Garage door opener is possessed!
May 11, 2011 8:54 AM   Subscribe

My Genie Excelerator garage door opener is possessed....need help/suggestions/experience from the hive.

Good morning: My Genie Excelerator garage door opener was installed six years ago. It has worked consistently and without problems until perhaps six months ago.

At that time, the door would not open or close. This was sporadic; it would work fine for a week or more and then, with no warning, would just fail to respond to either the wall control or remote control. I found that, in order to get it to work, I had to unplug and replug the unit. Without fail (at least so far) this has been successful in causing the garage door to work properly.

This irritating habit has gone from once/week to multiple times/day. Now I unplug and replug the unit, it will raise/lower, and then by the time I return to the house, it will not work until the unplug/replug routine.

Please help....what I read on the internet tells me that Genie customer service is sub-par so I hope to avoid dealing with them if there is anything I can do to fix this problem.

Any experience with this problem and/or with this brand? Thanks for any suggestions.
posted by Ginesthoi to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Any blinking lights ? any sensors on the fritz ? (the kid/crush sensor), resistance on the pulleys/cables ? Been doing any regular maintenance on it ? (tighten bolts, oil pulleys/wheels/tracks/chain ?). If the door gets out of alignment, it may or may not open. If chain gets loose or gunked up, won't pull nicely.. Lots of potential causes.

Ain't cheap to call a door company to look at, but if you don't have the know-how to look at and diagnose yourself, might as well.. What do you expect someone over the phone to do to help diagnose ? Who installed it ? That should be who you call.
posted by k5.user at 9:13 AM on May 11, 2011

Can we assume you've gone through the troubleshooting pages in your owner's manual? Here's a direct link to the PDF if you don't have one. Troubleshooting starts on page 26.

There doesn't appear to be much in the way of user-serviceability in this model. I was going to suggest adjusting the clutch mechanism, but there doesn't appear to be an adjustment available. Basically, it looks like, if it isn't the Close Limit Switch adjustment, the Safe-T-Beam alignment, or a fuse, you're SOL on a DIY fix.

Still, I suggest going through the troubleshooting options first. You might get lucky.

(FWIW, we've had a Genie (self-installed) for almost 15 years now and it's run flawlessly. It's a screw-drive like yours, except much older.)
posted by Thorzdad at 9:57 AM on May 11, 2011

While I don't have this make/model, I believe that both the wall switch and remote have batteries. Have you replaced them?
posted by Sir Cholmondeley at 11:15 AM on May 11, 2011

Response by poster: Hello and thanks for the quick replies.

Thorzdad: thanks for the PDF....none of the entries in the troubleshooting portion of the manal seems to fit the situation. The sensors are blinking appropriately. When the door works (which currently means *only* after being unplugged/replugged) it moves more slowly than usual opening, then closes at its normal rate of speed. problems that you listed. I was the installer. You're right, a call to a door company is the next step.

Sir Cholmondeley: the wall switch is wired, the remote batteries are new. It fails to work when activated by either until it is replugged.

Given its consistent failure to run unless unplugged/replugged, I think there may be some sort of circuit board problem....which leaves me out as far as knowing what to do about it!

Again, thanks for anything you can think of. I'm at a loss.
posted by Ginesthoi at 11:38 AM on May 11, 2011

How old is the door itself? And the track hardware?

I ask because our old reliable Gennie did start to have issues working our door, which was original to the house. It would only lower it part way at times, and really struggled to raise it. Turns out the old door was simply too heavy (water soaking in over time) and twisted in the old tracks, putting a nasty load on the opener. We ended-up replacing the door and tracks.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:49 PM on May 11, 2011

Have you tried disconnecting the door from the opener? That will let you manually open and close the door to see if it is binding anywhere, if the tracks are misaligned, if springs and cables are working properly, etc. (Remember, the opener is designed to work with a door that is well balanced and opening and closing properly. It won't muscle a damaged door.)

If it really comes down to the Genie, well, trying to troubleshot it at the circuit board level.... meh. You could just replace it.
posted by exphysicist345 at 4:47 PM on May 11, 2011

I forgot to mention any loose wires ? (The sensor wires on mine plug/patch in, and they can get loose) .. Or where wires connect to the board (or are soldered on) .. If an IC has failed, I'd bail, but a loose wire connection can be re-soldered..

Thorzdad explains better what I meant about alignment, and exphysicist345 notes how to test that..
posted by k5.user at 9:56 AM on May 12, 2011

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