Craftsman Garage Door Opener Troubleshooting: Your Complete Guide

By Jack | Tips And Tricks

Oct 31
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A Craftsman garage door opener is a saving grace on a day that's wet, cold, or otherwise just unbearable. Being able to click a button and drive right in quickly becomes second nature. But when the time comes that you click the button and nothing happens, or the door doesn't respond properly, you know you have to figure out what is wrong. This means Craftsman garage door opener troubleshooting.

The main point of troubleshooting is to get to the heart of the issue through deductive reasoning. You may have to try a few different things before you figure out what is wrong. With the right steps, though, you can use Craftsman garage door opener troubleshooting to figure out what is going on and fix the problem quickly.

Parts Of A Garage Door Opener

To be able to really do Craftsman garage door opener troubleshooting, you need to know the different parts of a garage door opener. The main components are the overhead unit, the track system, and the remotes and keypad.

The overhead unit is what powers the whole opener system. According to Popular Mechanics, inside the overhead unit, you have many mechanisms that enable the system to pull the door up and guide it back down properly, so it moves at the right speed and is safe. These include the motor and gears. You also have different switches and controls that let you adjust the door operation to ensure it opens and closes completely. Lastly, in the overhead unit, you have the power source, which might include a battery in case the power goes out.

The track system is the part of the opener that does the physical work in getting your garage door opened and closed. It includes the tracks that the door runs on and that guide the door along a set path. The belt or chain is also part of this system. They help the door to run smoothly along the tracks. Finally, there are the springs, which do all the heavy work. They provide the tension and the pulling power to operate the opener.

The remotes and keypad are what allow you to operate the door. You may have multiple remotes that you can keep in your vehicles. You just click the button, and the door opens or closes. The keypad gives you a way to operate the door from inside the garage.

About Craftsman Garage Door Openers

Craftsman garage door opener troubleshooting begins with understanding a little bit about your specific opener model. Craftsman offers four basic types of openers. The main differences are the horsepower and the drive. The lowest horsepower option is the 1/4 HP belt drive. It uses a belt instead of a chain and has a battery backup.

Next, are the options for 1/2 horsepower openers. The first is the 1/2 HP chain drive which has two versions. One with a keypad and one without. You can also get a 1/2 HP belt driven opener, which does have a keypad. Neither 1/2 HP opener has a battery backup.

The strongest horsepower opener Craftsman offers is the 3/4 HP chain drive. With a chain instead of a belt, this opener also does not come with a battery backup.

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Craftsman Garage Door Opener Troubleshooting

As with any type of mechanical device, a garage door opener could have operation issues from time to time. Ideally, according to Sears, you will perform regular maintenance and checks on your system to help minimize problems. You should oil the chain or belt every year, along with tightening bolts and screws. You also should do a visual check of the track system and change the batteries in your remotes regularly.

Even with maintenance, you may still need Craftsman garage door opener troubleshooting for an issue. There are some basic checks you want to do after you have a problem with door operation. The following outlines the steps you can take in Craftsman garage door opener troubleshooting after you determine there is a problem.

Power Supply

If the door is simply not working at all, you need to check the power. Shorts in wires or a tripped circuit breaker could be the culprit. You want to check your breaker box and do a visual inspection of the wires in your keypad and overhead unit. You should also check the batteries in your remote. A sign that the issue is the power supply is no response from the unit when you try to operate it. If you hear the motor trying to work, the problem is not the power supply.

Remote And Panel

One of the most common issues you will see during Craftsman garage door opener troubleshooting is no response when pushing the remote or keypad buttons. Remotes are fairly easy to test. You should try your other remote. If it works, then the issue is the first one. You can change out the batteries, but if that does not fix the problem, you may need to buy a replacement.

You can also troubleshoot your remote by trying the keypad. If the door opens fine with the keypad, then you know the issue is the remote. If your remote doesn't light up when you push the button, this is another good indicator something is wrong with it.

Do note that changing the batteries may not fix a remote completely. You may also need to reprogram it. This is a simple process. You can usually find the instructions for how to do it in your owner's manual.


Every garage door opener system includes sensors that help to ensure safe operation. These sensors are near the bottom of the door opening with one on either side. They must line up and face each other. If there is a sensor issue, it usually causes the door to not close completely or to close and open right back up.

You should make sure the sensors line up and that they are clean. Gently wipe them off if they appear dirty. They should have LED lights on them that light up to indicate they are in proper alignment. If they do not, use a level to check alignment.

Limit Switch

The limit switch controls the way the door opens and closes. If your door does not close or open all the way, then you probably need to adjust this. You can do that on the overhead unit. This is usually not too difficult to do as you will make adjustments on the switch until the door properly opens and closes at the right heights.

Individual Parts

Other issues typically mean you need to do some further Craftsman garage door opener troubleshooting on the other parts of the opener. If you notice the unit struggling to open the door, you may check the tracks to make sure they are clean and lubricated.

Another common issue is the door moving on its own. This may indicate a short circuit, so you will want to check the transmitter and the wires and power to the unit.

If the door does not move, and you have already determined through your Craftsman garage door opener troubleshooting that it isn't an issue with power or you hear the motor trying to work when you attempt to use the opener, then the problems may be with the springs. Keep in mind the springs are under a lot of tension, and that makes them dangerous to mess around with if you don't know what you're doing. You should not try to fix them yourself. Simply check to see if they appear broken. Do not continue to attempt to open or close the door if you notice an issue with the springs. You should call a professional for service.

Call A Professional

If you run into an issue you can't solve on your own, it may be time to call a professional. You can do some basic Craftsman garage door opener troubleshooting by observing the unit as you try to work it. This can help you to get some idea of what is wrong, but if you cannot figure it out or the issue is something you cannot handle on your own, then call a professional.

A professional can make adjustments and replace parts for you. He or she will also ensure the unit operates safely. Some problems you may be able to troubleshoot and handle on your own, but never be afraid to call in someone who has experience and knowledge of garage door openers if you can't fix the problem on your own.

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Time For Maintenance

Craftsman garage door opener troubleshooting is all about paying attention to what your door is doing. There are many clues to watch for that can point you in the direction of the problem. Knowing common issues and understanding the parts of your opener can give you a better chance of knowing what is wrong when there is an issue.

However, you should keep in mind that even if you are excellent at Craftsman garage door opener troubleshooting, some problems may require the help of a professional. You do not want to damage your opener or risk your safety to fix something best left to a pro.

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