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boughtpassat 11-03-2010 12:55 PM

Garage Door Won't Open All the Way
My two-car garage door opener lately does not open the door all the way. It only goes up about a foot or so and then stops. I am able to "help" it up if I press the button and then lift on it. It will open all the way when I do this. The unit will close the door no problem, it just seems weak when trying to open.

I began to have this problem at the end of last winter and then once spring and the warmer weather hit, it did not have trouble opening so I thought I would fix it this year if it did it again when cold weather hit.

Well, now that its is cooling off again, it just started doing this. WILL NOT OPEN more than a foot, but closes fine.

I want to avoid a repair man. I am thinking I either need to replace the unit, or get new springs? Neither of the springs are broken currently.

Any ideas??

havasu 11-03-2010 02:12 PM

Is it a roll up or tilt up type of garage door? You will need to disconnect the opener (usually by pulling the red cord) and open your garage. Does it open easily? (if not, might be a bad spring). Does it bind up? (if it does, indicates your track needs either lubrication or adjustment).

Now try activating your opener. Does it stop mid way thru the cycle (indicates it either needs lubricating if chain or screw drive) or your belt is broken, teeth missing, or broken.

Also, many openers have a tensioner built into the back of the head unit. If the door opens smooth, and your opener has full movement, then you might try adjusting the tensioner.

Yes, there are lots of fixes, but unless you are fully aware of all the mechanics, it is sometimes best to have a professional come out to help fix your problem.

One word of caution. If this garage door is a roll up type, the horizontal springs are under quite a bit of pressure. Do not attempt to replace yourself. They have enough tension to cause you great injury if done incorrectly.

kok328 11-03-2010 03:35 PM

Check the operator and see if it has an adjustable strength setting. Maybe turn this up a notch. Also as havasu mentioned, disconnect it from the rail and manually lift it to see if there is any binding. Also, check the door to see if it is balanced properly. Half way open with operator disconnected, it should stay in the half way position. If it comes down then you need to balance it with the header torsion spring.

boughtpassat 11-04-2010 02:57 PM

When I release the door at about the half way mark, the door easily falls to the floor. There is no binding at all. Tracks are perfectly aligned.
I am thinkning that the springs need to be wrapped tighter so that it is "lighter" or easier on the opener? It just seems like the door is too heavy for the opener. That's best way I can describe.

I did see two adjustment knobs on the unit. One for "down" and the other for "up" but of course these only allow the unit to open more/less or close more/less.

How do I balance it with the header torsion spring? I am mechanically inclined and can see how the door mechanics work, just need some more direction.

kok328 11-04-2010 03:17 PM

If the door is falling down from the half way point, then you have no spring assist on the opener and it is going to cause premature failure of the operator. The procedure is slightly different per each door manufacturer. The only thing in common is that is a very dangerous procedure if you don't know what your doing and are not careful. Before doing anything, check to make sure that any cables have not broke and/or the ends of the springs have not broke. These are the two most common problems. At the end of the spring, there will be a bend where it hooks into the drum and/or collar. You'll need to loosen the set screw and using two rods, tighten the springs using one rod as the lever to tighten and the other rod as a jam rod so that you can rotate the spring without it unwinding. When your done, you tighten back up the set screws and perform the half way balance test until it stays in that position without the operator connected to the door. Make darn sure the rod you use fits completely and snugly into the hole where you rotate the collar to wind the spring.
If you don't understand what I'm saying, do not hesitate to google the procedure for you particular model and/or call a garage door company to perform this service for you. Again, this is a very dangerous procedure if you don't know what your doing.

havasu 11-04-2010 04:37 PM

Just to add, many torsion springs break in such a way that they look fine, but are actually broken. I am also mechanically inclined, but this is one job I will leave for the professionals. The last time one of my springs broke, I replaced them both with heavy duty torsion springs, and cost me ~$130.

boughtpassat 11-05-2010 09:07 AM

Thank you both very much for the advice. You are both very kind to share your knowledge and experience. I will be sure to post what the fix was. If I am unable to see exactly how it is done (or if spring is indeed broken), then I will have repair man come and fix for me.

I'll post my results. Thanks again so much for the help.

havasu 11-05-2010 10:01 AM

Wise choice. Please keep us informed in order to help others!

choner 04-25-2013 07:20 AM

It has to be the safety eyes out of whack or being blocked

ewromero 01-19-2014 10:38 AM

My garage door opener does the same as what was mentioned in this forum. The garage door only does not open all the way when the weather is cold, otherwise, everything works normal.

The door opens only about a foot when cold using the remote. If I use the wall opener then the garage door opens all the way. This leads me to believe it is a programming issue not necessarily a mechanical issue.

I surmise if it were a mechanical issue, no matter which opener I used, it would not open all the way but that is not the case. Does anyone know what may be wrong? We recently bought the house and no instructions were left with the papers of importance. Thanks!

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