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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Adjust the downforce control for greater force if everything from
above seems OK.
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
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)
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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