door opens about 1 foot

lightsedgeMarch 29, 2006

The Problem:

When I press and release the opener button on the wall, the motor runs for a second or two. The door barely moves.

If I hold the button down, the door will move up very slowly. After it goes up about 1 foot, the rail (where the screw drive runs) seems to bounce up and down a bit before the door stops moving. The rail moving seems strange to me. The motor will not raise the door much further than this.

If I release the door from the carriage, I can manually raise and lower the door fully. I'm not sure if the force I need to lift the door is normal or not, but it doesn't seem overly difficult. If I open the door half-way it will stay there. If I hold down the opener button while the door is disconnected from the carriage, the motor will run as long as I hold down the button.

The opener seems fairly old, and doesn't seem to have any up/down force adjustment controls.

Possible Causes:

I had the spring replaced about a week or so before the door stopped working.

I recently put white lithium grease along the screw drive because the person who replaced the spring told me to. I may have put too much though (I have since wiped some of it off).

Response from Genie:

"Do to the age of the unit there are no parts available. Disconnect the wall button wires at the powerhead Short across 1 and 2 screws with a screw driver. You can try adjusting the clutch on the back of the unit. You can also try a replacement capacitor part 18004b If you are in California New York Indiana Minnesota We are not permitted to sell you parts due to the age of the unit. You can call 800-OK-GENIE or use our on-line locator at to order parts from your local Genie Pro dealer. You can also contact the factory in Alliance Ohio at 800-354-3643 and order replacement parts Thank you


Shorting the screws does the same thing as the button right? What would adjusting the clutch or replacing the capacitor do?

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More Info from Genie:
"Have the door in the closed position release the carriage and check the door balance. To check the balance of your door, disconnect the operator from the door (in the down position) by pulling the emergency release cord. Lift the door approximately 3 feet from the floor and let go. The door should lift easily and stay in place or slowly drift back to the closed position. If the door slams to the ground, it will require spring maintenance.
Lift the door from fully closed to fully open slowly to check door rollers and track for binding and jamming. Lubricate rollers as necessary with a suitable lithium bearing grease.
Door springs can be extremely dangerous. We do not recommend that untrained personnel work with door springs.
We would recommend that you call your local professional door installer, Genie, or Overhead Door dealer.
You can locate your nearest Genie door dealer at
Or for an authorized Overhead Door dealer.
The nut the stick out the back of the opener is the clutch adjusting nut. With the door down and the carriage released, adjust the clutch. Turn clockwise to give the motor more power the push and pull. You are just compressing a spring in the clutch. You can only adjust the nut so far. Try to run the carriage back and forth with the door. Will it go limit to limit. You should be able to raise and lower the door with no problem. The capacitor is the starter for the motor. We do have that part but no boards. Thank you

I'll probably try some of this when I get home...don't know if it will work though.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 3:21PM
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What Karen is trying to tell you is your door opener is an old outdated model and is not safe. Do yourself and your family a favor and buy a new one.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 5:55PM
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I played with the door a little yesterday night.

With the door disconnected from the opener, I could manually move it up and down. If I raised it at least 3 feet or so, it would stay in place. However, if I raised it 2 feet, it would drop back down to the ground in about 2 seconds (not very fast but not very slow either) Is this normal for a properly balanced door?

Then I connected the door to the opener, and adjusted the nut at the back of the opener a bit, to give the opener more power. This seemed to help a little bit. Before I had to hold the button down to get the door to go up about 1 foot, but after the adjustment, it would sometimes continue to go up if I just pressed the button normally and let go (but still only about 1 foot). Before the door stops, the rail that the screw drive runs along seems to bounce a bit. I think this might be because the opener doesn't have enough power to open the door further. It makes a sound like it's going in spurts, as opposed to a constant hum.

My guess is that either the motor is breaking down or the door is not balanced (too heavy for the motor). Does this sound right?

I'll try to call the repairman today and see what he thinks...

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 1:48PM
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I have come across this before. Make sure the rail connections are straight, (where they bolt together). Then add another support hanger from the center of the rail to the ceiling to stop vibration. This "should" help. Turn up your sensitivity setting also. Some of the genie screw drives do this (the one in the red box, model 550) OR REPLACE WITH A "LIFTMASTER" Dan

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 8:04AM
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