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Garage door opener stopped working

868 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  ex-Khobar Andy
My neighbor’s GDO has stopped working. Press either the door button or the car remote and it starts to flash and there is a clicking sound. I checked the magic eye thingy (to use the technical term) and there is no obstruction. Both the sender and receiver lights are on. when I take the cover off there is no obvious damage - gears all look OK.

The door opens and closes smoothly and easily when I disconnect the GDO so there is no problem with the door or the tracks.

My neighbor is elderly (as my wife constantly reminds me, anyone a day older than me is elderly. I think she’s trying to tell me something.) and I can put in a new GDO for her, no problem. Lowes will sell me a new one for about $150 and it would take me a couple of hours. (I’ve done a couple of these in the last 20 years or so.) The alternative is to call in the professional who will diagnose it and bill her $300 to replace a $30 part. (And I'm not saying I begrudge a professional his fee; but replacing it will probably be the cheaper option.)

I’m mystified. I think it’s probably something simple but I don’t know where to start. The wall switch has, in addition to the up/down button, a lock button and one for the light only. As far as I recall there is just a double stranded wire to the wall switch so I assume that there is some circuitry to distinguish between the buttons so that the ceiling unit receives some pulse pattern which tells it what to do.

It’s a AccessMaster circa 2005, 1/2 HP, chain drive. Any thoughts? Just from the pov of waste I hate to just put in a new one and junk the old one which is probably perfectly fine but which would cost more to fix than to replace. I’ve pulled the manual from the web but it’s not a lot of help: it says that if the light flashes you have an obstruction so clear it.
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Sounds like the door safety sensor receiver unit has failed. They sell as a set, transmitter and receiver... about 25 bucks+-. There is no easy way to bypass them for a test... don't you just hate it when they make stuff more complex than necessary to thwart us DIY'ers.

I'd say take the $25 gamble but it's your money and your choice.
 

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I would replace it. I have installed a number of 1/2 HP Chamberlain chain drive units from Home Depot $128. Easy to install and very reliable. Not a lot of bells and whistles to go bad.

Sent from my RCT6A03W13E using Tapatalk
 

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Check that the "magic eye" hasn't gotten out of alignment. They often get bumped or kicked and if they aren't aimed properly, that will prevent the GDO from working. Also make sure the lenses on both sides are clean and free of dirt.


How many times does it flash? That's often a code telling you what it thinks is wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
"If you disconnect the door, will the traveling shuttle thing go along the track without hiccups?"


Did not try that. But all seems to be in alignment.


"Check that the "magic eye" hasn't gotten out of alignment. They often get bumped or kicked and if they aren't aimed properly, that will prevent the GDO from working. Also make sure the lenses on both sides are clean and free of dirt.

How many times does it flash? That's often a code telling you what it thinks is wrong. "



I wondered about that. Lenses are clean and both the sender and receiver lights are steady. I took that to mean that it is aligned and ready to go. It flashes constantly until I pull the plug, so no code.


I decided to go ahead and replace the whole unit with a Craftsman 1/2 HP from Lowes. $129 and looks good. The instructions could use a little work.


Thanks as always to the DIYChatroom community for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob22
If you disconnect the door, will the traveling shuttle thing go along the track without hiccups?

"If up or down force isn’t adjusted right (simple adjustment) it can prevent operation. Taking door load off traveler allows testing.Good of you to help her!"


Thanks bob22: I misunderstood you. Yes, that's the first thing I tried - pulled the red cord to take the load off. Still didn't function.


Funny story. The shaft from the motor to the door comes in five pieces: you have to push them together and a series of lugs holds it together in Step 1. When I got to Step 5 I realized I had it upside down. It didn't look to me, from an engineering point of view, as if it mattered: maybe a minor appearance issue. I phoned Craftsman to check. Unfortunately it does matter - there's a little safety feature which may not work properly if it's upside down. "I'll tell you how I know" said Mr Craftsman. "The first time I put one of these together I did exactly the same thing." It would take about one additional sentence in the instructions here to make sure that idiots like me and Mr C look out for this tiny 1/4 inch feature to make sure it points up and not down. He (Mr C) will pass this on to the manual writing guys.
 

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look out for this tiny 1/4 inch feature to make sure it points up and not down. He (Mr C) will pass this on to the manual writing guys.
That's probably a fail safe method that stops the shuttle if the micro-switch down limit fails. Without that, when a MS failure occurs, the motor moves the chain mounted trigger pawl on through the first wig-wag at the motor sprocket and on through the next wig-wag BACKWARDS. Damage to the plastic wig-wag can occur when that happens. I had that happen on mine (different brand than yours) and since it uses a flat track, I drilled a hole in the track 1" beyond the shuttle's farthest normal travel point and dropped a 1/4" bolt in it. I suspect it serves the same purpose as the spur on your round track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's probably a fail safe method that stops the shuttle if the micro-switch down limit fails. Without that, when a MS failure occurs, the motor moves the chain mounted trigger pawl on through the first wig-wag at the motor sprocket and on through the next wig-wag BACKWARDS. Damage to the plastic wig-wag can occur when that happens. I had that happen on mine (different brand than yours) and since it uses a flat track, I drilled a hole in the track 1" beyond the shuttle's farthest normal travel point and dropped a 1/4" bolt in it. I suspect it serves the same purpose as the spur on your round track.

Yes I have to take this rod apart to get it the right way up. To do that I have to pry the retaining lugs back up - not sure how easy that will be. If I can't then I will do your bolt trick as Plan B.
 
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