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Garage door won't stay closed
Old 01-06-2019, 07:25 PM   #1
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Garage door won't stay closed

My garage door immediately opens after it closes. It's a cold and dark Sunday night, so there were limited things I could do to try and diagnose the problem....to no avail. I searched Youtube and tomorrow will see if there is a loose wire.

What I apparently can confirm is that the safety "eye" is synched correctly. Does anyone here have expertise in this and can give me any tips, before I call in a contractor to fix?
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:30 PM   #2
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No, but I have the same problem. Last week we came home and our door had bounced open. We were relieved to see our little dogs hadn't opened the inside door to escape in the cold.

Really appreciate the thread and discussion.
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:36 PM   #3
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All garage door openers have travel limit switches, one at each end of travel. It's so the motor knows when to stop in either direction.

Opener motors also have torque limit switches. It's so they will reverse to avoid grinding into obstacles.

The above switches are all adjustable.

What I suspect is that the travel limit switch in the close position is out of adjustment, or malfunctions. The motor then does not stop when it should, and jams the door into the ground. When the torque limit switch activates, the motor reverses and reopens the door.

PS. If the torque limit is set too low, or the springs are not adjusted properly to balance the weight of the door, the motor may reverse before the travel limit is reached.
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:51 PM   #4
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+1 to NW-Bound's post. Also, in a cold climate (not sure how 'cold' you meant, it helps to have a location on your posts), frost can raise the floor under the door, creating this problem (limit switch adjustment needed).

I've also had spider webs, leaves and such, or some loose door gasket at the bottom interfere with the light beam, causing it to return back up. So check the beam is clear, and the limit switches.

Or cats/dogs/critters running out at the last second

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Old 01-06-2019, 08:26 PM   #5
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quick fix...well 2 of them. First I can press the door button from inside the garage and hold it until closed. I don't believe this will work on your car remotes. I have done this because our "eye" gets knocked with a broom or whatever. 2nd you can release the door with the red rope (emergency release) and then pull down the door. So your door will be closed but not locked. If that is an issue put a pair of vice grips on the side rail.

Our door will do this for a day or 2 and then just heal itself somehow

double check your electric eyes though. That is usually our issue
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:31 PM   #6
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Agree with NW-Bound, however, check your garage door springs and rollers carefully. You don’t want to put more force on the door to try to compensate for something that has broken. Could be as simple as ice clogging the track at the bottom of the travel of the bottom roller.
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:31 PM   #7
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All garage door openers have a manual (emergency) rope that you can use to close the door manually. It's usually near the top of the door, and about a foot away from the door. Look for a rope/cord with maybe a little handle. When you pull this rope, it will disengage the door from the opener and then you can manually raise/lower the door. Obviously, be careful lowing the door slowly. It is very easily to re-engage this cord by just using the door opener again - it should snap back into the locked position.

Other things to look out for - if you have a stone driveway, look for a rock on the ground where the door closes. That might be enough to engage the safety reversing mechanism (ask me how I know that).

Also, newer openers have a infrared mechanism (a beam) that prevents the door from closing if it thinks there is something in the path of the door closing. If the transponder or receiver is misaligned, that will prevent the door from closing. On mine, when it was misaligned, it would stop the door from closing immediately (so the door would only go down a foot or so before it would reverse and open again).

If the door is moving all the way to the bottom, and then reversing and opening again, it is probably an issue with the adjustment for the closure sensitivity (a separate safety mechanism that engages when the opener thinks the door is closing on something).
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Old 01-06-2019, 09:28 PM   #8
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Your safety eye is out of alignment or the door hardware is loose causing vibrations throwing the light beam off
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Old 01-06-2019, 09:47 PM   #9
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I had a large trash bin that was placed a bit too close to the garage opening that prevented the garage door from staying down. The door would start to close, until it reached and touched the wide portion of the bin (the top portion of the bin has a wide lip) and it would then reopen.

I didn't realize this^ was the case. On departing, I was touching the garage door remote in the car, seeing the door start to travel downwards, and then pulling out of the drive and going on my merry way...only to return home later and see that the door was wide open. Initially, I thought there was some issue with limit switches or misaligned electric eyes.

I now have a tape line on the floor of my garage, showing the limit of how close I can place my trash bin to the door opening without impeding the closing of the door.

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Old 01-06-2019, 09:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
Your safety eye is out of alignment or the door hardware is loose causing vibrations throwing the light beam off
Nice succinct 2 points that I have experienced a few times.

a) I usually start by wiping the sensors eye. Test.

b) Rotate one slightly up and back (can use small level to check its current location). Test.

c) Do similar rotation with other side. I've probably done this 10 times over 18ish years. Probably vibration or change in temps causing them to move just 'enough'.
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:42 PM   #11
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I have had this when things were too close to the eye beam, or when cobwebs hanging from the bottom of the door were particularity thick.

Our house has the garage door power on a switch, so in this situation I could close the door and when it got to the bottom shut off the power. Of course that is less than perfect if the door does not completely close. Then see it in the morning.
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
All garage door openers have travel limit switches, one at each end of travel. It's so the motor knows when to stop in either direction.

Opener motors also have torque limit switches. It's so they will reverse to avoid grinding into obstacles.

The above switches are all adjustable.

What I suspect is that the travel limit switch in the close position is out of adjustment, or malfunctions. The motor then does not stop when it should, and jams the door into the ground. When the torque limit switch activates, the motor reverses and reopens the door.

PS. If the torque limit is set too low, or the springs are not adjusted properly to balance the weight of the door, the motor may reverse before the travel limit is reached.
I forgot to say that the above mechanical switches are in addition to the remote infrared beam sensors mounted across the garage opening. The switches are at the body of the garage opener that houses the motor.
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:11 PM   #13
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DMIL's garage did this exact thing. I thought it was the safety beams out of alignment or light interference since it was an intermittant problem that seemed to get worse when direct sunlight was hitting the garage. I tried lots of goofy fixes I read about on the internet to circumvent light interference. Nothing worked. In the end, I bought a new set of safety beams (eyes) on Amazon for around $30 and problem was solved. She has a Genie system, so here's what I bought.
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:11 PM   #14
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Have exact same problem. Not really a problem. Since easily solved. If you saved
the instructions for your garage door opener.

My model, was Genie. Has nothing to do with up/down limits. Nor the electric eye.

There is a "setting", that has to be reset. Sorry for not giving the exact wording, my
instructions are in the garage and it's late pm, now.

Page 5 or 6, need to push square button, look for purple, red, blue lights, etc....

If you lost your instructions, climb a foot ladder, get your make/model, etc,

Google. If lucky, you may find instructions online.....then just follow the directions.

good luck.
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:27 AM   #15
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I didn't see anyone mention the mechanical safety reverse system. This is different from the light sensing safety. If the door encounters resistance while closing, it will reverse and re-open. Mine has an adjustment on the door closer motor, but I've never had to actually adjust it other than when I replaced the belt. I test it in the spring by laying a 2 x 4 under the door and it should reverse when it strikes the object. Sometimes, especially when it first turns cold, the mechanical safety reverse will activate if the door is only open a foot or so when I push the button to close it. In that case I just let it open fully and and then close it. When I'm leaving home, I always double check my rearview mirror to make sure the door hasn't re-opened after closing.

See item #3 in the video:
https://video.search.yahoo.com/searc...87&action=view
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazz4cash View Post
I didn't see anyone mention the mechanical safety reverse system. This is different from the light sensing safety. If the door encounters resistance while closing, it will reverse and re-open. Mine has an adjustment on the door closer motor, but I've never had to actually adjust it other than when I replaced the belt...
This is the torque limit switch I talked about. The torque that the motor has to exert to move the door is reflected in the stretching of a spring whose tension is adjustable. When the motor has to work too hard, its higher torque causes the spring to overstretch, activating a contact switch which then tells the controller to reverse the motor rotation.

Note that the travel limit switch must also be correctly adjusted for the motor to stop right as the door reaches the ground. If the controller does not see the travel limit being reached, the motor will continue to run to drive the door into the ground. The torque limit is what prevents the stalled motor from burning out.

The same thing happens if the door hits an object that the photosensor does not see, or the opener or door mechanism has a binding or obstruction.
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:42 AM   #17
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When I installed the door opener, I adjusted the torque or force limit switches to just above the level needed to operate the door. The higher the force, the less safe it is in case the door closes on something that should not be there.

Later, in the winter, the cold caused the torsional door springs to stiffen, and the motor had to work harder to close it. The torque limit switch activated, and the door could not close as the motor reversed when it was near the end of travel.

I had to increase the torque limit a bit to allow for the above effect.

Different brands may have different ways of accomplishing the above functions, but all the garage door openers I have installed or worked on operated on the same principle.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:58 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Scrapr View Post
quick fix...well 2 of them. First I can press the door button from inside the garage and hold it until closed. I don't believe this will work on your car remotes. I have done this because our "eye" gets knocked with a broom or whatever. 2nd you can release the door with the red rope (emergency release) and then pull down the door. So your door will be closed but not locked. If that is an issue put a pair of vice grips on the side rail.

Our door will do this for a day or 2 and then just heal itself somehow

double check your electric eyes though. That is usually our issue
Well said, 1++
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Old 01-07-2019, 03:56 AM   #19
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My door does that same thing. Usually because there's leaves or frost where the door and floor meet.

What I do every winter is adjust the down travel so that the door mechanism stops about 5 inches before the floor. Then gravity takes over and the door coasts down on it's own for the last 5 inches to the floor. That way, if there's snow on the ground I don't have to deal with it. It still 'locks' properly but I'm less concerned about a hard-to-the-ground close than with having it not closing at all.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:47 AM   #20
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Assuming the door is the roller type on rails, Possible Causes:

1) Safety Limit Switches interupted, these are the 2 located at the bottom of the rails by the floor, one on each side (Small Black Boxes). They are designed to interupt the door closing if someone walks in or out. They are LED / Infra Red and need to be lined up. They are easy to kick out of alignment by mistake.

2) Obstruction in the door closing creating stress on the motor. This could be debris in the rails, siesed rollers.
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