Liftmaster Garage Door | Troubleshooting Problems

Got Garage Door Problems?!?

A lot of the problems Liftmaster Garage Door Opener owners face tend to be with the opener not working consistently. Many cases the reason for the failure comes from the garage door sensor being in the wrong place or a setting not adjusted correctly. Liftmaster offers garage door owners a few recommendations on what they can do to troubleshoot a garage door opener that is not operating correctly.

Garage Door Troubleshooting | Instructions

  1. Clear all obstructions from around the safety sensors if the door does not close or only closes part of the way. Some of the items that can cause obstructions are bicycles, cars or people. Smaller items also can cause problems, particularly if they are located close to the sensors. Make sure there are no leaves, trash or dirt directly on or near the sensor.
  2. Clean the sensor lenses if the doors sometimes close, but often do not close all the way. A little bit of dirt or debris on a sensor lens can cause the two sides of the sensor to not be able to communicate with each other. You can use a rag to quickly swipe dirt or other substances away from the sensor lens.
  3. Check each of the sensors for a glowing light on the top of the sensor. If both of the lights are on, this means that the sensors are not properly aligned. Use a ruler to make sure that both sensors are the same distance above the garage floor. The sensors should be no more than 6 inches off the ground. You can place a small item like a bolt on the casing just underneath the sensor and press down on the sensor. Do this on both sensors in the garage. This helps to align them.
  4. Unplug the garage door opener if the garage door opener seems to work fine, but the lights on the unit do not come on when the door opens or closes. Proceed to unscrew the light bulb and replace it with a new light bulb. Plug the garage door opener cord back into the outlet and press the button to open or close the garage door.
  5. Press and hold the “Learn” button on the garage door opener for six seconds and then release it if the garage door opener is opening and closing by itself. Pressing the button in this way resets the system and stops the door from continuing to open and close.

Garage Door Problems Start Small!

Garage Door Problem

Garage Door Problem

It is very common for big problems to start from small things. By regularly checking your Garage Door and Garage door parts, especially after a change of season. can help prevent big problems in the future.

Look for Loose Hardware

When attempting to diagnose a garage door problem, the first place to check is the track and rollers. While the door is in the closed position, inspect the brackets that secure the tracks to the framing members. Brackets should always be attached with lag screws or bolts; secured solidly into the framing members. Check for any brackets that might have worked loose, or may not have been properly secured during installation. Generally if the track if wobbling with just a little tug, you know it’s loose.

Garage door tracks are installed vertically on either side of the door and curve to run on a horizontal plane parallel with the ceiling. Using a level, make sure vertical sections are perfectly plumb, straight, aligned, and in square with each other. Both overhead sections should be the same distance from the ceiling; aligned with the other. Make sure your level is accurate. An easy way to check your level is to make a vertical line using your level, then flip the level and check the line.

Check the overhead section; it should slope very slightly to the back of the garage. Make any necessary adjustments by loosening or moving the brackets, adding or removing shims, and tightening lag screws or bolts.

Inspect for Damage

Further inspect the tracks for any damaged areas; including flat spots, crimping, and dents. Use a hammer or mallet and a wood block to straighten any out. Badly damaged sections of track that cannot be straightened should be replaced.

Clean tracks and rollers using a solvent cleaner to remove soils and hardened grease. Wipe dry, and then re-lubricate tracks with garage door spray or graphite; lubricate rollers with silicone spray or 3-in-1 oil.

Inspect the garage door for loose screws or worn garage door hardware. Swing-up doors have a plate where the spring is attached to the door; screws frequently become loose and require tightening. Roll up doors that sag on one side or along one panel may indicate loose mounting screws on the hinges that hold the panels together. Or else hinges may be worn and need replacing.

Screw holes in wood may have become enlarged; requiring either larger screws or repairing the hole for a snugger fit.

Swing-up doors may need the spring tension adjusted. Usually this type of spring uses a cable with a pulley; the end of the cable mounted to a plate. Simply pull more cable through the plate, and add another knot for proper tension.

Roll-up doors usually have a center mount tension spring system. Warning: DO NOT attempt repairing this yourself. This type spring can cause serious injury or even death if incorrectly handled. Acquire the services of a professional for this task.

Troubleshooting a Garage Door Opener

How to fix a garage door opener will depend on the nature of the problem.
Garage door opener troubleshooting to isolate a problem can be complicated. This is because more often than not a group of problems are culprits.

Garage door openers that close and then reverse before completely closing can be one of several causes. Newer garage door opener systems (after 1990) have an electric eye on either side of the lower door frame. When an object blocks the line of sight between the two sensors, the door reverses. Sensors that are out of alignment with each other can give erratic signals to the system, causing the door to reverse sporadically.

A garage door opener system may have a safety reversal feature which causes the door to reverse when it senses an obstruction. When the door is closing and an obstruction is encountered, the resistance is transferred back to the motor unit with torsion (twisting) in the assembly.

If it twists far enough, a small lever or “arm,” either inside the unit or out, contacts a momentary switch, causing the motor to reverse direction. The amount of resistance can be adjusted by changing the distance between the arm or lever and the switch.

Apart from electric eye sensors, there are numerous mechanical systems for setting the opening and closing limit on an opener. They can be plastic arms, levers, or even metal plates; clipped or bolted to the drive chain. One for the open limit, one for closing. This can be adjusted by clipping or bolting the arm or lever to a different location on the chain; increasing or decreasing the respective limit.

Another type of opener uses a screw-type track inside the motor unit, with a moveable “nut” that travels once the unit is activated; When the nut contacts a switch, the unit stops. There are usually two moveable nuts, one for each direction. Adjustment is made by moving the nuts to the desired limit point for each direction.

Garage Door Opener Design

Garage door systems, whether older or newer, employ various designs for setting the opening and closing limit. There are a number of garage door opener designs built for resale by garage door sales/installation companies; many of which are not user friendly. This initiates a lot of small “minimum charge” service calls for minor adjustments, which add up quickly.

To avoid ending up with one of these systems, do garage door opener consumer report research before purchasing and installing a unit. Select only a design that makes provision for homeowner adjustments; with clearly marked components and full how-to instructions.

Apart from special electronic testing equipment and the services of an electronics repairman, there is no way to test for a faulty remote unit. However, garage opener repair can oftentimes be as simple as replacing the battery in the remote unit. Or it may require reprogramming using a different code to keep the neighbor’s remote from operating your door.

Some units have a set of “dip switches;” small plastic toggle switches inside both the remote and the opener unit. These should be set identically. Try using various settings until the problem is solved. Other units have electronic codes that can be reset; follow manufacturer’s instructions.

If you need to replace a faulty remote but have trouble finding one compatible with your system, generic remote units are available at hardware stores. The unit plugs into an outlet; your garage opener unit plugs into it. When you switch the remote on, it toggles a relay switch and powers on your garage door unit. This allows you to power the garage unit on and off, bypassing the remote circuitry that it came with.

For chain drive garage door opener systems, a common problem is that over time and with use the chain may become loose and drag on the track or other components.

Most units have provision for adjusting chain tension; either using an adjustable roller on the chain, adjustable links in the chain, or an adjustment on the lift motor box. Follow manufacturer’s instructions; always make adjustments with the door closed, and power to the lift motor off for safety purposes. Never over-tighten the chain; this could cause damage to the system.

Sometimes Replacement is Necessary

If you are in need of a garage door opener part or lift motor for a system that is obsolete and no longer manufactured, you may need to purchase a whole new garage door opener system. To select motor size keep in mind the following rule of thumbs:

  • Garage doors up to 8-feet wide should have a minimum lift motor size of 1/3 horsepower.
  • Garage doors 10 to 12-feet wide should have a minimum lift motor size of ½ horsepower.
  • For large custom garage doors wider than 12-feet, follow manufacturer’s suggestions; it is better to have a motor than can provide more lift than needed, than not enough.

Why Grease Your Garage Door?

Safety First

The garage door is the single largest moving part in your home, and should be inspected and maintained every year. Whether you have a belt-drive, chain-drive, or screw-drive opening system, maintenance issues and steps to lubricate garage door tracks are virtually the same:

  1. Inspect the tracks to make sure there is no debris to catch the rollers. Wipe them out or vacuum if needed.
  2. Lubricate the rollers with regular engine oil. Put a drop on each roller and allow the rolling action to draw it into the bearings. Don’t use grease, it will just gum up the tracks and collect hair and debris.
  3. Check cables for any sign of fraying and make certain that springs are tight and connected.
  4. Lightly lubricate any bearings and garage door hinges.
  5. Check the spring to make sure that it is “wet” or lightly lubricated. If it gets dried out, it will clump and jam up your system.

Garage Door | Chain Drive System

With a chain-drive system, check to make sure the chain is greased. Aside from that, the door is your final moving part and should be checked for tight screws and lightly oiled connections.

The opener itself controls a number of features that require monitoring. Basically the system is designed to shut down in the case of malfunction. While this is an opener’s greatest safety feature, the cause may not be readily apparent.

Garage Door Problems | Troubleshooting

Any garage door opener installed today must, by federal law, have optic sensors to detect any person or object in the pathway of the door. This is usually the cause for a non-functioning door. Optic sensors must be aimed at each other so that they can send and receive an uninterrupted beam of light. If these eyes get out of alignment, the system will shut down. First check to see if there are any obstructions or items blocking the eyes. If not, check to see if the eye has become misaligned. Jiggling the eye or rotating it slightly usually brings it back into line with its partner.

Most door companies suggest that you test your system every month or two months to be certain it is functioning properly. The force with which the door closes can be adjusted. To test its sensitivity, place a two-by-four in the opening and close the door. The door should return or bounce back on contact. If not, the force needs to be lowered. This adjustment is usually on the back of the housing itself. Keep in mind that door weight varies depending on temperature and humidity. A door may return safely at a force of 5 in the winter, but require a 4 in the spring.

The more sensitive the opener, the greater the chance of shutdown. This is intentional, but owners need to know the signs of trouble. Newer openers feature diagnostic lights that flash a code to tell the owner of the problem. Dirty tracks, misaligned rollers, broken springs — all cause the opener to shut down. Get to know your system and check it regularly for force of operation and automatic return.

Grinding, scraping, or whirring sounds indicate a problem in the gears, motor, or sliding mechanisms. If in doubt, call a qualified service technician. As for springs, there is no foolproof test for strength or remaining life. There’s comfort in the fact that they virtually never give way when the door is raised, because there is no tension then. To be safe, make sure that your springs are on safety cables so if they do snap, they won’t hit people or vehicles. Another test is to disconnect the opener and raise the door manually. If it can be raised by an older child, the springs are fine.

How to Epoxy-Coat Your Garage Floor

Epoxy-Coat? why not just paint the garage floor? There are a few advantages to epoxy-coating. Epoxy not only tops off the pro look but also resists oil stains, beads water, and wipes clean like a kitchen counter. Color chips and custom paint colors hide annoying imperfections in the concrete, and antiskid additives give you the grip you need on a snowy day. You just need a weekend to sweep the dirt out and paint the epoxy on. Then the garage will finally be a space worth driving up to—and showing off.

Applying an epoxy coating to a concrete floor is as easy as painting walls, but as with painting, the success is in the prep work. Once the calculations, color choices, and cleaning are taken care of, the actual application will seem like the easiest part.

To bond well, epoxy requires an even, slightly rough, and totally clean surface. That means patching any potholes and cracks and allowing them to cure fully. Concrete must be at least 60 days old and not sealed for the epoxy to adhere. You can tell if your floor already has a sealer if water beads on it or if you get to Step 2 in this process and the etching solution doesn’t foam; if that’s the case, you’ll need to take off the sealer with a chemical stripper or a special machine. (Painted floors can be recoated if there’s no peeling.)

Stripping the floor, however, does not clean it. Any grease or dirt will compromise the epoxy adhesion, so cleaning and etching is a step that should not be rushed. Different manufacturers offer different types of cleaners, so check out the ingredients before you choose what type is best for you. Chemical cleaners vary widely, from harsh degreasers and etchers to safer but less effective organics. You can cut down on the elbow grease by renting a machine called a floor maintainer for about $40 a day.

Epoxy coatings typically come in kits with everything you need. Once you choose one, determine if you’ll need to order extra supplies. Manufacturers may suggest two coats of the epoxy paint and top coat, but most standard kits only supply enough for one coat. If you choose to add color flakes, which will help hide concrete’s inherent imperfections, determine how heavily you’ll broadcast them across the floor so you don’t come up short. Also, if your garage’s foundation rises above grade at the bottom of the walls, you may want to consider coating another few inches up the vertical surfaces to make cleaning the garage easier. Then decide if you want to include an antiskid additive, granules that give the finished floor a sandpaperlike surface. This may be a good option in rainy or ice-prone regions.

Once the floor is clean and ready for its coating, it all comes down to timing. Choose a day to do the work when the concrete won’t be damp from rainy weather and when the temperature is between 50 and 80 degrees; otherwise the application can bubble and peel. Then, once you mix the epoxy paint and hardener, you only have about 2 hours to work with it, so you’ll need to plan out in advance how best to paint yourself out of the garage, starting in a back corner. The hardest part is waiting: The typical drying time between each step is 12 to 24 hours. And once the whole floor is done, you still have to hold off parking the car on it for another 72 hours.

THE STEPS

1. Prep and wash the area

Using painter’s tape, stick plastic sheeting to the walls along the edge of the foundation, or at the height to which you will apply the epoxy up the walls. Sweep the floor thoroughly to remove dirt and dust. Using an old paintbrush, dust out corners and seams. If your floor was not previously painted, skip to Step 2.

For painted floors: Using a floor maintainer fitted with a light-sanding pad, scuff the paint to degloss it. Sweep away the dust. Then, using a bristle broom, scrub down the surface with an all-purpose cleaner. Rinse the floor thoroughly and let it dry for at least 4 hours. Continue with Step 3.

2. Etch the floor

For new or bare concrete: Mix the etching solution with water in a plastic watering can, following the manufacturer’s directions. Make sure to wear protective gloves, rubber boots, and safety glasses when working with the chemicals.

Wet the floor with a garden hose. Pour the solution over a 10-by-10-foot area in the corner farthest from your exit point. Using a bristle broom, scrub the area in one direction, then go over it again in a perpendicular direction.

Continue etching the floor in small sections. Once you’ve finished the entire garage, rinse the floor with a garden hose, starting in your first corner and moving forward. Continue rinsing until the water runs completely clear. Allow the floor to dry at least 4 hours.

3. Mix up the epoxy paint

Open both the epoxy paint and epoxy hardener cans. Begin stirring the epoxy paint, then slowly pour the hardener into it. Make sure to scrape out every last bit of the hardener into the paint.

Carefully stir the two components for 3 minutes until they are fully blended. Place the lid loosely back on the can and set it aside, away from the sun, for 30 minutes. The can may feel warm to the touch as the chemicals react with one another

4. Paint on the epoxy

Once the epoxy formula is ready, you must use it within 2 hours for it to cure properly, so work quickly. Always keep the garage well ventilated as you work.

Pour the epoxy into a roller tray fitted with a liner. Using a 3-inch paintbrush, cut in a line of epoxy around the border of the area to be covered, and paint it into seams and corners.

5. Roll the epoxy paint

Move to the corner farthest from the exit. Using a 3/8-inch-nap roller fitted with an extension handle, roll a 10-by-10-foot section with epoxy paint. The epoxy should feel slightly thicker and stickier than normal house paint. Rewet the roller and go over the section in a perpendicular direction, again feathering out uneven lines. Continue covering the floor section by section.

If you plan to use two coats, finish the entire floor, allow it to dry 12 to 24 hours (longer in humid or cold weather), then recoat it in the same manner.

6. Apply the color flakes

As you apply the top coat of paint, stop after every section to put down the color flakes while the area is still wet.

Distribute the flakes over the area by first sprinkling them lightly, then slowly building up distribution until you have the right coating. Take a handful of flakes and shake them through your fingers the way you would sprinkle grass seed.

7. Prepare the top coat

Pour the hardener into the clear top coat, making sure to scrape out all of it, and stir the mixture for 3 minutes until it’s completely blended. Place the lid loosely back on the can and set it aside, away from the sun, for 30 minutes. One minute before you are ready to apply the top coat, stir the mixture for an additional minute. If you plan to use antiskid granules, add them now.

8. Apply the top coat

You’ll only have about 2 hours to work with the mixture. Using a clean paintbrush, cut in at corners, edges, and seams. Then, using a 3/8-inch-nap roller, start at a point farthest from the exit and roll on the clear coat in 10-by-10-foot sections as you did with the epoxy paint. Work first in one direction, then in the perpendicular direction on each section, making your way forward until the entire floor is covered. The coating will appear white or milky at first but will dry clear. Allow 24 hours drying time for foot traffic and up to 72 hours before parking a car—longer in humid or cold weather.

Work your way from the back to the front of the garage in conjunction with rolling on the epoxy. Once the entire floor is coated, allow it to dry for 12 to 24 hours (longer in humid or cold weather).

source:
This Old House 

JUNE PROMOTION

LiftMaster 300MC

This month we would like to present to you an excellent promotion that we are having. It is not all the time that we get to right a blog about a promotion, but we thought it would be appropriate.

We have talked about the benefits of many garage door openers, this is no exception.

A few Technical details.

Linear-Compatible Gate and Garage Door Opener Remote (LiftMaster 300MC ) The LiftMaster 300MC Gate and Garage Door Opener Remote is a 300 MHz remote that is compatible to MultiCode remote controls.

This garage door opener transmitter is a compatible replacement for the MultiCode 3089, 1089, 3083, 4120, 3070 and 3060 remotes.

Ease of Use

It is also compatible with Digi-Code DC5010 and DC5040 transmitters.

The LiftMaster 300MC is designed to use with 300 MHz receivers, such as the MultiCode 1090, 1099, 3021 and 3028, and the Tricode TCG1, TCG2, TCR1 and TCR2 gate or garage door opener receivers.

This stylish, neutral gray garage door opener transmitter features a Test/Operate LED, easy to access 12V battery and DIP switch, and includes a visor clip. As all LiftMaster products, the LiftMaster 300MC remote meets FCC Part 15 Requirements.

Each LiftMaster 300MC Garage Door Opener Remote is brand new, shipped with the original packaging and manuals, and carries a one year warranty from the manufacturer.

The REAL special is that we have it on sale for only $11.75. Go to our site to purchase the 300MC.