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I feel like this has to be a common issue, but I'm having trouble finding references here. It's the same sort of Craftsman garage door opener that most of suburbia has here in the United States. This morning, I found the garage door open after my wife left in the morning, and I found that it was because the door is currently closing all of the way, then re-opening. I went through the standard steps of checking for obstructions (none, although I sweeped the area to be sure) and adjusting the downwards force up, but found that that value was already close to the max, and moving it that small amount more did not fix the problem (I did verify that reducing the force resulted in the garage door not closing all of the way). I furthermore tried the step of reducing the tension on the cable by adjusting the nuts (it seemed like a reasonable thing to try), but no dice.

The weather is cold and wet here, but no more than usual. There is some squealing when the door rises or closes, despite me re-dosing the railings with WD-40. The garage door and opener are probably pretty old, because I got them with the house six years ago, and the impression I got of the owner (now deceased) was that he didn't replace anything until he really had to.

Right now, I have the trolley disengaged so that I can get the door closed, but I'd prefer to fix this before my wife gets home tonight because I can very much see her hitting the button and just continuing on into the door.

  • Do you have the instructions for this opener? If reducing the force stops the door from reversing, then maybe you are adjusting the downforce in the wrong direction? I have a Genie screw drive that I got at Sears which has two adjustments: a clutch and a limit switch on the rail. The clutch allows slipping if the door encounters an obstruction and the limit switch turns off the power to the screw. These systems interact and there is a systematic procedure in the manual for adjusting them. – Jim Stewart Oct 30 '17 at 12:26
  • I do have the instruction manual. It describes turning the screw clockwise, which I did. – Sean Duggan Oct 30 '17 at 12:31
  • Try moving the limit switch back so the power to the screw is turned off sooner so the door doesn't get forced against the bottom stop. – Jim Stewart Oct 30 '17 at 12:34
  • A while back my door started reversing maybe 8-10" above contact with the bottom, and I plunged into readjusting the clutch and the limit switch, without success.* Then after an hour of messing with it, I realized the some long grass stems held by cobwebs to the bottom inside of the door were tripping the electric eye. A sweep with a broom and the door worked. (*I wasn't being observant, but had gone into panic mode because my wife wants a new opener and I want to keep the old one going.) – Jim Stewart Oct 30 '17 at 12:40
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    OK that is good that you did not adjust the tension on the springs. Adjusting that is a potentially dangerous operation that is best left to professionals or to very experienced DIYers. The adjustment of the linkage is to get the best angle near the closed position, and to fit according to the height of the rail and the location of the attachment point on the door. – Jim Stewart Oct 30 '17 at 20:29
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This was a case that fell under General Knowledge idiocy. I had found the Down Power screws and was treating them like the Down Limit screws. In actuality, both generally need to be adjusted.

My method for fixing the problem (in case others find themselves in this situation):

  1. Clear out debris under the door (this has been a problem in the past. A plant or some dirt will be under where the door is, not enough to trigger the electronic eye sensor, but enough to bounce the safety sensor)
  2. Ensure that the electronic eye sensors are cleared (this usually manifests itself as the door not closing at all, just clicking, but just in case)
  3. Adjust the Down Limit screw (located on the left side of the unit when looking at the garage door from the rear) a quarter turn counter-clockwise.
  4. If necessary, adjust the Down Force a bit clockwise to ensure the door goes all the way down now.
  • Nice job answering your own question. Literally. That is a thing we do here. +1 +1 – Harper Oct 30 '17 at 15:03
  • @Harper: I'm notorious for it on the SF&F Stack Exchange. So many story-ID questions where I find the answer a few weeks/days/hours/seconds after writing the question... – Sean Duggan Oct 30 '17 at 15:20
  • Also, you can give your own answer the check mark when you're ready. – JPhi1618 Oct 30 '17 at 15:52
  • In my instructions the final test is that the door must reverse from a 2x4 laid flat across the door landing area. Does yours have that as a requirement? – Jim Stewart Oct 30 '17 at 16:42
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    @JimStewart: Yes. There are two safety tests, one with a board to ensure it rebounds and one with a box to ensure the safety sensor works. I'm also supposed to try to stop the garage door from opening or closing by grabbing it to verify that the force isn't set too high. – Sean Duggan Oct 30 '17 at 17:29

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