Can't Get Your Garage Door Open or Shut? Don't Fret. Here's What You Can Do.
If your garage door ever goes on the fritz, there are various reasons your garage door is out of whack. Some are simple; some are complex. But don’t waste your precious time going into a panic. There are plenty of steps you can take.
Problems and Solutions
What if the garage door goes down all the way, but then opens again? The open-and-close limit settings of your garage door opener are likely failing. The settings instruct the garage door opener on how far the garage door should go before it shuts all the way down. If it’s set too high, the door will touch the ground before the opener thinks it should, presuming that the door is hitting an object in its path. If so, it will reverse so it won’t crush it. Follow the operator’s manual to find out how to set the open-and-close limits.
What if the garage door won’t close? The garage door has a photo sensor eye on each side. Between them is an invisible beam, which, when broken, prevents the garage door from shutting. Look closely to see whether they’re grimy or misaligned. Depending on which brand and style of sensors you have, if the light’s blinking, there’s something wrong. Or, if you have sensors with red and green lights, the red one often indicates that it’s not fully functioning.
An additional sensor problem might be the wiring. Inspect the sensors’ connections, making sure the wires aren’t corroded or loose. Another likelihood is that there’s a short in the wiring somewhere, which can result from a staple used during the initial installation; over time, vibrations can lead to a disconnect. Wires can also eventually stretch, resulting in disconnection.
What if your garage door doesn’t open? Then probably the springs are failing, not remaining contracted as they should. Try shortening the cables with a bracket to add tension on the springs. If your garage door has one or two torsion springs, one or both are probably broken. Don’t adjust the garage door yourself! If incorrectly serviced, a garage door spring can cause serious injury or even death. The cables, drums, or bottom brackets might also need adjusting. Or, the springs may require replacement. Either way, it’s a good idea to hire a dependable garage door professional. If you live anywhere in Ahwatukee, Arizona, consider a reputable local garage door company such as Ahwatukee Garage Door Repair.
Does the garage door opener run for a few seconds, then turn off? This occurs when the garage door is closed; the motor attempts but fails to lift up the door.
- Take a close look at the track for possible obstacles.
- Examine the springs.
- See if your garage door is the kind with a built-in lock, because maybe it’s engaging by mistake. This typically happens on older garage doors.
Does your garage door opener run, but the garage door still doesn’t move? If there’s a power outage, your garage door opener has a disconnect switch, so you can shut or open your garage door by hand. The switch, attached to a knob or rope, can get unhooked accidentally.
- Open or shut the garage door all the way.
- Reattach the hook securely.
- Try opening or closing the garage door again using the transmitter. It should work now.
Is the garage door randomly closing and opening? If your garage door opens or closes by itself, that’s both a security risk and a nuisance. Try this:
- Check the transmitter. Be sure it’s not wedged under an object pressing down inadvertently on the control mechanism. For instance, the transmitter might be beneath an item you left in your car, or somewhere else nearby.
- Test the transmitter’s frequency. A neighbor may actually have your same exact frequency.
Does your garage door shut part of the way, yet open again? A garage door has a reversing mechanism so it won’t smash anything in its path. The reversing instruction is activated by any objects on the floor blocking the door’s path ~ a trash can, bicycle, or box. You could see debris on the tracks ~ dirt or a minute object ~ that’s stopping the rollers from moving forward. This calls for professional attention.
Does your garage door slam down with a bang? You could have a broken tension spring, which counters the garage door’s weight. Probably the cables connected to the tension spring are broken. Either is hazardous. A garage door technician is needed.
The garage door track may be out of alignment. The metal track of the garage door must be properly aligned, or it won’t budge. Check if there are gaps between the rollers and the rail, or any bends in the rails. As time passes, the garage door’s weight compounds these issues, so hire a garage door expert, because the door is going to be gradually more dangerous to operate.
The transmitter batteries could be low. Perhaps all you need is replace them, and the garage door will open.
Avoid Future Garage Door Issues
The minimal effort required to keep your garage door in tiptop shape means that you won’t have to replace it for a good long time.
Once a month, check your garage door system’s components.
- Replace worn parts.
- Tighten loose bolts.
- If you notice any odd noises when your garage door opens and closes, don’t procrastinate; investigate.
Every two years, clean your garage door.
- Wash both sides with a sponge with mild dish soap and water, and rinse well.
- Cleanse the sensor eyes using a dry, clean cloth.
- Keep the area around the sensors free of cobwebs and grime.
- If you have a steel garage door, apply car wax for cold-weather protection.
- If you have a wooden garage door, if there’s chipping or peeling, apply a fresh coat of paint.
Schedule an annual inspection with a local upstanding garage door repair company. Pulleys, cables, springs, and wires need expert attention.
Follow a maintenance schedule routine to prolong the life of your garage door. If your garage doubles as a workshop or office, it’s important to lubricate the springs, hinges, and rollers ~ once a year, before winter comes. Otherwise, ultimately the springs will rust and the coils will bind. Use a top brand, so it won’t dry out. You only need a light coating.