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Will
Will, President & Small Business Owner
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 341
Experience:  Thrity years experience in all types of home repair, wiring, appliances and other issues.
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Craftsman 3/4 hp: After a recent lightning storm my garage

Customer Question

After a recent lightning storm my garage door remotes fail to operate. they would work only when I got within 5 feet of the motor. After speaking to several Sears technicians they advised a new garage door opener. Just finished installing and have the same problem.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Will replied 1 year ago.

Will :

Please allow me a few minutes to reread your question.

Will :

New opener, new remotes new everything?

Customer :

yes, plus new battery for remote.

Will :

you even replaced the new battery that came with the new remote with a new battery in addition?

Customer :

yes

Will :

Wow, I can see you have already performed some excellent troubleshooting, exactly where I would have went, the voltage values I have no reference in front of me, but they seem within reason, anything else going on sense this storm?

Customer :

No other problems here, neighbors had differing problems though

Will :

Must have sent a big surge through your neighborhood you say the old remote would not work even within the five foot range but now you can get a signal to work within five feet, so there is a slight difference if I understand the details correctly

Customer :

yes, we gained a little with the new motor. The remote wireless keypad will now close the door, but will not open ir, before we got no response from the keypad. so I also extended the antenna wire abour five inches- no help

Will :

Five feet in a complete radius around the opener?

Customer :

yes, intermittent to about 8 feet

Will :

amazing, give me a minute as a long long long shot, you might try a lithium type 9 volt, I am assuming that the remotes are 9V

Will :

But even if that works I would think it would only extend the range by a nominal distance

Customer :

do you have any idea where I can get a schematic of the receiver? I want to research how the safety sensor effect the input voltage to the receiving unit.

Will :

They didn't stick any of those clear plastic protector films on the front of the remotes? You sound way to smart to miss anything like that but I have to ask

Customer :

Checked for all thet

Will :

OH boy, I can try and see if one can be taken out the back door, so proprietary but give me a model number

Customer :

got to run out to get that, just a minute

Will :

I was going to suggest maybe jumping the safeties out and see what if anything changes

Customer :

My wife is getting the model number. Yes, I was thinking of a jumper too, but I didn't want to risk it without a schematic.

Will :

understand

Customer :

Some of those low voltage circuits require a slight load

Will :

correct

Customer :

model 139.53990DS

Customer :

I have replied and he left the chat

Expert:  Will replied 1 year ago.

Sorry the whole system went nuts I lost ability to chat But I have model and maybe I can find if a load value is needed and what it might be,

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Please let me know if you find load value and I will check back in a few. Sometimes it helps just to talk these things through but I was disappointed when I saw you left and I was requested to leave a rating. I will update that if they allow it.

Expert:  Will replied 1 year ago.

there I got my button back one way to make sure its not interference is to power down the entire house and then bring back just a circuit inside the house and run the new opener off that circuit via extension cord. Odds are your logic board is bad but interference does happen, and it can be as simple as a single unused extension cord, but you know that, however a bad new unit out of the box is not a real long reach I am going to boot my system, and then talk to a moderator, something is wrong I have no continuity with the chat, it even dumps me into bull dozer repair sorry we will chat and I will be working to look for you I will leave ANYTHING I find on here once I get this fixed I cannot space or make paragraphs even if I do get a chat connection my apologies I think it is JA not me sure actually anything get magnetized like a tool box of cabinet did you replace the track too? did it get magnetized anything that could be knocking the signal around, right now I am betting on bad new in the box but I will keep looking for the schematics and anything I want to know what this is just had a thought and if you have one you probably already did this do you have a non contact voltage tracer you could wander around in the garage with? I have a cell senso, a static sensor for triboelectric iissues maybe hanging a wire off the end of the structure somewhere not off the antenna but just a wire maybe a spare am coil or an fm antenna you might have laying around interference from the surge any devices, radios you name it that might have been effected from the surge, it almost sounds like it did not come through the power lines but was an induction type fault, even some aluminum foil positioned in different places if the signal increases the interfering signals are blocked/diverted I am sure my static meter would be going wild, either some interference from something else effected that is not noticeable yet, or the new unit is bad, but try to block any possible interference, divert it with a coil anything to find a spot where the signal increases, in the meantime I am looking for the schematic

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I have stopped work for the night, but just to let you know I am already doing some of what you suggested, still no joy. Tomorrow I will be testing my next best guess. You may actually enjoy this bit of stretching thought, and I'll let you know the result. The thing left that can think of is interference from an electronic pet fence. I'll shut it down tomorrow and see if it helps. The only thing left is a newly installed Wi-Fi antennae about 100 feet away, should be a different freq range, but I'm out of ideas after the pet fence.

Expert:  Will replied 1 year ago.

Its back I am trying to copy this whole conversation and figure out the problem I like your pet fence idea remember the aluminum foil, a section hung anywhere might give you a idea, after the tower, you can't know when it was energized it would be a huge problem to try and get someone to talk to you about it, with all the security issues these days, but same thing, try to block interference, next box up the main unit, on the way back to Sears if you can plug it in to a friends house and see what happens, if a new location allows the signal to get to the receiver well we know it is SOMETHING flowing through your garage, Can you measure current? I know you have 120.1 volts, but what is the current used by the lift, not sure what I will say if you tell me it is 5 amps over nameplate, or 10 amps under, but more pieces to the puzzle, Let's back up, storm remotes no longer function, we assumed as Sears did that the storm played a role, have you tried shutting everything off less the garage door opener ??? Then one by one flip the breakers on? Di you check your voltage in every room in your house? Could a neutral point somewhere become loose and become a high resistance connection, they are not going to give out a board level schematic, they do not do board level repairs, if you can measure the low voltage circuit current, you could calculate the load if any, and get a resistor of a value that would be close OR how about a decade box,? I wish you were closer I have all this stuff, and would be glad to loan it and help crawl around now your open circuit voltage was 120.1 but at load, what is it, open circuit voltage can drop like a rock, over some kind of high resistance load, did you replug all the connections at the opener unit, in some there is a signal deflector, I hate to ask you these questions, because I know you are way smarter than most but I am doing what I often do wrong overlook the simple of simple,

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Will, Thanks for the chat, but still no answer. I will be eliminating the whole house today as we have been slowed by more thunder storms. I have to admit to you now this is not my problem but my next door neighbors, we discovered yesterday that their car remotes do not work when parked in the garage or driveway, but work fine when parked across the street. I was recommending another new opener when they demonstrated that little additional info. So, back to the elimination of the entire house before we give up. Another neighbor has the same type of opener and tested all the remotes on his unit and all worked to about 100 feet, so we are confident the remotes have adequate power and work as advertised. I think we should be eliminating the house today around 2 pm CDT. I'll come back in and let you know what we find.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Will, for future reference please share with all the experts. Isolated the problem to the doorbell, everything is up and running fine. Doorbell was operating fine, but something had to damage a coil to cause the rf interference. Change the doorbell and remotes work from at least a hundred feet now. Thanks

Expert:  Will replied 1 year ago.
Damn here comes the chat again. Ok I got the message that is the neighbor's remotoes but no big deal, did I understand correctly the remotes worked across the street but not in the driveway? and then again in that 5 foot radious? How about from the rear of the garage? Also look for any new LED lights, or anything with PWN pulse width modulation like a variable speed drive, I have installed a ton in home garage shops so the piece of equipment could run on three phase, and they were PWM type drives, so if someone installed a single to three phase frequency drive that could be a problem LEDs use PWM because of the constant switching, and can cause interference, very odd situation not one I ever dealt with that was not a battery or just a bad opener, but we will keep after it, hell who knows maybe there is a drone with a path right over the neighbor's house, I keep thinking about the storm and what it could have changed, I would certainly thing whatever it changed would be discovered by now, very odd but we will keep thinking
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No, you misunderstood the part about across the street. The car remotes worked across the street after they moved the cars over there. The garage remotes never worked more than 5 feet from the motor. Doorbell fixed it all though

Expert:  Will replied 1 year ago.
my screen just went to hell, not sure what happened but I am not able to go live but I have the model and am looking for the schematic, my guy might tell us what load value to use if needed to jump the safeties,
Expert:  Will replied 1 year ago.
The pet fence has been there before the storm correct? I like the idea, the new tower, you will have no idea when it was energized, I am still having problems with my chat I am talking to the JA people about it, some times it lets me reply today it does not, but I think it is interference of some kind, remember to try and shield with aluminum foil or whatever you have a piece of foil in the right position might give you an idea, then after that you pack up the entire unit, and before you take it back, if you can stop somewhere, at a friends house and try it, you will take interference in or out of the equation,

Well I lost my chat again, but got your message, It makes no difference who it belongs to, it is one of the strangest situations I have dealt with. I keep going back and forth to the storm, is this a result of the storm or is it a coincidence? So you are saying we have a gap? They work when parked across the street, not in the driveway but again at 5 foot radius? Something between across the street and up the driveway is blocking the signal, how about the same distance from behind the house as across the street? The reason I mentioned a non contact voltage tracer is from an experience in a power plant. I had one in my pocket, but the weird thing was I would walk under high tension lines and it did not go off, but say 100 feet away it would. Many moons ago it was explained to me the reason high tension lines out in the country, if you look at a large open area, when they make a bend it is not a ninety degree turn, it is a sloping curve. Why, the voltage if it was brought to a point and then moved to a right angle the voltage would not "turn" it would "shoot off" the end of the wiring. Weird but true. Something has to be blocking that remote signal, kids with some new transistor radios, that new cell tower, something has to be interfering, hopefully you can try when the new storms pass from the rear of the garage if they work from there, then the path of interference is right down their driveway. Hopefully my chat will come back still no answer from JA on that, also any new LED lights anywhere? Anyone with a PWM pulse width modulated drive on a swimming pool pump or anything like that, I have installed single to three phase drives in home garage shops, to use three phase motors and it never dawned on me a stray single could emit from the drive, so anything like that that is new could be a possibility
Expert:  Will replied 1 year ago.
amazing we knew it had to be interference, door bell with a transformer would make sense, I suppose the wattage is not a lot different than the remote so a strong enough signal is all it would take, sooner or later a breaker at a time would have narrowed it down but a good thing to put up higher on the list, by the way, Great job you are one smart cookie, pleasure speaking with you,

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