Black Smoke Got Out

I was just trying to figure out why Jody’s garage door opener was intermittently making this terrible noise. So when Jody was having lunch with a friend and her car was out of the garage, I set up the ladder and went to work.

The only way to find out exactly where the noise was coming from was to take the cover off, operate the garage door opener, watch and listen. So that’s what I did. It seemed like the noise was coming from the big white gear near the center of the picture so I applied some lithium grease and was in the process of testing when it happened.

I was up on the ladder with my head right next to the opener when there was this loud pop followed by a hissing sound and a ton of black smoke poured out of the motor capacitor (the large black cylinder in the upper right corner of the picture). The terrible smelling smoke kept coming and was quickly filling up the  garage until I realized the stuff was still boiling out of the capacitor so I quickly unplugged the unit.

After I aired out the garage I inspected the damage and saw what you see above. The back of the circuit board and most of the other components were covered with the sticky black residue from the guts of the capacitor which had boiled away.

Since the garage door opener was now 23 years old (that about 100 in garage door years) I decided it was best to let it rest in peace. But now my job changed from repairing the opener to replacing it.

Luckily, my dead garage door opener was a Sears Craftsman and Sears carries a current model that is practically a drop in replacement. So all I had to do was unbolt the old one, bolt in the new one, adjust the chain tension, hot-wire the optical obstacle detector (which was a new addition) and the job was finally done.

Cheers – DJD

Rain for the week: 6.75 in. Year To Date: 6.75 in.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Around the House, In Our Back Yard, Random musings

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