Known as the Door Operator Guru, Roy Bardowell is one of the most respected and knowledgeable men in the garage door and operator industry.  His special passion for residential garage door, commercial door and gate operators leaves an impression on everyone he meets.  Roy's training sessions at IDA Expos are always the one of the most widely attended sessions. He has been recognized by IDEA with the "Commitment to Excellence Award" and is an IDEA Certified Door Dealer Consultant.  Roy is a member of the tech service team at Micanan Systems. He was Operations Manager at Guardian until 2012.  We hope that you find Roy's articles informative and entertaining.  Feel free to leave your comments for Roy.

 

ARTICLES

 

THINGS THAT CAN GO WRONG WITH YOUR GARAGE DOOR

by Roy Bardowell, CDDC

Unknown to most homeowners is, your automatic garage door system is the largest moving appliance in the household. It is basically a moving wall that offers a great convenience, but also carries some risks and can be unsafe if not cared for.

As soon as you motorize your garage door, it becomes an automatic system. As long as your garage door is going up and down, there is never any thought given to maintenance. Really garage doors, the hardware, and the automatic door openers are manufactured with great care and will be long-lasting, durable, and reliable for a long time. Even-so, just like all other mechanical systems, the day will come when the door system has a malfunction and will need service. Garage door service can mean just lubrication, or a total rebuild. When the day comes when your door cries out for help, the repairs are not something that a novice handyman should take on himself.

To assist with the task of lifting a heavy garage door, all garage doors require a counterbalancing system. Seventy-five years ago, this was done with counterweights. Today most counterbalancing is accomplished with the use of extension or torsion springs. The spring or springs are under extreme tension and should not be messed with unless you have experience and the specialized tools to adjust the springs. Springs on a garage door is the one component that is the most dangerous and the person without knowledge of the danger points can be seriously injured. Basically, if your springs wear out and fracture you must call a garage door specialist to make repairs. This is for your own safety.

Other than the springs, the cables can fray or break. Once again-the cables are also under extreme tension and cable service should be done by a qualified service technician. The motor operator can also develop problems. Most of the time the problem with an operator is in the force settings or the photo sensors have been knocked out of alignment. If your door doesn’t want to close, you can try holding in the wall button and see if the door closes to the floor. If the door does close with the button maintained in, but not with the remote control, then this is the number 1 symptom of misaligned photo-sensors. Each sensor has an LED that will be illuminated when the eyes are both well aligned.

All garage door operators are built with force limitations. The force limitations are there for your safety. You don’t want the garage door to exert hundreds of pounds of downward or upward force. So, every operator comes with an up and down force setting. Older operators had an adjustable potentiometer that permits a person to set the push and pull forces higher or lower. Because of improper settings or other human errors, the adjustments on newer openers were removed and are now made automatically which is far less dangerous. If the operator senses more than the usual force is needed to move the door, it will stop or reverse the door. Adjusting the force setting to be a little less sensitive is not the answer, because the extreme forces can severely injure someone if they find themselves under the door while closing.

If your door operator is working fine and then one day it just stops on the way opening, this could indicate a change in the weight of the door or there is a binding in the tracks. To find out what’s wrong, you may have to pull an emergency release and try the door manually. Check all moving components including the cables. If something went wrong with the door and it is now too heavy to lift, then the door may need service.

Remember this: if the door cannot be opened manually, then neither will the operator open the door. Then an adjustment or repair will be needed. A simple rule of thumb says, if a man can’t open the door neither will the motor operator. This rule goes against common belief. Many times, I’ve heard people say, “I can’t lift my door anymore”. Please put a motor on it. Occasionally you could get lucky and find an operator to lift the broken door, but unfortunately in only a short time the motor operator will develop mechanical breakdown and stop working. It will be better for you to spend your money into a good garage door repair and not spend anything on a motor operator that will be prematurely destroyed because of a broken door.

Plain and simple: a motor operator should only be installed on a garage door unless the garage door when it is working perfectly and it is easy to open and close manually.

So, let’s recap:

I. Your garage door is the biggest appliance in your house.

II. It will require periodic lubrication or other repairs.

III. Listen for any unusual noises, or grinding sounds. A well working garage door will actually be quiet. Unusual noises may come from the hinges, springs or the door itself. Also checked all rollers or track wheels. A simple silicon spray lubricant can quiet most noises. They should not be wobbly and should make hardly any noise.

IV. If your springs or cables fracture or fail, remember these components are under extreme tension and can you if you’re not careful you could be seriously injured. And for your own safety have the repairs done only by a qualified garage door technician. Monitor your garage door performance by testing it manually every three months. Most service companies offer a Lube and Tune service.

V. Your garage door should be easily opened by using only one arm.

VI. Another test is to open the garage door to the midway point and let go. Keep your toes back from the closing plane of the door. The garage door should stay in place and not drift downward or upward. Drifting from the midpoint indicates a problem in the counterbalancing system. Don’t mess with the springs because you could be seriously injured. Many fingers have been lost when a person decided to forgo professional service and go DIY. Any time you suspect a problem with the springs or cables you must call for professional service. Unless you don’t need all of your fingers.

VII. If you want the motor operator to last a long time ensure the garage door is maintained, balanced, and working well.

VIII. Read all operating manuals and do any recommended service.

IX. A silicon spray lubricant should be periodically spayed on the hinges and other moving components. Do Not spray the operator rail. Otherwise the dripping lubricant excess can stain your car.

X. Enjoy the convenience of having a motorized garage door.

 

Roy Bardowell, CDDC, is a member of the tech support team at Micanan Systems. He served as Operations Manager at Guardian Access & Door Hardware until 2012. He has been in the door and operator industry since 1973 and is known as one of the industry’s most experienced operator technicians and trainers. Roy received the IDEA Commitment to Excellence award in 2008 and IDA’s Jerry R. Reynolds Volunteer Service Award in 2017. Contact him at roythedoorman@gmail.com

32 Comments
  1. Bob's picture
    Oct 24, 2017

    I have a Clicker KLIK2U.... Does it work with a Guardian? If so what is the id code for Guardian

  1. Brian's picture
    Oct 26, 2017

    A Clicker is not Universal.  It will not  work with a Guardian garage door opener.  Google "Guaridan GDOR2B" for sources that will sell a compaible remote.  If more help is needed please call 1-424-272-6998.

  1. Anonymous's picture
    Nov 15, 2017

    No I don't believe Clicker included the Guardian frequency in their product.

  1. Elmore Haney's picture
    Nov 08, 2017

    We have a 2011 Ford Escape with an Interior System for operation of Exterior Gates, Garage Door and House Security Lights. I am unable to Program the Guardian 630SL with the vehicle equipped system which worked with the other Garage Door Opener our home had. Is there a reason I am unable to set up this Opener purchased from your company using the "Guardian Remote Clicker" the only answer to this inconvenience ?

  1. Brian's picture
    Nov 16, 2017

    Elmore,

    There are two systems auto manufactures supply with their cars, HomeLink, made by Gentex and Car2U made by Leer Corp.  Guardian operators are compatible with HomeLink, but not Car2U.  Please check your car's owner's manual to see what system is used in your vehicle.  There should also be a phone number in the manual to call for help in programming either of the two systems.

     

  1. Scott Caryer's picture
    Nov 11, 2017

    I have two guardian remote controls that do NOT open our Guardian garage door opener. I have replaced the batteries in both units, and they still do not work. However, the external wall mounted wireless garage door opener works, as well as the embedded garage door openers in our Honda cars. So what is not working are the two guardian remotes. Please provide some direction to troublehoot and solve this issue.

    Thanks in advance...Scott

  1. Brian's picture
    Nov 16, 2017

    Hi Scott,

    Have the remote controls always worked with the garage door opener or is the issue something recent?  The fact that the HomeLink system in your car is working indicates that the radio receiver in the opener is working.  What are the model numbers of your opener and remote controls?  To talk directly to a tech who can help to troubleshoot, call 1-424-272-6998.

  1. Alayne's picture
    Nov 30, 2017

    Is there a way to put the lights on the opener in "motion" mode, rather than just coming on by pushing the light button or opening the garage door?

  1. Brian's picture
    Dec 04, 2017

    Dear Alayne,

    Some gargae door openers have a special control console that can provide this function.  Your Guardian opener is not adaptable to this console,  A less expensive alternative would be to replace the light switch in your carage with a passive infrared motion sensor wall switch.  This switch will recognize a presence in the room/garage and turn on/off lights accordingly.  A garage door opener system works with a set timer, so lights can remain on even after the person has left the garage.  The switch could be purchased at any hardware of store or home center.

     

  1. Steve's picture
    Jan 30, 2018

    I recently posted complaining about the motor. I found a number for Guardian technical services online and as a last effort I called them. Technical services was great and helped me fix the problem fairly easily with directions over the phone. I’m impressed with corporate but still disappointed in the local installer as since the day they installed the opener they come across as more interested in generating charges than doing what’s right for the customer.

    Thanks to Technical Services!

  1. Shirley Rankin's picture
    Feb 05, 2018

    I'm in New Zealand. If I can't source this for my Guardian 21230DL, I'll have to discard an entire garage door opener which works perfectly well just because it can't receive the signal from the remote.

    I looked for an internet sale on your website but couldn't find it.

    Considering that it will cost $800 to replace the whole door opener unnecessarily, I would really appreciate your help.

    Regards
    Shirley

  1. Brian's picture
    Feb 11, 2018

    Guardian products can be found in New Zealand at Windsor Doors

    Windsor Doors Auckland

    347 Great South Rd.

    Takanini 2112, Auckland

    P: 09 298 8655

    F: 09 298 0626

     

    Windsor Doors Christchurch

    Doric Way, Waterloo Business Park

    Christchurch

    P: 03 343 3276

    F: 03 343 3761

    sales@windsorsouth.co.nz

     

    Windsor Doors Wellington

    (Incorporating Castle Doors Ltd)

    95 Nelson Street,

    Petone, Wellington

    P: 0800 020 785

    F: 04 589 3986

    wellington@windsordoors.co.nz

    Windsor Doors Hamilton Unit 8

    170 Maui Street

    Te Rapa, Hamilton

    P: 07 850 6140

    F: 09 298 0626

  1. Marty Marias's picture
    Mar 01, 2018

    Roy, I have six two button remotes, the black rubber inserts fall out and I have to use a small object to activate the opener. Would it be possible to send me five or six replacements. I would happily pay for them.
    Marty Marias
    310 328-6278
    201 Ruth Ave.
    Venice CA 90291
    martymarias@yahoo.com

  1. Jamie's picture
    Mar 24, 2018

    Hello,

    My garage door motor is beeping every 15 minutes. Is this due to my remote battery being low or the motor being low? I'm having trouble locating a batter on the actual motor.

  1. Brian's picture
    Mar 25, 2018

    Hi Jamie,

    A good answer can't be provided without more information.  Please call 1-424-272-6998 and a tech will be able to assess the issue and provide a solution. 

  1. smith's picture
    May 01, 2018

    I read the comment on how a clicker is not universal and will not work on guardian garage doors. Specifically could you please suggest one that will work? Your tech phone number is useless! I've left two messages and not received a return call yet and its been three days. No one ever answers either.

  1. Brian's picture
    May 06, 2018

    Any Guardian remote control listed on the remote controls page on this website will work with any Guardian operator.

    If there are issues reaching technical service please feel free to contact a regional office (also listed on the website).

  1. Sherri's picture
    May 13, 2018

    My garage door will not work with the wall panel unit. The remote control units work and the keypad outside works. Any suggestions?

  1. Brian's picture
    May 14, 2018

    Hi Sherri,

    Is the LED back light on the panel glowing?  Check the wiring first.  The plug on the end of the wire leading from the control banel should be securely plugged into the "wall box" recepticle on the motor head.  Check for any wire shorts due to staples holding the wire to the wall.  Check the wire terminal connections on the back of the panel.. If more help is needed please call 1-424-272-6998.

  1. Robert Johnson's picture
    Jun 29, 2018

    The drive belt on my 3/4 HP Guardian executive series 600SL has broken. How do I get it fixed? I called your 800-989-8769 phone number and the phone company said the number is disconnected so no one answered

  1. Brian's picture
    Jul 04, 2018

    Robert,

    Please call Guardian Tech Service at 424-272-6998 for help.  

  1. Jada's picture
    Aug 12, 2018

    Lost power and opened the garage manually, power came back on the door opened almost completely and stopped. Beeping 20 times checked no lights on. Metered the wires for power, 21.08 tried aligning can't get any LEDs on?

  1. Brian's picture
    Aug 13, 2018

    Dear Jada,

    20 beeps signified a photo-eye misalignment or faliure.  Please call Guardian Tech Service at 1-424-272-6998 to resolve.  Thanks

  1. Clinton's picture
    Jan 05, 2019

    No lights on the photo eyes. I think the logic board is out. Can you help me?

  1. Brian's picture
    Jan 07, 2019

    Hi Clinton,

    If the operator still opens the door and a constant pressure on the push button (PE override) closes the door, then the circuit board is probably not the problem.

    1. Check at the operator head to see if wires are in the 4 photo-eye terminals.  Sometimes installers will twist wires togther and use only 2 of the terminals.  This reduces power to the photo-eyes.  It may work initially, but over time as the wire develops more resisitivity, power declines.

    2. Check the alignment of the eyes.

    3. If LEDs fail to appear, after careful alignement, then replace the phot-eyes.

    4. Call 424-272-6998 for further help.

  1. Clinton 's picture
    Jan 15, 2019

    I have no lights on my photo eyes. I have two garage door openers and tried the logic board in the other opener and the lights would come on. This tells me the logic board is good. Wondering if it might be the transformer.

  1. Brian's picture
    Jan 23, 2019

    Clinton,

    If you plug the photo-eyes that do not light-up when plugged into operator A into operator B and they light-up, the eyes are good.  Replace the logic boaed in operator A.

    Call 424-272-6998 for additonal assistance.

  1. Jim Loges's picture
    Apr 02, 2019

    Hi Roy,

    Thank you for the blog. We have a Guardian Pro Series 628 which was installed about two years ago. We have constant problems with the sensors and believe this is cause by glare from the sun since we experience the problems mostly during the day. Are there specific safety sensor sun shields (that's a mouthful) that work with these units? Also, the green light on that side blinks slowly all the time but the door still goes up/down. Is that normal? I thought both lights should be solid.

    Thanks!

  1. Brian's picture
    Apr 03, 2019

    Hi Jim,

    There are no stock sun shields for photo-eyes.  Fabricate a shiled from cardboard or an empty paper tube and tape to the red (receiver) photo-eye.  Another trick would be to reverse the position of the eyes, placing the receiver eye on the shaded side (if there is one eye in bright sun and the other in the shade). 

    You are right, both red and green LEDs should be steady.  The flashing green could be due to misalignment or a poor connection at the operator head.  First, check the PE alignment.  If necessary, remove the wing nut holding the sensor for full range of motion.  Next, check the terminal block on the back of the motor head.  The first 4 terminals (L to R) are for photo-eye wires.  Each terminal should have one wire inserted.  At times, installers twist together pairs of wires.  Not using all terminals cuts the ammoun of current avaialble to the sensor and could cause the LEDs to flash.  If these two steps do not work, call 424-272-6998.

     

  1. Brian's picture
    Apr 30, 2019

    Hi Marty,

    We'll send you some.

  1. Susan's picture
    Jun 19, 2019

    We had a long power outage and when power was restored opener would not open. I pulled the red cord to open manually and now the opener doesn't work at all. It doesn't even seem to be connected. Do I just need to reprogram the opener? Thanks!

  1. Brian's picture
    Jun 24, 2019

    Hi Susan,

    Please call 424-272-6998 for trouble shooting assistance.

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