes may also use different technology, which dictates a different set of programming steps based on your opener unit having a red learn button or a green learn button. You will need to ascertain which button and technology apply to yours before beginning the process.

Program a Universal Garage Door Remote Control

Not all universal remotes are compatible with every opener, and you should check yours before purchasing. Once you have bought one, study the instructions in the package. If you are programming multiple devices, save time by ensuring you have them before you begin.

The Learn Button (or Smart Button) on the motor of your garage door opener can be a variety of colours: green, purple, orange, red or yellow. The colour indicates which type of universal remote will work with your machine. 

If you can't immediately locate the button, check the outer case or beneath the plastic cover over the motor's light. Here are the steps to program your new universal remote:

  • Safely place a sturdy ladder where you can access the motor, then press the Learn Button.
  • IMPORTANT: Are you simply adding a new one, or are you reprogramming all your remotes to work on a different code?
  • If you add the universal remote as a new device and do not wish to reprogram others, only press the Learn Button on the motor for one second.
  • Alternatively, if you are reprogramming everything, press and hold the Learn Button for about 30 seconds to clear the previous code.
  • Next, push and release whichever button on the universal remote you are programming.
  • You may need to press this several times because of the manufacturing design. Some will program with one push. Some require three and can even need five presses.

The indication that you have succeeded can be a light coming on or a click from the motor. Either way, you will know when you press the button, and the door goes up. Voila!

You’re purchasing a universal garage door remote, so shouldn’t the set-up be the same across the board? We hear you! Since different universal garage door remotes have different setup options, it’s important that you carefully review the instructions that come with your remote version.

The following steps are based on LiftMaster® 's instructions for programming their universal garage door remote. 

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Step 1: Locate the Learn Button

The first step in programming a LiftMaster® garage door opener to a universal remote is finding the Learn button on your garage door motor.

With the universal remote in hand, climb a sturdy work ladder to a height to reach the bottom of the garage door opener unit. The Learn button is located underneath the opener section that houses the light bulb. 

Remove the lens covering to access the Learn button, which should be either orange or purple. For a more visual representation of this, check your manual or the video on Precision’s website. 

Step 2: Push and Hold the Learn Button

With the Learn button identified, the next step is to press and hold it for about half a minute. While you have the Learn button depressed, push and release the button on the universal garage door remote with your other hand. The opener’s light bulb should flash once to acknowledge that the motor and remote are now in sync. That’s it! 

Step 3: Program Additional Universal Remotes

If you have more universal remotes, you wish to program. You’ll need to repeat the above steps for each remote.

After that, replace the lens covering on the opener and safely dismount from your ladder. Confirm that each universal remote you programmed works by pushing the button. Your garage door should open or close when activated. 

Do Universal Garage Door Remotes Work

All garage door openers use infrared radio signals to communicate between the electric motor and the remote that operates it. This is activated when you press a button. The engine then starts a track-and-pulley system installed on the ceiling. When the door reaches a certain point on the track, the system automatically stops. It can also be stopped at any height by pressing the button again.

Because garage doors can weigh more than 400 pounds, safety measures are legally required to be included to prevent accidents. As a result, infrared sensors are installed on either side of the garage, about 6 inches above the ground. These sensors prevent the door from descending if there is an obstruction, such as a child's bike.

Universal remotes are designed to function with various openers. However, there are circumstances when one won't operate a particular brand, and you should check in advance. There may be multiple buttons to command different doors or even electronic gates. They all use batteries for their power source. 

Although these may be tiny lithium batteries, like what is used in watches, or standard 9-volt batteries, they usually need to be replaced every two years. Nevertheless, they are convenient as extras for family or guests and sometimes easier to purchase than exact replacements.

If you left a remote control in your vehicle during a trip to the mechanic, valet parking, or any time someone else had access, you should reprogram it. Reprogramming will reset the code and prevent access to your home and potential theft.

Know Which Type Of Garage Door Opener Remote To Buy

Extra garage door opener remotes come in handy; however, choosing the right opener can be confusing. Each manufacturer makes its replacement remotes, and universal remotes are also available. 

You must determine the features you need and the size of the remote. Full-size remotes clip onto the car visor. This is convenient; however, it may become a security risk if your car is stolen. Mini-remotes clip onto your keychain and operate just like a full-size remote.

Find The Garage Door Opener Information

Look for the manufacturer and model information on the motor unit found on the garage ceiling or the external receiver near the wire antenna. 

Using the manufacturer information, you can purchase an exact replacement for the garage door remote by matching the brand and model number and purchasing it directly from a representative of the manufacturer, your local hardware store or online. 

If you have an older garage door opener, this is the way to go. Many universal remotes do not work on older models, but the manufacturers still sell the remotes.

Universal Garage Door Remote Controls

Universal garage door remote controls are available that you can program for use with most brands of newer garage door openers. 

You still need to know the manufacturer to make sure the remote works for your garage door and to program the remote. You can program universal garage door openers to open one or two garage doors. 

With the addition of a light control switch, a universal remote also turns on the garage light or your home lights. If you have a newer garage door opener, but you are unsure of the exact model, a universal remote will probably do the trick.

The Buttons

The number of buttons on your garage door remote is determined by how many devices you want it to control. If you have two garage doors and a remote-controlled garage light, you need three buttons. 

One garage door and one light or two doors require two buttons. Garage door remotes are available with up to four buttons.

Programming The Remote

If you purchase the remote for your particular garage door brand, programming is usually simple. You press, hold and release the buttons in the pattern specified in the instructions, and the remote will automatically determine the right radio frequencies for your garage door opener. 

Universal remotes are a little more complicated. You have to first set the dip switches on the remote to indicate the garage door opener brand, then the radiofrequency. Your universal remote should come with a full set of programming instructions.

Wireless Keypads

You can also replace a garage door opener with a wireless keypad. Wireless keypads can open up to three different gates or garage doors and are usually mounted outside the garage so that family members can open the garage without the remote. 

Wireless keypads require a security code to open the garage door. They are convenient if you have lost or forgotten your remote and for use by temporary guests or service persons.

FAQs About Garage Renovation

Purchasing a Compatible Universal Garage Door Remote.

This guarantees the best possible connection and performance between your opener and remote. However, if you have an old model that no longer makes a corresponding remote, make sure the universal remote you purchase supports the brand of opener you have.

If it is manufactured in 2011 or later (or if you are uncertain of the manufacture date), you can determine compatibility by the colour of the "learn" button near the wiring terminals. If it is yellow, it is NOT compatible. But if it is any other colour (e.g., red, blue, purple, etc.), it is compatible.

Yes, you can, and the process is very simple. Place the original key fob next to the duplicate key fob. Continue to press and press the relevant button on the original keyfob you need to register.

Whatever the reason for not having a working remote, you can add one to virtually ANY garage door opener that can be activated by pressing a button on the wall.

between $30 and $60, Remotes and Keypads.

It costs between $30 and $60 to replace a garage door keypad, and new remotes can run between $30 and $40 each. The remote control connects to receivers built into the opener's circuit board.

Do You Have A Reputable Garage Door Services Provider?

Programming your garage door’s remote is a straightforward task that homeowners can handle. But, the solution to issues you may experience with your garage door in the future, like a broken spring, won’t always be so simple.

If you don’t have a reliable garage door company you can trust on standby, now is a great time to look for one. Remember the following tips when looking for a company:

  • Please begin your search for a reputable garage door company by asking friends and neighbours for their recommendations. Look online and read reviews that other customers have left regarding each company’s service.
  • You must seek out a garage door services provider in your area that has trained and certified technicians on staff. The International Door Association (IDA) is the presiding organization that sets the safety and quality standards for the garage door repair industry. An IDEA-certified technician has been certified through the IDA’s Institute of Door Dealer Education and Accreditation. A company with IDEA accreditation is a great place to start.
  • You’ll also want to look for a services provider that offers many services to rely on them for all your garage door needs, from garage door installations to spring and opener repairs to assist with the door design.
  • Some garage door repair companies offer 24-hour emergency repair services. That means the company will send a technician out as soon as you need them to, so you’re never in a bind for too long.

Homeowners throughout Delaware and North Maryland looking for a garage door services provider they can trust can contact Precision Garage Door of Delaware’s IDEA-certified technicians for all their garage door needs, from new door installations to spring repairs. 

If you’re not seeking garage door services today, you may be interested in downloading our free garage door intro guide for homeowners, Understanding Your Garage Door: How It Works and Who to Call. 

This useful eBook will help you build some basic garage door knowledge by walking you through the various parts that make up the door system and how to know what’s normal door behaviour and what’s not. You can spot an issue sooner, get help sooner, and keep your family safe.

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