The universal fix for electronics

This picture, ahem, cracks me up more than it probably should today.


Okay, so that particular unit is obviously beyond help, but nevertheless, it is true that if a device contains a circuit board, it’s electronic, and if it’s electronic, the very first fix you should try if it malfunctions is powering it off and on again. I do this with my cell phone, my computers, my cameras, my Blu-Ray player, even my microwave. It has become a habit because, you know, electronics can be sketchy. And it nearly always fixes the problem.

But silly me, I thought a 20-year-old Genie garage door opener was merely electric and not electronic. In fact, I have now learned, it has two circuit boards in it: one to read the signal from the remote and the other to control the relay that turns the light on and off (it is too old to have any motion sensors to read, however).

The day before I left town a couple of weeks ago, I noticed the opener light was still on hours after I closed the garage door for the night, which was worrisome because two 60-watt incandescent bulbs less than two inches from a drywalled ceiling can create a lot of heat. I don’t know much about much when it comes to electrical household things and I don’t want to fool with them, so I just took out the bulbs so the garage wouldn’t burn down while I was out of town and finally got around to calling the garage door repairman today.

The first thing he did after taking the cover off and reinstalling the bulbs was unplug the opener. He waited 10 seconds, plugged it back in, and set the timer on his watch for 4.5 minutes. Exactly 270 seconds later, the light clicked off just as it is supposed to.

And for that skillful service, dear readers, I paid the man $55 and sent him laughing all the way to the bank, no doubt. He did tell me he was sorry to have to charge me, but he still had to charge me for having made the call. Business owners like him don’t stay in business if they give their services away, so I didn’t mind making out the check.

I did feel kind of silly for having paid so much to learn this valuable lesson, though, because I did research the issue online first, but couldn’t find anything about resetting the opener—the only suggested fixes I found in the forums talked about bad relay boards and faulty wiring. So I hope somebody out there who has this same problem will Google “genie garage door opener light stays on” and find this post and save themselves some money and maybe some embarrassment, too.



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