Lately I've noticed that now and then the garage door will stop mid-way on its way down, then go back up even though there is nothing wrong with the electric eye nor is there any obstruction for the door to bump in to. Hmmm.
So I watched it a couple times and saw that the chain had a lot of slack and sometimes the chain will 'catch' on the traveling door lever, think it's an obstruction, and roll itself back up.
Well, I thought it looked pretty simple enough to tighten the chain myself.
But when I called a pro, he said perhaps it's not just the chain, but that one of the 2 gears the chain rides on (the metal one outside the housing and/or the plastic one that drives the metal one) could be losing teeth and interfering with the operation.
Oh. Well, then, maybe he should come out.
Just before he was to arrive, I pulled the car out and took a pic of the slack chain. Then I climbed up the ladder and took a 'before' pic of the chain on the metal gear. Hmmm. Looks good to me. I see juuuust a bit of gear grindings there on the housing, but nothing to concern about.
Then, using a screwdriver, I pried up a bit of housing and peeked at the larger plastic sprocket inside. All teeth present and accounted for.
At that point I could have just canceled the appointment. Obviously I could just tighten the chain. But how much?
So I went ahead with the appointment.
The guy agreed with me - both gears were fine and it was just too much slack in the chain.
He showed me how to tighten, and how MUCH to tighten. Then he made himself some busy work: lubricated the springs and the door rollers. (Use penetrating oil - like Liquid Wrench - NOT WD40 or the like.) Then he checked the door travel - it wasn't over or under, but stopped right on the ground.
In the end I took an 'after' pic of the chain so I'll know in the future how it should look at the right tension.
All in all he wasn't here 20 minutes and charged me $72! Well, he wasn't getting so much for so little! Nope, I took the opportunity to drain his brain while he was writing up the invoice.
How much would it have cost to replace those gears? Maybe $85+
How much to install weather stripping along the bottom of the 16' door? Maybe $100
Which is better: fiberglass or metal replacement doors? Metal - fiberglass still rots - from the inside. And make sure the metal door is insulated - that will help strengthen the panels so they don't warp.
Why penetrating oil for lube? You need something like Liquid Wrench - it foams up, then is sucked into seams and joints, displacing moisture.
Anyway the guy ended up taking nearly as long to write up the invoice as he had worked on the door. So there! Now I can take what I learned and head over to my mom's and work on HER garage door. As for the $72, I think of half of it as a quick class on door lift operations. Once again, more stuff in my brain. Next time, though, perhaps a little more time on YouTube first.... ;-D
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