You are just pulling into your driveway from a long road trip, and you have been longing for your bed for the past 10 minutes. You finally turn onto your street. Next, you turn into your driveway. You hit the button to open your garage door. It starts to open. You get ready to pull in, but it suddenly reverses closed. Or – the door didn’t open in the first place. Or – the door did open, you drove into the garage, but the door will not close. Whatever the issue with your garage door opener, you need to get it fixed. Depending on what kind of expensive equipment you keep in your garage, keeping the door open all night may not be an option for you. Keep reading to see some common problems that will cause your garage door not to work, and in some cases, some easy fixes you can employ.
If you arrive home and press the opener button and nothing happens, your next step will be to go to your wall switch. If you press the wall switch and the door works correctly, you know that you are having issues with your opener. The most basic issue could be the remote or transmitter batteries. In order for the opener to work correctly it has to be receiving power. If your garage door system is not responding to your remote, change the batteries. Hopefully this fixes the issue and you will be able to move on with your day. If you have multiple transmitters in multiple vehicles, the batteries should be changed in all of them. Once the batteries are properly in place (all plus and minus signals line up), check that each remote can properly operate the door.
In 1993 the law around garage door systems changed. All doors (manufactured after that date), must have a photo eye safety system. These photo eye sensors are located on the bottom of each side of the door. The sensors send a laser beam across to each other. Anytime this beam is interrupted, it signals the door that something is in the path and the door should stop. This was created as a safety precaution to prevent doors closing on people. If your door opens with no problem, but doesn’t want to close, this could be the issue. The photo eyes can become dirty or misaligned, which would cause the door to be unable to close. A quick fix is to clean the photo eye lenses (use a soft cloth and mild cleaner). The photo eye lens is similar to a camera lens, so it should be treated with the same care. Because of the location of the sensors, it is very easy for garbage and environmental debris to build up on or around the photo eye. Once clean, give it a try and see if the door will work correctly.
If not, the eyes may be misaligned. The eyes should be pointing in the same direction and at the same exact angle. They will not work if there is a misalignment. Make sure the photo eyes are standing at the same height, and you can use a laser level to ensure that they are pointing along a straight line at each other. This is important because if the beam between the two photo eyes is interrupted, the door will not work.
In order for your door to move, the track must be lined up properly. If the track is misaligned, this can cause your door to jam, it can cause gaps between the panels, and the track itself could become damaged. The heavy door only makes any of these issues even worse. One way to know that your door is misaligned is to listen closely. Do you hear a rubbing sound? This could indicate a track misalignment. To realign the track yourself, you would have to unscrew the screws holding the track and frame together. The next step is to take a rubber mallet and gently tap the track back into position. Use your level to make sure the track is now straight. Once you have determined the track is straight, you can tighten the screws back onto the frame. If your door will not move at all on the track – do not attempt to fix it yourself. In this case, it is best to employ the services of a professional garage door repair company.
If your door is having spring issues – you will need expert help. Garage door springs do all the heavy lifting, and the springs are installed using a great amount of torque. If you are having trouble with your door opening or closing, or you hear a loud bang (similar to a firecracker going off), that could indicate garage door spring issues. Garage doors can come with one or two springs. If your door has two springs and one breaks, it will most likely be recommended that you change both springs. Due to safety concerns, it is best that an expert technician handles this for you. If you think you are having spring issues, do not open the door. Leave it in a closed position until a technician has had a chance to look it over.