When it comes to garage door motors, the saying ‘Local is lekker’ certainly fits the bill. It doesn’t matter what motor you buy, eventually it will need a repair, and when that time comes you want to have purchased a motor with good backup support, and long term sales of parts and spares . Cheap Chinese imports are constantly on the market, their lower prices may be attractive, but when no spares are available for a simple problem, it means buying a whole new machine. The truth is that all garage door motors have parts made in China, but there are more well-established companies that assemble their motors here in South Africa, and/or have offices in most major cities. So do your homework, or call us to find out more about the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Battery Backup:

Let’s face it, we’ve all been left stranded in some way or form by our friends at Eskom, and the truth is that load shedding is here to stay, on and off, for the foreseeable future. So what can you do to ensure you don’t get trapped in or out of your garage? The first option, and a necessity with any automated door installation, is to have an emergency release  mechanism installed. An emergency release mechanism is mounted into the curtain of the door, with a key hole facing outwards. A steel cable is then run from this mechanism to the motors emergency release leaver. When the power goes out, you’ll need to insert your key into the mechanism, give it a twist, and a pull, and this will in turn pull the steel cable and release the door from the motor. Although emergency release mechanisms are highly effective, they still require you to leave the comfort of your car or home in order to unlock the door, and then you will have to physically lift the door by hand. This can be problematic if the door is very heavy, and if it doesn’t want to stay in the open position, you’ll need someone else to hold the door open while you move your car.

The second option is to have some sort of battery backup system powering your garage door motor. This allows you to stay comfortable and safe in your car or home, but still able to access your garage during power outages. Just like gate motors, your garage door motor will need to automatically switch between 220v and 24v, and have the ability to charge your batteries while 220v is on. Unfortunately not all motors are designed to work off 24v, and all older model motors will fall into this category. Motors like the Digi 2, Gemini, Brano, Alladin, or the Pro Alpha 2000 are all 220v motors, and are therefore not compatible with 24v battery backup. Advanced UPS systems with the use of inverters can be utilized for these motors, but the expense of these systems are far too high to warrant going this direction. So unless you have a battery, charger, auto and pure sine wave inverter setup currently running other devices in your house, then the only other option is to purchase a new model 24v garage door motor.

Modern 24v motors actually have a higher power rating than older 220v motors, they also have built in battery protectors, auto switch functionality, auto close option, extensive sensitivity settings, and auto charging. Not to mention a one year warranty, and most come with two new remotes. Contact us today to learn more about battery backup in garage door motors, and to find out about our free door service when purchasing a new 24v battery backup motor.

What motor to use for which door?

The various types of garage doors work in different ways, so the manner in which they open and close is important to consider when deciding which motor you get, and how it is set up.

Roll Up Doors

Require either a vertically mounted motor such as the Digi 2, or a shaft mounted motor such as the ET Roll Up Motor. As mentioned above, the Digi 2 cannot accommodate conventional battery backup, but it’s a strong and reliable motor, and can even be used to operate two roll up doors simultaneously. Using a strong worm-drive mechanism much like a cork screw, this tried and tested motor has managed to outlast the competition, and I have even come across a few that are pushing on 20 years in operation.

The shaftmounted motors can only operate one door at time, and are not suited to large double size roll up doors, or very old stiff doors. However when used with new doors or those in good working condition, shaft mounted motors like the ET Roll Up motor can give many years of battery assisted, silent, and smooth operation. An added bonus is that this motor comes with two very good quality remotes.

Tip Up Doors:

Tip up doors operate in a manner that is a little awkward for motor installation. The motor shaft needs to be hung at an angle, sloping towards the ground. This allows for the natural action of the door while opening and closing, and ensures a smooth operation. Some of the older tip up doors operate with counter-weight mechanisms, instead of the more modern spring setup. These counter-weight doors cannot be automated, as the door needs to be pulled/pushed at  different angles through its operation. It is however, possible to upgrade the door to a spring mechanism, and then automate the door as usual.

Sectional Garage Doors

Sectional garage doors vary greatly from door to door. However, regardless of the size of the door, or materials used, every door should open smoothly, and without too much effort. Steps should be taken to check the door, and fix any issues before a motor is installed. This will ensure your motor is not put under too much strain, and will prolong it’s life greatly. A variety of motors are available for sectional garage doors, but they all work in exactly the same way, unlike with roll up doors. Selecting the best combination of power, compatibility, features, price, and backup support, is our specialty. Call us in for a free, on-site assessment, and we will advise you on which combination suits you and your door best

Extra Height / Caravan HeightDoors:

Different length motor shafts are available for doors that are higher than usual. If you have an extra height door and need some advise on automation, why not give us a call and we’ll come inspect, measure, and provide you with a free quote for your new motor.

Our Choice of Motors

At Durban Garage Doors we work on all makes of motors, and carry the majority of available spares. We do however have our own favorites, and when selling new motors we tend to stick to the below tried and tested motors. (These are our personal views based on having worked in the industry, and are not based on any independent tests or assessments)


The Centurion T10 is by far our most popular motor and can be installed on all makes of sectional or tip up garage doors. The Centurion name is one that can be trusted to provide an excellent product, fantastic customer support, and a consistent availability of parts and spares. Having a dedicated KZN based department means no sending of motors under warranty away for diagnostics, and means parts are quickly available. Centurion has stood the test of time in South Africa and is a brand name that is known in most households throughout the country. Centurion also provides a T12 motor which is designed for large or unusually heavy garage doors, these T12 motors are very powerful and capable of lifting just about any door.


  • Battery Back-up (Battery Included)
  • LED programming and fault display
  • LED courtesy light
  • Powerful motor
  • Safety beam input
  • Adjustable electronic limits and force control
  • Selectable automatic closing
  • 2 x dual technology remotes 

Technical specifications

Input voltage – 230V AC @ 50/60Hz1
Motor voltage – 24V DC
Motor power rated – 80W DC
Motor supply – Battery supply 2 x 3.4 Ah 24 V DC
Max door width – 6500mm
Max door area – 10m²
Max lifting capacity – 1000N
Operations in standby mode – 12 to 30 depending on the door size / weight / height / duration of power failure / condition of batteries
Operator travel speed – Tip-up: 80mm/sec. Sectional: 140mm/sec with fully charged batteries.
Door travel adjustment – Physical Endstops (Automatic limit set)
Safety obstruction force system – Built-in menu
Light – LED 2W
Autoclose2 – Menu Selectable
Infrared safety beams – Menu Selectable. (Optional, but recommended)
Radio receiver – Code-hopping 433MHz
Receiver code storage capacity – 20 transmitters (consisting of four buttons each)

DC Blue Advanced – Sectional

The DC Blue Advanced made by ET Nice is another fantastic choice when it comes to garage door automation. This motor can be used on all sectional and tip up garage doors and offers a superb design with many additional features to make use of your garage door more rewarding. ET Nice are another top South African company with fantastic back up support and a dedicated technical team.  Spares are readily available for these motors, and a KZN based department makes these spares quick and affordable to obtain.


  • Battery Back-up (Battery Included)
  • LED programming and fault display
  • LED courtesy light
  • Powerful motor
  • Safety beam input
  • Adjustable electronic limits and force control
  • Selectable automatic closing
  • On-board dual channel rolling code radio receiver (©G&C Electronics CC T/A E.T. Systems 2010)
  • 2 x dual technology remotes
  • Audible diagnostics
  • Electronic lock-out
  • Optional external status, light and lock control

Technical specifications

Input voltage – (Standard kit option) 230v AC, 50Hz-60Hz
Primary supply to the electric motor – 24V Toroidal transformer. Not battery dependent.
Maximum duty cycle with mains present – 25%
Number of operations on battery reserve without AC mains present – 50 within the first 24h of power failure
Maximum door size – 15m2
Applicable door types – Trackless tip-up or sectional overhead
Maximum pulling force – 1000N
Rated running load – 35kgf
Rated speed – 8m/min†
Built-in receiver – 434MHz, ET BLU MIX® Enhanced rolling code. 35 button capacity

DC Blue Advanced – Roll Up

The DC Blue Advanced Roll Up motor made by ET Nice is our first choice for roll up door automation. This motor features a great design, along with modern features to make the electronic use of your roll up door a breeze. ET Nice are another top South African company with fantastic back up support and a dedicated technical team.  Spares are readily available for these motors, and a KZN based department makes these spares quick and affordable to obtain. This motor should only be fit to standard single size roll up garage doors.


  • COST EFFECTIVE residential roll-up door operator
  • RELIABLE OPERATION through advanced door load profiling
    No physical limit switches to setup
    A separate control box
  • TRUE BATTERY BACK-UP (operator not battery dependent)
  • BRIGHT LED courtesy light
  • BETTER SECURITY: ET Blue Mix© Receiver (Unhackable & Uncrackable)
    Door Alarm Monitoring
    Safety Beam Monitoring
    Electric lock control feature

Technical specifications

Primary Supply – 24v Toroidal transformer
Battery back up –  yes – not battery dependent
Duty cycle – 25%
Max door size – 8m (sq)
Applicable doors – One Piece Aluzinc / Cromadeck roll up doors RDO
Max running load – 40n
Built in Receiver – 434mHz, ET Blu Mix rolling code 31 users

Digi 1

The Digi 1 made by Hydro Doors is another solid motor that can be used on all sectional garage doors, as well as tip up garage doors. This motor is impressively robust and very powerful, capable of consistently operating even under problematic circumstances. Availability of parts for these motors is a little tricky as there is not always stock available, and motors returned under warranty tend to take longer to be dealt with. That being said, it is quite uncommon for these robust motors to fail.



  • Microprocessor based control system
  • One button to open, close and stop
  • Bright LED courtesy light, with a 3 minute time-out
  • Easily adjustable operating force/obstacle sensing
  • Optional back-up feature
  • Auto-close feature
  • 24V DC Motor
  • Protected against overload and over-heating
  • Reliable chain-drive
  • Sturdy steel drive-strut
  • LED Display – simplifies function programming
  • Security – ensured by the use of Rolling Code technology
  • Manual over-ride – a simple release allows the door to be operated by hand
  • 24V DC Motor – provides superior power to weight
  • Quite, smooth operation with soft starting and stopping
  • Supports safety beams for extra safety

Technical specifications

Power Input – 220VAC +10% 50~60Hz
Receiver Frequency – 433.92MHz
Motor – 24VDC
Decoding – Rolling Code
Working Temp – >-20C, < = 90%
Courtesy Lamp Time – 3 minutes
Operating Force – 1000N
Fuse – 2,5A 250V