Common Garage Door Problems and How to Fix Them
Garage doors can have many problems due to a myriad of different causes. Not all garage door opener issues are created equal though. The most simple ones can be fixed without much hassle. However, complex problems need more complex solutions such as replacing complete parts in the system. Fortunately, most garage door openers are made up of plastic which is a relatively inexpensive material – of course, unless you have a very expensive unit, case in which a door opener will be made up of other equally costly materials. The bad thing about inexpensive plastic door openers is that they can easily break when the door is not taken care of as it should be or when it is malfunctioning.
Garage Door Opener issues aren’t rocket science. In fact, when reading the following sections you will be able to spot common problems that your garage opener can face or is facing right now and be able to solve many of them yourself!
- The Door Becomes Disconnected From the Opener
- Safety Eye is Misaligned or Not Working
- Wall-station Malfunction
- Door Opener Won’t Function With the Remote or The Wall Switch
- The Remote Control Is Unable To Open or Close the Garage Door
- Opener is Making a Weird Noise and the Door Isn’t Moving
This is probably the number one problem garage door opener owners encounter. This usually happens when a person pulls the red emergency release cord which as a results disconnects the opener from the garage door. What will happen is that the motor will still be functioning with its back and forth movement. However, the door not being attached to it, it will be unable to either open or close the door. This problem is not directly related to the opener itself. Most people will think it is and call a technician as a result. Thus, they will end up spending more money than they need to. What you have to do is to look at the “trolley” which is located near the garage door motor. The trolley is that part that is connected to the belt and is attached to the j-arm at one of its ends. For your safety, wait until the trolley stops moving. Once the trolley is still, lock the garage door to the trolley until they are both attached once again. If this was the problem, then your opener should now be able to open the door. If the problem persists, use a screw-driver to check out if the screw located under the opener rail is spinning. If it is, then look for the red cord until it takes you to the switch it is attached to. Move the switch upward in order to lock it to the screw. Test the door opener again. If this move didn’t work also, then the best thing you can do is call an expert.
The door, at its bottom part, has a pair of sensors called safety eyes. This is applicable for those garage doors manufactured after 1990 since the law required garage door manufacturers to include a set of them with each garage door they made from this year onward. Any door made before 1990 will most likely than not not have them at all, case in which you can go to common garage door opener problem number 3.
What the safety eyes do is to provide a guide that will let the door know when to halt its downward motion when a moving agent is present in that spot, such as a pet or a person. There is a beam that’s projected between the eyes that serves for this purpose. If the beam is not present, the door will not detect if someone is present and can bump someone in the head and hurt him. You can know when the safety eyes aren’t working or are misaligned when the remote control is unable to close the door and the wall station won’t close it as well unless you hold it all they way until it does. To fix this problem, make sure the beam isn’t being blocked by items such as boxes, etc. If this doesn’t solve the issue, then check if the lights on each safety eye are working. You may have to look at the wiring and fix it if any of them isn’t lit.
Some wall-stations have what is known as a vacation mode. When this is on, the remote and the keypads won’t work. In some cases, the wall-stations themselves won’t work also. Check out the manufacturer’s manual to see how to change the vacation mode and retrieve your wall-station to normal functioning.
Sometimes the problem can be a lack of electrical power. Test and see if the motor is connected to a power source. Other things to check include the fuse and the circuit breaker
Make sure the remote is not too far away from the door. If you are out of range, the remote’s signal won’t be able to reach the garage door. Another reason why this may be happening includes the antenna of the motor being misplaced. Make sure the antenna is hanging down. The remote may also need new batteries or it should be reprogrammed.
You may need to replace the main gear drive when this happens. The main gear drive is located in the motor and it’s the items that will be wrecked most of the times when the motor isn’t working as expected. Removing the main gear drive is not easy but nonetheless is doable for most homeowners. You have to take out the gear plus the shaft and the sprocket which basically come as a single piece item. If you feel this may be too hard for you to do – given the many steps needed to do it – then, a technician can help you get it out. A new main gear drive is relatively inexpensive and shouldn’t cost more than $25.
While this is not a complete manual on all the problems your garage door opener can face and how to solve them, it will surely help you in 70% or more of the cases – not bad after reading a single article!