Skip to Content

Garage Door Opener Wiring- What Is Required

Garage Door Opener Wiring- What Is Required

Purchase a new garage door and wondering how to do the garage door opener wiring? Actually take it from an electrician we can help.

A garage door opener requires a simple 15 or 20 amp 120 volt circuit. This circuit should be on a protected GFCI outlet all by itself from the electrical panel. Most all garage door openers are required to be plugged in and not hardwired. Cutting the cord off the end of the opener unit will most definitely void your warranty.

There is more to it than just the outlet for read on while we talk about the control wiring and the importance of safety.

Garage Door Opener Wiring

First purchase and connect the GFCI circuit breaker panel to the garage door openers battery/gFCI assembly. Add a couple of light bulbs from your breaker panel to the GFCI circuit. Your GFCI can be equipped with additional light bulbs as well. Although most garage door openers should be on a dedicated circuit. They draw very little amperage.

garage door opener wiring

You may need an electrician to do this for you or the wiring may already be in place for the outlet. You may want to put a new flood light or some other accessory into your garage. Also you may want to make some changes to the electrical in your home or business. An electrician can help with a few projects that will only take a few hours and they will also help you repair your wiring and clear up any bad connections. If you have to disconnect a circuit it may be a good idea to cut it before disconnecting it.

Garage Door Opener Wiring Tips

  • Do not wire a garage door opener on a connector.
  • The power should be isolated from the opener to the garage door opener.
  • Cut off the power or disconnect the wiring from the opener unit.
  • Keep the circuit from being crossed with another circuit or power source. It need to be on an outlet.

Make sure that the incoming wire is at least 15 inches long. Since your garage door opener uses 120 volts, make sure that the appropriate wires are in the ground. Do not (Hardwire) from the electrical panel or another breaker into your garage door opener. This may void your warranty if the circuit is ever broken.

Keep the wiring covered. The garage door opener wiring is not designed to be exposed to the elements. Cover the incoming wire to the outlet and protect it with drywall or wood enclosure.

What type of wire is used for garage door opener?

There are several types of garage door wire used to control and open the garage door. There are those garage door cables which use a transceiver which connects the opener unit to the wiring on the garage door. One end of these transceiver cables are plugged in and used to make contact with the opener unit.

The other end of these cables are pulled through a series of jumper wires in an outlet where the garage door opens. These jumper wires are switched from the inside to the outside, opening the garage door. The garage door opener unit has a lever on the handle to open and close the garage door. The opener unit has a battery on it which charges and powers the starter motor. The battery is also the power source for the lights on the garage door. These are typically run is low voltage wire like thermostat wire or equivalent.

garage door opener wiring

How many wires do you need for a garage door opener?

This is a case of variable length SCR (Switch Control) copper wires. As many as you need. We will cover this topic in a future. Typically 3 wires, one to each safety sensor at the bottom of the door and one to the keypad or switch.

With the commercial grade wiring available today this unit should be very safe for commercial installations.

On the back of the opener itself there will be push in connections. The door switch will go in one connect. The door sensors will get wired together to lake contact. if the contact is broke on the sensor the door will stop.

Don’t forget to inspect your garage door opener for premature wear. Look for loose connections, worn springs, welded areas and the exterior of your unit and your wiring.

How do you wire a garage door opener push button?

Go to the garage door opener and place a live eye on the opener unit. Find the grounding terminal for the opener. Just plug a plug directly in the outlet for the 120 volt part. It will come with a 3 foot cord end on it. Look for the final ground terminal on the garage door opener’s remote control. Once you have the cord exposed plug the end of the cord into the ground terminal. There should be a terminal on the back of the opener with a black and or whit connection. The 2 wire low voltage from the keypad remote will insert into this.

When the garage door is pushed open the door will now recognize this as a normal opening.

The garage door opener is hardwired to a transformer which will energize the cord’s negative end from the opener. The negative end will in turn energize the terminal positive end.

Where should I put the garage door opener outlet?

GFCI outlets usually have a 120 Volt supply. The black and white wire are for the GFCI outlets. In new installation it should be place dead center of where the opener will be mounted exactly 10 feet from the exterior wall where the door will be installed.

The biggest problems with garage door openers are usually caused by the high power load and the various voltages needed to operate all the features of the opener. The biggest maintenance problem is caused by electrical arcs in the electrical connection. When you get your garage door opener, it will be a constant challenge to put your garage door openers in a safe and secure place. Don’t be afraid to ask electrician to check all connections.

How does a garage door wall switch work?

The garage door opener wall switch is just as safe and reliable as the garage door opener itself. The garage door wall switch (also known as the “remote starter”) is a low voltage relay that consists of three segments, the solenoid (the button you push) and two contacts that allow current to flow in and out of the solenoid. When the solenoid turns the opener on, current flows to the contacts and turns them on. When the solenoid turns the opener off, current flows out of the contacts and turns the opener off.

The two relay contact pads in the wall are called “contacts”. They are just like the contacts of a relay. They are two metal strips that connect the contact to the remote starter circuit and to the solenoid.

How do you trick garage door sensors?

Most garage door openers use a battery to operate the opener motor. These batteries may be sealed lead acid or sealed nickel cadmium which will last much longer. Most batteries from Harbor Freight are fairly priced at less than $5.00 and you can get batteries for less than $20 at Harbor Freight.

Understand how the sensor works

The opener motor puts power through an inverter which turns on the opener’s sensors. If the batteries are at capacity the sensor will keep the door open for 10 minutes. But if you want the sensor to close the door you must open it earlier so that it opens when the motor is engaged.

We do not recommend tricking the sensors or even advise to do so.

Can you splice garage door wire?

For this reason we often say that the easiest wiring job is to install a new garage door opener. You will have to reverse the center of the opener body with the motor and cut a cutout in the motor cover plate so the opener runs on the correct wires.

In an older house with sheetrock walls and a brick basement a ceiling mounted power outlet can be very inconvenient and they need to be tacked to the ceiling at least 2” above the ceiling. This is a job for a qualified electrician who understands electrical systems. We prefer to run the electric for this job through a separate breaker panel and not pull it all the way into the panel.

If you need to splice a wire to make it reach. You should not do this on the 120 volt outlet. The low voltage however can be spliced. Just make sure one uses the proper connections and heat shrink.

How do you wire a garage door opener without a sensor?

This will be an easy basic repair you can do yourself, or ask an electrician to do it for you.

Plugs the garage door opener in to a power outlet (15 or 20 amp) on the breaker box outside the garage door.

A hardwired sensor is recommended but if it does not fit in your plan you can jump the back of the sensor out on the back of the door opener itself. We do not recommend that at all. The door sensor is designed to stop if anything comes into its path like an object, car or child.

How do I program my clicker garage door remote?

Since you are leaving the inside garage door open, you will need to have your remotes that you use to operate your garage doors on different floors of the house programed. Remember you still have to be in the garage to open or close the garage door opener.

Once you program your remote, you can use this handy little module to wire it to a separate circuit on the garage side of the house so when you are in the house on your respective floor you can press your remote and your door will open.

Preparing for garage door installation

Should I wait for spring weather?

Do not close your garage door and wait until the last minute to decide if you want to open your door or not! I would certainly wait until mid-March.

What voltage are garage door sensors?

In most cases you will have to go to your garage door opener manufacturer’s website and locate the data sheet for your garage door opener. This will give you a list of the voltages on all of your garage door opener components. These are the ranges of voltages for your specific garage door opener.

However the voltage for the sensors are usually 12 or 24 volts.