October of last year Genie Garage Door Opener had me out to tour their facilities in Ohio. They also hooked me up with a garage door opener (even though I don’t actually own a garage). Fortunately, the OPC workshop is a converted garage, and that gave me the perfect opportunity to install the Genie PowerMax 1500. This article is an overview of the installation process.
A Quick Note: OPC just sponsored a giveaway over on Young House Love. Sorry, entries are closed, but I wanted to take a moment and welcome any new readers! If you’re new to OPC, learn more about us here including details about our Project Rewards program where you can get free stuff like this. If you’re more interested in crafts, decor and style, be sure to check out OPC’s Better Half.
Pro-Follow Update: Here at OPC, Pro-Follows are the “meat-and-potatoes” of our content, and I’m excited to get started on a bathroom remodel with Steve Wartman and his crew next week. Stay tuned for details!
How to Install the Genie PowerMax 1500
The PowerMax 1500 is a screw-drive garage door opener, and that’s good because there are no belts, chains or gears that wear out. Screw-drive openers are also very strong, and almost maintenance free (lubricating the drive-screw and double-checking the Safe-T-Beam system). The PowerMax 1500 has a direct current (DC) motor, and that enables variable speed control for things like the “soft close” feature.
The project started by taking down this Craftsman opener. Swapping in a new opener is much easier because if you’re lucky, you can reuse some of the mounting hardware and wiring. Plus, you don’t have to worry about running a power supply.
Before you purchase an opener, you need to measure the garage door and make sure that the rails can accommodate the door height. Most household garage doors are 7′ tall.
The segments of this rail system are joined together with these rail connectors. After installing this opener, I’d actually prefer bolting the rails together (like some of the other Genie models) because the connectors can create noise as the door opener is running.
After joining the rails, you need to connect the segments of the screw, and Genie did a great job keeping this simple. All you have to do is slide a collar on, and then snap a spacer in place behind it.
The shuttle (pictured) slides along the rails and attaches to the carriage (the part that actually moves along the screw).
With the rails in place, the whole assembly attaches to the power head.
Mounting all this on the ceiling was kinda tricky because I was working alone. In the end, I used the garage door to support the rail, and I carefully attached the power head to the bracket.
Here’s a shot of the header bracket that holds the opposite end of the rails above the garage door.
And this is the door bracket which connects to the shuttle via the door arms.
Positioning the Safe-T-Beams was really easy. I don’t know if I just got lucky or if it’s always this simple. I just mounted the beams to the wall framing, and that was it! There was no need to adjust their positions.
Like I mentioned, it’s great to reuse the old wiring. Each Safe-T-Beam has two wires, and the wall-mount button also has two wires. Everything slides into the convenient push-in connector.
One of the nice things about the wiring on the sensors and the wall mount is that the wires are interchangeable.
With everything wired up, all that’s left is installing a couple of light bulbs and the lens. If you look closely in this picture, you’ll notice that I taped over the motion sensor. Unfortunately, there’s no way to turn that off! Other than that, the opener works well.