Chamberlain Liftmaster Professional 1/2 hp

Chamberlain Liftmaster Professional 1/2 hp

Chamberlain garage doors openers are the retail versions of Liftmaster Professional garage door openers. Chamberlain openers are sold in stores like Lowes and Home Depot. They are also rebranded as Craftsman and sold in Sears stores. Chamberlain offers many different models of chain, belt and screw drive openers. Often, my company is hired by homeowners to install Chamberlain openers, so I have some experience with the product. Below, I will outline what I like and dislike about Chamberlain openers. Hopefully, my input will help you to choose the right garage door opener for your application. If you found this page looking for remotes, parts or accessories we may be able to help you. We have a store that sells some replacement parts, and installation services. We also keep a good number of Chamberlain manuals on our site as a resource for people that already own them.
Chamberlain Rail

Chamberlain Rail Systems

The absolute worst thing about a Chamberlain garage door opener is the rail system. Chamberlain motors are not produced to provide the best possible motor with the longest life span. They are produced to fit into a small box and take up very little shelf space. Our company recently bought a Chamberlain opener and cracked open the box after one of our technicians complained that it took him 5 times as long to install a Chamberlain as it does a Liftmaster Professional. To our dismay, we found that the rail system was in 6 separate pieces and we had to take the time to assemble the chain and trolley system. It was a nightmare.

bent rail system

Chain vs Belt Drive

As you noticed, I did not mention a screw drive motor in the heading of this section. That’s because I view them as a hideous product. I always know when a home has had a screw drive motor for a long period of time because there will be a grease stain down the front of the garage door. Do your self a favor and choose between a chain and a belt. Choosing between a belt system and chain system is quite easy. It all comes down to how much noise you are willing to tolerate. Belt drive openers are typically around $50-70 more expensive than chain openers. I purchased a new home in 2009. The builder installed a typical builder grade chain drive opener. Everytime you opened and closed the door the opener made a terrible racket. My son moved into the bonus room above the garage a few years later, and due to the noise he insisted that we upgrade the opener. We installed a new professional grade opener and now we can’t even hear the door open and close from inside the house. I can’t believe the builder took such a huge shortcut. The user experience between chain and belt openers is night and day. Unless you have a detached garage I always recommend a belt drive opener. Some homeowners have questions about the dependability of belt openers, but in the past 8 years we have replaced a small fraction of belt drive gear assemblies as compared to chain drive. If you ask me, belt drive openers break down less often.

Remotes and Accessories

The seemingly great thing about some Chamberlain openers is that the manufacturer bundles some great accessories that will save you money. Getting a deal on an opener with 2 remotes and a keyless entry looks good on the receipt, but I would most likely not install any of these openers on a wooden garage door, or any double car garage door. The rail system is just not sturdy. If you have a fairly light garage door the Chamberlain motors will work fine. The one thing that I do not like about some of the lower end Chamberlain motors is that they do not come with wall stations. They include an old school door bell button to open and close the door. These door bell switches do not allow you to operate the lights on the motor and they do not have vacation locks.

door bell button

Maintenance and TroubleShooting

When buying a Chamberlain opener, it is very important that you maintain your garage door properly. A maladjusted garage door spring puts undue stress on these already flimsy rail systems, and can cause a serious issue. I suggest disconnecting your opener on a regular basis and checking the balance of the garage door. When doing so, you may also want to crack open your owner’s manual and reset your limits and sensitivities.

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