On Sat, 19 Nov 2005 09:09:14 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (Muvin Gruvin)
I'm still using a Genie opener I installed in the early 70's and it's
on a door that's a bear to open and close with the opener - one piece
door with out enough overhead to really get the opener geometry right.
The screw bar bends slightly every time it starts the close cycle but
it keeps on working year after year. I've had nothing but good luck
with the Genie Brand openers.
THey made much better openers back then, with a FULL chain, not the stupid
chain and light cable combo in today's openers, even the 3/4hp openers. I
had a Genie like yours at another house that was manufactured in the early
80's and it worked fine, just a plain opener without all the fancy junk on
today's openers that are causing the problem. I should have kept it!
Checked or not there is some thing wrong with the door, it's
installation or the installation of the openers. Of course it is possible
all those openers were defective, but it is also possible they were all hit
by lightning. You just have not yet found the problem.
How would a lightning strike cause it to open part way or close part way,
and then reverse? How would a lightning strike only cause the problem in
cold weather? ALL the openers do the same thing, sense an overload and
reverses. Raise the opening and closing force and it works for a short
time. Raise the force to max and it still does this! I am ready for a new
opener with service support to come and deal with the situation if it arises
again. I'll let THEM deal with it. Hence the original question regarding
Chamberlain LiftMaster versus the Allstar. Any comments on the question
instead your lack of suggestions?
And neither have the pros! Therefore I am ready to get something better
than the DIY openers found in the stores and have someone else do the
install AND the service.
I was using the lightning strike as an example of how un-likely it is
that the units were all bad. Not that they were all actually hit by
I suggest that replacing openers is not going to help. There is no
reason why the ones you have tried be fore would all be bad. It is almost
certain that there is something there that you have not replaced that is
causing the problem. You would only be putting in a more expensive non-fix.
Okay, then give me some ideas instead of saying to fix it and say noting to
look at! I have had several professional door people look at it and THEY
find nothing wrong with the setup except to say it is a very heavy door.
The only other thing to replace is the whole door!
Since you said it had rollers I will assume it is a roll down sectional
door. I just remembered a big slab door in California where I was helping a
friend install an opener. The top of the door did not follow a continuous
line in the up direction.
That is about half way up it actually went into reverse for a short
distance. The door would get almost open and then the bottom would move out
away from the garage while the door was moving to a horizontal position.
One more or less level it would then move into the garage.
We had to play with the door mechanism for quite a while before we got it
to where an opener could handle it.
And you were talking about old time openers. My first one was a Heathkit.
The "safety mechanism" was a spring loaded trolley. It the door became
stalled it had to push hard enough to pull the door bracket out of the
trolley. With a big heavy slab that spring had to be so tight that most
anything that got under the door would be crushed before it would release.
The reverse mechanism consisted of two nuts riding on a threaded shaft.
The nuts were kept from turning by a metal plate. Between the two nuts was
toggle switch. When the door reached one extreme the nut was supposed to
flip the toggle switch to reverse the motor.
It means going by the numbers again. Something is there. I can't see
it but there is something. I can say that it appears the professional(s)
you have had out, have missed it, maybe it is time to try someone else.
You certainly free to do as you like and you should follow your own
decision not mine. I am only saying that to me, the more logical plan would
be to find out what the problem is before trying to solve it by throwing new
expensive openers at it when it would appear it is not an opener problem.
Even the cheap openers are not known for the kind of problem you are
having when properly installed on a properly functioning door. I really
think you are missing something and I hope to save you some money. It might
even be something with the power supply, maybe as simple as a floating
I do wish you the best of luck and I hope that if you replace the opener
again, that it works for you.
Ok, what would cause a floating neitral only in cold weather? I have had
several professionals out to check the door and the onliy comment they ever
make is that it is a heavy door. The door operates smoothly and stays open
at the 4-5 foot mark, as directed by all the recommendations. Fresh
lubrication improves the situation, but only for a few days and only on a
few openings. I have tried several types of lubricants, motor oil, gear
lube, several spray lubes, etc. Each time I use brake cleaner to clean off
the old oil and dirt. The only other option I have is to have a new,
lighter door installed. The opener is much cheaper and the installer can
deal with any problems. I have already spend several hundred $$$$$ on
openers. The existing door already has the largest spring available for
residential doors. The
If it doesn't it will be the installer's problem this time.
I have been following this thread, wondering like everyone else on what
is really causing your problem. While I will agree w/ you that the
professional openers are built better/stronger as in more durable then
some DYI openers I would have to agree that a new opener is not going
to solve the problem.
Issues that I can see:
You've had a number of professionals out that can't figure out the
problem but you are going to have one of them put in a new opener so it
will now be their problem. If they can't figure out the problem now,
how are they going to figure it out after you have bought & paid for a
new opener? (I don't believe a new opener will solve your problem no
matter what one you buy as many others have stated.) Also most
installers only give a one year guarantee on labor so after one year it
will once again be your problem, will it not?
You said everyone comments on how heavy the door is, but then you say
it works smooth & stays open at 4-5 feet. To me this sounds like a
contradiction. If the door is balanced properly it should not be heavy
off of the floor & the door should pretty much stay at any point you
let go of the door (slight drifting is normal) including 2 feet off of
the floor. If it drops like a rock from 2 feet the door isn't balanced
properly. If the door isn't heavy off of the floor why does everyone
comment on how heavy the door is?
You stated that the existing door already has the largest spring
available for residential doors. Where did this statement come from
because it makes no sense at all to me? The size of the spring is
determined by the size of the drums, the weight of the door, the height
of the door, & how much room is available on the shaft. So whether the
door is a residential door or a commercial door makes no difference &
the goal is not to have the largest springs but to have ones that are
properly balanced for the weight.
I am totally guessing & going out on a limb, but I would guess that
your door feels like a ton of bricks as it comes off of the floor & it
is this excessive weight that has been causing your problems & will
continue to do so until the door is balanced properly.
To be more precise I am looking at a *different* pro that I just found on
the Chamberlain site. I never new about this installer.
I have never seen the 2' test. Yes, it drops like a rock and is barely able
to be opened wiht 1 hand.
This came from the installer who replaced the broken springs.
The size of the spring is
Yup. Having the new pro come out. I described the problme at 2' and he
believe it needs new, larger springs. I am also putting my old Chamberlain
screw drive back up for him to test it out. Taking the Idrive off. If this
still doesn't work I am going with the new contractor grade opener.
I would say that very definitely the door needs work and not the opener. I
had a slab door with similar weight. I went to heavier springs and couldn't
keep it closed. This was a type that used expansion type springs. I
replaced one big spring with two smaller ones that totaled out to be
stronger. I had to do a bunch adjustments to the mechanism to get it
balanced. Once that was done I could open the door with one finger.
I described the problem at 2' and he
believe it needs new, larger springs.
Actually if they are using the same wire size & diameter spring the
newer spring would need to be shorter then the ones you have now for
them to have more lifting power w/ the proper amount of turns. Once
again it all depends on the weight of the door & the size of the drums.
Since you have a 16x7 it most likely has 4" drums, so you take the full
weight of the door w/ no tension & multiply it by .29 (that's point 29)
to get the IPPT (inch pounds per turn) of the springs. If there is 2
springs you divide the calculated weight by two & then look on a chart
to find springs w/ that IPPT & make sure that the springs are rated for
at least 10,000 cycles w/ 7-1/2 turns on them. (Most of our guys in
Florida weigh the door & then call in to the office to have someone use
a software program to calculate the proper springs). If it's done right
you should be able to easily lift the door off the floor & to the full
open position w/ one hand.
I'm not a big fan of DYI openers either, but if everyone had to use 5
different openers in 15 years (new one every 3 years on average) I
don't think anyone would continue to buy them & the stores wouldn't
carry them. They may not be the very best in my opinion, but they
should last alot more then 3 years.
Good luck in getting your door fixed properly!!! Unfortunately as you
have found out there are alot of people in this type of business that
don't have a clue how the doors are really suppose to work.
The cold shouldn't affect the spring rating much at all.I believe the
door has been heavy off of the floor for sometime & that the cold tends
to thicken grease, etc & cause other frictions which is enough to cause
the opener to not work & the additional weight wears the opener parts
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