Garage Door Opener issues.

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btenny
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Garage Door Opener issues.

Post by btenny » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:24 pm

Sorry for the long story but I need your thoughts on how I should handle this situation.

I had a very old Genie garage door opener that was acting up. The door would slide back down a little after opening sometimes. So I called the repair guys. They came out (after a week wait) and told me they could adjust the door for $125 but I really needed a new opener that would be $400 or more. I opted for the adjustment. I figured the door still worked well most of the time.

So the repair guys adjusted the door and did lots of opening and closing the door. Then when they were about finished the motor started smoking. They said it was overheated and would work fine when it cooled off. They left. Well the door never worked again. It was burned up.

So I called the owner and told him his guys killed my opener and for them to come out and put in a new opener. He said OK but the price was still $400 or so and more for a bigger 3/4 hp motor. I said I would call him back. My door is 8 ft x 16 feet segmented red wood so it weighs a lot. I am told it is marginal for a 1/2 hp motor so a 3/4 hp motor is necessary. After a lot of talk the owner agreed to put in the 3/4 hp motor for $450ish. He say it will be a week to get this done.

So the guys come out and put in the new 3/4 hp Lift Master opener. It comes with one car opener and one wall mount opener. My home has two wall switch door openers and a outside key pad opener plus three cars openers. The guys only get one wall opener working and give me one fob opener. They say they cannot get my other stuff to work and that the boss will have to come out.

I call the next day and the boss say he is busy until next week. I am now three weeks into a simple door fix. I read on the internet that my wall switches and key pad are too old and will not work with the new stuff. It also says my old car openers will not work with this new garage opener. So now I have no idea how this next round of repairs is going to get completed or what it will cost. Each of the "new style opener switches" on the internet is $33 to $40. I may need 3-4 of these things. Right now the boss is scheduled to come out next week and I am staying here especially to get this task completed.

So what should I do when he comes out? I am feeling pretty POed. This is classic screw ups by dumb workers and a boss who likely knew all this stuff to start. And they want me to pay for the mess they created.

Any ideas? Or suggestions? Thanks in advance..

daveydoo
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Re: Garage Door Opener issues.

Post by daveydoo » Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:53 pm

btenny wrote:Each of the "new style opener switches" on the internet is $33 to $40. I may need 3-4 of these things.
If you have a car from within the last decade, it likely has a built-in button/functionality where it can "learn" the code from your modern-era lifter unit. Check your owner's manual and the one for the lifter. We don't have fancy cars and haven't used a separate plastic remote for many years. I worry a little if the car gets stolen and the registration (i.e., address) is in the glove box -- someone can get right in my garage. But generally they just chop the car right up (I think) instead of getting greedy.
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CaliJim
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Re: Garage Door Opener issues.

Post by CaliJim » Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:16 am

Have them refund the cost of the repair visit, since they repaired nothing and in fact made it worse.

I think you got a fair price for the basic work they did - new opener and one remote etc.

So complain politely that he should have quoted you a new installation price that included all the keypads and remotes you want, and then pony up and pay for the additional keypads, remotes, programming of your car's built in xcvers if they have them.

Then, in parting, give the owner a coffee and cookie, complain politely again, shake hands, and try to leave him on good terms so you'd be willing to call him again for any warranty or adjustment work.
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ragabnh
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Re: Garage Door Opener issues.

Post by ragabnh » Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:55 am

I just purchased Liftmaster from Home Depot 3/4 hp for $185 and Scheduled the installation also by Home Depot contractor for $85. The installation took less than one hour and I have two remote controls and Keypad outside the garage programmed and works perfectly. I did the programming on our two cars and they also work fine. Try using Homedepot for such services and they guarantee the installation by professional.

PatSea
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Re: Garage Door Opener issues.

Post by PatSea » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:42 am

It sounds like the door may need to be balanced. Most doors if properly balanced do not need more than 1/4 hp.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Garage Door Opener issues.

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:01 am

I look at garage door openers as expendable items. Figure every 5 years, they need to be replaced. I have 2 doors so a cheap 1/2 hp opener is absolutely fine. If you're at all handy, you can do this yourself. For me, I went online, looked for some random sears online coupon, found a Sears opener on sale, joined shop your way max (free) to get free shipping and for $125 had a new unit delivered to my house. Sticking with sears, all the holes line up so I only replaced the main unit (not the rails or chains or connection hardware) and while I was at it, replaced the old door sensors with the new ones and the push pad in the garage. Maybe an hour of work altogether and it now works perfectly.

Some things that help: Use a strap to hold the rail in place while you unbolt the main unit. A good step ladder helps a lot.
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just frank
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Re: Garage Door Opener issues.

Post by just frank » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:47 am

Agree that you should be refunded the $125 repair cost. And that the $450 was reasonable for a new opener install. If you did not ask for the new opener to be 'integrated' with the old openers, then its on you that you did not get that. If you had asked, you would have been informed whether that was possible or not. If you did not ask, and they did not promise it...you can't be upset afterwards IMO.

I would also say that I wouldn't blame the repair guys for burning out the motor by operating it. With a proper system there should not be any such issue. More likely it was on its last legs (e.g. bad bearings making the motor underpowered/overworked), consistent with your initial symptoms IMO. If they hadn't burned it out, it would have failed 6 mos later and you would have been PO'ed that they hadn't fixed it 'properly'.

I have 2 openers, and I have not tried to get them integrated.

Sounds like your old system was 'top flight', three openers working on one control, but poorly executed.

If you want another 'top flight' integrated system, it'll cost you (like it did your previous owner, no doubt), or you can live with your current mixed up system...like many people do with multiple openers.

On the bright side, the old openers will likely fail within 10 years, and then you will be back to where you started.

As for the week delays...I'd be irritated too. How much more are you willing to spend for faster service? This is a 'small job' and not sufficient for these guys to live on....they are making their money elsewhere and prioritizing that work. Conversely, if you paid them in full after the install ( a statement of satisfaction), I am surprised that they are willing to come out at all. If I get some work done, but the job is not quite finished...I pay them 75%. They remember to come back for the other 25% without me nagging them.

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Re: Garage Door Opener issues.

Post by Chip » Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:55 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:I look at garage door openers as expendable items. Figure every 5 years, they need to be replaced. I have 2 doors so a cheap 1/2 hp opener is absolutely fine. If you're at all handy, you can do this yourself. For me, I went online, looked for some random sears online coupon, found a Sears opener on sale, joined shop your way max (free) to get free shipping and for $125 had a new unit delivered to my house. Sticking with sears, all the holes line up so I only replaced the main unit (not the rails or chains or connection hardware) and while I was at it, replaced the old door sensors with the new ones and the push pad in the garage. Maybe an hour of work altogether and it now works perfectly.
I get a lot longer than 5 years out of mine. More like 25+. Knock wood. But it sure sounds like the OP's opener was on its last legs.

You don't even necessarily have to stick with the exact same brand to get everything to line up. Chamberlain makes openers for both Sears and Liftmaster. I think for the most part the openers are identical except for the appearance of the case, as long as you stick to the same type of opener (chain drive, screw drive, etc.).

When my Liftmaster failed a couple of years ago at age 26 (stripped plastic gears inside) I went to Home Depot and found the cheapest Chamberlain opener they had. About $120 if I recall correctly. The head unit lined up as you described so I just replaced it vs everything. Didn't bother with the wall switch or sensors, though I did store the new ones just in case. I did have to buy an additional remote (a Liftmaster!) on ebay for $15 as the unit was so cheap it only came with one. None of the old remotes worked as they're on a different frequency now.

Topic Author
btenny
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Re: Garage Door Opener issues.

Post by btenny » Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:15 pm

OP here.

I have been doing the low key not mad at Seller all along. He seems to be just a really busy small business guy. He has a very good reputation in this small town. I know the installers did not mean to kill the old Genie system. The thing was very old. So far that has worked OK but I am not getting a lot of love (discount) in return. The boss keeps saying I need to pay $450 for the stuff received so far.

I have 1999 and 2006 cars that seem not to work with the modern code type opener. I could not get them to sync to the new opener. Those old cars worked fine with my old opener. But now I will most likely have to add more $$ to get the extra key fobs for those cars plus a modern key pad.

So I expect the final bill to be closer to $550 all total including at least one more fob opener and a modern key pad opener. This seems really high given the issues I have experienced. Any suggestions?

About my old Genie system. It was a screw type with lots of old greasy parts to haul off. So I would have had to pay extra at the trash place to dispose of it. It had no optical sensors for reversing so that tells you how old it was.

About Home Depot. Our Tahoe home is 25ish miles from the closest Home depot over into Nevada. So that HD prefers not to do this kind of work. And I have seen first hand how difficult it is to get HD to subcontract out repair or installation work. You pay HD the full price and they keep 30% or so for nothing. And you pay HD in advance and they pay the contractor way late. So the small contractor is hard to deal with due to HD in the middle of the deal and the cheap prices they pay. Also they are slooow to get anything done.

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just frank
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Re: Garage Door Opener issues.

Post by just frank » Sat Apr 01, 2017 4:48 pm

My rule of thumb with this stuff in my HCOL area is that a big job costs the retail cost of the hardware times 2, at a minimum. And at the minimum level the workers are NOT the head guy and they want to be in, out, paid and done in no extra time and no frills. A 'reputable' outfit with more professional service will be 3 or 4X. And that is on jobs in the thousands of dollars.

I would imagine that for a smaller job (under $1k), the markup would be higher, and the service poorer. So if you figure the hardware costs a couple hundred dollars (including the stuff you buy), and maybe you are getting a 'reputable' person, $550 does not seem out of line to me, or not by much.

I had a 'no sensor' opener that I recently replaced DIY....after research I decided it was at least 20 years old.

That said, the original repair fee should be refunded, unless the workers implied that repair was not guaranteed....I have had workers say that they would charge me a few hundred to **try** to fix an oil boiler, with no guarantee that the work would fix the problem. I paid...it didn't. I didn't seek a refund given the earlier disclaimer. Good times.

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CaliJim
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Re: Garage Door Opener issues.

Post by CaliJim » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:11 pm

I agree with all that Frank said. $550 is reasonable, especially up where you are.
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