Frank's Garage Door Opener F.A.Q. 's  
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* My transmitters suddenly only work inside or real close to garage - If you live near (10 mi) military bases, new military transmitters
are interfering as of Dec 04 - you need replacement receiver/transmitters below 390 mhz. Chamberlain, Sears have new openers using 315 MHZ

1. My Garage door opener opens by itself.

2. My door won't close or goes a few inches stops and comes back up.

3. My opener hits the floor to close then opens right back up.

4. My door opener just hums and will not start.

5. My opener is dead. No noise or movement.

6. My remote has short range.

7. Flashing LED - Sears Chamberlain error codes

8. My doors are shaking back and forth and noisy

9. Sticky Door reverses or seals poorly

10 Loud noise in garage. door is difficult to open

11 Low ceiling prevents opener install

12 Motor makes noise but chain sprocket doesnt

turn

Genie specific problems

1. My Garage door opener opens by itself:

There are several distinct causes of this problem.

A) Problem is more often caused by customers own transmitters. stuck button on transmitter. first Check the less used and spare transmitters as you may find a “stuck” button or something laying on top of the transmit button left in a storage drawer. This weak signal caused by an exhausting battery will interfere with other transmitters and cause intermittent door operation. receivers need a "reset" period between transmissions - battery depletion and interference with other transmitters can provide these resets. * often battery changes create this problem on Sears and Chamberlain transmitters because the mini pc card gets misaligned off shoulder when opened for battery exchange. when reassembled the button is constantly depressed.


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B) On new units be aware most openers have ability to “learn” multiple codes. Your unit may have inadvertently learned a neighbors code while you were "teaching" it a keypad or additional transmitter for multiple door control. You need to “flush” your unit and relearn code set. Typically hold learn button for 30 seconds to flush old codes then press once to re-armlearn cycle for 60 seconds. then resend your code by depressing the transmitter button. Repeat for additional transmitters and keypad. (rolling code Receivers can learn multiple transmitter codes but only 1 keypad code). You will have to wait and see if this fixes problem.

C) Can be caused by shorted pushbutton wire. Make certain staples are not breaking insulation and excess copper wire at terminal ends is cropped. try pounding wall with your hand to trigger operation.

D) On older units Verify your unit was not left to factory default code. Newer units come pre coded from factory. to change code on new transmitters now requires new transmitter. If car is stolen Flush your code set immediately!


Check that your pushbutton wire is not shorted out. This is less frequent caused by staples biting through insulation or excessive stripped lengths at terminations that are making intermittent contact to adjacent terminals under wall panel or on back of operator. Try pounding on wall or ceiling to test.

2. My door won't close or goes a few inches stops and comes back up.

Most openers have infra-red sensors that mount on either side of the garage door a few inches off the floor.
 Check that they can "see" one another. The IR receive sensor led should turn on and off as you break the beam with your hand. Verify led on IR receiver is fully on and not faintly flickering. You may need to cup your hand over led to verify this status as  flickering levels are easily overlooked (light level should be steady). You want IR sensors perfectly aligned If the alignment is “marginal” the vibrations encountered during operation will trigger a momentary break and your door will go back up. The door won’t close if beam is broken. Align the sender first by eye and then the receiver using the led indicator as your guide. Make sure the wires that go to the back of the sensors are not broken. Also verify lenses are clean and free of debris. In rare cases down force setting can trigger this same problem but this normally occurs at other door positions where more friction is encountered. A broken spring or cable jumped behind its pulley can exhibit same but the opener is actually operating correctly and going into safety mode. Avoid this confusion by testing door manually before troubleshooting the opener.

If your motion sensors check good and door operates ok manually try turning down force dial clockwise, It is typically at 1 for a single width door or 3 for a double. Increase to 5 or 7 for test purpose. As doors get older their springs weaken. If you have increased down force threshold and the door continues to reverse, the RPM sensor is the culprit. There is no way to override or test this sensor by using the hand unit or the wall control. When this sensor goes bad the door will start down and the logic board will not receive the electronic pulses and it will reverse. It is this sensor that causes the door to reverse when it runs into something. The motor stalls, the logic board doesn't receive these pulses and it reverses. This little circuit board is located at the door end of the motor shaft and every door company has them in stock. Take the cover off the unit and you will see a black cap on the end of the shaft that rotates between infrared sensors. That small circuit board is the culprit. Make sure you reinstall serrated cap so that as it turns it breaks sender receiver path on new board.

3. My opener hits the floor to close then opens right back up.

Your front limit switch is either bad or out of adjustment. - Your down limit setting is out of adjustment. On Sears and Stanley the settings are dials located on the opener. Do not confuse Sears up/down force settings near gray antenna wire with up/down travel settings on side recess. Also know excessive adjustment can cause the plastic snap on rider contact inside unit to pop off the worm thread you are turning requiring you to remove case and snap rider back on. I have often discovered this rider swinging in the breeze attached by only its insulated wire inside the unit when on trouble calls.On Genie the up and down limit switches are mounted on the rail and tightened down at appropriate position with screwdriver.

- Your door is hitting an object when closing. Does it actually reach floor or is it binding near bottom causing the “force settings” to perform a safety reverse? Disengage opener and test manually. Repair door to smooth unbound operation then reattach.

4. My door opener just hums and will not start. (It doesn't’t know the words)

- Check to see the opener is not bound up. Make sure the “traveler” arm latch has not backed into the stop bolt or opener housing. This can cause a condition where chain has to be loosened before unit can release. Make sure it does not simply “beach” itself again. Turn up limit in appropriate direction so door does not try to open itself this far again –If it still does than your up adjustment snap on contact inside unit has popped off the thread gear you were adjusting and the cover will need removal to snap it back on. After door is free slowly adjust travel stops back to desired settings and re tighten chain. Leave a least 1 inch of free space to avoid future repeats of this problem.
If opener chain or worm is moving but not door, check to make sure that the opener door arm is engaged to the opener traveler mechanism. Pull rope up and back to re-engage on screw drive, on chain cable you realign door to matching part on opener then pull forward and release rope. Move door until you hear them interlock.

In older openers check you’re starting capacitor. This is the part that gives the opener an extra boost to start. Some times these parts leak or smoke when they go bad. If this happens most times the opener hums and will not start.

5. My opener is dead. No noise or movement.

If you have no lights anywhere on system Check to make sure there is power to the outlet used by your opener. Often a GFI trip upstream goes unnoticed and kills slaved receptacles downstream. GFI outlets in kitchen bathroom and garage typically effect 2 additional outlets slaved to them. Most ceiling outlets are not GFI but wall outlets in newer garages are now GFI and an after construction installed outlet or extension may have put your opener on a GFI branch.

If you have lights on door sensors, Pushbutton wire could be shorted. Open push button circuit at back of opener to test. Do you have any lights on opener or sensors? Try pushing learn button. Check to see if the low side of the transformer (pushbutton contacts) is producing ac voltage. If no AC voltage on push button terminal then circuit board could be bad. If voltage is present try shorting with screwdriver to see if opener activates. If it operates check your wire continuity and wall button.
 

6. My remote has short range.

A) look at back of your opener and see if the led beside the learn button is flashing. A stuck button on neighbors remote will not open your door but it will be indicated as rf activity on this led. It will also interfere with your reception.

B) Check your battery. Use eraser on old battery contacts to remove oxides.

C)Some Shorter distance is to be expected on new rolling code transceivers. This is unavoidable as new 2 way transmission and handshake now relies on smaller remote antenna inside your car which is inherently more susceptible to RF shielding by metal frame and obstacles.

7. Flashing LED - Sears Chamberlain error codes

Fault code
Problem
Cleared
1
Protector open, misaligned or a object is in the way for more then 4 seconds
Up to 8 seconds after fault is cleared
2
Protector shorted or connected backwards for more then 4 seconds
Up to 8 seconds after fault is cleared
3
Command input shorted to ground for more than 4 seconds.
Up to 8 seconds after fault is cleared
4
Protector intermittent
Up to 8 seconds after fault is cleared
5
No RPM in the first second
Power On Reset or Limits Learned

6

RPM pulses detected after the motor was turned off (perhaps forcing up travel)
Power On Reset or Limits Learned
7
Limits not learned yet
Limits Learned

8. My doors are shaking back and forth and noisy Door is noisy and moves jerky: The noise is likely your stationary pulleys over which the cables from extension springs pass. They wear and turn into cams which get out out of phase with each other causing the door to cock back and forth sometimes driving itself into vertical track. The test is too spray inner circle of the
pulleys where the bearings are housed. This will normally buy you
several months until warmer weather to replace them. If your bearings when door is in full up position. It tends to be an invisible problem because cable tension hides this giveaway indicator during operation. I only use WD40 for all lubrication on doors.

Can also be caused by a cable that has jumped off roller and is passing behind wheel. this sometimes occurs after maintenance or if door is opened so far that all tension from extension springs is removed. 

9. Sticking is commonly cause by improper mounting of door track to surface not flush with jamb. test for this in down position and see if any points along mating surface refuse to move in and out under moderate hand presure. door trim is installed to bind slightly near bottom to prevent damage if door is closed rapidly so ignore this if visibly caused by trim. If builder uses 2x4 jamb the mounting leg for vertical track may end up laged into a "sister" stud that is not flush with jamb. this will cause distance between mating door surface and jamb to vary along the travel. proper solution is to use 2x6 jambs but this will not be feasible after construction therefore use 8 penny nail or lg drywall screw between mounting foot and jamb to equalize distance. be sure to retighten mounting bolt after insertion of "spacer".

When you test for sticking - pull down on emergency release and then grab the attached arm and exert force from this end of door. the test you performed using the door handle is not the same resistance felt by opener. the difference is dramatic, very often the act of pulling down on the bottom section will mask a door stick caused by door bottom driving itself into door jamb if clearance is too shallow. other sticking issues are caused by track mounting not flush with jamb but you should have been able to see this visibly and correct with spacers under track feet. good troubleshooting method however is to loosen bottom 2 track feet on vertical rail and experiment with slop provided. With door almost closed and hand on handle you should be able to shift door side to side slightly if slop is set correctly- carefull though -too much and rollers can escape. final possible cause is vertical track is "stuck" on rough cement floor and is ignoring your adjustments on feet. this is actually quite common and just repaired one of these today. take a hammer and a blunt item that fits inside track then hammer object to free the stick -even an 1/8 inch will make a big difference if this is your culprit. one last item about sticking and then off my soapbox. never paint a door unless you have time and temperature to let it dry before closing- the paint will transfer to vinyl sweep on door trim and effectively become a break!

10. Loud noise in garage and door is now very hard to open: Spring has broken. you need to replace them in pairs. if you have safety cables the carcass should be suspended upon it. Occasionally spring is ok and cable is found to be broken, again replace broken item in pairs as the other cable is likely worn equally.

11.Low Ceiling prevents opener installation. You need to order quick turn brackets which replace the 2 uppermost hinges and cause the door to turn sooner and reduce the high point of the turn allowing room for opener.

12. Motor sounds like it is running but sprocket doesnt move. This is a stripped gear or gears. replacement kits are about $ 30 but requires a fair amount of mechanical skill and strict adhearance to the procedures to repair. This is best left for a technician. to verify the diagnosis remove cover and white powder / confetti should be evident.

High turn door was installed to provide clearance for side door, now the opener must be mounted too high for arm to reach door. You need to purchase extension or prepare 2 pcs angle iron of suitable length bolted back to back to form reinforced T extension. You should take time to wrap all sharp corners with electrical tape or other esthetic solution to eliminate hazard.

EMAILS    

Subject: RE: Garage Door Opener stripped gear installation question


make sure black plastic cap fully seated on shaft- the serrated brim travels between send receiver gap and determines speed by count - it is missing counts and thinks you are hitting something
-----Original Message-----
From: ry
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 6:42 PM
To: froarty572@comcast.net
Subject: Garage Door Opener stripped gear installation question


Ran across your site while troubleshooting my garage door opener woes and hoped you might be able to shed some light on my situation. My opener recently stopped working and I quickly tracked the problem to stripped gears. I was able to replace the gears and reassemble the opener. Upon activating the opener, it only travels about 1 ft down before going back up. I detached the chain from the gears to test if the door was the root cause but the behavior is the same. Any insight on what I can check?

Thanks!

 

From: L HAAS
Sent: Sunday, September 11, 2005 12:45 PM
To: froarty572@comcast.net
Subject: SEARS OPENER


HI FRANK .

first of all , thanks for a great web site.
I didn't think that a garage opener system could be so troublesome
now my problem , the door is doing the classic , starts to go down then it (i assume it senses something ,and goes back up syndrome ) I checked my up/ down pressure adj , but cannot get it to complete a cycle . // then i thought , my sensors might be out of alignment , ( only one sensor is glowing // are both supposed be lit ?? i tried to adj so as both would lite up (thought when both are on that would tell me alignment is right on ) but no such luck. ///
do i need a new sensor? // oh this is about a 9 year old sears unit it has worked fine except when it got reel cold one year -10 deg but after a little warm up worked fine again /

would appreciate any help
signed doing manual in Illinois
Larry

Larry,
Your receiver is not working - if transmitter failed you would have no lites. depending on model you may have wires that are preterminated and sealed inside sensor or the type you strip and either insert into hold while depressing spring holder or wrap around screw type terminal. check last types for broken wire or sometimes insulation gets too far inside spring holder type. try reterminating to insure contact is made in these types. If this does not help or you have sealed type wires move on to inspecting the feed wire back from the receiver looking for breaks or shorts - shorts can be caused by the very staples used to secure the wire - if staple looks suspiciously tight pull it out - if the staple has "broken" the wire you will need to solder or splice it. -if not sealed you can also remove unit and with some test wire hook it up over at the working unit so they both have power - not polarized- then face it into the sender to see if it lights.
Frank

-----Original Message-----

From: Tom McNulty
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2006 10:20 AM
To: froarty572@comcast.net
Subject: motor doesn't lift door

Hi Frank -

Just this morning, went to open garage door from inside and the screw turned and the motor sounded the same but nothing was lifting up the garage door. It did not shut off just kept turning the screw shaft. I lifted door manually and the motor stopped. Same thing when I tried to close door from remote in the driveway after I backed out my car. I closed it manually. What should I look for as the problem?

Thanks for your help.

Tom,

If the emergency cord is still in the “pulled” position this is normal..just pull cord back and upward and it should re-engage. If emergency release is not engaged then the plastic traveler is stripprd on the inside and needs replacement. It should be grooved to just like the worm gear which is designed to lie into the grooves and causes movement when the gear spins.

Frank


     
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