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Discussion Starter #1
I'm darn near positive that an active member here does garage door installations, but I can't remember who it is.

This is about the single door for my 2 car garage in a recently purchased home. The door worked find for ~4 months. The door started mulfunctioning at the same time the outside code pad stopped working (coincidence?). My wife says it made a noise a few days earlier, but I can't get a good description from her. I have not heard any unusual noises from it and I've cycled it 50+ times trying to figure it out...

It will go up about 12" and stop. If I help it up just a little (10 - 20 lbs upward force), it goes on up without a problem. If I stop helping it up when it's only partially open, it will go another ~12" and stop again. I don't see any place it's binding. The rails are straight and the wheels all turn easily.

Suggestions? I'd prefer to not pay a repair guy $75 for a five minute fix.

Have a good day!
Michael
 

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Make sure that the springs at the top of the door are not broken. I had one break once and door did samething. If springs are not helping open door the opener cannot do it alone. If they are OK look on the opener and there should be a sensitivity knob, just adjust it to a little more resistance.
 

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First of all, pull the quick release/safety release (red cord, usually) hanging from the "traveler" (the part that goes along the rail/tube, what the door is attached to).......try the door by itself.

You should be able to open & close the door easily, without much effort. (Keep in mind, if you are Ah-nold S., I mean easily for the avg. guy. :) )

If you can't, start looking for problems with the door....bent rails, bad rollers, bad bracketry, bent door panel, bad springs, misadjusted springs, a wooden door that has absorbed water....etc. Sounds like you've kind of done this, but, make sure the door is eliminated. About 1/2-2/3 of the time, it's the door, not the opener. Especially on older doors.

Also, remember that, for the most part, the "opener" is not intended to be an opener...but rather a guider or starter. It's not intended to pull all, or even more than a little, of the actual weight of the door.



If you are satisfied that the door is o-tay, then look at the opener itself. Cycle it without the weight of the door. Does it cycle completely, both up & down?

Then, reconnect the opener to the door via the quick release, & try the wall button. Does it work then? Hold the button DOWN, without letting up. Does it work OK if you hold it down, but mess up when you just push & release? In that case the beam sensors may be mis-aligned, or broken, if the GDO has them...used since around '93. Not fixed yet? Next....

Without getting real specific, there are generally four things to adjust on a GDO: opening force; closing force; open limit (i.e. stopping point); close limit. Different brands have different styles & locations for these, & older openers have (usually) only one force (sensitivity) adjustment.

It sounds as if you have a problem with insufficient opening force. There generally is a white or black knob (actually, two knobs) on the back of newer openers, one for open, one for close. Find the open force knob & turn it up about 1/8 turn...give it a try. If no luck still, try another 1/8. Keep going if needed.

Older openers have (usually) one large knob on the bottom, as mentioned. You can adjust this about 1/8-1/4 at a time...should be arrows on the case to show you which direction. KEEP IN MIND THAT YOU ARE ADJUSTING BOTH OPEN & CLOSE FORCE WITH THIS TYPE OF OPENER...it's basically a spring clutch.


Assuming this works, that's fine....but, ask yourself why this happened. Did something change on the door that it now requires more help? Did you have to crank the open force up a LOT? Sometimes the seasonal change requires a little bit of fine-tuning, no big deal.

Not trying to over-think this....but, a garage door is one big-***, heavy, moving object....and they can hurt people, ESPECIALLY KIDS. Most people don't think much about it...and if they have a problem, just crank the force up a little more. Or a lot more. Doing this on open force is one thing....doing it on CLOSE FORCE is a whole 'nother thing....

If it turns out to be a spring problem, as a rule it's better to let a professional handle it, unless you understand what you are doing....ESPECIALLY with torsion springs. I know of at least one fatality where an amateur decided to fix it himself.

I think "zephyrbob" here does GDO installations...search if needed. :)
 

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Actually, I was thinking of free-bie forum assistance rather than a service call...but, ya never know, he might be willing to pay the $57,000 mileage & service bill if he gets REALLY desperate. :shock: :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey guys!

Thanks for the advice. I've cycled the opener with the door disconnected. When the door is disconnected, though, it is very heavy (I'm not Arnold though). I will check the springs and knobs this evening and report back. At the moment, I'm guessing one of the springs broke due to the 'noise' my wife heard a few days before it broke.

Have a good day!
Michael
 

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Michael,

If they are tension springs- one on the side of each rail at the back- you can replace them, no problem with a bit of common sense. Replace both, though, not just one...and try to match the original tension rating if at all possible...if not, follow the package recommendations for your type/size of door.
 

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You don't mention the brand of the garage door opener. I have Craftsman, and had a similar problem, that started with a strange noise. Turns out the gear in the opener itself is either plastic or powdered metal depending on the unit. The noise my wife heard was the plastic gear self destructiing. The gear system is actually a worm gear and a main gear. These are available as separate parts. Sometimes the parts are reasonable enough to buy the gear and self install. It is a DIY project with patience. Sometimes, its just cheaper to buy a new door opener of similar type, so you have minimal installation. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey guys!

I checked it out more thoroughly and found the problem. As was mentioned earlier in this thread, the door has a broken spring. It is the torsional kind and I'll heed your advice and pay a professional to fix it for me.

Thanks for the help!
Michael
 
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