QDEAR BARRY: My garage door control operates only if I press the button continuously until the door is fully closed. If I remove my finger from the button while the door is closing, the door immediately reverses and returns to the open position.
I used to simply touch the button and walk away while it kept closing. Is this problem repairable, or do I need a new door control? -- David
ADEAR DAVID: Garage door controls are equipped with an automatic safety reverse feature to prevent children and pets from becoming trapped or injured beneath a descending garage door.
Occasionally, this reverse function goes out of adjustment, as appears to be the case with your door opener. The safety reverse mechanism is stubbornly attempting to prevent the door from closing, even though nothing is blocking the door. When you hold the button, you override this feature. This allows the door to close, although not the way you would prefer.
Older door openers are designed to reverse when an object resists the downward motion of the door. Newer fixtures are equipped with photoelectric sensors. If someone or something obstructs the invisible light beam between the sensors, the downward motion of the door is automatically reversed. In your garage, either the auto-reverse mechanism is too sensitive or the photoelectric sensors are misdirected. A garage door installer can make the necessary adjustments and can tell you whether the fixture needs to be replaced.
DEAR BARRY: The home we are buying was scheduled to close escrow, but the seller refused to make final repairs. He fixed the problems reported by our home inspector, but after he vacated the property we did our final walk-through inspection. More problems were visible because the furniture had been removed. The seller said, "Take the house as is or lose the deposit." We refuse to sign the final papers and are threatening legal action. However, we're really unsure what to do. What do you advise? -- Eric
DEAR ERIC: Too many real estate transactions reach needless impasses over routine physical defects. Emotions can be tense in the final phase of a purchase, and minor issues can sometimes cloud the larger picture.
Before you go head-to-head with the seller, consider whether the additional repair costs are worth the upset and loss you might incur if you become involved in a protracted legal conflict. Unless the defects involve major, expensive repairs, you might be better off accepting the property as is.
Barry Stone is a professional home inspector. If you have questions or comments, contact him through his Web site, www.housedetective.com, or send mail to 1776 Jami Lee Ct., Suite 218, San Luis Obispo, Calif. 93401.
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