Friday, July 09, 2010


Today I finally solved an electrical puzzle in our home.

It seemly started off with the circuit breaker for the garage and master bath randomly tripping. It first happened after a heavy rain and that side tracked me, but then that association evaporated. I considered getting an electrician, however I wanted to pinpoint the problem and not just be waving my had at the fuse box and saying something is wrong.

Meanwhile the garage door opener was getting increasingly stupider. Sometimes it would, other times it would refuse to close. It was very annoying. One of the sensors was always getting knocked around by the kids' bikes. I reinstalled it countless times only for it to be knocked loose. I thought that that was the issue until I noticed the other sensor was only lighting up part of the time.

Ah ha! Maybe that is the problem, the sensor is shorting out and taking the whole system down at the same time. I checked the wiring from the motor to the sensor, connections we checked and tightened and it all looked just ducky. I figured it was time to replace the light sensors. Unfortunately we have a fancy pants opener and I had to get the parts from an official dealer.

I was expecting to pay less than $20. The store quoted $36 - $50.


So yesterday I schlepped on over and plunked down 50 bucks for new sensors. It was pretty easy swapping them out and at first it worked Yay!!! Then the old problem came back. Frustrated by the whole mess I looked over the whole system and then I saw it.

The light hit the wires from the track to the motor just right and I could see the teeny tiny flaw.

The belt drive had been lightly rubbing on the wire (which was stupidly positioned by the installer- the exact amount of wire needed was used and as a result it was nigh impossible to reposition the wire) and over the course of many years had worn away one side of the wire.

Hooray! I could return the pricey sensors and pick up a couple spools of wire. Redo the wiring and solve it once and for all. Two spools of wire, four connectors, and a bucket of sweat later (It was like a bloody sauna in the garage) I now have a fully function garage door opener once again.

Yay me!


Diane said...

I think I need you to come visit me for a week or two - lots of projects here.

Though the entire house is like a bloody sauna.

ZZ said...

Wow, good job. I'm an engineer and i wouldn't have figured that out that easily.