Repair or replace Garage door opener??


Old 09-03-04, 10:11 AM
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Repair or replace Garage door opener??

I have a 1/2 hp Craftsman chain drive opener that is 8 years old, and it just quit on me.

When the button is pressed (Wall switch or remote), the logic board clicks, and the opener light comes on just as if it is about to open, but then another click occurs and there is no movement of the drive chain. There is a green indicator light labelled D12 right next to the "SRT" button on the back of the opener that is now flashing in a set pattern that looks like it probably is signalling a specific problem. It flashes five times, then pauses, then five more, and so on indefinitely.

I opened up the unit and it looks like there is no movement of the gears at all in between the two clicks that occur.

Once free of the opener, the garage door raises and lowers smoothly by hand.

I read an exchange in this forum from some time ago -- mostly comments by Tn...Andy and Doug Aleshire -- that leads me to think that it may be the capacitor, but I am wondering how to be sure (I have a multimeter ) and also how to eliminate the possibility it could be one of the gear units (no sign that the plastic gears are chewed up or anything.)

By the way, it is possible that it went out as a result of a lightning storm recently. We were away and came to home to find a modem fried by the storm.

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Old 09-03-04, 08:11 PM
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Repair or replace Garage door opener??

Well here goes the age old question.

Are you emotionaly atached to this garage door opener? Just kidding!

Useing the fact that you said its 8 years old or more It served you well! Life of opener is usualy 6 or 7 years sometimes more but not often. No motion of the gears tells me it might be the motor. Sorry it's time to replace it.

One reason is that Sears only keeps parts for 5 to 7 years after model close out. So you may not be able to get it serviced. Some overhead door companies might have the parts but its costly to get them out to look at it.

Two is the newer models have so many saftey features now to protect you and your family.

Three is a new one can be purchased for about $130.00 to $250.00 depending on chain ,screw,or belt drive. Screw and belt last longer and are quiet compared to chain but more money. It depends on how quiet you want it and your budget.

You already have the brackets in place the installation sould be a snap. Mountings to the door and header are there just exchange the brackets
Your new one might even fit your old hardware.

Hope this helps
Old 09-05-04, 10:34 AM
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Repair or replace Garage door opener??

Thanks for the reply, Chuck.

Can't say I'm overly attached to the beast, but if it is repairable, I'd rather not add to the landfill. (Also, your $130-250 translates into CDN$1000 --sorry, my turn for feeble humor). Since my posting, and after many calls to various Sears centers, I was finally able to talk to a tech representative (ok, not actually to one, but through their answer center person who relayed the information between us -- why do they engage TWO of their peoples' time vs putting me through??)

In any case, the five flashes of the LED indicator is apparently diagnostic of an RPM assembly malfunction. Parts are just over $20. So I ordered the parts and will try it when they arrive. I did try unplugging the sensor assemble and tried the opener again - this time the gears began to move momentarily before stopping in the same way. But could not replicate that a second time.

If it doesn't work, it may mean a new one if no one else has other ideas.

Old 09-06-04, 09:58 AM
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the life of an opener is much longer that 6 or 7 years. is the opener stuck open? you could have a safety beam problem or the inner slide could be stuck against the stop bolt. what happens if you hold the inside pushbutton down? will the door then close?
Old 09-06-04, 01:35 PM
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"is the opener stuck open? "
The trolley is at the fully opened position, and against the stop bolt.

"or the inner slide could be stuck against the stop bolt."
It certainly is hard against the stop bolt, and I can't move it manually, but I'm not sure what you mean by stuck against it.

"what happens if you hold the inside pushbutton down? will the door then close?"
No, it gives the one click, then another and begins the flashing pattern.

Any ideas? Thanks.
Old 09-07-04, 08:11 PM
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Red face

I found this thread about similar problems with Craftsman GDOs. Mine starting doing the same thing that you described.

I need to get multimeter. Good luck
Old 09-07-04, 10:57 PM
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Thanks for the lead/web site. Lots of ideas and possible solutions. Will try some as I wait for the part to come in. I'll post a note if any of them works!
Old 09-08-04, 04:49 PM
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Ok, I have now tested a number of possibilities with my opener. Thanks especially to wongk and doorman28 for the ideas. The website was particularly helpful. First I took out the stop bolt on the rail as the transport for the trolley was jammed up against it, as suggested. I could then in fact operate the opener, but it still wanted to open further, so jammed against the opener itself. And again the flashing LED indicator.

I also tested the RPM sensor mechanism as outlined in detail on the website given by wongk. It tested out just fine, so does not seem to be the problem. Ok, so not the RPM sensor, not the motor since it operated, not the capacitor for the same reason (? at least I assume this), not the nylon gears, not the trolley transport being stuck against the bolt. So what next?

The Sears manual had a troubleshooting item in it ("The opener motor hums briefly then won't work" - kind of related to what happens) in which they suggested that it was possible for the motor to be out of phase. Followed their instructions and removed the chain from the sprocket, and tried to cycle the motor to the down position. "Observe the drive sprocket. When it turns in a clockwise direction and stops in the down position, reinstall the chain." Now HERE was the problem. The opener never moves in the closing direction now. It always wants to open. Then open some more, or else shut down. I watched the Limit Switch Assembly operate, and the drive gear moves the Center Limit Contact quite nicely until it touches the Up Contact, when it stops operating, exactly as it should. However, on the next push of the closer button, it gives the flashing error message and will not move in towards the Down Contact. It I disconnect the RPM sensor, it very happily tries to move further in the up direction. Have tried unplugging the unit for an hour to try to reset it. No effect. Even took out the Drive Gear and repositioned the Center Limit Contact near the Down Contact -- the opener simply moved it towards the Up Contact, then turned off as it should.

So basically, the unit is stuck operating in the opening direction, or shutting down when it reaches its limit or hits something (like the original stop bolt). So does this mean it is a logic board problem?

Somewhere there is obviously a means to signal the motor to switch directions. It seems that it is this signal which is the problem, or the response to the signal. The capacitor has several leads. Could one be for the opening direction and one be for the closing? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated! The main components of the opener seem to be ok (except possibly the logic board), so it would be a shame to not repair it if possible.
Old 09-18-04, 11:28 PM
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Found a site that explains the flashing LED.

Will check it tomorrow morning to see if it can be reset.

Old 09-19-04, 09:54 PM
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Problem Resolved!!

Thanks for the replies to my question. As I mentioned in the last posting, it seemed to have been narrowed down to the logic board. Instead of a new opener (actually I did buy one, but did not install it), I decided to order a new logic board. Just replaced it and that indeed did the trick! Everything back in working order, and even have a second light on the opener due to the new end piece that comes along with the board.

So it seems that the flashing LED was in fact the RPM sensor indicating "No RPM in the first second" as indicated on the website <>. But it was not a malfunctioning RPM Sensor- the sensor was actually doing its job. The door would not reverse, so was stuck trying to open continually. The manual that comes with new Craftsman openers has a much better troubleshooting section that actually nailed it down to a logic board problem.

Again, thanks for the help!

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