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Garage Door stops mid-way on close sometimes - No blinking light; No obstruction

Garage Door stops mid-way on close sometimes - No blinking light; No obstruction

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  #1  
Old 01-14-10, 09:37 PM
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Question Garage Door stops mid-way on close sometimes - No blinking light; No obstruction

Hi all,

I've got a 2 car garage door, aluminum on a guided track, powered by a 3/4 horsepower opener (screw driven) that is about 8 years old. It is used about 4 times per day on average, daily.

The garage door is cracked/split on the top cross-bar so that when the door open's or closes, after the top cross-bar is about 1/2 way either way, the door sags a bit. It has done this for about 4 years now.

Recently, about 3 months ago (really, about when it started getting cold - near freezing and was rainy), the door would only close about 1/2 way and then reverse to the fully open position. No blinking lights.

It will do this about 20% of the time.

We've noticed that when it's "acting up" like this, we can do 1 of 2 things to kind of "force" it all the way down. One way, is to apply a little bit of pressure by hand to help it down. The other, is when it stops mid-way, to hit the garage button to stop it from going back up. Then, hit the button again so that door goes down about another foot...repeating this until the door is all the way down. I know, probably not the best thing to do.

I've tried to increase (& decrease) both the downward force as well as the travel distance. None of those changes made it better and most made it worse in one way or another.

The door opens all the way without issue by the way.

At this point, I'm beginning to wonder if the opener itself is loosing some of it's power. Other than that, the only other thing might be perhaps the door is heavier due to the cold/rainy season. Not too sure on that though, as the previous 7 cold/rainy season's it was fine.

So, to recap:
  1. 8 year old aluminum 2 car garage door on guided tracks
  2. 3/4 horsepower garage door opener (also 8 years old)
  3. top border, or crossbar on the door is cracked in the middle
  4. started happening ~3 months ago around the time it got cold/rainy
  5. downward force and travel distance adjustments make no positive difference

Any ideas? Could it really be the opener, slowly going bad after 8 years?

Thanks much for reading...
 
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Old 01-15-10, 03:59 PM
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Does the door just stop or does it reverse?? If it reverses, the propblem is likely down force adjustment(or door sticking) or safety beam problems. If it just stops, that sounds like a lower limit switch problem.
 
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Old 01-15-10, 05:34 PM
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Thanks for the reply Just Bill.

The door immediate reverses. I have made 1/8 (or finer) turn adjustments both + and - to the downward force setting. None of the adjustments worked, and most made the situation worse.

Would a safety beam problem occur only about 20% of the time, and make it stop in pretty much the same mid-way location?

I also forgot to mention in my first post, that this issue that happens about 1 in 5 times only seems to occur early in the morning, or late at night (i.e. when the temperatures are cooler). So far as I can recall, it's never happened mid day.
 
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Old 01-15-10, 06:28 PM
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Sounds like that sag has alot to do with the problem.
When the door is pulled up, the sag occurs because of gravity. And no doubt taxes your opener a bit. But when the door is pushed down, the opener would have to apply force to push that sag out. No? And the closing cycle is when safety features kick in.

Manually opening/closing a garage door helps diagnose problems. If you can feel a sudden increase in effort, so can your opener! So you don't just have to rely on just your vision.

But really that broken brace should be addressed regardless since the upper guide wheels and track could be getting forced out of alignment. I have seen doors that have fallen out of the tracks. Because known alignment issues were regarded as something that were the openers job to deal with!
 
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Old 01-16-10, 02:37 PM
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It sounds like you need to replace the top strut, and add a strut to the top of the second section, or the middle of the 3rd section. I see this all the time with light weight steel doors. the extra weight will effect the balance of the door, but the only other option is getting a new door.
 
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Old 01-16-10, 03:36 PM
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What was suggested above. Disconnect the opener with the emergency disconnect. Operate the door manually. It should raise/lower with equal force with not binds/jerks. If you let go in mid travel it should stay there. If none of that works, you needs to fix the known problem, check hinges, check rollers, and most important, reset balance with springs as needed. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ADJUST TORSION SPRINGS, if you have never done it, they can kill.
 
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Old 01-18-10, 10:11 AM
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Thanks for all the great info and suggestions!

I'll start by attaching a thin, light-weight (aluminum probably) brace to the top section to straighten out that sag. Adding another on the lower section for weight balance. Interesting that after about 4 years of operating just fine with that bit of a sag...that now it started to cause an issue.

I'm not going to mess with anything else. If that doesn't fix it, I'll call a certified garage door repair person.

I'll report back in after it's in place and some time has gone by to see how that affect's the issue.
 
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Old 01-19-10, 03:18 PM
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Same type of issue..

I came here to basically post the same issue, same timing, except the door will not raise all the way in its own. I do not have a sag in my door or brace, so thats about the only thing different.

Anyway...once it got cold, wet, snowy and things started to freeze, im assuming the garage door got heavier. The door will go about 1/3 to 1/2 way up, then it will revese track and shut on its own. The way I have been opening it is with some manual force on the way up; it closes by itself just fine.

I dont know much about garage doors, but I would be willing to check and/or try some safe adjustments if necessary. Any ideas would certainly help!
 
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Old 01-24-10, 08:18 AM
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If you don't see any binding or jouncing, then maybe a lift adjustment is needed at the opener.
Or the springs aren't providing enough assist.
You'll know better what your dealing with by disengaging the door and opening and closing it manually.

Remember this site has lots of how-to stuff as well.
Garage Doors & Door Openers | DoItYourself.com
 
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Old 01-31-10, 06:25 PM
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Update:

I wound up putting a 1/4" piece 4' x 1 & 1/2" aluminum angle brace on the top side, and a 3/8" piece of 4' x 1" aluminum flat bar under the bottom side and fastened them together with bolts.

The door didn't sag anymore, but still stopped mid way on close.

So, I sprayed some teflon lubricant on all moving wheels/joints on the door, as they looked rather gunked up (last lubricated about 4+ years ago).

Since then, the door has worked great, no stopping mid way a single time.
 
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Old 02-01-10, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mrkris82 View Post
I came here to basically post the same issue, same timing, except the door will not raise all the way in its own. I do not have a sag in my door or brace, so thats about the only thing different.

Anyway...once it got cold, wet, snowy and things started to freeze, im assuming the garage door got heavier. The door will go about 1/3 to 1/2 way up, then it will revese track and shut on its own. The way I have been opening it is with some manual force on the way up; it closes by itself just fine.

I dont know much about garage doors, but I would be willing to check and/or try some safe adjustments if necessary. Any ideas would certainly help!
You might try to clean and then lubricate any wheels/moving parts on the door. Maybe the cold weather has significantly affected any old grease to the point where the garage door movement is no longer smooth.

I noticed in my installation and repair manual for our door, they recommend cleaning and greasing the moving parts once a year. Maintenance I had previously neglected.
 
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