Garage Door Only Opens 6 Inches

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Old 12-20-13, 12:13 PM
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Garage Door Only Opens 6 Inches

I have a Craftsman 1/2 HP garage door opener from 1997 on one of my garage doors. Recently it will only open the door 6 inches then stop. I have to hit the button maybe 15 times to get it to go up all the way. Once I get the door up it will go down half way then stop and I have to do through the same process to get it down. I opened the garage door opener and there were white shavings all over. It did not look like there were any flat spots on the gears though. I disconnected the door opener and the door slides on the track fine but when it's up all the way it creeps down. I'm not sure if the spring is broken or if the garage door opener is going bad. Any help would be much appreciated!

 
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Old 12-20-13, 12:36 PM
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I don't know anything about garage door openers but someone is going to ask you what is up with all those shavings.
 
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Old 12-20-13, 01:37 PM
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The shavings appear to be from the gears. I read online that sometimes they get flat spots but these looked fine to me.
 
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Old 12-20-13, 04:38 PM
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Had those kind of shavings on my Craftsman a few years ago and had to replace the gear (not shown in your picture) that moves with the worm gear. It was only $10, but in my case the gear was stripped and the opener would not pull or drop the door. I have my unit open today, about three years later, and there are no shavings at all there. Not sure if this is related to your problem, but something sure doesn't look right to me. I was told that the gear I'm talking about is designed to strip when there's a problem so that the motor doesn't burn up. In my case, I believe it was a lack of lithium grease on the gear.
 
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Old 12-20-13, 06:47 PM
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Yes, the gear is stripped. But the problem is an unbalanced door. Without the operator, the door should easily go up and down with one hand and stay still at about the mid range. Replace the gear. Balance the door. Lubricate all the hinge points but not the wheels or rails. Lubricate the wheel bearing.
 
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Old 12-20-13, 07:03 PM
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Unfortunately, like Norm mentioned, the door is too heavy for the opener. The opener is doing too much of the work and the springs aren't doing enough.

The repair is pretty straightforward and relatively easy. Sears offers a kit of the parts that need to be replaced.

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Old 12-20-13, 07:48 PM
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Thanks for the replies! I think both of my garage doors need to be balanced because neither of them will stay in one spot. The one will stay up but the one that's broken just goes right down. Is it safe to balance the garage doors myself? I did a quick google search and it looks like that involves the spring. I was always told to not mess with that but I may be wrong.
 
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Old 12-20-13, 08:44 PM
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I was always told to not mess with that but I may be wrong.
Working with, replacing or readjusting overhead door springs is not what I consider a DIY project. Others may disagree. I've known people that have gotten hurt trying to readjust them.

There are many videos on you tube demonstrating the replacement and adjustment of springs. Watch them and see how it's done.

There are two types of systems..... the type with two springs that stretch from the door opening towards the opener and there is the type that is a big round coil over the door. Both are shown in videos.
 
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Old 12-20-13, 08:48 PM
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no, not safe. theres a lot of force bound up in that spring. if your door needs balancing then its best to call a pro to come out and do it for you. what should take them a few minutes to do could save you a lot of headache.
 
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Old 12-20-13, 08:58 PM
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Mine has the type coiled over the door. I watched a few videos and decided that it's worth paying to have it done. I'll fix the opener though. I was running the opener without the door attached and it sounds like it's bogged down or weak. Do you think the motor could be going also?
 
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Old 12-20-13, 11:42 PM
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If the gears are worn they could bind and jam. That kit is pretty inexpensive. I've changed a few of them for customers.
 
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Old 12-28-13, 12:22 AM
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Thanks for all the replies! I called a repairman to look at it and he recommended getting a new opener. He also said the door is balanced but could use a little more upward pressure from the spring. Now I just installed the new garage door opener and it does the same thing with stopping. I think it's time to get the spring adjusted now.
 
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