Ways to Fix Your Garage Door Opener
When they operate correctly, your garage door can be a technological complement to any home. However, the second things start to malfunction, it’s nothing but headaches and frustration. Garage doors have many working parts, so when the opener fails to do its job, there are many factors to consider.
If you still have the garage door manual, now is the time to take a look at its anatomy. You may be dreading having to dig the manual out to fix your garage opener, but it’s a necessary step. With the garage door being a complex mechanism, you’ll need the blueprint of its parts to help troubleshoot the problem.
Check the Garage Door
Before you do anything else, troubleshoot the door itself. Make sure the door is closed and pull the emergency release cord. Lift the door to check to see if it rolls smoothly against the rollers and springs on its tracks.
The door, unbeknownst to you, could be locked. Trying to open a locked garage door will only result in more damage to it. When the door doesn’t want to open right away, it’s best to stop what you’re doing and investigate as safely as possible. There could be something blocking the door, without you realizing it. You could do serious damage to the motor unit or the door itself in an attempt to run it.
Sometimes, you’ll get lucky and this will be the problem right off the bat. Once the door has been set into its tracks again, the opener will work just fine. If this isn’t the case, you’ve at least eliminated the possibility of the problem, and it’s time to move onto the next step.
The Garage Door Opener or The Wall Switch
This might sound silly but this happens more times than you’d believe: check to see that the motor unit is plugged in and plugged in all of the way. Once you’ve ruled the simpler solution, you can tackle the more challenging ones.
There’s a strong possibility that the root cause could be blamed on the circuit breaker, fuse, or GFCI being tripped or burned out. A sign of this being the case is other circuits and lights failing to work in the same section. To fix it, you’ll need to reset the breaker or GFCI, or you may need to replace a burned fuse.
It’s also possible that the motor in the garage opener itself has burned out, which will explain its failure to operate at all. You’ll need to replace the motor at this point. If you’re not terribly handy at electrical work, then consider calling a garage door company to do the job for you.
The Garage Door Opener Doesn’t Respond to the Remote Control
What’s more annoying than the remote or keypad not working for your garage door? For many garage doors, the programming can get lost over time. Every garage door is different and will have a different way to reprogram the remote to the door. Your manual is the best bet to reconfigure the remote. If it’s been lost, you can find instructions online or contact the manufacturer directly.
In some instances, the remote needs to be replaced in its entirety. Older garage doors might not have new remotes easily accessible, but there are options of purchasing a universal remote online. Most of the time, however, you just need to reset the remote you already have and link it to your door again.
When was the last time you replaced the batteries in the remote? Keep an extra set of batteries for your remote opener in your car, just in case. Set a reminder in your calendar to change them out.
You’ll also want to make sure that the inside of the battery case is clean. We tend to abuse our garage opener remotes, and the neglect can lead to wear and tear on the case. The battery contacts should be cleaned so the batteries can generate power for proper communication between itself and the motor unit. You can even take fine-grit sandpaper or fine steel wool to polish the contacts.
Garage Door Reverses Before Touching Down
Sometimes your garage door starts to reverse even before it hits the ground. For most doors, this can be fixed by adjusting the screws that control the closing force setting. If this isn’t it, then the problem could be within the rollers.
Damaged, rusted, or old rollers can be the cause for unnecessary friction, tricking the door to stopping prematurely. Older doors that have been neglected will probably have rollers in dire need of lubrication. Lubricate your rollers on the garage door to prevent this from occurring.
Garage Door Won’t Close
The most common problem is a garage door not closing. You can fix this by making sure that the safety sensors are aligned. These sensors are little boxes on the bottom of the garage door’s tracks, and for many of them, they have an electronic red eye that aligns together to ensure the door will close all the way to floor without obstruction.
These sensors are easily bumped, and when they aren’t lined up with each other, your door won’t close.
You should also double check the close-limit switch to see if it requires adjusting. The switch could be set incorrectly, causing the door to reverse and refuse to close. Usually, this feature is on the motor unit of the garage door opener.
The Springs on the Garage Door are Broken
If your garage door won’t open, it could be because the torsion springs broke. The springs are rated for a certain number of cycles, and believe it or not, they’re the first to go in your garage door assembly.
If this is the case, and you happened to be home when the springs broke, you probably heard the loud snaps and booms of it giving way. The torsion springs can be extremely dangerous, and this is where you will need to call in the professionals.
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