Shorted Garage Door Opener light

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Old 02-21-09, 10:30 AM
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Shorted Garage Door Opener light

Another fine example of why I use TinkerTrouble for a name...

I have a Sears Craftman 1/2 hp door opener (Model 53910) that was working fine except that it tends to go through light bulbs too quickly for my taste.

I decided to put a 2-prong receptacle into the lamp socket and plug in a small fluorescent light fixture hung away from the vibration of the door opener.

The light fixture has a 3-prong plug so I strapped a grounded wire to the tab on the 2-prong to 3-prong adapter.

I heard crackly noises coming from the lamp socket on the opener while the light was being lit so I decided I would try to tighten the 2-prong receptacle by unplugging the light and attempting to screw in the receptacle more using the adapter prongs to grip the openings in the receptacle.

Evidently I didn't pay enough attention to the polarity or something and I caused the unit to 'short out'. Yes, stupid of me to not unplug the unit before attempting to tighten the lamp receptacle.

I figured I could just push some reset button or reset a tripped breaker, but there is no reset button and the breaker was not tripped. Yet the opener no longer functions.

When I push the hardwired button, I hear a click or 2 but nothing happens (no light, no motor sounds). I threw the breaker off and on a couple of times and verified that there is power getting to the opener. What should I check next? Seems so strange that the light fixture causing a short would kill the unit. Any direction appreciated.
 
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Old 02-21-09, 12:34 PM
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This is a complete shot in the dark.
Do you recall if the light socket twisted in the panel while you were further tightening the adapter? I am suspicious that one of the wires going to or a terminal on the light socket is contacting something it shouldn't.

I did a search for a 53910 manual. I found a site that states the Liftmaster 1345 is virtually identical. I support the contention because the manual is very similar to that for my 53960. The exploded diagram for the Motor Unit Assembly is a complete match except for the different shape of the main cover. If you don't have a manual for your opener, you can use that one.

If you successfully track this problem, I suggest you install a fluorescent replacement bulb instead of the outside light assembly. That's what I did a couple of years ago and it's working just fine.

--Dougbert
If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space.
 
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Old 02-21-09, 12:40 PM
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And some openers...not sure about your model exactly...the light is controlled by IC's on the logic board...short the output of a logic circuit...all sorts of bad things can happen. Sometimes it can be rectified by removing the fault..other times not.
 
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Old 02-21-09, 04:30 PM
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Thanks, guys, for the help. To address your comments... I know that the lamp socket did not twist (the hole is not round either so it would very noticeable if it broke free enough to twist.

I removed the cover and examined the insides. Could not locate any problems (no loose wires, burned wires, inappropriately touching wires, etc). I removed the wires from the lamp socket, removed the lamp socket itself. This is a very visible and simple assembly of plastic with a couple of wire strips to connect with the bulb. No issues to be noticed.

I reset the circuit breaker and tried the opener with the lamp socket wire connectors just hanging there. No luck.
Pushing the opener button causes a single click sound followed by another click sound that I would describe as fast double-click sound. Then nothing. I turned off the circuit breaker again.

I bent the contact points out a little, screwed in my receptacle, and replaced the cover (thinking maybe there was bit of magic that I don't see that is sensitive to whether or not the cover is in place, grounded, etc.).

So, with everything fully assembled and ready to go. I reset the CB and got nothing... pushed the opener button and got the same click... double-click sound, but nothing else.

I suspect Gunguy45 is right. After I turned on the CB, the light should have lit, but I heard nothing to indicate a relay even tried. I suppose that means the IC on the board is fried and when it cooked, it burned out something else even more important.

I think I'm looking at a new circuit board or a new unit (replaced circuit board on a dishwasher once... dang thing came with no instructions and it took hours to figure out the wiring... so hard to just leave some wires hanging only because I had no idea what they were for, but I seemed to have finally accounted for all the old wires...). While the dishwasher worked fine for a few more years, it might be cheaper to get a new opener. Have to price out options and balance with wife's patience and need to build yet another pinewood derby, and ... life!

Thanks again,

Enjoy!
 
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Old 02-23-09, 11:26 AM
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I saw a couple of used "Liftmaster Garage Door Opener Control Board' auctions on eBay (search for that phrase). It looked like they included the end panel, too. Prices were in the $20-$25 range which seems pretty fair.

Good luck.

Dougbert
 
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Old 02-23-09, 03:55 PM
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I would like to jump in here about the logic boards on e-bay. Make sure the model number of the board is the same or it might not work or it may work but you can lose some functions that you had before.
 
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Old 02-26-09, 08:50 PM
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I got an IC Board off Ebay and will soon say good bye to my only bicep workout in years. Thinking ahead a little...

The door opener died with the door in the open position. When I replace the IC board, do I need to be concerned about the door being open?

Do any of you have any insight into what I should look out for when replacing the IC board? Other than make sure I have the power off

Thanks again for your help.
 
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Old 03-02-09, 07:07 AM
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It won't matter what position the door is in. The only thing you will have to do is adjust the open and close force. The close force is actually the one that is critical because it affects safety. Starting at the minimum position you should increase the adjustment only until the door consistently closes. The up force should be adjusted the same way but then you can increase it a little to compensate for the springs weakening. Just remember if you run the door several times the motor may quit due to the thermal cut off switch. You will have to wait about 15 minutes for it to reset.
 
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