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Old 06-17-2010, 08:49 AM   #1
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Need some help with garage electrical issue


Ok heres the deal I could really use some help figuring this out it started about a week ago our garage door would not open from a close very well and sometimes it would stick. No big deal its a 12 year old lift master and most likely just worn out. The motor would make a sound like it is struggling and would pull the door open or shut very slow if not at all. About a day after that the securty lights stoppeded working. I figured just coincidence maybe a surge hit the garage and it just didn't take it well. Now a week later still waiting for funds for a new door opener we had a huge branch off a tree fall into the yard and I pulled it in back and grabbed my reciprocating and started to get to work and It was week as hell. Its a harbor freight model so I figured that was it , then I got to thinking. Im taking this in my house and see what it does. Well I did so and its running like normal. At this point I know its not my garage door or the security lights its the electrical in the garage thats causing me issues. I'm not a total moron so I grab my basic fluke meter and test a outlet and I'm getting 119 volt off of it. I'm kinda out of ideas. It I cant afford a garage door opener right now I really cant afford a electrician. Any ideas what to check. I'm not to smart on electrical but my guess would be I'm not getting the amps. If any of you have a suggestions on what it could be or suggestions I would really appreciate it.

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Old 06-17-2010, 09:01 AM   #2
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The motor would make a sound like it is struggling and would pull the door open or shut very slow if not at all.
Load on the motor has increased due to binding in the garage door mechanism.

Voltage to the motor is reduced when motor is under load. Measure right at the motor terminals.

Motor is bad.


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Old 06-17-2010, 09:03 AM   #3
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Need some help with garage electrical issue


But that doesn't explain why his sawzall is weak only in the garage...
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:12 AM   #4
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Need some help with garage electrical issue


You've got a bad connection or wire leading from the house to garage. Turn on a load in the garage and re test the voltage.
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:20 AM   #5
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Need some help with garage electrical issue


Ok so I just tested my sub panel in the garage. Im getting 90vac off of the red leg. 1.44 vac off the black leg off the main wire coming into the garage. I guess the next thing to do is check the screw conncections in the main breaker panel and make sure they are tight
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:21 AM   #6
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Need some help with garage electrical issue


Outlet load test: turning off a 10A hair dryer should show an increase in voltage of about 3.0v, depending on wire size, copper or alum., and distance to CB panel.

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Old 06-17-2010, 09:21 AM   #7
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Need some help with garage electrical issue


Are you testing each hot leg to neutral?
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:38 AM   #8
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Ok here is what I got now. I at my main breaker panel at my house I have 120vac coming off of each leg, red and black. Double pole breaker with a ground so its 3 wires. Both are testing fine. At my garage. Red leg has 119vac and black has 0vac. The ground goes into the neutral bar. The garage also has a separate ground wire going into earth. All good with It. I check each leg to the neutral bar also. Checked connections and they are all tight. I assume its more then possible that a leg went bad on the wire its left under ground. Also this is copper wire only about 10 years old

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Old 06-17-2010, 09:39 AM   #9
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Need some help with garage electrical issue


Measure the voltages hot to hot 240, hot to neutral 120, other hot to neutral 120, hot to ground 120 and other hot to ground. Try to pinpoint what is happening first.

Added, do this in both panels
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:46 AM   #10
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Going hot to hot I get 240 at the main breaker in my house and I get 120 at the sub panel in my garage
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:08 AM   #11
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Red leg has 119vac and black has 0vac
Check the lug on the black wire at both breakers for cleanliness and tightness. If ok, sorry to say, but the black wire is open.
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:18 AM   #12
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Check the lug on the black wire at both breakers for cleanliness and tightness. If ok, sorry to say, but the black wire is open.
Both look good. I really appreciate the help Thanks everyone for the help. At least have A direction that I can go from here
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:42 AM   #13
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Need some help with garage electrical issue


Did they run one continous wire from panel to panel or did they change to another cable? You may have another splice connection. Best of luck.
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:47 AM   #14
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What you could do in the time being is to use only 1/2 of the breakers in the panel for the 120 volt loads. ie move the wire for the opener to a breaker powered by the red.
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:50 AM   #15
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Need some help with garage electrical issue


All voltage tests should be made under some load; 1A, 10A, 15A, whatever. Even the 30 mA that a 'Wiggy' pulls is a help.
The open circuit voltage is only half the story.

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