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How Many Amps Does a Garage Door Opener Use?

Written by Edwin Jones / Fact checked by Andrew Wright

how many amps does a garage door opener use

A garage door opener is a low-powered equipment that draws minimal current. On average, it draws 2.92 up to 5 amps, not much if we compare it to a dryer or air conditioner.

Even though it has low current demands, determining how many amps does a garage door opener use is still necessary for circuit installation. This is because we do not want it to be the future source of an electrical problem.

If you are considering buying this device, below is information you might need to know.

How Many Amps Does a Garage Door Opener Pull?

Usually, an average home garage door opener only has a wattage rating of up to 600 watts and 120V power requirements. This equipment may draw up to 5 amps during operation.

As you may notice, most residential garage door opener amperage is low. In this case, you might think you can add some additional electrical connections to its circuit.

This possibility is indeed appealing. However, you must know the exact amp and other requirements of your garage door unit before considering this option. This way, you can have an assurance that your circuit is safe from any electrical problem in the future.

However, before we get into calculating how much power does a garage door opener use, let me first explain how it works.

1. How does a garage door opener work?

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In most cases, a garage door opener system is controlled by a remote. However, an internet system or an application can control some modern units. Garage openers can also be operated manually in the event of a power outage.

These gadgets generally use a motor to open and close the door via various mechanisms. It could be a chain, belt, or shaft that is directly attached to the device, depending on its type. These mechanisms are connected to a spring, pulleys, and cable, which are also linked to the garage door.

2. Calculating the Garage Door Opener Amp Draw

An AC garage door opener is typically rated in horsepower (HP) rather than watts. First, convert the HP to watts to determine how many watts your equipment is rated for. In this case, keep in mind that 1 HP is equivalent to 746 watts.

For instance, suppose you had a 1/2 hp garage door opener. When converted to watts, the result is 373 watts.

Then, you should figure out how many volts the device is rated for. In most cases, a 120V rating is required, which is standard for a residential home. Then, using the formula Amps=Watts/Volts, begin the computation to determine the opener’s amperage rating.

As a result, a 373 watt 120V unit may draw a current rating of 3.1 amps. In addition, to make things easier for you, I provide a list of several garage doors used in most homes and their ratings.

Garage Door Opener Power Rating (HP) Wattage Rating (watts) Voltage Rating (V) Estimated Amperage Rating (Amps)
1/4 HP 186.5 watts 120 V 1.5 Amps
1/2 HP 373 watts 120 V 3.1 Amps
3/4 HP 559.5 watts 120 V 4.7 Amps
1 HP 746 watts 120 V 6.2 Amps
1.25 HP 932.5 watts 120V 7.7 Amps
1 1/2 HP 1119 watts 120 V 9.3 Amps

What Breaker Size Should I Use for a Garage Door Opener?

Most garage door openers do not necessitate the use of large circuit breakers. A 15-amp breaker is enough, as long as the circuit’s voltage and amperage do not exceed the breaker’s load rating.

However, it is recommended that you connect garage openers to a 20-amp OCPD to have an allowance for other devices that can be connected to that circuit.

Other Electrical Requirements for Garage Door Opener Installation

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Although the garage door opener voltage is low, its electrical wiring should be grounded. A GFCI breaker or outlet is not required, but it could be useful in some situations, such as the garage being exposed to rain.

In addition, modern units may allow you to attach a cord reel that can be mounted to the ceiling and used to power multiple appliances.

Other than the safety requirements, a garage door opener should have an infrared sensor. This has been required since 1997 and remains in today’s modern models. It is often installed along the doorway about to six inches above the ground.

This sensor will signal the device if there is an obstacle along the door. The mechanism will then retract the garage door. This way, it can protect anyone from being unintentionally hit by the garage door while preventing damage to the equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What Are The Different Types of Garage Door Openers?

Currently, there are four garage door openers, categorized based on their drive mechanism. They are:

  • Chain Type. It is the least expensive but also the noisiest of all types during operation.
  • Direct or Screw Type. It uses a screw-type mechanism, which is why it has a quiet operation and demands no lubrication.
  • Belt Type. This is another low-maintenance and quiet operation type but typically comes at a higher price.
  • Jackshaft Type. This type is connected directly to the shaft and requires about eight inches of wall space. It works well with heavy doors and does not need overhead rails.

Should I Install a Backup Battery for My Garage Door Opener?

Yes, aside from the garage door opener wattage, you must think about its battery backup. In fact, some states like California have a law that all garage door manufacturers must have a battery backup system.

This backup battery supply might be useful in times of power outage. Moreover, it is significantly helpful for some people such as elders, who cannot use manual operation in an emergency like a fire, where the electricity might automatically shut down.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Garage Door Opener?

Overall, the total cost of installation of a garage door opener may reach up to more than $1000. This includes the average professional fee of $85 per hour, six hours of installation, and the unit system price. However, if you have some DIY skills and knowledge of home electricals, this cost may lessen.

How Long Does a Garage Door Opener Last?

The door opener’s longevity is determined by how well you care for it. It can survive for 15, 20, or more years if you keep it in good condition all the time. Or I’ll only last a few years after installation due to poor maintenance.

How Much Electricity Does a Garage Door Opener Use?

A garage door opener is a gadget that is always in standby mode, where it may consume more electricity than while it is functioning. However, even though it works in this way, it consumes very little energy.

For example, a typical 3/4 hp garage door opener or 500 watts unit may only need about 4.6 kWh per month. This could cost less than $2, depending on the price of electricity in your location.

Conclusion

Knowing how many amps does a garage door opener use is essential for determining which circuit you may connect it to. You will also know which additional gadgets you can attach to the circuit while avoiding overloads and other faults.

A garage door opener makes it simple to move your garage door while coming in and out of the house. One approach to keep it efficient is to maintain it properly or upgrade it with a newer model.

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