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Fixing a Tangled String

Learn how to untangle and rewind a tangled string.

Updated over a week ago

How does the string become tangled?

Here at ChickenGuard, we understand what it's like to keep chickens, and we know that they are creatures of habit, but can still be unpredictable. This is why our latest models have a mechanism inside which stops the string from becoming tangled.

However, our older models can experience tangling when there is excess slack in the string.

If your string has become tangled around the motor shaft, it could have been caused by...

  • a chicken nudging the door inadvertently while entering or exiting the door during an open or close cycle. This can be due to...

    • the door being set to open too late, so the chickens are eager to leave and rush out

    • the door closing too early and shutting on a chicken standing in the doorway

  • the coop door becoming stuck in its rails during a close cycle. This can be due to...

    • the door rails being too tight

    • debris, dirt, or ice in the rails

  • too much slack in the string when setting the closed position during calibration

How can you fix it?

1. Remove the unit from your coop and place it on a flat surface.

2. Remove the 5 screws circled in this image:

3. Remove the bracket holding the motor in place

4. Lift the motor and spindle out of the unit together

5. Unwind the string from around the motor shaft and rewind the string between the two grey discs.

Make sure that the string is flowing in the correct direction; away from you towards the back of the unit, flowing out from behind the spindle.

6. Put the motor back into the unit, threading the string through the hole at the base of the unit.

7. Replace the bracket and screw the 4 screws back in. Remember to screw the white clip down also.

8. You can now mount the unit on your coop again and complete a new calibration.

How can you prevent the string from becoming tangled again?

Let's go back to the reasons why the string becomes tangled, and break down how to prevent them from occurring.

1. A chicken is nudging the door inadvertently while entering or exiting the door during an open or close cycle.

If your chickens are pushing their way through the door every morning, this suggests that the door is opening a little later than they would like.

If you are using the Timer option, try setting the door to open 30 minutes earlier. If you are using the Sensor option, navigate to LUX Adjustment, and try changing the Open value to between 10-20 lower than it is currently. (If you already have the Open value set to 200, the lowest it can be set to, please contact the Customer Support team for assistance with lowering this limit.)

Similarly, if chickens often get caught in the door when it tries to close in the evening, you may benefit from setting the door to close slightly later. If using the Timer option, try setting it to close 30 minutes later. If you are using the Sensor option, try setting the Close value to between 10-20 higher than it is currently.

2. The coop door gets stuck in its rails during a close cycle.

This can be caused by dirt or debris in the runners, ice or frost gathering between the door and runners, or the runners themselves being too tight.

  • Dirt or Debris in the runners

    Make sure to regularly clear the runners of any debris caused by birds coming in and out of the coop.

    ChickenGuard products are designed to make your life easier, but like most mechanical products, they still need regular maintenance and upkeep to ensure they can keep working without error.

  • Ice or frost between the door and rails

    To avoid too much impact on the door's ability to continue running during the winter, the door and runners are made of ABS plastic, which has a freezing temperature of -200°c. However, it is impossible to stop frost forming on the exterior of the material during very cold nights.

    Customers have reported that rubbing some vaseline (petroleum jelly) along the inside of the runners prevents ice from developing overnight.

  • The runners are too tight

    This may be the case if the runners have been installed too tight, not allowing enough room for the door to move freely. OR, if your coop is made of wood, changing weather conditions can cause it to warp slightly, which can alter the position of the runners.

    To fix this problem, please remove one or both of the runners, and reinstall them, making sure the door has plenty of room to slide up and down freely between the rails. There should be no friction or resistance at all, as the door opener relies on gravity to close the door.

3. There is too much slack in the string when setting the closed position during calibration

Any amount of excess slack can allow the string to jump over the spindle while rewinding and become tangled.

When calibrating your door, make sure that you release the down button as soon as the door reaches the closed position. DO NOT continue to let the string out after the door has stopped moving, as this creates slack.

Still need some assistance?

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