Craftsman Garage Door Opener 1/2 HP

cgtazNovember 29, 2005

Several months ago I moved into a home with a Craftsman 1/2 HP Garage Door Opener. I don't have an owners manual. The problem I am having just started several days ago. When I attempt to open the garage door, it only goes up about 2-3 inches, then stops. If I attempt to close it at this point it goes back down then back up 2-3 inches and stops again. This happens whether I use the three button wall mount control or one of the remotes. In order to close the door I have to disengage and raise/lower it manually. The first time this happened someone suggested that it could be from the cool weather and when I got home from work that afternoon, I gave it a try and sure enough it opened and closed just fine. One week later it is doing the same thing again. It is cooler outside now but I find this hard to believe that the cool weather could cause this. Any suggestions on what might be causing the problem? I am not sure if this has anything to do with it (I never really paid any attention before) but one of the photo eyes is yellow while one is green. The green one goes out when something passes between them. The yellow one stays steady. I could have sworn they were both green before.

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The photo eyes are not causing your problem. They only work when the door is closing. I think the most likely problem is a broken door spring. We don't know what type door you have but with the door closed you should be able to see the springs. They will be directly above the door, or along each side of the door. Let us know and we can go from there.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 11:17AM
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Thanks Don. I may have found the issue but not sure how to correct it. I noticed last night that there was a (I don't know what to call it) black catch maybe? located in the slide just behind the engage/disengage pull rope. This afternoon I raised the door manually then closed it. While the door was closed and disengaged, I hit the wall mount control. I heard the motor come on and it ran for just a couple of seconds, like it was trying to raise the door. After it stopped, I hit it again and it started again as if lowering. That black part in the slide went further down the slide and appears to be now in the engage/disengage housing. I engaged the door and it raised and lowered by using the button. I apologize for my lack of knowledge about the parts and hope you can make head or tails of what I am talking about. I am just wondering if that is suppose to catch to raise the door, why it would all of the sudden start coming out. Any ideas or have I lost you.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 7:05PM
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I'm sorry I'm lost. Are you sure this is a Craftsman?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 2:10PM
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Again thanks Don. I will figure it out and don't mean to come across as being stupid about the parts I will get it worked out. I thought I might be able to get some help here after reading through some of the posts. However, I do have to say one thing because it bugs me, unless all of my teachers through school were lying to me, yes CRAFTSMAN spells CRAFTSMAN.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 1:53AM
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The unit that is attached to the chain and travels back and forth on the track is referred to as the "trolley". The trolley has a noth in it that mates with a spring-loaded latch on a mating piece that is attached to the door. The "engage/disengage" rope is connected to the spring loaded catch. When all is working fine the latch is engaged to the chain mounted trolley section so when the chain moves the trolley back and forth the door goeas along with it. If the catch is not engaged then the door won't move and the trolley and the door can move independently.

When you pull the emergency handle you release the spring-loaded catch. By design, if the trolley travels towrds the door connection it will slide inside and mate with it. HOWEVER, the spring-loaded latch may not be in a locked position so it will not firmly "connect". In this case the trolley will push the door closed (because it can't travel through the mating pasrt) but it will not pull the door up (because the latch is not engaged). To me it sounds like cgtaz hasn't locked the door to the trolley. I believe older doors use to relock automatically, bu the newer style requires the user to pull back on the handle rope first so the spring will force th latch mechanism to engage. cgtaz is this your situation?


    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 11:03AM
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I think I will take a week or two off. I seem to be irritating folks. Guess it's the Holiday season.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 5:33PM
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I disagree, your doing great.
Besides, I'm going away, you have to stay. lol

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 12:03AM
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If both of you guys take a holiday break, then who will keep Craftsman openers in business??

Don: it's the holiday season that's irritating, not you.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 9:15AM
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Okay you guys made me feel better. I'll keep plugging along here.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 5:26PM
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I live in Colorado. I have had very similar issues with my Craftsman GDO. Funny thing, my neighbor is have the same issue as well. Door opens about 2 ft and stops. If we hit the indoor openning several times it will open. Also, it only happens when it is COLD outside. Above 35 and it works, below and it acts up.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 11:37PM
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when things get cold they contract, especially metals. Also, lubricants/greases become more viscous and add resistance. Assuming that there is no obvious problems with your door mechanism like a broken spring, etc. and you can operate it maually without difficulty, then I suspect that the colder temperatures are adding enough additional resistance to cause your up-force limit to kick in.

There should be a screw-type adlustment on the side of the unit that sets the up force. Increase the allowable slightly and see if the situation improves. Try 1/4 turn increments when the door is acting up in the cold.

HTH good luck

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 8:34AM
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I will give that a try sdello. We had a couple of warm days here just recently and the door was working just fine. This morning we had a pretty heavy frost outside and it started acting up again. Of course this afternoon, it warmed up and it was working again. I also got your post where you explained what you thought was going on with the trolley. That made sense and I have that figured out now. Thanks. I just didn't know how to explain it or what to call the trolley.

Don, sorry to come across like I did, but Sears products and I are not getting along this month. My dishwasher just got recalled. No it isn't a Craftsman but it is another brand of theirs. Do they actually make anything that works?

Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 8:40PM
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Hello, I have a Craftsman Door Opener Model 13953927 that when I push the button to close it, it willl start and stop and the light will blink 5 times. Does this mean it needs to be adjusted ot could a board be going bad requiring replacement. If I need to replace a board would it be better to purchase a new unit?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 3:42PM
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Hello all,
I have the same exact problem with the door stopping about 1 foot off the ground when going up and sometimes stopping midway when going down. The problem just started 2 days ago (12/30) late at night when it was a little cold (very cold for Atlanta, GA) about 30 degrees or a a little less. In the immediate frustration, I went and bought a new opener yesterday from sears (got the fancy belt drive) but would love to return it if at all possible to fix my 7 year old chain drive. here are the specifics.

Model: 139.53975SRT1
bought: 3/2001
Door: Wood (Extension Springs)
Problem: Door stops on the way up (lights do NOT flash) also stops on the way down. this happens frequently but not always, if you keep trying to open/close, it will eventually work properly. Sears repair center or store are no particular help.
Use: this door gets used a lot!!! it is basically our main entry into and out of the house. (we don't use the main entrance to the house much) the 2nd. garage door and opener rarely get used, it's an identical opener.
Status: checked door/springs they look fine. door moves up and down easily when disconnected from the opener. when door is opened manually it moves freely and stays open in midway position just fine. I have in the past lubricated the moving parts with silicone spray and I might have even used some motorcycle chain lube on the chain. (it's pretty heavy lube and gets hard in colder weather) but have not done that in at least 2 years. I have also adjusted the up position weight limit but it has not helped.

what else can I try? is there any cleaning or greasing that can help? any other adjustments?

Thanks in advance!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2008 at 8:59AM
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The motion sensor lights are both on, one yellow and one green. motion sensor looks to be working fine. Also, just tried to open and close the door about 10 times and it stopped both going up and down 8 times in various positions. I was finally able to get it in the closed position. The temperature outside is 37 degrees.



    Bookmark   January 1, 2008 at 9:09AM
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Problem Fixed! --- looks like the chain, sprocket and possible motor were binding due to lack of lubrication. I might have used motorcycle chain lube a couple of years ago which gets harder in colder weather and is meant for high heat applications. this may have caused the parts to get dry and coated. A good liberal spraying of WD-40 on all parts cleared the problem immediately. WD-40 does a great job with cleaning but probably need to lube it all again with some type of grease. so I'll look for one made for garage door openers this time. :)) also need to grease the pulleys the garage door rides on to hopefully quiet it down a bit.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 9:19AM
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all right! it took me a few days before I could get out and pickup a can white grease. so before I could apply any grease to the chain or sprocket, the door started to hand again and the open and close position(3 days after cleaning with WD-40) it was a bit colder out as well. I put a very good amount of white grease on the chain and sprocket yesterday. it seems to be working fine for now. still have the new belt drive opener sitting on the floor waiting to either get installed or get returned. has anyone else experienced this before?



    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 7:59AM
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I just saw a couple of your postings, I wonder if you may be able to help me. I have a craftsman 1/2 HP garage door opener (more than 8 years old).
A couple of weeks ago I couldn't open the garage door; it would get stuck part way. I pulled the manual release cord, and the door came CRASHING down. I did not have the strength to lift it. My husband worked on the settings for a while, and he got it to start opening again by compromising the SAFETY REVERSE completely.

The sticker says that when the manual release cord is pulled, it should be possible to open the door manually and it will stay at whatever position you pull it to, UNLESS the SPRINGS are broken or weak. I know you had also mentioned the springs in one of your posts, but I looked all around the door and can't find springs anywhere.

So; where are these springs, how hard are they to replace, and do you think the springs were the problem?

Thanks for reading my question; I hope you may be able to help me.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 1:03PM
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Dear Friends:
Hopefully this forum is still active...

I have a 139.53648SRT2 Model Craftsman Door Opener which I used several years for a 8' wide sliding door, actually I used two for two doors the same size at the same gate. Now, I remodeled my house and put a new single gate, 16' wide!, with double wheels and top and bottom.
Somebody told me I could use one of the same door openers to operate the sliding gate. I bought an extension T-rail/chain/cable for it and added the extra length needed. Another piece of info is it takes about 230 lbs to initially pull/push the gate to open or close (A dealer employee told me the capacity of these motors is about 340lbs...).
Well, I did all the required extension work and tested the motor before installing... only to find out it only slides about 11' and not the 16 feet I need to fully open or close my gate.
Any ideas about this situation? Am I using the right door opener or I have to find or buy another model? Any advise will be appreciated.
Thanks for any help... Blessings,

Here is a link that might be useful: HS

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 8:47AM
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older sears 1/2 hp no sensor. trolley won't move more than 3 inches engaged or disengaged door is in the closed position.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2010 at 8:31PM
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The original post and parts of the issue posted by cgtaz is the same problem I have. Door goes up an inch or two and then back down and back up an inch or two and stops, leaving a gap right at the top of the door as it separates to roll up on the tracks. But, I live in sunny California, so cold weather is not the issue. At noon it worked fine, when I closed the door last, but wasn't able to open it when I came back home. Thinking it might be the remote, I parked in the driveway and went into the garage to try the wall switch. The same thing happened. The door went down an inch or so, then back to the position it was in, which is closed, but not really. I checked the sensors, and one light was a steady amber the other a steady green. Kept on trying the door with no results, after cleaning away cobwebs from the sensors. After reading sdello's nicely detailed and very descriptive instructions,about the hand pull and the trolley , I followed those instructions. Pulled the lever, and the spring disengaged. I hit the wall switch and the trolley traveled all the way back to the unit. I hit the wall switch again, and the trolley moved forward and engaged with the rest of the door mechanism. I then tried the wall switch again, and the door made a loud thud and dropped the initial inch to the ground, closing the gap up at the top (fully closed) I then studied the two large springs above the door itself, and low and behold, one of them is split in two pieces. Conclusion, one of the large springs is shot. So, thanks to your help, I was able to figure out what was wrong by process of elimination. Before finding this post I was all set to go buy a new garage door opener, and have it installed. Totally unnecessary after reading up on it here. At least now I know I have to find someone to replace the springs instead.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 10:57PM
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Hope you can help me. I have craftsman 1/2 hp garage door opener. I just replaced the worm gear and drive gear. At first it would not close right but I found the adjustments needed to solve that problem.

But now I have the motor getting hot after a few travel times with no blinking code from the light at all. But the door travels about 3/4 of the way back open and stops. Now I have to unplug it from the power source. What would recommend me doing from here?
Thank you


    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 8:45PM
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