After about a month, our garage door now properly lifts by the garage door opener. Also, I now know much more about how garage doors function as well as how to put together a garage door opener.
I guess I should start about 5 months ago when I came home, pressed the button to open the garage door and it got stuck halfway in the middle. Looking inside I saw that one of the extensions of the leaf blower had caught on a bracket and thus lodged itself between an upper beam and the bracket on the garage door stopping it from going any further.
This caused a big problem because the door didn’t automatically stop, it kept trying and thus became unbalanced and and the steel cords unwound from their spools. It was then I learned that trying to rewind spools is damn near impossible unless you know what you’re doing.
So I called All Quality Garage Door and the gentleman had the garage door working again in about 3 hours. He also didn’t charge me very much either which I really appreciated.
Then, about a month ago, I pressed the button to open the garage door and as it lifted it suddenly stopped and the belt drooped down. What had happened is the gear attached to the garage door opener which pulls the chain had sheared completely off the opener. This meant I’d need a completely new opener.
Wanting to save money I thought I could do this myself by simply ordering the same exact model and replacing it. It was a Craftsman (Sears brand) but Sears didn’t carry that old model anymore. And so I got one that seemed most similar but had updated functions like wifi and wasn’t too expensive. It was about $230 or so directly from Sears.
It arrived after a week or so and I suddenly became a little nervous as I’d never put together a garage door opener before and you really don’t want to mess up a garage door since they are heavy and could be dangerous. However, I spent two whole days working on it and got it together perfectly. But then there was a problem.
It turned out that this newer garage door was an entire foot shorter than the old one. This meant I couldn’t just reattach it to the old mounts. I thought about it for a while and with some trial and error as well as a trip to Home Depot I got it mounted. But when I pressed the button for the first time I saw the opener straining quite a lot and thought it might have something to do with the mounting. I reinforced it a lot but that didn’t help, it still struggled to open the door.
I surmised that it was due to the new opener being shorter and thus having less leverage. I tried so many things but to no avail, it struggled and even got stuck from time to time midway up.
So I gave up and called All Quality Garage Doors again and Joe came right over to help. He explained that since it was a foot shorter there would be leverage problems. Now, he had fixed my springs, door the last time and got it working so I didn’t question him when he mentioned the springs, brackets etc. I know the previous owner did a lot of “Do it yourself” building and repairs to this place and I know he didn’t do an ideal job with the garage. So this time, Joe adjusted everything instead of just getting it to work. He told me I did a great job with putting the actual garage door opener together and he got it working.
Then afterwards he said “Now how much am I going to charge you?” I like Joe, I know he is honest but I still held my breath. He said $200 and I almost peed myself! $200 is pocket change here in the Bay Area where it seems any minor repair will be over $1,000. The economy is so hot here now that companies can charge outrageous amounts and so I was floored by this incredibly low cost. I paid it, thanked Joe and now I’ve got a functioning garage door.
I would like to write a little about the month when the garage door opener wasn’t working. I had to manually lift the thing and the door is extremely heavy! I remembered back to when I was a kid and people didn’t have garage door openers, everyone lifted them manually; that is just how it was! I remember my Dad putting the car in park, getting out, lifting the door, parking inside, then having to shut it again. We’ve become so spoiled these days with all our gadgets, machines and technology. But I have to say it is nice to have the opener working again. My wife was unable to lift the door so I had to park the car outside every time she was planning to go somewhere.
I also didn’t like the old garage door opener very much because the light sometimes wouldn’t automatically turn off which meant it stayed on all night and wasted electricity. The light actually stays off on this new one, has updated controls and even comes with an app which allows you to open the door from your phone! No need to install that keypad outside at all! To be honest I really didn’t think I’d use the wifi / phone app but taking my son to school yesterday it occurred to me why I would use it.
One of our cars is parked outside and previously I had just left the garage door opener in it. But then there were a lot of break ins and we didn’t want the opener to get stolen and someone be able to open the garage door. So, I began carrying the opener in my pocket when I drove the car parked outside then leaving it inside the garage when home. But now, I don’t even need to mess with that anymore since I can control it from my phone. Very convenient!
But now that I think about it, my only concern is if that functionality will eventually stop working should Sears go out of business. Craftsman is their brand and the command to open and close goest through their servers I believe. So what happens if they go out of business? If I had known that this new model would have given me so much trouble I would have bought a different brand directly off Amazon.
And that, is the saga of the garage door. May there be no more issues with the garage door for as long as I live.