Garage Door Troubleshooting

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As residential and commercial garage door installation and service professionals there is little that we haven’t seen in the garage door industry. Garage door wear and damage is varied and there are a lot of things that can go wrong that need minor or major repairs. Something as simple as a basketball or tennis ball can knock a sensor out of alignment or a garage off its track. Diagnosis of the problem is first, and everything can be repaired.

There are a lot of things that homeowners can easily fix. Straightening a safety sensor is just a matter of pointing it at the reflector plate, for example. However there are some repairs are better left to the professionals. Certain elements of garage doors are extremely dangerous. The tension springs for example are under tremendous pressure and can cause very serious injury. This guide should help you identify what is wrong with your garage door, which will help you know if you need to call a pro.

The Garage Door’s Path Is Blocked

Clearly the garage can’t do its job and close if something is in the way. Garage doors are developed with a safety mechanism that causes it to go back up if something is in the way. Homeowners can become frustrated when they press the button to close the door and it comes about half way down only to stop and return to the fully open position. This can be caused by something as simple as toys, or other items in your garage lying in the garage door’s path.

To resolve this issue just inspect the ground and area around your garage door sensors. Move anything you think could be in the way. Check out the garage door tracks as well. Get a step ladder for the areas that are harder to see. If build-up or objects are stuck in the track the garage might get a false positive for a object in the way and reverse.

The Remote Has Dead Batteries

This is one of the most common problems people have with their garage doors. It is also one of the easiest to fix. To troubleshoot this problem check to see if the wall switch for the garage door still works. If it works then it’s most likely the batteries in the remote.

To replace the batteries you will have to either unscrew or slide open the remote’s batter compartment. Dig the batteries out of the remote and take them down to the store. Getting the right match for the remote is important. Most stores will have different brands, but will have a compatibility chart that will tell you which Energizer replacement will replace a Duracell and vice versa.

The Safety Sensors Are Crooked

Indiana Jones might be able to slide and roll under doors, but as of 1993 sensors installed for safety on garage doors prevent us from being our own action heroes. These safety photo eyes watch the path of the garage door with an invisible beam. When the garage door remote is used these beams check the area to make sure it is clear. This is done to prevent injury or damage to property.

Before adjusting the sensors alignment you will want to make sure that the sensors are not dirty. If they have debris, insects, or dirt on them they will assume something is in the way and refuse to let the garage door close. They are made of glass and should be cleaned carefully to prevent scratching. Clean the sensors and then check to see if the garage will close and open properly.

If the garage door still isn’t cooperating you will need to check the alignment of the sensors. They should point at exactly the same angle, from the same height, and directly at each other. If they are looking in different directions and not seeing each other they will assume there is a object blocking the garage door path and disable the garage door’s movement.