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cypherstream
Premium,MVM
join:2004-12-02
Reading, PA
kudos:3

1 edit

Garage door not always closing

I wanted to get some opinions on a situation that is randomly happening with my garage door. Some times the door will go down to about the last 4 or 5 inches and then reverse itself and open it. If I help it down and put a little weight on it as it travels, it will close properly.

Doing some research, most troubleshooting sites point to electric eye problems. This door and opener does not have an electric eye setup. If it feels any sort of resistance, it instantly reverses.

I'm guessing there's some resistance in the track or rollers, so it thinks its someones leg or object in the way and reverses itself. Are there any specific / preferred types of lubricant I can use on the tracks or wheels to help the door move smoother?

I was originally going to replace the whole thing. I really don't have $1200 or whatever it was to get a new door, low profile tracks, battery backup opener and vinyl capping around the outside trim.

From memory I think the opener is a touch n' go 55A if that sounds correct. I have a genie universal rolling code transmitter in line with the push button since I couldn't find remotes for it.


Badonkadonk
Premium
join:2000-12-17
Naperville, IL
kudos:5

Clean and grease, but maybe also change the downward force setting. I know the Chamberlain company units (Sears/Liftmaster/Chamberlain) have that.
--
"You lie!" Talk about an understatement, Joe.



fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to cypherstream

Try lubing first. The home centers sell garage door spray lubricant, usually B'laster brand.

Lubricate the hinges and the roller shafts but not the part that touches the track. Don't lube the track either. Lube the cables and the pulleys (the sheave) if you have an extension spring type door.

Don't just increase the force limit. The door is supposed to open and close with little resistance. The door has to be balanced. To test this, set the door to manual (pull the release cable) and open it halfway. It should stay put and open and close with little resistance.

If it doesn't and you've lubricated you may need to adjust spring tension. With extension spring doors you can do this yourself. There are youtube videos on how to do it but usually it just involves moving the S hook while the door is fully open (so the spring is at minimum tension). When you're done, do the balance test again. If in doubt, call a pro. Don't EVER do anything with the springs when the door is closed.

If you have a torsion spring door you should call a garage door service. I would never recommend a homeowner servicing a torsion spring door. That's a death trap.

Also if your door doesn't have an electric eye it may be pretty old? Might be time for a new one. The newer ones have to have it, safety mandate from the CPSC, IIRC. Either that or a contact switch. But the eye is definitely safer.



Whodatt

@151.190.0.x
reply to cypherstream

Sounds like an Overhead Door Corp opener. I have a 28 year-old one. I'll check my manual for any sensitivity or force adjustments later.

Meanwhile, make sure the bolts are tight on ALL of the hinges and rollers.



fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to cypherstream

said by cypherstream:

I was originally going to replace the whole thing. I really don't have $1200 or whatever it was to get a new door, low profile tracks, battery backup opener and vinyl capping around the outside trim.

We didn't pay that much. Got two new clopay doors and it came out to less than $500. New chamberlain openers $100 each (black friday special). My dad and I installed the doors and opener and it was pretty easy.

Shady Bimmer
Premium
join:2001-12-03
Northport, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to cypherstream

The first step is to pull the disconnect to release the door from the opener's trolley. Then operate the door by hand fully in both directions.

You should neither have to push on the door to get it to close (or stay closed) nor struggle to lift open a heavy door.

By operating the door by hand you'll immediately know if there are issues with the door movement itself. For instance if the door does not stay closed when you let it go (IE: it moves back up, even slightly) the spring tension is too strong. If the door moves freely until a particular point then is difficult to move in either direction you should examine the tracks for old grease (there should not be any) or debris as well as deformations (IE: if something hit the tracks and bent/distorted them).

You do not want to blindly just increase the downforce. The greater this is the more stress is put on the opener, especially the drive gears. In many openers these are nylon and/or plastic designed to be sacrificial. The stronger the downforce, the faster these will wear until they finally sheer completely and the opener becomes useless.



cypherstream
Premium,MVM
join:2004-12-02
Reading, PA
kudos:3
reply to cypherstream

Thanks everyone for these helpful tips. I'll do some of these tests either tonight or this weekend when I get home.

Yes its a much older opener which is why I had to get a retrofit receiver just to add remotes. There are markings for Overhead door co. on it as well.

Really good idea to check the door in manual mode. IIRC in manual mode it does stay put if opened a little more than half way. Again I'll check it soon.

Someday I will replace the whole thing. The quote for $1200 was a pro install. New doors, new tracks, keypad, 2 remotes, battery backup, quiet belt drive, etc.. The door was a higher R value as well. It also included composite trim and capping around the outside of the door to keep it looking nice and white (rather than paining the trim every few years).

I just have a single car garage so I don't have another door / opener to compare it to.



fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

Pro install is going to bump it up quite a bit, I agree. We got insulated doors to replace our old wooden ones and it makes a big difference in the house retaining heat.

Belt drive and battery backup does add to the cost. You're probably getting one of the quieter DC motor doors too.

All doors are supposed to come with new tracks. It's never really recommended to reuse tracks from old doors.



cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to cypherstream

Prior to replacing our garage door several years ago, the old door would have similar issues to what you describe during very cold weather. The lubricant in the rollers just didn't like to operate in the very cold and would provide enough resistance that the garage door thought it was hitting an obstruction. If we pulled down on the door slightly to help it down, it was enough to counter the resistance so the opener wasn't reversed.

Just seconding what others have said, clean the tract, rollers, and hinges, and lubricate the latter two with a silicone based lubricating spray.



Jon
Premium
join:2001-01-20
Lisle, IL
reply to cypherstream

Does it have Travel and Open/Close strength adjustments?



aannoonn

@optonline.net
reply to cypherstream

Click for full size
Click for full size
You may have a different model, but perhaps these will help. Click for full size.


KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
reply to cypherstream

My door used to do this a lot. I believe you're on the right track, it's the safety feature you mentioned from encountering resistance.

When I moved the door with my hand I noticed that indeed there was a "sticky" spot where the resistance increased right when the door reached the spot where it commonly reversed. It actually was to do with a cracked panel that that sagged when in the vertical position but as it rotated to the horizontal it had to "square" back up. (Flex.)

Basically repairing the cracked panel fixed my issue.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini


harald

join:2010-10-22
Columbus, OH
kudos:1
reply to cypherstream

In addition to all the other useful comments, you can also get replacement rollers. Not expensive, and they come with both steel and plastic rollers.

When I replaced them on my 55 year old door some of them had worn down by 1/4" on the diameter.



Jan Janowski
Premium
join:2000-06-18
Skokie, IL
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to cypherstream

I had that symptom...

Look for a spider web in the electric eye opening... Clean with Q-Tip.

Lube as necessary just because I was there....

Been fine ever since (10+ years)
--
Looking for 1939 Indian Motocycle