Hurricane season is right around the corner, which means a number of different things: floods, harsh winds, and long lines and shortages of food and supplies at the supermarket. Most people don’t think of their garage opener at this time — after all, what does the weather have to do with your garage? However, you must remember what happens so often during hurricanes: power surges. You don’t want to be locked out of your garage…especially after you just filled up your gas tank and stocked it with gas cans and your generator!
How Power Surges Work
By the technical, government definition, a power surge is a “spike” in voltage of your home’s electrical lines. Wall outlets typically run on 120 volts of AC power, which runs across a sine wave at a given frequency. A surge exponentially increases this potential energy, and though it lasts only a few millionths of a second, it can be enough to cause permanent damage to your garage opener. Your appliances simply cannot handle this burden of excess energy.
Protecting Your Home from a Power Surge
A power surge can result from any number of causes. During hurricane season, they are mostly the result of lightning strikes and/or ruptured power supply lines. Fortunately for you, certain steps can be taken in order to safeguard your home and keep your garage opener safe:
- Have the electrical system of your home/apartment/condominium inspected in order to make sure it is properly grounded and that it complies with modern safety guidelines.
- On your own, you can inspect your outlets, cords and any appliances for signs of general wear and tear. If they look broken, have them replaced.
- You can also install surge suppressors near your garage opener or have a professional handyman come and upgrade your house’s circuit panel.
Troubleshooting a Damaged Garage Opener
If your garage door opener is damaged during a storm and its attendant power surge, it may still appear to be in at least partial working condition. For example, it may work manually, but the keypad may not. Or, the safety sensors will not be activated.
In any case, it is extremely inadvisable to continue using your opener (even if it appears to be partially or mostly working). You can at least have it inspected. Simply call us at (561) FIX-DOOR — we’ll do it for free!