Garage Door Opener Help/Suggestions

Hiya All, Well I've gone and done it. The garage door opener was making a heck of a racket (along with the door itself). Seemed to me that it was time for a bit of grease. This is a screw drive opener. I greased the screw and the track on the doors. Well it worked. The door opener won't work now. Push the button and it makes a bit of noise and stops. There are no obstructions in the door's path and the sensors indicate the door should move. So I have a couple of questions. 1. Seems odd, but did I hose the thing up by greasing the screw? 2. Any recommendations for either fixing it or replacing it (ie. Brand, screw vs. chain, etc....).
Thanks for the advice. I will probably be forced into replacing it this weekend as the wife puts her car in the garage and well, she probably can't lift the door on her own. Anyway, thanks, cc
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James "Cubby" Culbertson wrote:

Quite a conundrum, but you really didn't give us much information to go on.
1. Is the door open or closed now?
2. Did you disengage the door from the opener traveler while greasing things? If you did, did you reengage it correctly?
2. Did you try disengaging the door from the traveler, and see that it moves freely by hand and "balances" about half way up?
If the door is disengaged from the traveler and closed, will the traveler run along it's track when you push the button?
3. What kind of grease did you use, and is there any possibility (unlikely as it seems) that if it's very cold in the garage that grease stiffened enough to gum things up?
Report back with some answers and the folks here may be better able to help you.
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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Ok. Here is a bit more information. See below please. Thx.

The door is closed. Under it's own power, it went up. Under it's own power, it won't go down. I disconnected the door from the rail and manually closed it for the night. Moved just fine when I lowered it.

I did not disengage the door while greasing.

Yes, and it does move freely.

No. Push the button and a bit of noise for a brief moment and then nothing.

I just used ordinary automotive grease. I can see the stuff on the tracks/screw and it's definitely not stiffened up. It's not that cold here at the moment (rained last night).

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James "Cubby" Culbertson wrote:

Next:
1. If you stand (on something) so that you can see the screw when someone else pushes the button, is there any movement of the screw while it's making that "noise"?
2. Did the greasing possibly free things up enought so that the door moved a bit further up than it used to and let the traveler jam up against whatever it might hit at the back end of the track? Can you wiggle it a bit in its present location, or does it seem "stuck"?
If that happens to be it, then using a wrench or something to rotate the screw in the right direction to free the traveler and then resetting the "up limit" on the opener so it won't do that again may be all it takes.
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

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See answers below. Thanks Jeff!

The screw moves as if to lower the door for just a fraction of a second then reverses for equally long. It's as though the sensors are saying something is blocking them. I've jumpered the sensors and it still does it. It does this whether the traveler is engaged or not.

That doesn't seem to be the case. I can easily move the door (disengaged) and with the traveler in the down position (door is down), it's not anywhere near the opener yet I still get the same result. I unplugged the unit and checked the rear travel switch (up limit switch) and all seems fine there (ie. makes contact when closed, open when not closed). At this point, I'm beginning to think a new unit is in order. Any recommendations? Was looking at the Genie Excelerator series for a start.
Thanks Jeff for the advice/troubleshooting help! Cheers, cc
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James "Cubby" Culbertson wrote:

Well, I'm out of ideas from this end. It does sound like something in the powerhead is reacting as though there's an overload, even though it sure doesen't sound like there is one.
Must be just a coincidence that it happened just when you greased things up.
Are there "up force" and "down force" adjustments in addition to the rear travel switch? I doubt that you changed them, but maybe tweaking them a bit in case one of them is sitting on a dirty spot would be worth trying. If they are there and work by sensing the moto'sr running current it's possible the motor has developed a partially shorted winding and is drawing excess current even without the door loading it. If that;s the problem, it isn't worth trying to fix.
I'm no experrt on brands and current quality. I have two Craftsman chain openers on my two single width garage doors and both have survived 19 years now with zero mechanical problems and only one electrical one (a cold solder joint on the circuit board) easily found and fixed.
Good luck,
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

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On Thu, 24 Feb 2005 20:58:21 -0700, "James \"Cubby\" Culbertson"

If it's a Genie, Genie's require white lithium grease.
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JJ wrote:

Hi, I just use Liquid Wrench spray which contains Teflon. Since it was making noise before greasing, it was on it's last leg. Tony
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James "Cubby" Culbertson wrote:

You got grease on the obstruction sensor(s)?
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ive read whats there so far...
get a rag out, clean off the grease, and see what happens.
while it seems unlikely greasing it caused the problem, it would be a much more incredible coincidence if something else unrelated to the greasing broke at the same time.
seems like a case of cause and effect to me.
randy

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Folks, Thanks for the many replies and help.
It definitely seems odd that I grease the thing and it crashes. I did not use lithium grease as I have no manual for this thing. Hard to believe a type of grease would cause this though.
There are no up/down adjustments other than the limit switches. I might try to wipe all the grease off the screw this weekend and see what happens. The thing is 13 years old so I wouldn't expect it to die but it's probably not worth investing a whole lot of time into either.
I appreciate all the help. Cheers, cc
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Cubby wrote:

did
die
either.
Yes too heavy of a grease will stop the screw from turning (especially in cooler temperatures). Put a rag at the end of the rail by the header, with the door opener disconnected have someone push & hold the wall button while spaying the screw w/ WD 40. You should hear the screw speed up as you are spraying the screw. Let run for a minute or so to flush the grease. Re-grease w/ Lubriplate Low Temp grease.
If the WD 40 doesn't clean it enough, take opener down & lay on floor upside down. Dump motor oil on the screw (put rag at end of screw again) & run opener again.
If you put grease in the door track you may want to clean that out as best as possible. Grease will collect dirt & dust & actually make the door run worse. Rollers should be oiled w/ a lightweight oil (not WD 40) occasionally but the tracks do not really need lubrication.
Doordoc www.DoorsAndOpeners.com
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yeah i can see it bunching and causing extra resistance. kind of like a freshly greased bike wheel not turning as fast. i would oil it with tri-flo (liquid teflon)
randy

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What type of grease did you use? Grease on a leadscrew will increase the motor current if excessive. This will then cause sensitivity setting to trip. Wipe all the grease off and clean with alcohol, then apply whatever is recommended on the screw...I think someone posted white lithium grease. That should solve your problem. I know on machine tools we would measure the motor current to test leadscrews and when the techs put too much grease on them they might go from 2 amps up to 6 or more !! So there's my .02 and hope it helps.....Ross
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Folks, I need to thank everyone for their help. Tonight I cleaned out all the grease I applied a few days ago and voila! it works fine. Shot some silicone spray on the door hinges (it's a panel door) and it's the quietest it's ever been. I had never really thought grease would actually cause the screw to seize up (well not really but the motor obviously couldn't turn it with all the grease). So all in all, your help saved me $200 or so for a new unit and a potentially frustrating afternoon. Thanks very much!!!!!!!
cc
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James "Cubby" Culbertson wrote:

Glad to hear there was a happy ending!
Just perform a "random act of kindness" for someone else soon and you will have balanced the books.
Have a great weekend,
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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