Help! Craftsman Garage Door Openers have a Gremlin!

arebaJanuary 18, 2008

Ok I am so frustrated with this situation. We have two Craftsman 3/4 HP Garage Door Openers side by side for both vehicles and of course, two garage doors. Model 139.53990D

The units are less than a year old (purchased last February) Anyhow, the problem is I can use the keyless remotes if they are right under the opener units basically touching the hanging wire. But not at any other distance and this is intermittent. Some days I can use the remotes or keypad entry just fine and other days both do not work period. And this applies to both doors. It isn't one or the other but they both do the same thing. So if one doesn't work the other doesn't as well. If one works the other does too.

I had Sears come out last week to fix the issue and the gentleman re-programmed the doors and they worked just fine for about 2 days. Well, now we are back to the same situation again! I did call Craftsman's technical support today and the customer rep thinks it is something that might be causing inteference with the wireless frequencies. I then went down that list of things he thought it might be i.e. unplug computer and wireless network, possibly shop lights in the garage, anything hanging in the way.. but it didn't make a difference at all. .. The Craftsman rep even said that he knew a man who had to have wiring replaced on his spark plugs because every time he would turn on his car it would interfere! ahhh! But this isn't my problem. He also had me unplug each unit separately and leave the other on to see if it was just one unit causing the problem and this also did not work. So I am scratching my head trying to figure out what I should do next...... Empty out the garage? the house? throw the garage doors in the garbage? By the way, I can push the button on the control console and it will open and close the garage just fine it is just the wireless things that do work efficiently.

any help is much appreciated!



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The wall button is going to work no matter what because it is directly wired to the opener.

I agree with the guy on the phone you must have outside interference coming from somewhere. Computers, cars lighting in the garage??? In extremely rare cases. I would talk to your neighbors and see if any of them might be having the same issue. It could be some construction going on in the area, a new cell phone tower near by, utility companies doing some work in the area. I have encountered each of these problems before. I had a guy tell me one time Mon-Fri his remotes had no range but Sat and Sun they were fine and it was because the telephone company was in the area working Mon-Fri and not on Sat and Sun.

If none of these are the case, can you back track and think of when this problem first occured? Was there anything around that time that you bought new and put in the house or garage. Did you change cable companies or go to dish? I would start looking at those things first. If they worked fine since Feb. I would think there has to be some type of explanation especially since it affects both of them at the same time. Let me know if you find anything out, this is an interesting one.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 7:47PM
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This is interesting.
I had a situation where I installed a 2nd GDO, and the remote would work intermittently as you described. The first GDO had been there for a few years and worked just fine. Btw, they were both Genies.

I called customer support. They told me it could be interference as well, but the first GDO still works! So they sent out a new remote, but that didn't solve the problem.
I called back and they sent out a new receiver board and that did the trick!

The chances of getting 2 bad GDOs is pretty slim I think, but you never know. I would ask customer support to have the service guy replace the receiver board. Its worth a try anyway.
Its strange the service guy got it to work fine for a couple days last week?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 12:02PM
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thanks for the suggestions! I am really not sure of anything specific that I had done different at this time other than buying a laptop and using it wireless. Now I did try turning it off but as of right now the remotes are working today (didn't yesterday) and the computer is not interfering. When I talked to the rep he said that the likely hood of both openers going bad at the same time everytime would be next to impossible and if that was the case then I should play the lottery! lol! I will check into getting the receiver boards replaced. Just doesn't seem like that is it. I am going to try keeping our motion detector lights outside off and see if that makes a difference. thanks again for all the suggestions!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 3:29PM
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Ahah....the wireless laptop. You turned that off,
but did you turn off the router that sends the
wireless signals?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 10:44AM
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actually yes! I did unplug the router also.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 1:07PM
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i have an old craftsman and recently the remotes stopped working on 2 diffrent occassion when the remotes wouldnt work the light on the switch kept flashing plz help

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 1:28PM
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I am having the same problem! Both of my garage door openers wireless remotes all quit working at the same time. Including the built in remote in my car. Same problem, you can hold the remote a couple feet from the antenna and it works fine. I checked the built in diagnostic flash on the opener itself, but appears everything is fine. Does anyone have any answers for me??? Thanks in advance!!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 12:50AM
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Did you also unplug your cordless phone? Many houses have a lot of wireless stuff now.

Any alarm system that might have wireless devices?

Do ask the neighbours if they're having problems too.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 4:00AM
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Okay, both garage door remotes stopped working yesterday as did the remotes of five other homes in the neighborhood. Surely, this isn't due to a laptop or a router as all of these homes have been using those before and certainly didn't start yesterday. Very frustrating.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 9:09AM
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Could be this:

Garage door remote not working? The Pentagon may be to blame.
Not because of any grand conspiracy theory, but rather the mundane use of a radio frequency the military hadn't used much before.
US homeowners in coastal Orange County, California, are among the latest to discover this quirk. There, signals from Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach have been interfering with garage door openers as far as half a mile (0.8 kilometres) away since March.
That's when testing began on a new radio system that will allow the base to network with local fire and police agencies during emergencies. The frequency falls in the range of 380-399.9 megahertz, a band long reserved for the Department of Defence but rarely used.
"We hadn't had the need to use these frequencies before. As a result, garage door manufacturers began using them because they were pretty quiet," said Gregg Smith, a spokesman for the Navy station. "With the explosion of communications technology over the past 20 years, the DOD has been squeezed to use bands it didn't need to use before."
Reports of interference with garage door openers near military installations have been reported from Rhode Island to San Diego to Hawaii.
"Out of the blue, the garage door just stopped working," said Bill Davey, 51, of Norco. "We changed all the batteries in the remotes. When it still didn't work, it was like 'What's going on here?' "
The culprit was a Navy installation a quarter-mile (0.4 kilometres) away.
The Federal Communications Commission allows the so-called unlicensed use of frequencies for low-power purposes such as garage door openers and vehicle key fobs as long as they don't interfere with government communications systems, Smith said.
Smith said he's fielded 16 complaints from people near the Seal Beach base, but he assumes the interference is affecting many more. People can buy a device to retrofit their openers to another frequency; Davey's cost $US60.
"Once you explain how it all works, folks aren't happy, but they've been understanding," Smith said.

I'm not sure the $US60 is realistic.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 9:31AM
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Do you have new, alkaline batteries in the remotes?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 6:43PM
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