Results 1 to 54 of 54
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    120

    Default Garage door mishap

    Here's the deal...Single Family Home with two garage door openers, the first one worked fine when testing the autoreverse (ie. using a 2 x 4 under the center of the door), the second made a loud bang at the opener, the power went out to the opener and I had to manually open the garage door. The opener failed to operated after that. Realtor and client were present during the test, I notified the seller that the opener failed upon testing and he would need to use the door manually until he had the opener repaired.

    He called later to say the first garage door opener does not work now. I told him I would come over and look at it for him, but he might want to see if a GFCI was tripped in the garage since it might feed both garage doors, and also check to see if a fuse was blown in the garage door opener in question.

    He emailed me that there was no fuse, his "friend" checked it for him, and he was going to call a garage door repair man to fix it and send me the bill. I emailed him back and said that I was not at fault for a garage door opener which failed under testing and may have caused the second garage door opener from working as well. Interesting that he is not asking me to pay for the first one which failed.

    Anway, he appears adamant that I am responsible for the repair of the garage door which operated fine when I was there, but ceased to work after the second one failed. Incidentally, there is power to the outlet for the opener (according to him). Would the failed second garage door cause the first to become inoperative and if so, am I responsible for the fix? I have offered to come over and look at it wth the caveat that I am not a garage door repair man and can not diagnose a bad circuit board, faulty wiring, etc.

    Similar Threads:
    OREP Home Inspector E&O Insurance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,281

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mortensen View Post

    Would the failed second garage door cause the first to become inoperative and if so, am I responsible for the fix?
    Unfortunately, the answer to your first question is irrelevant, as the homeowner will decide the "facts" based on arbitrary and anecdotal evidence.

    The second question,
    am I responsible for the fix?
    remains to be seen and has very little to do the "facts".

    Keep us posted....


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anacortes, Washington
    Posts
    393

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Dave,

    I recommend that you go back over and document the current condition of the doors. I agree that both doors are most likely on the same circuit and the fix may be as simple as resetting the breaker but until you examine what is going on it will be your word versus the owner. The last thing you want is to have this cloud the transaction.


    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  4. #4
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Dave:

    If you think there is even the remotest possibility that you damaged something that belongs to the seller - pay for it.

    If not, politely explain to them that you have no liability in the case and are not paying to maintain his equipment.

    If unsuccessful in this attempt, tell him to FO.


    Aaron


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,317

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    I would go check it, it he refuses to allow you in to check it, he will have no case to obtain recourse from you later.

    If there is power to both openers, they should work - provided that nothing is wrong with the openers.

    From your description - I repeat, 'from your description - sounds to me like the one opener "failed under testing" and he (the seller) has the responsibility to repair it.

    If there is no power to either opener, check for a breaker or a GFCI which may have tripped.

    I cannot imagine how testing the auto reverse (if done properly) can damage a garage door ... after all, they are *designed* to be tested with a 2x4 ... to check the operation of the auto reverse.

    When there, find out what make and model it is, look in the internet and go there with a few installation instructions for various models with you, and the CPSC testing information - then politely as possible explain that he has one (possibly two) garage door openers which are in need of repair by HIM, and, you will be more than happy to SHOW him how to properly test his new garage door opener(s) after it (they) are repaired to make sure that the repair person repair them properly.

    I know, this goes against all of my 'don't do re-inspections', however, this is not a "re-inspection", it is a 'see, don't bother suing me, because you will lose, so don't even waste my time' educational effort to educate the seller.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Aaron Miller
    "Dave:
    If you think there is even the remotest possibility that you damaged something that belongs to the seller - pay for it."

    I totally agree if there was some negligence on my part, but pushing a button and letting the garage door down on a 2 x 4 doesn't seem out of line for a home inspector responsible for testing the autoreverse function.

    I will keep you posted on this, so far I haven't heard if he'd like me to look at it. I do know there was power at the outlet because I checked it (the one that broke) with my Fluke prior to leaving the home. So I think he's right when he says there is power to the other one in question.

    Thanks for the responses and I'll talk to you soon...Dave


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    I should clarify my first post when I said there was no power to the opener, the opener failed to respond to the controls and the light went out also, but the outlet still had power.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,317

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mortensen View Post
    I should clarify my first post when I said there was no power to the opener, the opener failed to respond to the controls and the light went out also, but the outlet still had power.
    There might be a reset button on the opener.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    The way the garage door "banged loudly", I didn't want to attempt a fix. It did appear to have "broke". I hope to get over there and see what's up and will try the reset button on the second opener, thanks for the tip. Dave


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    "Been there, done that" with O.H. door openers. Arguing with sellers can be a lost cause. Now I only interrupt the photo sensor beam. I know that the 2x4 test is an industry recommended test but I disagree with it and believe it to be improper.

    In each report that I provide it states that, in my view, holding on to the door during closing and providing reasonable resistance is a more adequate method over the 2x4 test. An opener could pass the 2x4 test and still crush a child. My approach provides a better idea of what hazard may exist and without exception, I have had no clients with children not appreciate that.

    Do I close the door and hold on to it for resistance? No. Again, there's no standard - it would be a personal judgment call. But it's better than having the door pass the 2x4 test and telling the client that the door is safe.

    Now we've argued this before and it's my personal preference to stray outside of the industry standard on O.H. testing and I acknowledge that there are many who disagree with me on this, which is ok.

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    "Now we've argued this before and it's my personal preference to stray outside of the industry standard on O.H. testing and I acknowledge that there are many who disagree with me on this, which is ok."

    I decided to test with the industry standard (2 x 4) after hearing the arguments on this forum, because it seems like a seller would have much more ammunition should the opener malfunction during a non-industry standard test like you are suggesting.

    I actually built a force sensor with a load cell and a digital display so as to measure the force applied when the garage door touches a 2 x 4. Nice gadget but since there is no standard as to the amount of force which may be applied and still autoreverse I was back to just using a 2 x 4. Bye the way, I had doors test at over 300# and still autoreverse.

    David


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,317

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Also, a garage overhead door which reverses as a height one can safely hold it does NOT mean it will reverse lower ... where it will crush a child.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,317

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mortensen View Post
    I actually built a force sensor with a load cell and a digital display so as to measure the force applied when the garage door touches a 2 x 4. Nice gadget but since there is no standard as to the amount of force which may be applied and still autoreverse I was back to just using a 2 x 4. Bye the way, I had doors test at over 300# and still autoreverse.

    David
    David,

    "Bye the way, I had doors test at over 300# and still autoreverse."

    No, they did not auto reverse (at least not properly).

    The auto reverse feature is supposed to reverse 'on contact', not 'on crushing'. (But we've been through that before too.)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Erik Barker "Now I only interrupt the photo sensor beam."

    I might see garage doors without electric eyes 30% of the time, how do you test those?


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Jerry, how do you put the fancy quotation box on the post?


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,317

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Click the 'Quote' button in the corner of the message you are replying to.

    Then delete out the stuff you are not replying to (to save Brian's servers from having the entire post show up so many times ... and to make it easier for others to see what you are responding to).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Eastern NC
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    "Quote"

    Aaron Miller
    "Dave:
    If you think there is even the remotest possibility that you damaged something that belongs to the seller - pay for it."

    I know this may not be the place to get into this but I really have a problem with every time something happens for us to just jump up and offer to pay for it. I do not, and I am pretty sure no one else, wants to do an inspection for free. I guess it should be an educational issue to all clients more than anything.

    I have heard stories on this board and in person where an inspector missed something or "broke" something (which was probably broken in the first place) and then the seller or even the buyer called them up and they just offered to pay for it just to be done with it. I also have seen contracts where the liability is limited to the cost of the inspection. Something needs to give.

    This is one reason why I do not really advertise to do inspections. I would like to because I like a mystery as well as investigating but if I have to do it for free, why do it? Fortunately my bread and butter is general contracting but what about the rest of you guys? Some of you which do it full time.

    Sorry about the rant and I will probably elaborate some more on the correct forum. I also know it is off topic from the original question. To that defense, Dave, I agree it probably locked up the gears in the one that quit (I am assuming that it was not locked into position somewhere on the track). Also as for the other one not working, I would not think it would have anything to do with the one that messed up. Maybe it is a circuit problem. Maybe it needs to be "rebooted".


  18. #18
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mortensen View Post
    ... I might see garage doors without electric eyes 30% of the time, how do you test those?
    Dave,

    Well ... depends upon when the operators were installed. "Back when" the sensors were not available. Can't test for something that was not required "back when" or not installed.

    On the other hand there are those sensors that are installed on top of the operator unit and below the ceiling or up in the attic space over the garage. Many images have been posted here with so much work done to install the sensors other than where they belong.

    If I run across a home where there are no sensors and the operator unit is of the age "back when" I put a general comment in the report with a recommendation to have the sensors, etc. installed.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    [QUOTE=Nolan Kienitz;28840]
    Dave,

    Well ... depends upon when the operators were installed. "Back when" the sensors were not available. Can't test for something that was not required "back when" or not installed.


    My questions was more for Erik as to how he tests when no sensors are on the operator. I too include the language about upgrading to the sensors when they are not on an opener.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,317

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Dave,

    Put a '[', then '/quote', then ']' at the end of what you had and it will look like this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz View Post
    Dave,

    Well ... depends upon when the operators were installed. "Back when" the sensors were not available. Can't test for something that was not required "back when" or not installed.
    You start a 'quote' with a '[' 'quote' ']' (remove the ' ' marks) and end with a '[' '/quote' ']' (remove the ' 'marks)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    [/You start a 'quote' with a '[' 'quote' ']' (remove the ' ' marks) and end with a '[' '/quote' ']' (remove the ' 'marks)[/QUOTE]]


    like this?


  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    That wasn't right, I'll try again later...it's time for the new year party to start...HAPPY NEW YEAR INSPECTORS!!! Dave


  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,317

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Dave,

    <quote>
    In the preceding <quote>, replace the "<" with "[" and replace the ">" with "]" to start the quote, then, to end the quote do the same thing to the </quote> which follows.
    </quote>

    Thus, the above becomes:
    In the preceding <quote>, replace the "<" with "[" and replace the ">" with "]" to start the quote, then, to end the quote do the same thing to the </quote> which follows.


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Dave,

    When the sensors are not present I simply run the door up and down and check that all hardware is secured. This may seem as though I am sliding by on a safety issue. But again, my report explains my view on the 2x4 test and that the client should check the opener's auto reverse mechanism with resistance that they feel comfortable with.

    I don't believe that this is the ideal approach but rather is better than leaving the client with the impression that a successful 2x4 test will eliminate any potential for injury.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    Dave,
    I don't believe that this is the ideal approach but rather is better than leaving the client with the impression that a successful 2x4 test will eliminate any potential for injury.

    I agree the 2 x 4 test is inadequate, which is why I tried to develop a better test. It just deosn't seem like there is an ideal test and we are left with the manufacturer's recommended test. This seems to cut down on potential liability, and I will add your comments regarding the limitations of the 2 x 4 test and hopefully reduce their "impression that all is well with their garage door".

    (I'm hoping the quote works on this try, stayed up too late last night...)


  26. #26
    Joe Nernberg's Avatar
    Joe Nernberg Guest

    Cool Re: Garage door mishap

    I ask the listing agent to push the wall button after I have laid a 2 x 4 under the door. If the sections fold up - I yell at the listing agent.

    Otherwise, I recommend the seller to verify operation before the close of escrow via this link: http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/523.pdf


  27. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Dave,

    I'm curious. Finding continuing education hours is easy down here. How do you do it in Anchorage? I would think that it's quite a challenge.

    We took our third trip to Alaska in August and took a train from Whittier to Denali on an almost perfectly blue sky day - drop dead gorgeous! Three years ago we stayed over night in Anchorage and got to walk around a bit. Really interesting to talk with people who stay there year around.

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Joe,

    Your CPSC link is outdated. The kid & bike lack today's safety features.

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    We have a small ASHI contingent which meets monthly, but alot of us go to Inspection World or another industry supported extravaganza to get the required credits. The State of Alaska also requires ongoing credits, and some are available here as well.

    Look me up next time you are in Alaska, I'd enjoy showing you around our beautiful state. I've attached a photo of my front yard recently that you may find interesting. Also a cruise photo just to rub it in the face of the other Alaskan inspectors!

    After 30 years up here, I find the darkness overwhelming so my family and I get out each winter for a brief vacation in the sun, just got back from a cruise to the Bahamas. It's one of those things you just gotta do if you live here for a long time. We have a sunrise around 10 am and it sets around 3, so not a lot of warmth lately.

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    1,217

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Humpy's is a great place for seafood and good beer in Anchorage.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    We call Humpy's "Fatties" due to all the xtra large girls who go there. Another thing about Alaska we are in the top ten for obesity, another result of "cabin fever"? Humpies is a great place, sounds like you've been here as well. Try the Bearstooth next time you come...even better!


  32. #32
    Kevin VanderWarf's Avatar
    Kevin VanderWarf Guest

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    I didn't have time to read this whole thread, but if we're still talking about the garage door, always go back. It usually easier to smooth a complaint over in person. People tend to be more loose with a complaint when on the phone because they're looking you in the eye.


  33. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mortensen View Post
    We call Humpy's "Fatties" due to all the xtra large girls who go there. Another thing about Alaska we are in the top ten for obesity, another result of "cabin fever"? Humpies is a great place, sounds like you've been here as well. Try the Bearstooth next time you come...even better!
    Dave,

    If Humpy's is where the "fatties" gals are, the Bearstooth must be where all the big burly hairyback type of men with just the single yellow tooth hang out huh?

    rick


  34. #34
    Ted Williams's Avatar
    Ted Williams Guest

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    I recently hit my garage door close button and within a second that thing slammed to the floor like a guillotine. The tension spring broke. Always recommend that people allow doors to finish operation before going under them.


  35. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    880

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    "Been there, done that" with O.H. door openers. Arguing with sellers can be a lost cause. Now I only interrupt the photo sensor beam. I know that the 2x4 test is an industry recommended test but I disagree with it and believe it to be improper.

    In each report that I provide it states that, in my view, holding on to the door during closing and providing reasonable resistance is a more adequate method over the 2x4 test. An opener could pass the 2x4 test and still crush a child. My approach provides a better idea of what hazard may exist and without exception, I have had no clients with children not appreciate that.

    Do I close the door and hold on to it for resistance? No. Again, there's no standard - it would be a personal judgment call. But it's better than having the door pass the 2x4 test and telling the client that the door is safe.

    Now we've argued this before and it's my personal preference to stray outside of the industry standard on O.H. testing and I acknowledge that there are many who disagree with me on this, which is ok.
    The "2x4" test is a Federal Mandate and included in the installation instructions of every door opener. Not a recommendation. The test is actually a 1" thick obstacle but a block of 2x4 is stated as being acceptable.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  36. #36
    Leigh Goodman's Avatar
    Leigh Goodman Guest

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    I use a full roll of paper towels as the obstacle in garage door testing. Can not remember where I heard of this technique. Am I fooling myself to think this test is legit?


  37. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    880

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh Goodman View Post
    I use a full roll of paper towels as the obstacle in garage door testing. Can not remember where I heard of this technique. Am I fooling myself to think this test is legit?
    Neither the automatic reversal nor the wood block test are specified to directly prevent injury. The auto-reverse feature is supposed to prevent entrapment. The wood block test requires auto reversal within 2 seconds of contact with the block. Establish ca. 1991. The electric eye auxiliary safety device was added in 1992 because children were still being entrapped and killed under garage doors whose auto-reverse mechanisms failed whether by mechanical fault or improper adjustment.

    See the Code of Federal Regulations Title 16, Volume 2

    Title 16--Commercial Practices CHAPTER II--CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION
    PART 1211--SAFETY STANDARD FOR AUTOMATIC RESIDENTIAL GARAGE DOOR OPERATORS


    Are we required to perform the test by any SOP? I don't believe so but I carry a block of oak 1" x 1.5" x 6" to perform the test. The 6" length is a easy way to check the height of the electric eye switch.



    That's one of the problems with CE, research, reading, and learning. Are you more liable not performing the test after you learned of the regulation? It's not difficult or time consuming (except for the 30-minute wonder inspectors), not technically exhaustive. In a lot of cases the fix is a 1/4 turn of a screw on the automatic opener.






    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  38. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    South-West Michigan
    Posts
    469

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mortensen View Post
    . . . the first one worked fine . . . the second made a loud bang at the opener, the power went out to the opener and I had to manually open the garage door . . .

    Dave, it seems you answered your own original question in your initial post. It's irrelevant what the home owner thinks. Now, if he wants to argue the case, you should let him, and then come back on him. After all, he was maintaining a dangerous building, and jeopardized the safety of not only you, but the real estate agent and the buyer, right? What if there had been an electrical fire as a result of the negligence of the home owner in maintaining his garage door openers, and some one had gotten injured or killed while trying to exit a smoke-filled garage? This is quite serious, and the home owner should be ecstatic that you discovered this and no one was hurt. After all, he now has an opportunity to have this dangerous situation fixed, before some one is hurt and he is prosecuted for criminal negligence!

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  39. #39
    Ted Glover's Avatar
    Ted Glover Guest

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    The original 2 x 4 test was written for wood doors (which don't dent like steel ones do) if the door fails to reverse. When the industry changed to steel doors in the 70's, no one upgraded the manual. And guess who (H.I.) replaces the dented bottom section.

    The typical reason for the door not to reverse is that the installer was trying to avoid a call back by the reversing mechanism being set too lightly and reversing too easily.

    Additionally, many installers think that if the auto-reverse infra red eyes work, there's no reason to set the tension to lower pressure for reversing. Problem is, if the reverse isn't set light enough and the door hits something above the infra-red lights, like a car hood or trailer hitch, one of the items breaks. Either the opener, the door or the hood or trailer hitch etc.

    Personally, I also grab the bottom of the door. A word of caution, if the opener is hung too high above the door in the up position, the arm can go over the top of the door, bending the top section, so don't hold on too long.


    Too many years spent in the overhead door industry.


  40. #40
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    880

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Glover View Post
    The original 2 x 4 test was written for wood doors (which don't dent like steel ones do) if the door fails to reverse. When the industry changed to steel doors in the 70's, no one upgraded the manual. And guess who (H.I.) replaces the dented bottom section.

    The typical reason for the door not to reverse is that the installer was trying to avoid a call back by the reversing mechanism being set too lightly and reversing too easily.

    Additionally, many installers think that if the auto-reverse infra red eyes work, there's no reason to set the tension to lower pressure for reversing. Problem is, if the reverse isn't set light enough and the door hits something above the infra-red lights, like a car hood or trailer hitch, one of the items breaks. Either the opener, the door or the hood or trailer hitch etc.

    Personally, I also grab the bottom of the door. A word of caution, if the opener is hung too high above the door in the up position, the arm can go over the top of the door, bending the top section, so don't hold on too long.


    Too many years spent in the overhead door industry.
    I've never had a steel door buckle because of a test with a 2x4. It would have to be pretty cruddy door if it did. The 2x4 is supposed to lay flat not on edge. If the door buckles during a test that is performed according to the instructions included in every garage door opener (Excl. Wayne Dalton Torque Master in conjunction with pinch proof doors) and in accordance with Federal Regulations and it failed during the prescribed test, I don't see a liability issue. Not any more than I would have to replace a garbage disposal because I toggled the wall switch and the disposal immediately smoked and would not reset or operate again.

    The problem with the "hold the door" test is quite often the door is reported as failing to reverse when there is actually nothing wrong with the adjustment. It is an anti-entrapment safety requirement not a "pressure" test.

    And yes, installers can be pretty dumb. Ran across one that said the IR devices weren't needed because the opener had auto-reverse switching. Again - Failure to read the installation directions.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  41. #41
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Dave,
    Testing failure and damage responsibility is with the owner unless there was notification not to operate or obvious reason not to perform the test. Unless there is something physical preventing you or a clear notice posted as a warning not to use or operate anything on the property then the liability is with the owner.

    You are not responsible for the first door failure nor the second operator failure. Good thing that the wife wasn't found to be pregnant after you inspected the property or that also would be your responsibility. Provided that the wife was not there at the time of inspection.

    Methodology to test door (covering all doors installation requirements for safety)
    1) Check for locks or restrictions to door operation.
    2) Operating doors through full cycles will demonstrate general operation.
    3) Degree of sensitivity to pressure is another issue/test checked by grabbing door as it closes to see if you can cause it to reverse using a reasonable amount of force.
    4) Obstruction using the 2x4x6 is warranted and reasonable test method for determining obstruction test.
    5) Block beam (if present) to test if door stops/reverses.
    6) Opener interior door bracket release functions and manually open door.
    7) Door locks and/or exterior emergence (no power) release cable.

    If door not plugged in or no power then have owner or their representative energize unit, else it has failed to operate and a return trip will be at additional re-inspection cost to inspect opener operation. Else, release door opener door bracket and operate manually. Not HI place to energize unless HI takes on all liability for what may happen. Providing that the opener is not on a GFI or AFI that was not reset after testing by HI.

    Take responsibility for what you do, right and wrong. Do not take responsibility for others responsibilities or failures. Be principled, competent and objective dealling with the home owner.


  42. #42
    Ken Bates's Avatar
    Ken Bates Guest

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    The 2x4 obstruction recommended by DASMA is a good way to see if a door will fail to reverse but I will never use it as I have read about situations where the door gets damaged if it does not reverse.

    I always use my arm to apply what I calculate is sufficient resistance to replicate the ribs of children and pets and auto hoods.

    My knowledge regarding chain drives is far from complete so I am just speculating that the "loud bang" that Dave Mortensen heard emanating from the opener was caused by the binding of the chain and the drive gear and that it may even have translated to other step-down gears and the electric motor.

    DASMA recommending the 2x4 will not prevent a small claims court judge or magistrate from awarding damages to make the seller whole again.


  43. #43
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Initial testing of the door as it is closing (3 to 4 ft) above floor is a good way to see if the reverse function is working. But not true test.

    Please show me where I am wrong. But, I have not found any manufacture of doors and openers not include in their installation/operation instructions that the 2x4 or its equivalent be used. Also, in the operation/maintenance sections they all state that this the door reverse should be tested on a regular basis (monthly, though most are not) to assure for proper adjustment. We all should have respect for the property being inspected and take steps to mitigate any damage to the property. That being said the real test is at the floor for reverse and sensitivity to obstruction. If the door doesn't reverse with you holding it at 3 ft, then stop testing and note in report. If it does reverse then continue to floor test. Else its not being completely tested. PS. I would never make any adjustment or alteration to door unless I was contracted to do so. I would not even give instructions on the process, just refer them to manufacture for instructions or a professional contractor to make adjustment. As the HI I can not perform or contract any work for a year from inspection. Just a liability issue.

    Do you have any references to court ruling liability to HI for damage to door if they had checked the door at 3 ft reverse prior to testing at floor. I do the 3ft test to just keep me out of trouble. Never had a problem using this methodology. But yes there is a chance of damage if it is not done this way and you might be liable. Still would love to hear a legal opinion. I have never made it a point to as an attorney for an opinion, never had a fear of damage or an instance. I do have to admit that I have installed many doors and openers. The liability of a correct installation was on me and I respected the potential of injury and damage. So the experience makes me a little jaded on testing without getting into trouble with damaging door or hurting myself in the process.

    Just testing with a block on floor should be enough. If door is damaged, it should be the owners responsibility for lack of maintenance. If someone was injured as a result of the door not being tested and maintained, it would be the home owner being sued. Though an extra step will resolve the entire issue of damage.

    I have these links to review, as reference materials.

    Section 16CFR1211.7

    Non Reversing Garage Door Openers A Hazard

    http:/www.cpsc.gov/businfo/frnotices/fr07/garagefinial.pdf

    DASMA Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association

    http://www.dasma.com/PDF/Publications/TechDataSheets/OperatorElectronics/TDS351.pdf



  44. #44
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    880

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    As per Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations,
    Chapter II, "Consumer Product Safety Commission"
    Part 1211 "Safety Standard For Automatic Residential Garage Door Operators"
    Subpart A "The Standard"
    Section 1211.7 "Inherent entrapment protection requirements"

    Auto-reversal is an ENTRAPMENT PREVENTION requirement, Not a "Won't crush a child" feature. Testing a door by any procedure and saying or even implying, "it won't hurt a kid" is inviting a lot more in liability risk than the panel on a garage door. According to the various articles and documents I have read on the subject, the most often misconstrued interpretation of the requirement is trying to relate some force or pressure to the test, which is safe enough to not cause serious injury or death to anyone caught under the door. Well, we don't know what that pressure is. Every case would have a different pressure level. AND not many people would be able to afford the electronics required to monitor door position, velocity, and pressure, or resistance to movement, accurately enough to provide any degree of protection in all conditions.

    Follow the established test requirements and procedures -- the same way every time. Keep up with amendments or other changes to the requirements and procedures. Don't worry about a damaged door. Worry about a damaged person.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  45. #45
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Stuart,
    Idea of holding door at 3 ft with hand is just to see if it will reverse. Rather than finding out the hard way with potential damage to something.

    I have found that the adjustments are out to compensate for a bottom door gasket not sealing. Customer thought that electronic beam was panacea for blockage.

    Entrapment is the issue not pressure, so right.. Though the sensitivity to blockage may be adjustable.

    My experience is that as the door meets the floor and the adjustment is incorrect the fail safe resistance at the motor is distributed over the entire door bottom (instead of just a 3 or 4 inch point on door) though transferring to where the opener is attachment to door, making that attachment the damage zone if not well braced. Braced in the sense that the force is being distributed over a larger area. Even then damage can occur. Which is why I always start with the adjustment testing at 3 ft. Never wanted to eat a door on a job.


  46. #46
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    354

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    Dave:

    If you think there is even the remotest possibility that you damaged something that belongs to the seller - pay for it.

    If not, politely explain to them that you have no liability in the case and are not paying to maintain his equipment.

    If unsuccessful in this attempt, tell him to FO.


    Aaron
    "FO" is one of my favorite acronyms. GFY is another one I like to use frequently...


  47. #47
    Ken Bates's Avatar
    Ken Bates Guest

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    2x4 Damage:

    above my post are 3 posts entered by Gary Sorrells, Stuart Brooks, and Jim Hintz.

    They approve and endorse the 2x4 obstruction test.

    Be advised that these statements and opinions are permanent.

    Be advised that if I use a 2x4 to test garage door safety and the door fails to work or is damaged after the test you will be responsible for all costs to restore the door to DASMA standards.

    I am relying on your statements during future testing of garage doors.


  48. #48
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Ken,
    Do not know it you really justify a reply.

    I can understand that you may be afraid to test what you do not understand. Knowing your limitations is a good thing. Garage doors are not that scary, really. Some are afraid of heights and some are afraid of electric and that is ok. We all should strive to over come our fears what ever they are through experience and education. It would be good for you to have the experience to go with a contractor and observe/participate in the installation of a garage door and the electric opener. I would not recommend just watching a video, you really need the hands on experience. Several installations would be required owing to the different type of springs that are used. I am sure that (a good installer) would be happy to explain the steps and the process as he installs the door and opener. I say door and opener because you need to understand how they work together and where problems can occur. The setting of the track and loading of the springs is real important. The placement, attachment and adjustment of the opener is critical to its correct operation. If done correctly the installation will leave you with confidence to test the full operation of a garage door and opener. Time well spent. Allowing you to provide your clients a better inspection with less stress on your part.


  49. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,475

  50. #50
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Benicia, CA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    After reading the foregoing replies, I haven't seen a caution to check the opener bracket mount of the upper door panel.

    I look at the mounting area and check for damage; multiple used screw holes, fractured metal, cracks, tears, elongated screw holes, and a lack of a stiffener. A significant number of doors have previously failed and been repaired, or are about to fail.

    I also worry about doors that have a glass panel. If I test a door by hand, I test it at the lowest point I can, perhaps by not grasping the bottom of the door, but one panel up. I agree with others that the 2X4 test may be described in various places, but will do little to sway and angry seller that is looking for someone to blame regarding his newly failing opener.

    I worry that I am 'saving' a client from an spurious condition, especially when the post-1991 door has a light beam sensor. I wonder if our testing the door is an over-dramatic attempt at showing how through we are, and if a buyer will heed our recommendation to get it adjusted if we do call it out.


  51. #51
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Don,
    Yes we have been circling around the testing of the anti-entrapment function of the door operator since that particular test seems to be the fear of damage by many.

    As was Dave's original post revolving around the auto reverse testing and failure. The additional concern as to possible connection to the testing of the first door and its subsequent failure, and what Dave's liability was to the owner.

    Inspecting all of the linkages, tracks, attachment points, operator switch location, electrical supply, locks, track blocks, etc.that may effect the door operation prior to testing its operation is similar to prior to test driving a car to evaluate the engine/trans, you check if the tires are flat.

    You are correct that there are many items to look at in the inspection of garage door. Yes, doors are often repaired or in need of repair. Yes, caution is required when glass is present. Yes, people are often looking to blame some else for what is either in their control or is a direct result of either their actions or their inaction. Responsibility is being lost in our society.

    The garage door has a lot going on with it whether moving or at rest. You should not wonder if our testing the door is an over-dramatic attempt at showing how through we are. Being though is what a good job is all about. If a buyer does not heed our recommendation to get it adjusted, if we do call it out, it is their choice. Relying on the
    light beam sensor is akin to relying on a cars air bag and not checking the seat belt.

    Inspections are done to inform the client. Would you rather go to court for following a system of testing that you can justify as being reasonable and prudent while minimizing the potential of damage or to be there as a result of a less than complete inspection resulting in property damage or worse personal injury/death ?

    I would go with taking responsibility for my actions rather than trying to justify why something was not dome.

    Developing a through and exhaustive testing/inspection procedure that accounts for all functions of the design, installation and operation of a garage door and its accessories is not quick easy thing to accomplish. A lot more than a looking for double tap in panel, a crack in a walkway or floor, outlet not working, etc. which are all static.

    As in all things you must know when to stop a test/inspection with a rational reason rather than just fear of what may happen.


  52. #52
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    This morning's inspection Toon:

    HI: (Looking at track bracket disconnecting from header): "Don't operate the opener, these cheap sheet metal doors will fold up on you..."

    RE Agent: (pushing button) "Its been working fine since last spring...."

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 12-19-2010 at 02:52 PM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  53. #53
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    M.T.,

    What's that running down the center of the panels...could it be a crust of ice?


  54. #54
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: Garage door mishap

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    M.T.,

    What's that running down the center of the panels...could it be a crust of ice?
    Good question, and I don't know he answer - if it had been ice, however, I think I would have noticed.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •