Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

Why the Things on the Huge Scary To-Do List Never Get Done

My garage came with an opener and one (1) remote when I bought the house six years ago. We lost the remote about five years ago. I tried to replace it by ordering one online around four years ago. The replacement didn't work, though I can no longer remember whether or not we could tell why it didn't work. When I ordered a new garage door in May, I told the representative at Lowe's, "I need a new garage door opener too."

"You don't have one?"

"Well ... technically I have one, but I don't know if it'll still work after being frozen in 1/4-open position for a month by the garage door being broken. Also, we lost the remote ages ago and the replacement we tried for it didn't work."

"Oh, you don't need a new garage door opener. Just come back here with the model and the make and we can sell you a replacement remote."

" ... I really think I'd rather just replace it." So my initial quote included an opener.

When the contractor came out to measure my garage door for replacement, he too tried to talk me out of a new opener. "No, I really want to replace it."

When I went out to Lowe's to sign the contract for the new garage door, the actual quote (based on the contractor's assessment) did not include an opener. Okay, fine, I'll try replacing the remote. Again.

That was two months ago.

This afternoon, while Lut took a break from City of Heroes to nap and terrycloth went to pick up his comics and get lunch, I decided to go to Costco. Since there's a Lowe's in the same plaza with Costco, I figured I'd stop in and finally see about buying a replacement garage door opener remote. So I went into the garage first, and took notes on all possible relevant pieces of information. The cover for the motor said "Genie" prominently, and featured no other identifying marks. The box that plugged into the wall, which includes a button to push to open it, said on the back:

Model 635CB

along with various other uninformative or unique bits of text.And a Canada ID, which I did not write down.

It also had 47423 printed in silver letters crosswise to the white text.

So I wrote all this down, took some pictures of it, and went to Lowe's to look at remotes.

Genie sells two kinds of remotes. They were labeled prominently: one worked with all Genie openers from 1997 and earlier, and the other worked with all Genie Intellicode openers, from 1998 and later.

You will note which piece of information was not available from my examination of my opener.

I searched for an attendant, and located one. "Which one of these should I get?"

"What year was your opener made?"

"I have no idea."

"Is it older than ten years?"

"I still have no idea."

"Do you have a remote for it now?"

"If I had one for it now I wouldn't be buying a new one. I wrote down the model number from the box, though. Can you put it into Google and see what results it gets?"

"I don't have Internet access here."

"Okay, I'll use my phone." Google didn't recognize the model number either.

The representative gave me a helpless look. "... I'm sorry, I can't help you without actually seeing it, then."

"Seeing it would help? I took pictures!" I showed him the pictures.

"That looks pretty recent. I'd go with the intellicode one. The other one involves switches."

"Ohh ... I think from last time I remember there being switches."

"Oh! If it's got switches, then it's from 1997 or earlier and you need the older one."

"But setting the switches to match didn't help."

"Was it a universal remote? Sometimes those don't work."

"I think it was."

So I bought the older one, and went home. I unscrewed the back from the plug-in box, after trying to get the front panel off with no success.

There were no switches.

I made another effort to get the front panel off, and decided again that the panel probably didn't actually come off and was just all one big button for opening the garage door.

OK, so maybe the reason the other remote with switches didn't work was that the remote had switches that needed to be set and my garage door opener didn't.

I drove back out to Lowe's, rather regreting that I'd gone to the Lowe's ten miles away near Costco instead of the Lowe's two miles away near my house. Halfway there it occured to me that maybe the switches were on the motor. OK, so I'll ask about that while I'm there, instead of just returning the remote and getting the other one.

I got there and talked to a different man. "It should have switches on the motor, underneath a small removable panel."

"There is no removable panel, just a big cover." I showed him the pictures.

"It doesn't say Intellicode anywhere on it?"


"Then it can't be Intellicode. You must have the right one."

I went home again, clambered up to look at the motor cover, which did not say Intellicode anywhere on it, or have any removable panels. It did say "Model CH125", though. I clambered down, and got out the screwdriver set again, clambered up, unscrewed one side of the cover, clambered down and then up to the other side of the cover, and unscrewed the far side.

I looked at the revealed motor.

It did not have any switches.

I peered at it some more.

Switches failed to materialize. Anything identifying it as Intellicode also failed to materialize. I peered at the plug-box as well, which also failed to have either switches or a label suggesting it was Intellicode.



I'm not really sure what to do now. Except maybe "get a new garage door opener installed like I wanted to back in May".
Tags: life
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