If you have an automatic garage door opener operated with electricity, you’ve likely had to use an extension cord to power it at some point. You still need to open and close your garage door whether your electrical circuit is acting up or you have a tripped breaker. However, this beckons the question of whether it is ok to use an extension cord with a garage door opener?
It’s ok to temporarily use an extension cord with a garage door opener. An extension cord will accomplish the job of getting electricity to your garage door to open and close it. However, it’s not a good idea to use an extension cord permanently.
Extension cords are suitable for many different things, but powering moving components like garage doors isn’t one of them. If you need one temporarily or as a one-time thing, an extension cord is ok. However, an extension cord has the possibility of becoming damaged if it’s used permanently. This article will look at when the right time is to use an extension cord and when you should opt not to.
Can You Use an Extension Cord With a Garage Door Opener?
There isn’t anything technically wrong with using an extension cord with a garage door opener. It will get power to your opener and open and close your door. However, an extension cord presents an electrical risk and a fire hazard. Many things can go wrong with extension cords if you use them on a long-term basis. Let’s look at a few reasons not to use extension cords permanently with your garage door.
- An extension cord that operates a garage door will inevitably end up underneath the closing door from time to time. If this happens too often, there’s a possibility that the cord could become damaged and short-circuit.
- An extension cord can get in the way of the mechanics of the garage door and become pinched, this can become a shock and fire hazzard.
- Extension cords are also a tripping hazard when they’re run across the open floor. Garage door openers are located in the middle of the garage, which means you’ll have to take extra measures to ensure your extension cord doesn’t present a tripping hazard.
- Most garages are unconditioned spaces prone to water and snow being dragged in from the outside. If your extension cord has the slightest rip or exposed wire, electric shock or fire is a potential.
- Using an extension cord is prohibited by most manufacturers and will likely void the warranty on your opener if anything happens.
When Is It OK to Use an Extension Cord With a Garage Door Opener?
You should only plug your garage door into an extension cord on a temporary basis. Here are a few times when using an extension cord is acceptable.
- If the outlet that your garage door opener is usually plugged into isn’t working correctly.
- If the circuit breaker that controls your garage door isn’t operating correctly or continues tripping.
- If you’re performing electrical repairs in your garage and need to power your garage door from a means outside the garage.
- If your power is out and you need to use a solar generator battery backup to power your garage door.
Basically, you shouldn’t use an extension cord to operate your garage door unless you absolutely have to. There are way more disadvantages and hazards to using an extension cord than advantages.
Does a Garage Door Opener Need a Dedicated Circuit?
A garage door doesn’t take a lot of power to operate and doesn’t need its own dedicated circuit. In most cases, garage doors are plugged into outlets in the ceiling. These outlets are often part of a much larger series of outlets. It’s not uncommon for all of the outlets in a garage to be wired into the same circuit, your garage door included.
How Many Amps Does a Garage Door Opener Need?
Most modern garage doors use very little electricity. 3-5 amps is the standard amount of amperage used by a garage door opener. If this is the case for your garage door opener, you only need a 15-amp circuit to operate a garage door. If you have more than one garage door in your garage, you might want to upgrade to a 20-amp circuit. However, the number of amps your opener uses won’t change unless you upgrade the size of your garage door.
Can I Hardwire My Garage Door Opener?
Hardwiring your garage door opener is similar to using an extension cord to power it. There isn’t anything technically wrong with hardwiring the opener, but it presents some safety hazards that don’t make hardwiring a good permanent solution. Temporarily, however, hardwiring is acceptable with garage door openers.