Garage Door Opener Repair tips PT1 long
Hi all, it seems to me that in general GDO posters are not having as much success at instructed self-repair as tractor owners, and that poor Don is innundated with requests for assistance.
To try to relieve some of Don's load and make others more capable of diagnosing their own situation I offer the following guidlines to understanding operation of certain GDOs. This is to facilitate diagnosis and repairing most common and FUNCTIONAL problems on late model craftsmen GDOs.
First off, when in doubt, dont. That means if you have any doubts about your understanding or capbilities to fix it SAFELY dont mess with it, get pro to do it (same for tree work). Deadly forces and weights and tensions are present in the door-opener-house-customer system.
Second, even though we all use opener, the actual name is garage door OPERATOR. They are not intneded nor designed to lift (OPEN) the weight of the door. If the door and its hardware and jambs are not in good balance and repair they should be made so before proceeding. To some extent the safety systems built into the GDO are negated by the home defects mentioned above. Chainbreakage during operation of unbalanced doors aint pretty!!!!
Third, if you have an older gdo without so called optic sensors that mount on the doorjamb and it is giving you problems/fits, REPLACE IT. Why mess with a unit that is significantly less safe than current standards. ****please**** DO NOT ATTEMPT SELF REPAIR OF OLD BELT DRIVE GDOS, except maybe to change the belt. They have lots of hot spots on the chassis, parts are mostly NLA, most of the force adjustments are primitive and subject to dangerous innacurcy with wear and corrosion, and movement of the pulley with the unit plugged in can cause IMMEDIATE MOTOR START UP!!!
If you can safely use a ladder, unplug a powercord, work with your arms owvrhead you can probably fix your gdo OK. possible EXCEPTIONS, intermittant problems, phantom opens/closes. and range/interference problems. These are relatively rare to very rare problems.
To start understanding the GDO, the door must come first. All common doors have some type of spring or weight to offset lift of the doors weight. Cables or linakges join the spring or counter weight to the door in some fashion. All should be checked for obvious wear or looseness. But mostly all you need to know for DIY is that the door must move smoothly thru its full range of motion. only light to moderate hand force should be needed to open or close th door gently. No more than say a middling to heavy bag of groceries. Stop here and remdy this if this is not true. TO TRUELY UNDERSTAND IF DDOR BINDS IT MAY BE NECESSARY TO PUSH OR PULL THE DOOR FROM WHER THE GDO ATTACHES TO IT. Especially for the following close problems:shaking on the close of one piece doors and force reversals on close of sectional(so-called roll up) doors.
The sectionals may rub the jamb when pushed closed by the gdo but not do so if you pull them down byhand. One piece door systems may shake on start of close if pushed closed by the gdo arm when they were opened to fully flat. This often not a gdo problem per se, but problem with installation or maintenance of the door and/or opener. Only typical GDO problems that MAY contibute to one piece door shake are loose chain or worn trolley parts.
How it works...GDo motor makes power, moves it thru belt/chain/cable/screw/linkages in some form to push on the door or pullon the door. TRAVEL adjustments (aka Up or Down limits) are used to shut off the gdo motor when the door is at a desired point of travel. FORCE limits are means to limit the amount of push or pull the motor will exert against resitance. When the up or down force setting is exceeded the motor will stop. This to help protect the door, people/pets, and vehicles. There is also an rpm sensor that checks ot see if the motor is turning. typiclaly this is onlyused on the close, and is a backup to the force adjustments. If the motor stops rotating or the sensor tells the mainlogic board it has stopped the door wont close as the gdo thinks its crushing something.
Do the force limits first with a working remote n yor hand. Do not do this step if you are feeble, in-agile, or have backproblems. Close the door, and as it closes resist with a firm pushof your hands when the door is about waisdt high. DONT GET UNDER DOOR. it should reverse, if not lower downforce and try agian. AS the door reverses and starts up, (after successful downforce adjustment), reach up and pull down sharply on door, it should stop. if not lower upforce. Try again. Limit adjusts to follow in another post.