Automating the garage door?

I want to automate my garage door and I’ve got a few things I’m looking to accomplish for this project, so I’d like some advice.

I’ve taken a look at the GoControl garage door opener, but it seems like the device does after a relatively short time and that the company isn’t terribly responsive, so I’m a bit leery.

I’ve also got issues with the existing wall mounted push button - it doesn’t always respond when pushed, so we’ll just stand there and repeatedly push it (or use a remote in the car).

So, with that… Are there any in-wall z-wave push buttons that I can use to replace my existing one? That would seem to be ideal because I could then use a multi-purpose sensor on the door to let me know if the door is open. If not, I guess I can give the GoControl a whirl…

First step is to examine inside your wall mounted push button to determine if it is simply two wires connected to a momentary contact pushbutton, or it has a small PCB board in it. That latter makes life a little more complicated although you could possibly still get to the push button inside it and solder leads there.

Once you’re past that, your mission is to find something that can emulate a momentary contact closure. You could consider Konnected, which is not too expensive and would give you five additional zones to add, for example, your open/close sensor on the door.

The GoControl is extremely popular, not just with SmartThings but also wink, Nexia, and Iris. It’s also UL listed, with a number of safety features you won’t get just from hotwiring the button.

You are going to see more complaints about it just because so many more people have it, but in general it seems to be a reliable device which works well for most people.

From Amazon:


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As @Luther pointed out, you should first insure that your opener is compatible with the GoControl if you are going to go that route, as not every opener is compatible.

Agree with @jdroberts. The GoControl is popular. I have 2 that work flawlessly.

I think one of the advantages of the GoControl is that you get functions that can’t totally be replicated if you fashion a “pieces” solution. For example, you can see in one place if the door is open or closed, and open/close the door from the same place. The GoControl also provides an audible and visual alert when the door is about to be opened or closed, adding a measure of safety.

The safety warning can be more important than you might think. I have a routine that automatically shuts my garage door at night in case it’s accidently left open. One night I was about to pull my car into the garage when that routine ran. The warning kept me from pulling my car into the garage as the door was about to come down.


@Luther Using Konnected to re-wire my alarm system is something else that’s on my list. I had considered using it to solve my garage door problem, but I think I’ll be left with a bunch of un-used capacity. The existing button just has a few wires screwed down to the back of the button - no PCB - it looks like one of these:

@Bry How long have you had your GoControl units installed? For all the reasons you mentioned, it is my preferred option… I’m just worried about the reliability of the unit and my ability to get it replaced in the event of unit failure.

I have had both of mine about a year. No issues thus far.

Physical installation and therefore replacement is pretty simple. It essentially involves bolting the unit to the opener, attaching two wires to to terminals on a barrier strip (the same two the doorbell button is connected to) and plugging it in.

Like @Bry said there are many advantages to an integrated controller.

If you’ looking to fashing your own controller/buttons etc check out the second post on this topic which gives a few pointers about devices could be used.