My Garage Door opener works intermittently

Cal M writes:
Russell, I live in Spring tex right now and I’ve been finding that my garage door opener has been acting weird, and i know it has nothing to do with the hardware. Sometimes it opens the door and sometimes it doesn’t. And even when it works there are times when it only goes up half way, or comes down half way for that matter. When I cut off the power, everything is fine. Well, I have to open and close the door manually, but it doesn’t get stuck, that’s how I know that the hardware isn’t a culprit.

Russell responds:
There could be a couple of things that are wrong, so let’s look at them. OK you’ve verified that the door can be lifted and closed manually so we know it’s the opener. One thing that could be wrong is that the opener is simply worn out. Specifically there is an electronic board like you have in all other electronic things. That thing just burns out after a long time. (You didn’t say how old the door was.) When the electronics go on these things, I generally just advise people to buy a new one. The boards can be replaced, but by the time you buy one and pay to get it installed, you could get a new one for about 30% more than the cost, and that’ll be a brand new one with a warranty. Electronic components are usually not under warranty.

One other related reason for your problem is a long shot but often garage doors use lights as a load resistor, and if you use CFL light bulbs youre going to have problems. The incandescent ones are the ones that are supposed to be used but they are going out of style. It would take a long time to explain, but the wattage in the new bulbs is lower and it’s the wattage that provides resistance. Lower wattage, higher amps, ruined components.