When your garage door will not open, you are in a bind. If it happens in the morning, it could mean being late for work and missing that important meeting. Similarly, if it happens at the end of the day, it is troublesome, especially when all you want to do is relax after work.
This problem will even compound when you face inclement weather. If it is too cold outside, you can catch the sniffles. When it is raining cats and dogs, it means getting wet as you make a mad dash for the main door.
So, you can be on your way to a properly functioning garage door, let this troubleshooting guide help you find a fix. This can help you come up with a DIY solution or aid you in finding a professional garage door repair service. Either way, it will result in fully functioning garage doors that will no longer bring you any inconvenience.
The First Thing You Must Check
If your garage door will not open after pressing your remote, take a deep breath and do not panic. When the door refuses to budge, the first thing you need to check is the batteries. You may need to replace a dead battery so give that a try.
However, if the batteries are not the problem, it is understandable why you would feel frustrated. Of course, it makes perfect sense why you would want to troubleshoot some common problems that impede your automatic garage door from opening. The chances are high that you can resolve the issues and find the remedy by yourself.
Try to Reset the Remote
If you suspect the problem is the remote opener, you can try resetting it. Check to see if it is the culprit by trying the wall-mounted control keypad. When you press that button, and the door moves, but the door does not move when you press the remote button, you have found the root of the problem.
Again, you can try resetting the remote. Find your manual because this fix varies depending on the brand. However, it is an easy fix once you have found the guide. Typically, you only need to press a few buttons on both the remote and the keypad. You need the manual because the buttons involved are usually pressed following a specific sequence.
Check if the Garage Door was Accidentally Locked
Another possible issue is that someone locked it from the inside. Certainly, your door will not budge in this scenario, even if you keep on pressing the remote.
It is easy to overlook this step. Sometimes, when people panic, they tend to skip the simplest things and fret over the complexities. Thus, this tip is worth mentioning. Make it a point to check the lock before moving on with the other troubleshooting hacks.
Assess the Door Opener
After checking the battery, the lock, and remote, the next step is to check the garage door opener. Though openers function in the same manner, they do have nuances in style depending on your brand of choice.
For the best solutions, it would help consult your owner’s manual. If you cannot find the physical book, you can download one from the official website of the garage opener manufacturer. If that is still a bust, you can follow these other steps:
1. Make sure the garage opener is properly plugged into the socket
Though this seems like it should be a no-brainer, many homeowners feel surprised that this is the most common reason why the garage door failed to open. The power cord could have been out of the electrical outlet. Here are some plausible reasons for this scenario:
- Someone could have tripped on it while rushing.
- It could be a furry rodent gnawing on the cord, setting it loose.
- Kids could have inadvertently dragged a toy over it, knocking it out of the socket.
2. Verify to see if all is well with the circuit breaking providing power
Check your circuit breaker that powers the garage door opener. An electrical surge, even a teeny one, can cause this sensitive device to trip. You must check the breaker’s service panel.
Before you touch the breaker, be sure to wear protective gloves for electrical safety to prevent potential electrocution. It is better to be safe than sorry. Now, check to see if the breaker assigned to power up your garage is on.
Do not worry because these things usually have a label. Hence, the breaker assigned to the door opener will have a written sticker that says garage. If the breaker is off, you have found the culprit.
Flip it back on to reset the breaker. After this, you can give your garage door opener a try once again.
Inspect if the Trolley is Disconnected
This trolley part moves along the garage chain drive, or the long track attached to the ceiling. The movement happens every time the garage door is opened and closed. This trolley is hooked through a metal bar and connects to the inside portion of the garage door.
It is standard for all garage door openers to come with a pull cord. Sometimes, it can be a switch. Whatever you have in your home, this contraption disengages the trolley. This step allows you to open the door manually with your hands.
You must double-check to see if the cord or switch was not tampered with. If it was, then the trolley will disengage. This disconnection means you cannot open the door.
To solve the problem, reconnect the trolley. If you do not know how to do it, check the manual. Once you have fixed the connection, your garage door will be back in business.
Clean Out the Photo-Eye or the Sensor
Every automated garage door comes with this photo eye or sensor. It is a small black box that usually hangs around 4 to 8 inches above the floor. You can find it by the side, placed within the garage door track.
This tiny device holds a huge job because it is supposed to detect objects that block the garage door’s path. If it senses something close, it sends a signal to the door to stop it from moving.
It is standard equipment for all automated doors because they ensure safety. It means your heavy garage door will not close on your small pets or children. However, if you have a dirty photo-eye, it will always think something is blocking the door. As a result, your garage door will never budge.
Normal wear and tear will keep it dirty. Since it is exposed to the elements, it is normal for dirt, dust, and debris to settle on the photo-eye. Wipe off this device with a soft cloth.
Pay close attention to that 1/4-inch diameter lens. Be gentle to avoid scratches. After a thorough cleaning, try to open the garage door again.
Modify the Pulling Force of the Opener
If your garage opener is five years old and above, chances are it has a program with an exact amount of pulling force to lift your garage door. As time goes by, you must increase the pre-set force to compensate for the normal wear and tear to the garage door tracks and rollers.
If you do not adjust this, the opener will have a hard time lifting the door. There should be a nut located on your opener for adjustment. Double-check your owner’s manual, as this can be in different areas depending on your garage door model.
Once you pinpoint the exact location, take your wrench to increase the garage opener’s pulling strength. When you boost this force, you give it more power to lift the door again. Meanwhile, newer models may have done away with this adjustment nut as more modern doors automatically adjust.
Double-Check if the Door is Off Track
If a roller on the garage door pops off one of the sidetracks, it is misaligned. Hence, the garage opener cannot successfully lift to open the door. Sometimes, this happens if the track accidentally receives a blow from a heavy object. As a result, it bends outward, forcing the roller to slip out.
You can still try disconnecting the opener using the pull or switch mentioned above. Doing so will permit you to raise your doors manually. If you try this approach, you need another person’s help. Once you get the door fully opened, use a hammer or mallet to tap the bent side of the track back into place.
Remember not to use excessive force because you do not want to damage the track further. The goal is to only get things aligned. You know you will have succeeded if you can lower the door easily. Once everything is back into position as it should be, you can reconnect the opener and give the garage door remote another press.
Look for a Broken Torsion Spring
Most garage doors possess powerful torsion springs in their mechanism for smooth operations. You will find this located horizontally above the garage door. When you lower the door, these torsion springs wind up tightly. As a result, it creates quite a bit of force that helps you pull and lift the heavy door the next time you press the opener.
However, even with normal use, torsion springs will wear down and eventually break like any other elastic. When this happens, the door becomes difficult to raise. If you notice a broken torsion spring in your garage door system, it is best to call a certified garage door technician.
Torsion springs can be tricky to handle. They contain so much force to lift a heavy garage door. Hence, without the proper technique or equipment, they can snap off during installation akin to a rubber band that is overstretched. When that happens, it can cause severe injuries to you or anyone else standing nearby.
Evaluate Deeper Problems with the Opener
If you have checked and tried all the suggestions above and the door still will not open, you need to call a professional for evaluation. You may be facing several issues that require a garage door technician’s expertise. It could be:
- The logic or circuit board of your opener is malfunctioning and needs a replacement.
- Certain gears in the garage door systems may have broken down and needed fixing.
- You could have a wiring problem, impeding the opener from doing its job.
However, before you replace any of these things, you must first assess the age of your opener. In general, garage door openers have an average lifespan of around fifteen years. If you use your doors more than others and do not conduct annual garage door maintenance, the longevity can be much shorter.
Thus, if your door opener is on the last leg of its life, you may find it a better choice to install a new one. Paying a repair guy to fix an older opener model may not be the best decision. The age of the unit predisposes it to keep on breaking down. Investing in a new one may be your best bet.
Call for Professional Help
If you find yourself stuck outside with a garage door that will not open, there is no need to despair. Keep calm because there is always a solution to your problem. You can try a few fixes suggested above to see if it is a simple issue you can fix on your own.
However, if you do not want to deal with the stress of figuring things out, you can give our Coastal Garage Doors team a call for repairs. We can come right away for emergency servicing to help you deal with the problem.
Our fully vetted and highly trained team can easily deal with any garage door problem. We have been serving residents in the area for decades so we can get the job done in no time. Give us a call so we can come in for inspections, repairs, and replacements if necessary.