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Old 03-02-2010, 09:33 AM   #1
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Garage door opener problem(s)

So I have a Liftmaster garage door opener, not sure of model, I think it's about 20 yrs old (need more specifics, I know). For about a month now, it's been not functioning properly. On occasion it will open and close no probs, but for the most part it will stop motion either half way up/down, after a foot, 6 inches, etc... Basically, it stops in the middle of its cycle, sometimes taking 5-7 attempts to lower completely.

I've already disconnected and have moved it by hand. It goes up and down easily. The sensors are clean and clear. Are there any other potential issues that may be causing this? FWIW, this started with the extremely cold weather here in the midwest, but has been continuing with temps into the 30's.

Possibly time for a new opener? What is the lifespan on an opener?
It's a chaindrive, I think 1/2 hp. All the springs, wheels seem to be okay. Thanks for any and all input. Mike

Last edited by Mr. Michael; 03-02-2010 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:48 AM   #2
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Does the chain need adjusting? Next try adjusting the opening and closing forces. Then adjust the safety mechanisms. I had to do all this to a Craftsman opener recently and it's working fine now.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:56 AM   #3
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Two things could be coming into play here.

While I don't know about your garage door opener, mine has an adjustment knob that sets the amount of force that is required before the door will stop closing and open back up. It's partly designed to keep from crushing a child that might be in the door way, but not in the way of the "beam" to cause it to stop and turn around.

The second thing (related to the first actually) is that the springs used to help lift the door might have weakened over time and might need replacing or adjusting. However, be warned that these springs can be under a lot of tension, especially when the door is closed. As such, they can be VERY DANGEROUS!!! Make sure to learn about the type of spring you have and how it works and how to safely work with it before you consider any sort of adjustment to it.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:09 AM   #4
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From the closed position--Open the door about one foot, stop it. Release the sled from the carrier, the door should close or be easy to. Operate the door opener/closer system as if the door was attached. IF the unit runs both ways, with no visible problems, nor makes any unusual noises, the motor unit is probably alright. Mark the guide rod where the carrier stops at the "open" and "closed" positions. Operate the unit to see if it stops at the same place every time. the "open" and "closed" adjusters may need adjusting. Try the door manually again, from the one-foot level. Can you raise it easily? It should be balanced so the auto operator has little weight to move. A 20 yr. old unit may have worn clutch plates in it also--not replaceable. David
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:53 PM   #5
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I had a Craftsman give me fits for about a year. It also only happened in the cold weather.

The opener would seem to drag and go, drag and go, all the way down. Most times it took up to 5-6 tries to get it to go all the way. Seemed to move from side to side also.

Tried: lubricating the track; tightening all clamps, hangars, brackets; adjusting down force, etc

Finally found that the pulleys right above the door had bad bearings (one on each side of the door). The opener cables were attached to the bottom of the door and came up over these pulleys, and the pulleys were not readily visible.

Replaced the busted pulleys - good to go.
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