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Thread: Stanley garage door opener misbehaving

  1. #1
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    Stanley garage door opener misbehaving

    We have a Stanley screw-type garage door opener installed around 1997 so it doesn't owe us anything. It opens perfectly, no issues. Closing is an issue. If i push and immediately release one of the buttons (there are two) the door may close a few inches and usually just stops. Push the botton again and it'll open all the way unless I push the button again to stop it. If I push and hold the button the door will close all the way. My first though was the photo beam but I can stop the door from opening all the way by pushing the button. In the past if the door reverses due to an obstruction, it would open all the way. I could get universal photo beam replacements but would like to verify that is indeed the problem first. I thought about jumpering the wires from the photo beam to the operating head long enough to confirm or eliminate but not sure how. Does anyone have a thought? Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
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    Unless it's grossly miss-wired, the photo beam should make a closing door reverse and will do nothing to an opening door. Your symptoms sound more like a force sensor tripping intermittently: possibly the door is opening a few inches too far and hanging up at the start of the close cycle. I'd unhook the opener and see how much force is required to open/close the door manually, could just need a spring adjustment/replacement.

    Or the poor bugger is just way overdue for replacement.
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  3. #3
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    I am not sure if you model has indicator lights on the photo eye and laser. Modern ones show a green light when they are aligned. They are the first thing I check. 2nd I pull the disconnect cord and try the door without the opener and vice versa. If both work smoothly I reconnect the door to the trolly and experiment with the travel and force adjustments. Some old openers become very finicky.
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 06-23-2022 at 9:35 AM. Reason: caps
    Best Regards, Maurice

  4. #4
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    You can buy replacement parts for garage doors in Lowes. There are two in our rental house that weren't working when we bought the house. I replaced all the rollers on both doors because neither operated easily. I had to replace 1 out of 4 of the springs. I put those replacement parts in when I remounted the doors after having them down to revarnish.

    I bought one OE remote, and one aftermarket. The aftermarket one never worked right, but the original equipment one did, so I ordered another one of those. In the drawers in that garage I found two wall mount keyboards, and both of those worked. I mounted them on the outside door jambs for renters to use.

    One opener was from the late 90's, and the other 2003. They both work fine now. I did pull the wires out of the flimsy sockets on the motor head, and put some conductive grease in them, and had to reset the eyes to communicate.

    I was about to toss both of them to start with, but they have not stuttered since I did that simple work on them.

  5. #5
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    My door had this same problem. The wall switch turned out to be the culprit. Mine is 3 years younger than yours.

  6. #6
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    Lots of good things to check here, thanks to everyone. I'll report back if I'm able to solve the mystery. It's not urgent because I am able to close the door by holding the switch but closing with a remote doesn't work. It'd be nice if things work as they're supposed to.
    Last edited by Curt Harms; 06-23-2022 at 8:18 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Harms View Post
    . It's not urgent because I am able to close the door by holding the switch but closing with a remote doesn't work. .
    photo eye or force adjustment
    holding the button down is an override of the safety circuit, making you the safety circuit
    mine does this when it is open more than a few minutes and it is 0 degf or colder outside

  8. #8
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    If you decide to replace, Des-Carr is excellent, Curt. They provide the Liftmaster products. I had them replace the 1993 era Craftsman traditional chain opener when it failed shortly after we moved in with the Liftmaster jackshaft unit. Between that exchange and the tweaking and lubrication of our door, it's super quiet in operation and since it's monitored, you can ascertain if it's open or closed remotely.

    BTW, if you have to physically hold the close switch in to get it to close, the optic safety system is likely toast. That's what happened with the aforementioned Craftsman unit. Pressing and holding the switch overrides the safety system.
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  9. #9
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    The little wires from the safety eyes just push in the holes on the unit, and contact is just friction against a little metal spring blade. Sorrier even than back-stab electrical receptacles. I slid a straight pick slightly larger diameter than the wire into each socket, and withdrew the wire. The pick was strong enough to just slide back out. I put conductive grease on each wire after abrading the wire a little, and what was intermittent works every time now.

    I used conductive grease rather than di-electric grease because the contact area is so small that I figured it needed as much help as possible. The conductive grease I have has carbon in it, and will get black smear easily on anything unless you are very careful.

    It's a wonder to me that these connections last as long as they do.

  10. #10
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    The quickest test would be to block the beam. All the ones I have seen will flash the interior light to indicate that the beam is blocked if you push the button to close it. An older one may not do that though.

  11. #11
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    The two older ones here don't give any indication, other than stopping, or going the other way.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    The little wires from the safety eyes just push in the holes on the unit, and contact is just friction against a little metal spring blade. Sorrier even than back-stab electrical receptacles. I slid a straight pick slightly larger diameter than the wire into each socket, and withdrew the wire. The pick was strong enough to just slide back out. I put conductive grease on each wire after abrading the wire a little, and what was intermittent works every time now.

    I used conductive grease rather than di-electric grease because the contact area is so small that I figured it needed as much help as possible. The conductive grease I have has carbon in it, and will get black smear easily on anything unless you are very careful.

    It's a wonder to me that these connections last as long as they do.
    Checking the connections at the drive head is step next I think. Start with the easiest/cheapest and work up from there.

  13. #13
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    Had rhar happen to me in the middle of winter I adjusted the down force and it helped a for a while. I ran out of adjustment so I ended up puttinf a Half gallon jug of water on the dooe until I could get a new opener.

  14. #14
    you don't need to jump the photo sensors wires, just disconnect them from the opener
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    you don't need to jump the photo sensors wires, just disconnect them from the opener
    Thanks Kev, that makes it easier. When I'm able I'll try that.

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