You probably don’t give your garage door a second thought. When you get up and head off to work in the morning, you press a button and off you go. When you come home, you press the button again and bring the vehicle inside. You never have to worry about getting rained on or getting out in the cold if you don’t want to. However, what happens when you press that button and you find that the garage door opener is not working? It can cause a sinking feeling in your stomach, as you start to think about all of the time, energy, and potentially money that you might have to spend to get the door back in working order.
However, before you start to panic and worry about your bank account, you will want to run down a list of all of the potential things that could be causing problems with the garage door. Some of these are actually very easy to fix if your garage door opener is not working right now. Let’s look at some of the most common problems.
This is actually the most common problem, but it is also one that many people rarely think to check first. Without battery power, the remote is not going to work properly, which means it will not be able to send a signal to the opener to open and close the door. If you have a system that allows you to use your phone as the remote, this should not be an issue, though. Most people always know when their phone is running low on power.
If you have a regular garage door remote, you will be able to change out the batteries and try again. Most of the time, a simple battery replacement is all you really need. Make sure that you put the batteries in correctly, as well. If you are like most people, you have experienced the frustration of putting in new batteries for a device and wondering why it still doesn’t work only to find out later you installed the batteries wrong.
Garage door openers that have been manufactured since 1993 feature safety systems and one of those safety systems is the photo-eye reversal system. These are small units that are placed on both sides of the door about six inches from the ground. They need to be lined up perfectly to work properly. The system will transmit an invisible beam from one to the other, which is then able to detect if anything crosses the beam when the garage door is opening or closing. If something is in the way, the door will open fully as a safety precaution.
Over time, there can be problems that develop with the system. In some cases, the sensors might have become misaligned. By carefully lining them up again, it can fix the problem. Other times, dust and grime can start to obscure the sensors so they are not working properly. This can cause the garage door to act strangely. Sometimes it might open and close properly, and other times it won’t. Check to make sure that the sensors are clean.
Once you do this, you will want to test the door several times to make sure it is working properly.
There is another safety system on modern garage doors that could be causing your problem. When a garage door is closing and it encounters an object in its path, it will reverse direction when it hits that object. This can be something that is quite small, including a rock that is sitting underneath where the door closes. Take a moment to look at the area of your garage floor where the door touches the ground to ensure that there is nothing causing the door to reverse direction.
In some cases, the tracks themselves might be misaligned, which means that the garage door will not be able to travel up and down the track without having problems. In some cases, it will only be able to open or close to a certain spot. Other times, it might not work at all. This means that you will need to realign the track. It is possible to do this on your own when you loosen the screws that are holding the track to the frame. Using a rubber mallet, you can tap the tracks gently to put them back in alignment.
After you have fixed the alignment, you will want to make sure that you go through and tighten all of the screws that you loosened. While you are at it, you should check the other screws and bolts to make sure everything is nice and tight.
Sometimes, the problem is a bit bigger and more dangerous. Having broken door springs will mean that the door no longer works properly. Even if one of the springs breaks, the door will not work. It will also be difficult and sometimes impossible to open manually if this happens. Keep in mind that springs, because they are under pressure are very dangerous to work with. This is not the type of repair that you will want to do on your own. Instead, you will need to get in touch with the professionals.
The above are some of the more common issues that you might find with a garage door opener not working properly. There are other issues that can occur, even though they are not as frequent, such as finding that the door has been manually locked, which would prevent it from opening. Also, the emergency cord might have been pulled, which would disconnect the opener system. Check those to see if they could be the problem when you can’t find issues elsewhere. If you can’t get to the bottom of the problem on your own, be sure to call the pros sooner rather than later.