Garage Door Woes - The Next Chapter

My problem with the garage door opener not closing has continued for weeks now. The door lowers to about 2/3 of the way down, then reverses. I called one company to repair it. They charged me $85 for the service call, and an hour later it was doing the same thing. He came back out, made some more adjustments, then said if it continued to act up, I'd need to replace the opener itself. The opener is less than four years old. I called a second company to assess the problem and they tell me the springs need to be replaced -- a mere $400 job. At this point, I don't know who to believe. Is it likely the opener went bad in only four years? Does this problem sound like it could be alleviated by a new set of springs?
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*If you haven't already I would try calling the door opener manufacturer and explain the problem. Perhaps there is a known issue with their unit and they have a remedy in place.
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2/3rds of the way down is when the bulk of the weight of the door is on the opener. If your opener is chain drive and the chain is stretched, that bounce can fool the opener into thinking it hit something, so it reverses.
I've also seen openers themselves bounce at that point if they aren't securely fastened to the ceiling.
To test your springs, unhook the door from the opener and open and close it manually. If the springs are weak or need an adjustment, the door will be VERY heavy at the 1/2-2/3rds mark.
Having said all that, take John's advice and contact the opener manufacturer to see what they suggest.
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Springs can be adjusted on my unit, when I had trouble, mine would open later by itself, I called the co that made the opener and they guided me through motor adjustments for force and travel. As others said unhook the door and see how it operates by itself, I think the springs set right should make force fairly equal up and down. When springs are right then its settings for force and travel.
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Fleemo, 2/10/2009,6:55:06 PM, wrote:

I had the same symptoms with mine and after cleaning cobwebs from the sensor eyes and pointing them at each other it started working correctly.
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the springs won't need to be replaced unless they have physically broken. Unhook the door and see if the springs need to be tightened If you can open the door without too much effort, the springs are fine If the door is really heavy, have the service guys wind the springs a bit tighter, also check to see that nothing is covering the "eye" as the door lowers.
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On Tue, 10 Feb 2009 15:55:06 -0800 (PST), Fleemo

Your springs go bad when they lose their tension. Your problem is not the springs because if anything your springs get stretched to tight on the way down.
Do as others have said. Unhook the door at the safety release and move the door by hand. See if the door seems to be reasonably equally balanced by the two springs. Then see if the door tends to not roll smooth or bind from one side or the other.
Keep the electric eyes clean and look to see if they seem to be pointed accurately.
See if the drive mechanism chain or belt is not sagging to much. Adjust if necessary.
Operate the opener without the door to see if this functions correctly.
Adjust the downforce control for greater force if everything from above seems OK.
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Thank you all for your suggestions.
I called the manufacturer of the opener (a Chamberlain Liftmaster 2220) for their input. While the technician was on the phone, I disconnected the door from the trolley and rolled it up and down. The door rolls smoothly, then gets difficult to roll, then rolls smoothly again at various points in the opening process. It gets difficult to roll when each door segment reaches a 45-degree angle during the transition from horizontal to vertical.
The tech's acid test was asking whether a ten-year old boy could open the garage manually. Absolutely not. His opinion was that it is not the unit that is the problem. BTW, the unit's force is already set to its highest level to make the door close, something the tech said would wear the opener out in no time.
Sooo, if the springs have not actually broken, does it sound like something that a spring *adjustment* would correct? If the springs do need to be replaced, does $400 for springs for a metal roll-top door sound reasonable?
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Fleemo wrote: ...

...
No.
The change as the door opens/closes as each section bends is the clue it ain't spring force that's the problem.
Sounds like either loose or worn or misaligned (or combination of all) rollers/supports.
--
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By supports, do you mean the tracks (or perhaps, rails) that the rollers glide on?
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Fleemo wrote:

The rails may have some alignment issues, too, but what I was specifically talking about was the mountings for the rollers--they can get "hogged out" or misaligned or maybe the rollers/axles/bearings are simply worn out.
--
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dpb wrote:

And, of course, it's possible the hinges themselves are loose/worn.
--
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