My Genie opener appears to have quit. No light at the wall
pushbutton, no lights on the sensors at the door, won't open or close,
of course. Power at the outlet---I checked. Similar action about a
week ago; I opened up the case and turned the shaft of the motor by
hand (figuring something was stuck), and that brought it back to
life. The nearest repair place is two hours and thirty bucks' worth
of gas away. Any ideas before I go out and buy a new one?
Thanks -- Terry
The motor winding is shorting out on the inside of the motor case when
it stops in a certain spot. You can replace the motor winding, but for
what you will spend & the time involved I would suggest you buy a new
On May 11, 6:10 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Probably correct diagnosis but I'd suggest before giving up entirely,
call the overhead door repair/supply place(s) and see if they've got
old units and what they'd let a replacement motor go for. Here, at
least, the guy keeps all the old stuff for parts and could probably
get the replacement motor for $20 or less...as example, the old
Stanley he gave me the full head piece for the transmission gears for
$10 -- it was working unit replaced for other reasons...
Uh, ..... unless he's got the unit plugged into an ungrounded circuit,
just why isn't it blowing a breaker or fuse upstream.
And if it ISN'T grounded, why should that short remove power from the
wall pushbutton light?
Much more likely there's a "loose disconnection" disconnecting power
from the transformer. I had that happen to one of my Craftsman openers
many years ago, the weight of the power transformer hanging off a
vertical circuit board, combined with the vibration every time the unit
operated caused one of the transformer's soldered joints to crack.
I resoldered it and beefed up the transformer support with a small block
of wood epoxied in place. I'd swear that was over ten years ago and it's
still goung strong.
So, to the OP, remove the unit's cover, and with the power on CAREFULLY
use a small piece of dowel to push and wiggle things inside while
someone watches the pushbutton light. You may find a repairable loose
Maybe I didn't word that quite properly & should of said inside of the
cover. Personally i was never able to find the actual short &
inspecting the motor winding wouldn't help at all, but I have seen
that exact problem in Genie openers numerous times and it would never
trip a breaker (they don't have any internal fuses). Since I couldn't
find the short, I can't tell you why the breaker doesn't trip.
The clue is when he spins the screw (thus the motor winding turns) the
opener will start working again for a while until the motor winding
stops again in that one spot.
The motor has a built in thermal overload that the incoming power goes
thru to the rest of the unit, so if the power isn't going thru the
overload it kills power to the entire unit & thus no lights will come
on & the opener does not make a sound.
I can tell you from experience that you can change any other part in
the opener as many times as you want but the problem will never go
away completely until you change the motor winding & once the winding
is changed the problem does not re-occur. The difficult part in
troubleshooting it is that the problem is intermittent (any minor
movement of the winding & the problem will disappear & may not come
back for days) & that you can't see the winding while the opener is
He asked for advice and I gave him mine from experience of working on
hundreds of these openers since 1978 (did full time service from then
until the late 90's) & others are certainly free to offer any
suggestions or ideas that come to their mind.
I defer to your significant experience, after your rephrasing.
But, just so I might better understand things, do those particular
openers use "universal" motors with brushes, or induction motors?
If they have brushes, I can well believe that when the brushes wear down
or get sticky in their holders the motor could stop with a brush not
quite touching a low spot on the commutator, and a little fiddling with
the motor shaft could let it start the next time. (Just like whacking a
"dead" starter motor on a car with a BFH to get one more start out of it.)
But if they are induction motors, I don't quite get what you mean by
"(thus the motor winding turns)" unless by "winding" you are referring
to the bars on a squirrel cage rotor. One of those might get
disconnected from the rings on the ends of the rotor and fail to produce
enough starting torque after stopping in just the wrong place.
If that happened I can surely believe that the motor would draw enough
current to heat to the point where a thermal overload could kick open,
and while it was open, the pilot light could go out, as you explained.
But, I'd call the actual fault an "open" and not a "short". <G>
So, in summary, I now concur with your condemnation of the motor in his
Many thanks to doordoc, dpb, and Jeff for their help on this problem.
After messing with the opener for a while (and opening the door by
hand the last week or so) it appears I'm not going to be able to fix
the old one, so a new one is in order. At least I won't have to put
up the screw drive again...
Thanks again -- Terry
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