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Garage door goes part of the way down and then back up. How to fix it?

Customer Question
My garage door won't close...
My garage door won't close all the way... it goes part of the way down and then back up. Sometimes it doesn't go down much at all and sometimes it goes almost half way down before going back up.
There is nothing between the sensors that would cause it to trigger then sensor. I don't know what the lights on the sensor are supposed to look like but one is solid green and the other is solid orange/yellow
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Home Improvement
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
2/8/2012
Home Improvement Expert: Theplumber717, Plumber, HVAC Tech replied 5 years ago
Theplumber717
Theplumber717, Plumber, HVAC Tech
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 2,056
Experience: Lic Plumbing contractor,HVAC, All aspects construction 28 yrs exp
Verified
GARY :

Hi my name is***** will do my best to solve your problem

Customer:

Hi Gary

GARY :

Make sure the sensors are facing each other, and they should both be green, check the wire connections on the one that is not, on the sensor and on the door opener itself

Customer:

One is definitely not green, in fact orange/yellow. What am I checking for regarding the wire connections, just to make sure they are connected?

GARY :

If those look good i will need the make and model of the door opener

GARY :

Yes check to see if a wire has come loose on the sensor or the opener and make sure the sensors are facing each other

Customer:

i checked the wire connections and they appear to be secure. i tried adjusting the sensors again and one is still yellow. The garage door still won't close all the way

Customer:

The sensors appear to be facing each other... it is confusing to me why one would be solid green and the other would be solid yellow/orange. Seems like other ones I have had are either both solid green, indicating they are facing each other and ready to go, or no light at all. I have never seen in it where one is solid yellow and the other is solid green

GARY :

They should both be green if you are sure the wire connections are good and the wires themselves are not damaged, Then i will need the make and model of door opener so i can look up your manual

Customer:

It is a Chamberlain Lift Master Professional 1/2 HP

GARY :

ok give me a min to find manual

Customer:

ok thanks

GARY :

ok your door should have a diagnostic led light on the motor, look at it and tell me if it is flashing a code if it is count how many flashs

Customer:

ok just sec

Customer:

I noticed a yellow light flashing on the motor last time I checked. I assume this is what you are talking about, it looks similar to the light on the sensors. It is not on at all now. I tried to lower the door again and it went half way and back up again, still no light

GARY :

that yellow light flashing will tell us a code to show what the problem the unit is having

Customer:

unfortunately it is not on now... let me try the door again and see if I can get it on again. The one thing I don't understand still relates to the Sensor lights. If they are both supposed to be solid green, and they are clearly not now, why is the garage door closing half way even? You would think it wouldn't even get started

GARY :

Try cleaning the sensors and make sure they are aligned again

Customer:

The LED light on the motor won't come on. Will go clean the sensors

GARY :

Yes try to clean them Since the one is yellow i think it is a sensor problem, You could pull the manual release for the door and operate the door manually and make sure it moves all the way down and all the way back up freely without binding anywhere to.

GARY :

Use the control on the wall and hold the button to close the door, do not let go until it closes all the way, If this closes then its a sensor problem (you have to do this with the button on the wall not the remote)

Customer:

Cleaned the sensors, still one yellow/orange and one green, both solid. The LED light on the motor is now back on after I pressed the little square button next to it. It remains solid though, no blinking

Customer:

ok will try that

GARY :

ok

Customer:

it won't close even holding the wall button down the whole time. I have opened and closed the garage door manually for over a year since I bought the house and it doesn't bind at all. Opens and closes easily

Customer:

I will say that the structure that houses the chain and attaches to the motor seems unstable to me

GARY :

So you held the wall mounting button and it started to reverse even while the button was still held in?

Customer:

yup

GARY :

OK well im out of suggestions, i will opt out so another expert may be able to help you. Another expert should pick this up shortly good luck sorry i couldnt help

Customer:

ok thanks for trying

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Home Improvement Expert: Brian, Architect replied 5 years ago
Brian
Brian, Architect
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 3,123
Experience: Licensed Architect- 17 years, L.E.E.D. AP
Verified

Hello and welcome to Just Answer.

I think your sensors are fine. Green or amber solid lights are good.

It is most likely 1 of 5 things or a combination:

1. The door is binding in the tracks and reversing.

I would disconnect the door from the trolley and operate the door manually. This is a way to test the door without the distraction of the opener. The door NEEDS to roll smoothly and not bind on anything and it NEEDS to be balanced and stay at any point you stop it. If the door wants to go down by itself or up by itself, the springs are not adjusted correctly, have a qualified service technician fix/ adjust them...they can be very dangerous to work with since they are under extreme tension. Verify that the tracks/ rollers are not bent or if they need lubricating.

2. The motor unit has a problem (related to #4 and #5):

Operate the motor unit without the door attached and see if it operates correctly. The trolley will fully go up and down if working properly. This is a way to test the motor unit without the weight of the door.

3. The safety sensors are dirty, misaligned, etc.

Verify that the sensor lenses are clean, no cobwebs, no obstructions, they are not loose and vibrating while door operates. If the sensors are working....you will typically see green or amber steady lights and no red lights or flickering.

4. The DOWN force is not strong enough.

If this is the case, the opener will not have the strength to get the door down. Adjust dial on the motor unit, it doesn't take much of a turn. Try testing door and see if that has helped. It is normal to have to periodically adjust this.

5. A defective RPM sensor.

If everything above is good and the increased down force doesn't help and the door continues to reverse, the RPM sensor is most likely defective and needs to be replaced. The RPM sensor is a little circuit board located at the door end of the motor shaft, inside the motor unit. They are relatively easy to purchase and install.

The RPM sensor is what causes the door to reverse when it hits something. When the door hits something the logic board doesn't receive the pulses sent by the sensor and it reverses. When this sensor goes bad the door will start down and the logic board will not receive the electronic pulses and it will reverse, just like yours is doing.

If you need further help or clarification on this answer, please do not hesitate to reply to this post.

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Brian
Brian, Architect
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 3,123
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