Genie ChainMax 1200 3/4 HP Power Plus Belt Drive Garage Door Opener

“The ChainMax 1200’s powerful 3/4 HP Power Plus motor is more than adequate for
heavy, solid wooden garage doors and carriage house doors.”

Price: $230 (est.)
ChainMax 1200
3/4 HP DC Garage Door Opener

The Genie ChainMax 1200 is a 3/4 HP DC garage door opener that is nearly identical to the slightly less powerful ChainMax 1000.

Both models are relatively easy to install and include Genie’s full complement of safety and security features. Both come standard with two 3 button garage door remotes, a deluxe wall console and wireless entry keypad. Both have a lifetime motor and gearbox warranty, 5 year warranty on the chain drive and 5 years on parts.

So, what’s the difference? There are primarily three. The Genie ChainMax 1200 features the “Power Plus” motor that, by Genie’s standards, exceeds the power of a 3/4 HP AC motor. The ChainMax 1200 opens a bit faster at 9 inches per second instead of 7.5. And, more power and speed results in a slightly higher price tag.

One very impressive feature of both ChainMax models is the DC motor. These DC garage door openers operate with much less motor noise, constant monitoring during the opening and closing cycle, and soft start and stop to ease the burden on your garage door. They also use less energy than AC motors.

At about $230, the ChainMax 1200 is priced about $30 more than the ChainMax 1000. Remember to measure your garage door first, as both ChainMax models are designed for 7 foot tall garage doors. If you have an 8 foot tall garage door you will need a rail extension kit for about $50 more.

Add the optional Closed Confirm Remote for another $50. If you ever worry that your garage door didn’t close, the extra money is probably worth it. If you don’t get in a hurry when pulling away from your garage and your house, just watch the door close and save your money.

Genie ChainMax 1200 Garage Door Opener features:

Horsepower: 3/4 HP DC Power Plus (a little more powerful than a 3/4 HP AC motor)
Type of Drive: Chain
Light Source: 200 Watts (max. with two 100-Watt bulbs) w/Motion Detection
Includes: Two 3 Button Remotes, Multi-Function Wall Console, Wireless Entry KeypadSecurity Features:

  • Intellicode® 2 Access Security system. Dual frequency, rolling code remotes.

Safety Features:

  • Safe-T-Beam® infrared garage door sensors to stop and reverse the garage door when light beam is interrupted
  • GenieSense™ Constant Monitoring to reverse the door if an object or person is encountered
  • Manual Emergency Release for the garage door


  • Lifetime on the Motor and Gear Box
  • 5 Years on Chain Drive system (remember, this model is also available with a belt drive, called the Genie SilentMax 1200)
  • 5 Years on Parts
  • 1 Year on Accessories
  • Consult the product warranty for details (see Page 12 of the Owner’s Manual)
  • Genie ChainMax 1200 Owner’s Manual (PDF about 1.84MB)

Special Features:

  • Powerful 3/4 HP DC Power Plus motor
  • 3-Button Intellicode® 2 garage door remotes
  • Dual Frequency Auto Seek system
  • Multi-Function wall console
  • SmartSet® Push-Button Programming
  • 200 Watt (max.) lighting system with 4 minute delay
  • Compatible with HomeLink® and Lear Car2U® systems


  • Additional Garage Door Remotes
  • Closed Confirm Remote
  • Rail extension kit for 8 foot tall garage doors.

Genie ChainMax 1200 Consumer Reports, Pros and Cons

The ChainMax 1200 offers a quieter, more powerful alternative to older chain drive garage door openers. However, it is not as popular as Genie’s new belt drive models. The comparable belt drive unit is called a Genie SilentMax 1200. Both models share the same power head but use different lifting mechanisms.

In the Genie Pro line (professionally installed), Genie stuck to only two models called theIntelliG 1000 and the IntelliG 1200. Chain and belt drive rails are interchangeable for both models.

Between the four similar DIY models, the most popular is the Genie SilentMax 1000, which has 40 or more reviews on The Home Depot website with a 4 1/2 out of 5 star rating. As of this writing, the ChainMax 1200 has not received much consumer attention, likely because it is such a new model.

The Pros and Cons below are based on the feature set as well as consumer feedback for the similar SilentMax 1000.

Pros +

Cons –

  • Very quiet for a chain drive
  • Well equipped with 2 garage door remotes, deluxe console and wireless keypad.
  • Color coded parts bags are helpful for installation (feedback on installation instructions is mixed).
  • Reasonably easy installation in 3 to 4 hours.
  • Strong, smooth operation
  • HomeLink® & Car2U™ compatible
  • Lifetime motor & gearbox warranty.
    5 years on the Chain Drive.
  • Standard installation is for a 7 foot garage door. Requires the purchase of a rail extension kit for 8 foot tall garage doors
  • Programming can be challenging if you use older Intellicode 1 remotes.
  • Not designed to accommodate CFL bulbs. They are too large to fit. (Note: With the mandate of CFLs going back and forth in Congress, and CFL bulbs shrinking in size, this may eventually resolve itself.)

The newest generation of Genie garage door openers uses 140 Volt DC powered motors and include an updated and robust set of safety and security features. It’s nice to see Genie offering a DIY option comparable to the excellent Genie Pro line.

The Genie ChainMax 1200’s powerful 3/4 HP Power Plus motor is more than adequate for heavy solid wooden garage doors and carriage house doors.

NOTE: If you want essentially the same garage door opener for a little less money, consider the Genie ChainMax 1000. What is the difference between the Genie ChainMax 1200 and the ChainMax 1000? Other than about a $30 price difference, there are actually 2 notable differences:

  • The ChainMax 1200 features the “Power Plus” DC motor with power exceeding that of a 3/4 HP AC motor while the ChainMax 1000’s power is about equal to a 3/4 HP AC motor.
  • The ChainMax 1200 opens faster at about 9 inches per second rather than about 7.5 for the ChainMax 1000.

Genie ChainMax 1200 – Advantages over AC Models

The latest DC powered Genie garage door openers have a number of advantages over AC powered models, including:

Soft Start and Stop – DC powered motors can slow down when the garage door is nearly open or nearly closed, which makes for an “easy landing” for the garage door. This “soft start and stop” action not only makes for a quiet garage door opener, it also reduces wear and tear on the door.

GenieSense™ Constant Monitoring – Genie’s new “GenieSense™” diagnostic system is another feature of DC motors that constantly monitors movement of the garage door when it is opening and closing. This not only helps reduce wear and tear, it also improves safety.

If the garage door encounters an object or person (or animal) in its path, the DC-powered motor will stop and reverse. When coupled with the Safe-T-Beam® infrared garage door sensors standard on this and most other garage door opener models, garage door safety is greatly improved.

More Efficient – DC motors do their job with less energy. While the savings may not turn your household budget into a cashflow machine, it is nice to know you are using less electricity (unless you own the utility company).

Genie ChainMax 1200 – Other Notable Features

What else is worth mentioning on the ChainMax 1200? A dual frequency system, Genie’s SmartSet™ programming, the latest multi-function wall control and a 200 Watt (max.) time delayed lighting system to name four.

SmartSet™ – This easy-to-use programming feature allows for simple adjustments to speed, force and limits (when the garage door stops at the top and bottom of its cycle). No screw driver needed. Just use the clearly marked buttons to make simple adjustments.Dual Frequency System – Also known as “Auto Seek,” this frequency hopping feature causes the opener to choose either the 315 or 390 MHz transmission frequency, depending on which one offers the least interference.

Multi-Function Wall Control – The ChainMax 1200 wall control goes far beyond the old doorbell-style button. There is an open/close button, of course, but there is also a separate button to turn the light on an off and another button to engage the Sure-Lock™ feature.

Sure-Lock™ literally locks down the opener and will not allow it to be controlled by garage door remotes or the wall control. This is a nice feature to have when you go on vacation or leave for an extended period of time.

High Output Lights – The ChainMax 1200 features a 2 bulb 200 Watt (max.) lighting system with motion detection. The lights automatically shut off after 4 minutes. This is more than adequate light if you just park your cars in the garage. However, if you plan to work on your cars in the garage, do crafting or other hobby projects, etc., consider extra or specialized garage lighting. In my opinion, you can never have enough light.

OPTIONAL Closed Confirm Remotes – If you have ever wondered if your garage door closed completely as you were driving away from your home, the Closed Confirm Remote will help. When the door closes completely, the remote beeps and flashes a green light. If there is a problem, you hear a warning tone and see a flashing red light. Simple. At almost $50 each, the only down side is cost.

Genie ChainMax 1200 Safety and Security

Standard safety and security features on the Genie ChainMax 1200 are similar to otherGenie garage door openers. However, some are improved over older models. For example, Safe-T-Beam® infrared garage door sensors and a manual door release are standard on all Genie models.

Infrared garage door sensors emit an infrared light across the bottom of the garage door opening. If the light beam is interrupted, the garage door opener will either not work at all (it won’t start the closing cycle), or it will stop, reverse direction and open to the fully open position.

What is not found on older, non-DC powered Genie models is GenieSense™ technology. Exclusive to DC powered openers, GenieSense™ continuously monitors door movement and will stop and reverse the garage door if it encounters a person or object (or your pet).

Security is also improved with Genie’s new Intellicode® 2 standards, which improve signal encryption. This “rolling code” technology is found on most garage door openers and it changes the transmission code after every use to keep the code and your stuff safe.

Genie ChainMax 1200 Garage Door Remotes

The ChainMax 1200 comes with the newest Genie 3-button garage door remotes that are backward compatible with Intellicode® 1 remotes. This is important if you have an older Intellicode equipped Genie garage door opener operating one of your other garage doors.

The ChainMax 1200 is also compatible with the HomeLink® and Car2U® home automation systems if your car is equipped.

NOTE: For the technically minded, DC power is not measured in horsepower. It is measured in Newtons and the ChainMax 1200’s Power Plus motor is a little more powerful than a 3/4 HP AC motor. The very similar ChainMax 1000 has about the same power as a 3/4 HP AC motor.

Genie ChainMax 1200 – Professionally Installed Option

If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, the comparable Genie Pro model is called the Genie IntelliG 1200. What’s the difference? There are 2.

Difference #1 – The rail for the DIY ChainMax 1200 must be assembled by the homeowner and the Genie Pro IntelliG 1200 rail comes pre-assembled.

Difference #2 – The IntelliG 1200 can be mated with either a chain drive or belt drive lifting mechanism. The ChainMax 1200 is exclusively a chain drive garage door opener. If you prefer chains to belts, check out the Genie ChainMax 1000 chain drive garage door opener for the DIY market.

There is actually one more difference, and the Genie Pro dealers will tell you it’s a big one. The Pro models are supported by an independent dealer network. If you aren’t the DIY type, This is a big difference.

Genie ChainMax 1200 Owner’s Manual

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