Having garage door issues? Valencia resident warns homeowners to learn about new law before making a move

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    Homeowners looking to install or replace their garage door opener must now include a battery backup or face civil penalties under a new California law that took effect Monday. 

    Senate Bill 969, introduced by Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, and signed into law in September, requires that “an automatic garage door opener that is manufactured for sale, sold, offered for sale, or installed in a residence to have a battery backup function that is designed to operate when activated because of an electrical outage.”

    The only two instances homeowners would need to switch to a battery backup opener is when replacing a garage door or garage door opener. Failure to comply with the law could result in fines up to $1,000 per opener installed and operational. 

    Valencia resident Wolfgang Costello found out about the law by accident, he said, and is now warning homeowners to get informed. 

    “Saturday night I got a call from my dad that his garage door spring went out,” he said. “I called a trusted business and they referred me to a place in Palmdale that does repairs in Acton, where my dad lives.” 

    The company Costello was referred to told him that as of July 1, he would have to replace the entire door and get a new opener in order to comply with the law — a much more expensive cost over fixing the spring. 

    “The total would have been over $600,” said Costello. “I did some research and pulled up the bill verbiage. Changing a spring and parts

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