Having a troublesome garage door? There might be many reasons for it. Read about 7 most widespread door problems in this article.
As owners, we are used to the comfort and good functioning of the garage door. Still, sometimes trouble occurs. After this, the door becomes a source of frustration because it won’t close at request. Sometimes, the door will close only manually, and sometimes, it won’t close at all. In any case, this is inconvenient, because we need our cars often to go to work, drive the kids to school, or go shopping.
The garage door is one of the most frequently used entrances and exits in an average home. Of course, the door wears out every time you use it. That is why a garage door has functional issues quite often. In many cases, there are problems with the door in the winter because there are frequent power outages. When a garage door doesn't close, the problem could lie in many areas, from snapped cables to the blocked photo-eye.
Follow Safety Measures
Before troubleshooting your garage door opener, make sure that you take all safety measures. That is important because garage doors are under a large amount of tension. That is why they close and open at your request. However, when something goes wrong, the tension can be dangerous when you repair it.
For one, always follow the guidance which comes with your garage door and door opener. These instruction manuals will safeguard you from possible threats to safety.
Reasons Your Garage Door Won’t Close
1. The Operator Receives no Power
Operator power connection might be the reason your garage door won’t open or close. Sometimes, the problem is simply in an unplugged power cord. You could have unplugged it when you exited the garage through the internal house door.
However, sometimes a more severe issue happens. A circuit breaker or a blown fuse might prevent an operator from receiving power. If you have problems with a circuit breaker, call a professional. In the rest of the cases, you can fix the problem by yourself.
How to Fix
If you have an unplugged cord or blown fuse, plug the cord or reset fuses. However, do not try anything with the fuse. That is a more severe problem that only a professional can fix.
2. Broken garage door torsion or extension spring
Sometimes, the garage door won’t open or close, but the motor is running. In this case, the problem might be in your garage-door assembly. When a service specialist arrives at a residence to repair a garage door, this is the most common issue at hand. This problem is one of the most dangerous, but it happens quite often.
In the assembly, the door guides by one or two torsion springs. They usually run horizontally over all width of the door. You also may find them by two extension springs, which lower and lift doors along the tracks.
Each of the springs can do several cycles. When it has exhausted all of them, you need to replace all. If the springs are beyond the cycles, they can snap abruptly when you activate the door. In any case, spring ruptures are dangerous and loud.
It’s easy to troubleshoot this issue. If a spring breaks, you might hear a loud pop like a gunshot or a firecracker. If you are at home when the spring breaks, you can’t miss it. The springs often break when you close the garage door remotely as your car departs.
How to Fix
If the springs break and there is coil wear, this is a major issue. Unless you are a skilled technician, do not try fixing it on your own. The specialist will replace the springs safely. Don't open the door manually or activate it. Also, never handle a broken torsion.
3. Blocked Photo-Eye
If your garage door won’t close all the way, the problem could be in a photo-eye. Many of the garage doors produced in the ‘90s have a photo eye as a safety feature. It has two pieces that align opposite at both sides of the door, around four feet above the ground. When you activate them, the system sends a laser beam from one end to the other.
If the door doesn’t close, the photo-eye is blocked, so the system believes your car is still there and thus keeps the door open. Each time you close the door, the beam of the photo-eye activates to scan if there are any obstructions. If a laser detects some object or body part, the door won’t close or will reverse in full.
How to Fix
A photo-eye is a safety mechanism, so it won’t close if there is any obstruction. So, if the photo-eye is dirty, it will trigger the halt of the door movement. Dust or clean the photo eye to make the door close again. Examine the system closely - it might be saturated with moisture or damaged. In this case, you will have to repair or replace them. Also, they might misalign with each other, which will, in most cases, require a specialist.
4. Deactivated motor
Sometimes, the garage door won’t open or close because of the disconnected motor. It is a simple human error that might fix easily. The motor switch exists so you could open a garage door without the opener when there's a power outage. Sometimes, the motor disconnects from the cord, and the switch gets pulled and caught.
How to Fix
Activate the motor.
5. The Door Manually Locked
If nothing is wrong with the opener, but the garage door won’t open, you might have locked it manually. If the motor momentarily runs but then suddenly shuts off without raising the door, it means that there is a manual lock.
Some of the garage doors have manual locks that look like handles with horizontal bars. The door won’t activate if the manual operation is engaged. That is an additional measure of security, but people often trigger them unintentionally when they do something near the door.
How to Fix
To unlock your door, turn the handle until there is a snap. This way, you will disengage the horizontal bar and will be able to activate the door.
6. Misadjusted sensitivity
If the garage door won’t open or close, the cause is often in misadjusted sensitivity settings. That is quite a common problem for the newly installed doors. The opener is on a default factory setting that might not suit your exact door.
The sensitivity settings let the opener know how much force to take to raise or lower the door. If these settings are default, the opener might not recognize the door at all. It will think the door is too lightweight or too heavy. So, the opener won’t react because the settings are off.
How to Fix
That is a medium-scale problem that you might solve by yourself in many cases. Locate the force adjustment controls. Face the front of the garage and find the control panel. It will be on the right or the back panel of the motor.
Open the light lens, and you will see arrows with numbers that indicate the controls for open force and close force. If your door closes partially and reverses its position, you need to increase the downforce. Only raise it to the minimum each time. You might need several adjustments. After the door closes, check the safety of the door.
7. Remote signal blocked
If you press the open button and the door doesn’t activate, something could be blocking the signal. It might be out of range, or the remote antenna could be damaged or obstructed. If your door won’t open when you press the remote, there could be an intervening object that blocks the signal. It might be a branch or something else.
How to Fix
Remotes often don’t work from certain angles because of tree growth or other obstructions. Still, if you have changed batteries and use the same angles as always, you might need to clear up the way to the garage door. If the obstruction is on the remote antenna, you can help this situation by inspecting it. There could be foreign matter or dirt. Point an antenna towards the door, as it might get misdirected now and then.
There are many reasons for your garage door not to open or close. They could range from dirt or obstructions to more serious matters such as broken torsion. If your operator gets no power or the motor is deactivated, plug in the devices, or check if they are working. The same goes for manually locked doors.
If you have misadjusted sensitivity, the door won’t close all the way, and you will need to adjust it manually using controls. If the photo-eye or remote signal is blocked, removing obstructions usually helps.
However, for cases such as broken garage door torsion, blown fuse, or extension spring, you will need a specialist because fixing it is dangerous. Before starting maintenance, always take all the safety measures because the garage door injures many people every year.