Chamberlain PD762EV

PD762EV 3/4 HP Garage Opener

The sub-$200 garage door opener niche is flooded with half-horsepower products, which are fine for the majority of double-car steel doors you’d typically find in a middle-class home. If, however, you have an older style wooden door or something a bit fancier (and heavier) than a plain steel one, your only real options are North of that price point.

This product from Chamberlain’s “premium” range sits right on that dividing line at $200 (depending on what specials are running) and it will deal with doors of about 500 pounds in weight. It provides a viable option for people who have older or otherwise heavier doors and don’t want to spend a fortune just to avoid lifting them by hand.

Which sounds great, but is it any good? Let’s have a look.

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Beauty School Dropout

I really don’t like the off-white design of these Power Drive openers (that’s what the “PD” in the model name is for, by the way). It reminds me of hospitals, dentists and mental institutions. The actual shape and molding of the shell isn’t too bad, but I would have preferred something all-black or with a strong two-tone look. It’s a matter of taste, but until the Power Drive units get a facelift, they all get a thumbs down in the design department from me.

Otherwise, the PD openers have sturdy steel frames and rails, and users say that the perceived build quality is quite high. Since this is pitched as a premium product, it’s good to know it at least looks the part.

Christmas List

What’s on the list of features? Apart from the obvious 3/4 HP AC motor, you get a motion-sensing wall control, two three-button tri-band remotes, and IR safety sensors. The tri-band remotes are also code-hopping, making it almost impossible for someone to copy the remote signal. Tri-band remotes and receivers also have much better range than usual, so that’s a plus point worth remembering.

Missing are things like a backup battery and keyless entry systems such as a keypad, but at this price I can forgive those omissions.

As with all MyQ openers I have to mention that you need to buy a $40 CIGBU internet gateway to make use of the smart functions of the PD762EV. It’s a pain, but if the smarphone control functions for the lights and opener itself are important to you, then this is a cost you have to factor in during your purchasing decision. If you do opt to get the gateway you’ll have access to remote security and lighting controls, as well as the opening functions. If you’re away from home frequently then this could be a strong addition to your security system.

The system is also HomeLink compatible, but some models of vehicle with Homelink require the purchase of another $40 bridge in order to work, so be sure to call Chamberlain before buying, to confirm compatibility with your specific car.

The PD762EV only supports doors with a 7 ft height out of the box. Chamberlain will happily sell you an extension kit for eight- or ten- foot doors, but it isn’t cheap. These kits cost anywhere from $80 to $150, although on sale they can be as little as $40.

Putting it Together

As is usual with Chamberlain products, users have much praise for the clarity of the instructions and the level of customer service they receive over the telephone. They also have almost universal praise for the ease of installation. In fact, Chamberlain makes their full product manuals available on the Chamberlain site, so it’s well worth reading the installation guide to make sure you have everything ready before the package arrives.

Warranty Not Void

I’ve been impressed by the 10-year motor warranty on other Power Drive units I’ve seen from Chamberlain, but it seems they’ve upped the ante and extended that to a lifetime warranty. Parts and accessories still only get one year, but Chamberlain must be pretty confident in the motor itself. At least it seems that they are living up to the “heavy duty” promise in the product’s description.

Sure, a “lifetime warranty” is functionally no better than a 10-year warranty, and I’m sure everything else besides the motor will be failing by then, but it’s a strong declaration of confidence from the manufacturer that they think the motor will last. Whether other parts will still be available in 10 or 15 years is, of course, a different matter entirely. Even if you have a door that could be handled by a 1/2 HP unit, using the 3/4 HP means peace of mind in terms of longevity. The price difference would be twenty or thirty bucks – worth it in my opinion.

Give It To Me Straight

I don’t like the look of the Power Drive openers from Chamberlain, but it’s hard to argue with the overall quality of the brand’s products (based on what users say) and that lifetime motor warranty. Getting a 3/4 HP unit at this price just sweetens the deal. Personally I might give the PD762EV a skip for aesthetic reasons, but if I needed something to lift a heavier-than-usual door, I could live with it at this price. If you think it looks fine then the decision is pretty easy. This is a good brand with good reviews and, best of all, a good price. So the final word is that it’s a smart buy.

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