Genie Commercial Hoist Opener Tool Reviews by Tool

Genie Commercial Hoist Opener Review | GCL-MH for Rolling Steel Doors

We were impressed with the design and quality of the Genie 3120 garage door opener when we reviewed it in 2019. When it came time to add an opener to the Pro Tool Reviews Shop, we figured we’d stick with what we know. Our shop uses a large 18×14 rolling steel door, so we turned to a Genie commercial hoist opener to lift this heavyweight. The Genie GCL-MH proved to have just about everything we needed, including support for the size of our door and the ability to integrate well with existing door opener remotes.

Quick Summary

Quick Summary

  • UL325-2010 Approved for use with entrapment connections, photo eyes, and edge sensors
  • 1/2 HP replaceable motor
  • Optical limit system with linear travel nuts.
  • Max run timer automatically adjusts to up and down run time
  • Emergency hoist manual operation
  • TensiBelt primary reduction
  • Delay on reverse.
  • 16-character LCD display for setup and configuration
  • Handles up to 50 transmitters via optional Intellicode plug and play receiver
  • Support for 115V or 230V AC single phase
  • 2-year/20,000-cycle warranty


Preparing for the Genie Commercial Rolling Steel Door Opener

Unfortunately, before installing the Genie commercial hoist opener. we had to replace the entire 18×14 shop door. Over the years it became stretched on one side, skewing it too far to open smoothly enough for an opener. While the manual hand chain did the job—an opener meant arranging for a brand new door from Wayne Dalton Garage Doors. We opted for an almost exact replacement—a white Model 790 18×14 roll-up sheet door. For installation, we again turned to our friends at S & S Garage Doors.

Installing this door involved prepping and mounting the side rails the door would slide through. Next, they used a lift to raise and hold the heavy 18×14 steel door in place while they mounted it. The heavy 26-gauge, roll-formed galvanized steel door installed more quickly than I expected.

rolling steel door guide rails  rolling steel door installation

Genie GCL-MH Commercial Hoist Opener  Genie GCL-MH rolling steel door opener

After this, S & S cut and added additional angle iron and hardware for securing both the central door shaft and the Genie Commercial Hoist Opener. Once in place, they wired it for power and began programming the upper and lower door limits.

cutting angle iron for mounting garage door opener

Genie GCL-MH LCD displayAbout the Onboard LCD Display

Open the cover of the Genie commercial garage door opener and you’ll see a 16-character LCD display. This display makes it easy to set up the door open and close ranges as well as the remotes and other options. It also handles diagnostics. While you may never use it (unless you add a remote later) it simplifies everything an installer needs to do. With a faster overall set up and configuration time, you both stand to save money.

On the end-user side, we like how the LCD display makes it simple to add and/or program additional remote controls without having to call a professional.

Using the Genie GCL-MH Hoist Opener

S & S Doors installed and configured the Genie GCL-MH hoist opener to work with our existing remotes. We also received two additional remotes with the system. This allowed me to distribute a couple to my guys so they could more easily get into the shop as needed. It also let me use a single remote to activate the garage door on my home and the new shop door without having to juggle remotes. The amply-sized antenna for the Genie has a huge range and lets me open up the shop door well before I even turn into the cul de sac. For outside access, we also set up a remote keypad.

chain hoist rolling steel door opener

Note that this steel door has over 250 square feet of surface area. It weighs hundreds of pounds, but the internal torsion spring system takes up most of the load. The 1/2 HP motor on the Genie GCL-MH hoist opener impressed us when it repeatedly raised and lowered this behemoth smoothly and without hesitation. S & S Garage Doors configured our unit to use a #35 chain that connects to a sprocket on the door. This allows for a gear reduction and increases confidence that this opener motor should last many years without problems.

The three-button control operates the door efficiently, bringing the large door up and down in a matter of seconds. You can also stop the door in the middle, but we configured the up and down buttons in Momentary mode so they open and close the door fully when pressed. If you want, you can easily configure the opener for Constant Contact-Stop mode. That causes the door to go up or down only while pressing a button.

Genie commercial garage door opener controls

Genie Commercial Hoist vs JackShaft Models

When shopping for an opener for your rolling shop door, keep in mind that you can purchase either a hoist or jackshaft model. The difference simply has to do with whether you can operate the door manually, using a clutch and manual chain system. For our shop, it was important to include the manual hoist as an override should we ever lose power to the shop. After all, we do live in hurricane country, so every year we stand a chance of needing a manual way to open up the shop door.

Genie GCL-MH hoist chain mechanism

The manual hand chain option works really well, and we tested it extensively. The transition is smooth, and the door opens easily thanks to that same gear reduction we mentioned earlier. In fact, the door practically glides open and shut when using the hand chain.

To engage this mode, just pull down on the red release cord. This disengages the gear from the drive system, freeing it for manual use. To keep the door in manual mode, you can lock the cord into or around the metal chain keeper.

Genie hoist override

Genie Commercial Line Openers

The Genie Commercial Line (GCL) encompasses a series of commercial door operators designed specifically for ease of installation and reliability. Genie groups the GCL line into categories based on duty cycle:

  • Light Duty (< 4 cycles/hour)
  • Medium Duty (15 cycles/hour, < 50 cycles /day)
  • Standard Duty (25 cycles/hour, < 100 cycles/day)
  • Heavy Duty (60 cycles/hour, > 100 cycles/day)


  • Model: GCL-MH (OPGMXH5011BR)
  • Motor: 1/2 HP single-phase AC capacitor start/run motor.
  • Power requirement: 6.5A @ 115V or 3.1A @ 230V
  • Duty cycles: Up to 15 cycles per hour
  • Friction clutch
  • Precision radial ball bearings
  • EZLimit “push to set” door limits
  • Solenoid brake
  • Advanced radio to learn, add, and delete transmitters by individual ID
  • Maximum run timers
  • Non-resettable cycle counter
  • Socket-lock protection for wiring harnesses
  • Delay on reverse
  • Mid stop (part open) limit
  • Available options: 315Mhz receiver module, Commercial photoeye system, timer close module, auxiliary output module, UL325-2010 approved reversing devices
  • Warranty: 2-year or 20,000-cycle limited warranty

Genie GCL-MH Conclusion

The Genie Commercial Hoist Opener handles even our large shop door efficiently and quickly. This 1/2 horsepower medium-duty opener works sufficiently for a wide range of shop doors. In fact, this opener can handle rolling steel doors up to 580 pounds and steel sectional doors up to 620 pounds.

Genie tells us that “pricing on the Commercial operators varies by regional markets”. While that’s a bit odd, you can lookup authorized Genie Commercial installers here to get a definitive price in your area. This opener offers excellent convenience, reliability, and functionality. Before adding the Genie commercial hoist opener we had to manually raise our shop door multiple times per day. Replacing this with a simple button press on the hardwired remote or the wireless remote has been a wonderful change.

We only have one major disappointment: This particular Genie series currently lacks any support for their Aladdin Connect system. We hope Genie adds this functionality to this opener in the near future. Currently, it only works with their traditional RF remotes.

All Genie Commercial openers come with a 2-year or 20,000-cycle limited warranty.

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