Please Help diagnosing Garage Door Opener problem!

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Hi,
My Craftman 1/2 HP Garage Door opener stoped working after a thunder storm, even though I had plugged it thru a [cheap] "surge protector" outlet adapter...
When I tried to open it using either the wallmount push button or the remote control, I can only hear a distinct "CLICK" sound from the opener (like the motor tries to start), but then nothing happen (no humming whatsoever). Every attempt would produce a clicking sound. Not sure if the sound came from the motor itself, or from any of the surrounded components...
There appears to be power going thru some parts of the system: (little) indicator lights are ON on the wallmount control unit and the safety sensor, but NOT from the regular lightbulbs that are on the two sides of the opener. These lights nornally can be turned on from another button the wallmout pannel. I tested these bulbs and they are not burnt out. It's just that there's no power delivered to their sockets now...
Can someone tell me if this is a typical symptom of a "bad capacitor" (Part number 30B363 according to the manual), or it is the motor itself that is dead? Any idea or suggestion would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you in advance.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

    The click is probably a solenoid that is used to activate the motor etc. Start at the solenoid and look for bad contacts first. Next check for the proper output voltage on the power unit. Some have a power supply with multiple output voltages. Be careful or get help if you are not comfortable with electricity.

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Thank you for your suggestions, and I think I will need to get help to try them, since I don't have enough knowlegde of the motor assembly and proper measurement equipments..:-(
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It's 99% probably not the capacitor or the motor, but something on the logic board that is burnt out. It you inspect the board closely you may see obvious burn marks, but if the storm damaged the chip there may not be any obvious burn marks at all. Some people may attempt to repair the board but most would simply replace it.
Doordoc www.DoorsAndOpeners.com
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Hmmm, I was hoping that won't be the logic board...Last time I checked, I was about $75.00 without shipping..The worst part is that I don't even know if replacing the board will even fix the problem :-(
I'll try to examine the board to see any obvious burnt mark like you said...Thank you the suggestion!
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I agree with DoorDoc, replacing that logic board is the common fix.
But I would just replace the entire operator if the unit shows signs of other wear and tear, such as plastic gear shavings, worn sprocket bearings or any other issues that would not make replacing the logic-board cost effective in the long run.
http://www.garagedoorsupply.com/receiver-logic-board-conversion-list.html#diagnostic
Rich ===================================Garage Door Parts, LLC 973-472-4818 http://www.garagedoorsupply.com ===================================

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Thank you Rich for the link. From the bottom of the linked page, there is a "diagnostic codes" table that shows the meanings of the number of LED flashes on the logic board. The LED on my board would flash 5 times every time I try to operate the opener, and according to the table, this incates "Possible RPM sensor failure/Motor overheated - unplug to reset"
Well, I've unpluged and re-pluged it a hundred times already...Does this mean the motor is toasted??
Rich wrote:

http://www.garagedoorsupply.com/receiver-logic-board-conversion-list.html#diagnostic
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I suspect a fried RPM sensor; part number 41C4398A $14.21 http://www.garagedoorsupply.com/chamberlain-liftmaster.html
http://liftmaster.com/pdfdocs/114A1915.PDF
Rich ===================================Garage Door Parts, LLC 973-472-4818 http://www.garagedoorsupply.com ===================================

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Thank you Rich
I will try to identify and examine the RPM sensor when I get home tonight . Even if there is no visible damage, I think $14.21 is worth a try :)
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Long before wildly speculatiing (try this; it must be that, etc), first establish what is not a problem. For example, if garage door has lost balance or cable pulley bearing have become rusted (require grease), then motor will cut out to protect that 1/2 HP motor. What happens when door is freed from the garage door opener. Does door open and close freely with minimal human effort? If not, long before blaming the door opener, first get door pulleys greased or door balancing springs fixed / adjusted.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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Thank for your suggestion w_tom. The door and opener did have to be adjusted a few days before this happen :some loose screws on the door itself that made the door bent "unnaturally", so the opener's force had to be adjusted and readjusted as well. After this was fixed, the door was also greased very well and it works much better than before, however.
Our house has a history of equipment damaged due to lightning. The first time it happened several years ago, I had to replace both garage openners, and a sprinkler system controller as well. Since then, I had surge protector on each of the devices. They seem to work pretty well thru several big thunderstorms in the past few years...This time the thunder/lightning was also very close to our house, and the garage openner just not working right after that...
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Plug-in surge protectors do not even claim to protect from the type of transient that lightning creates to cause electronics damage. To protect an adjacent garage door opener, that protector must somehow stop or block what even three miles of sky could not.
Effective protectors are routinely installed in high reliability facilities where direct strikes must never cause damage. Such protectors are available for residential protection and cost tens of times less money per protected appliance.
Even worse, a plug-in protector can provide the lightning transient with even more destructive paths through controller electronics.
That diagnostic code for "Possible RPM sensor failure/Motor overheated - unplug to reset" can also occur due to misadjusted door, failure of electronics (ie a relay) to power the 1/2 Hp motor, or anything else that would cause the motor to not move when ordered to move by controller's processor. Just too many items can cause that failure code. Electronics inside the opener are really quite simple. But without some same electronics knowledge, better to have some one service it, or better, just replace it.
Then address reasons for electronics failures - which are so easily eliminated as to be considered human failure. Introduction to concepts is at: http://www.psihq.com/iread/strpgrnd.htm Additional background at: http://tinyurl.com/5ttwl
"Whole house' protectors are sold in Home Depot, Lowes, and electrical supply houses from responsible manufacturers such as Siemens, Leviton, Cutler-Hammer, Intermatic, and GE. This, of course, only to avoid future damage. It won't fix this garage opener.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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Thank you Tom for the very good information!
I've always suspected those plug-in surge protectors...This time it really proved that they are not really working :-(
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Plug-in protector probably did exactly what its manufacturer's specs claim. Claims to protect from surges that don't typically exist. Does not claim to protect from another type surge that typically does electronics damage. So that the naive will recommend them, many plug-in protectors are also grossly undersized easily smoked. Any protector that is damaged during a surge is undersized - ineffective - failed prematurely leaving surge to confront electronics.
It's right there in numerical specs. Plug-in protectors don't even claim to provide the necessary protection. What they don't mention is that plug-in protectors can also contribute to damage of adjacent electronics (powered on or off) AND that a protector without earthing accomplishes little that is useful. Earthing is essential for an effective protector.
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w_tom wrote:

> Even worse, a plug-in protector can provide the lightning transient

Still at it?
The best paaper I have seen on surge protection is at http://www.mikeholt.com/files/PDF/LightningGuide_FINALpublishedversion_May051.pdf - this a paper you originally provided a link to - the title is "How to protect your house and its contents from lightning: IEEE guide for surge protection of equipment connected to AC power and cummunication circuits" - it was published by the IEEE in 2005 - the IEEE is the dominant organization of electrical and electronic engineers in the US - the 5 authors have broad experience with surge suppression - the paper is divided into 7 sections - one of the sections covers in point-of-use plug-in surge protectors (specifically multi-port) and how they protect - another section provides specific protection examples, all using all using plug-in surge protectors - the IEEE believes plug-in surge suppressors are effective
The NIST (formerly National Bureau of Standards) also promotes plug-in surge suppressors.
You have never furnished a link to a reputable source that said plug-in surge supprssors are not effective.
Are the IEEE and NIST wrong? Are you smarter than the 5 electrical engineers that wrote the IEEE paper?
bud--
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Bud would reargue a previous and long discussion in sci.electronic.repair where numerous citations were provided - where even his own citations disagreed with what he posts here. Papers even from his cited authors suggest how plug-in protectors can contribute to damage of adjacent electronics:

Same author describes a superior protection 'system':

From IEEE Green Book:

An industry benchmark is Polyphaser:

IEEE Red Book (Std 141) also recommends protection:

In each case, protection is not defined by a plug-in protector. Protection is defined by an earthing system. What do plug-in protectors not connect directly to AND therefore what does its manufacturer avoid discussing? Earthing. When selling ineffective plug-in protectors - missing a dedicated earthing connection - then manufacturer pretends earthing is irrelevant. Reality: a protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
Connections to earthing also define quality of that earthing. Again from Polyphaser:

Point one made by Montandon and Rubinstein in their 4 Nov 1998 IEEE paper:

Above are samples from a very long discussion on effective protection. Appreciate why a nearby lightning stuck tree was also a direct strike to a nearby cow - the 'dead cow' example. Why earthing - halo ground - could have protected that cow AND why same is about protection of household electronics. Discussion that was chock full of citations - maybe 10 hours of reading - was in sci.electronics.repair entitled "Building Ground (long-...sorry)" starting 9 May 2006 at: http://tinyurl.com/r4qxt
An effective protector is nothing more than a connection to THE most critical component of a surge protection 'system': single point earthing electrode. That discussion defines 'whole house' protectors from responsible manufacturers that can be purchased in Lowes, Home Depot, and electrical supply houses. Solutions that costs tens of times less money compared to what are also ineffective plug-in protectors. An effective protector makes a 'less than 10 foot' connection to earth. Ineffective plug-in protectors pretend earthing is not necessary. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
Bud-- wrote:

http://www.mikeholt.com/files/PDF/LightningGuide_FINALpublishedversion_May051.pdf
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w_tom wrote:

The IEEE paper referenced in my last post clearly recommends plug-in surge suppresors. The same paper very clearly explains how some plug-in protectors, 'surge reference equalizers', avoid the problem of "contribute to damage". Perhaps it would help if you would read the IEEE paper.
A second reference is http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/practiceguides/surgesfnl.pdf - this is the "NIST recommended practice guide: Surges Happen!: how to protect the appliances in your home" - it is published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the US government agency formerly called the Bureau of Standards - it was published in 2001 and aimed at the general public to explain surges and how to protect against them - it was writen by your favorite - Francois Martzloff - the NIST guru on surges and lightning - it clearly recommends plug-in surge protectors
> where even his own citations disagreed with what he posts here
Is utter crap. Anyone with an elementary ability to read can read both papers and see both the IEEE and NIST references recommend plug-in surge suppressors. I "reargue" only because of your persistence in denying accepted scientific advice.
I note that, as always, you change the subject, and provide no links that say plug-in surge suppressors don't work. Why?
Are the IEEE and NIST wrong in recommending plug-in surge protectors? Can you get past your deeply held 'religous' views and see what these papers are really saying? Are you smarter than the IEEE, the NIST and Francois Martzloff?
bud--
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Bud - Did you read the OP's posts before again misrepresenting plug-in protectors as effective? To be effective, a room must be reconstructed to eliminate 'leaks' from the 'six ports'. To be effective, those shunt mode protectors must connect short to earth ground. Two more of so many reasons why others use plug-in protectors and still suffer damage.
Meanwhile the OP said:

What was demonstrated in sci.electronics.repair? How a plug-in protector provided a transient with destructive paths through electronics. This even demonstrated in your cited IEEE paper (Fig 8/9) with two TVs at 8000 volts. Somehow that 8000 volts will not leak to earth using destructive paths? Only in theory. Reality - the room was not specially constructed; so 8000 volts does find destructive paths through electronics.
The OP was using plug-in protectors and yet suffered damage. Of course. No earth ground means no effective protection. But then all this was presented in http://tinyurl.com/r4qxt .
The only thing that is "utter crap" is your lack of experience with effective protection AND your repeated recommendations to spend so much money (tens of times more money per protected appliance) on ineffective solutions. Good money is better spent on upgrading a building's earthing AND installing a properly earthed 'whole house' solution. Effective solutions - the secondary protection system - earths before transients enter a building. Effective solutions also inspect the primary protection system: http://www.tvtower.com/fpl.html
In each case, what is essential for protection solutions? Earthing. What is missing with plug-in protectors? Earthing. Why did those protectors permit household electronics damage? The plug-in manufacturer never mentions earthing and does not even claim in numerical specs to provide protection. Obviously. No earth ground means no effective protection. Ask your boss why your company specifications don't provide numbers that claim such protection.
Responsible companies such as Cutler-Hammer, GE, Intermatic, Polyphaser, Levition, and Siemens manufacture effective 'whole house' protectors with a wire just for making that 'all so essential' earthing connection. Superior protector AND for less money per protected appliance. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground - as the OP is learning by example. He had plulg-in protectors and yet still suffered damage - in direct contradiction to what Bud repeatedly claims.
Bud-- wrote:

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w_tom wrote:

The IEEE and NIST both say plug-in surge suppressors are effective. Just because you can't figure out how they work doesn't mean they aren't effective.

Apparently you don't understand the IEEE paper. It recommends plug-in surge suppressors.

But I can read. Francois Martzloff, your hero, has done extensive research on surge supression at the NIST and he recommends plug-in surge supressors. And the 5 electrical engineers who wrote the IEEE paper have extensive experience with "effective protection" and they recommend plug-in surge supressors.

Your religous views interfere with your ability to read and/or think. The IEEE and NIST papers were intended for wide distribution to explain surges and how to protect against them. They both recommend plug-in surge suppressors. (Other papers could also be cited.)
Are the IEEE and NIST wrong in recommending plug-in surge protectors? Can you get past your deeply held 'religous' views and see what these papers are really saying? Are you smarter than the IEEE, the NIST and Francois Martzloff?
bud--
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Tom, the OP obviously isn't that ignorant. He has already checked the diagnostic code "The LED on my board would flash 5 times every time I try to operate the opener, and according to thetable, this incates "Possible RPM sensor failure/Motor overheated - unplug to reset"
He's determined there is no power going to the light sockets... power is going to some parts of the system albeit little.
Evidently he's passed the *check the springs, pulleys and balance stage*
Rich ===================================Garage Door Parts, LLC 973-472-4818 http://www.garagedoorsupply.com ===================================
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