Common Garage Door Opener Problems Explained

Nov 12, 2018 | Garage Door Openers

If your garage door opener suddenly stops working, yet it’s nowhere near its expiration date (about 10 to 12 years from manufacture), it can leave you puzzled. Here are three of the most common garage door opener problems you may be experiencing. You can troubleshoot these problems yourself but all repairs, short of battery replacement, should be handled by a garage door repair professional.

3 Common Garage Door Opener Problems

The Door Will Not Close and the Opener Light Flashes

Installed six inches above the floor of the garage on each side of the door are two photoelectric sensors. These sensors have one vital job: Watch for obstructions! If something blocks their view of the garage door opening, the photo eyes respond by sending an alert to the opener, instructing it to immediately reverse the downward momentum of the door. The door will return to the fully open position.

The International Door Association (IDA) strongly encourages testing this feature each month. The safety eyes ensure the proper and safe operation of your garage door. The door will not close if the sensors are dirty, misaligned, or malfunctioning.

To test: Always start with the door in the fully open position. Standing inside the garage, activate the opener to close the door by pushing the button on your remote or wall-mounted control panel, whichever is more convenient. As the door is closing, wave a long object, such as a broomstick in front of one the photo eyes. Your objective is to “break the beam.” The door should reverse and reopen.

Should it fail this test, do the following:

  • Clean both sensors with a clean, microfiber cloth.
  • Gently adjust the sensors by hand if they appear to be out of alignment.
  • If after repeating the test, the door continues to have problems, you should contact a local garage door repair professional to come service it.

The Hand-Held Opener Remote Does Not Work

Hand-held remote controls use three-volt lithium batteries to send wireless signals to your garage door opener. Dead batteries are often the most likely culprit for an unresponsive garage door opener. One way to determine this is to try opening/closing the door using the wall-mounted control panel or keypad. If the door responds, the batteries are likely depleted and should be replaced.

You can find replacement batteries online or at most any retail store. It is also possible for the remote control to lose communication with the garage door opener. If the occurs, it will need to be reprogrammed, according to manufacturer’s instructions. The remote may need reprogramming after replacing the batteries as well.

The Garage Door Will Not Fully Close

Travel and force settings are standard on all garage door openers. Travel limits regulate the points at which the door will stop when opening or closing, whereas, force limits control how much push or pull is used to operate the door. These settings are both adjustable.

Their operation is dependent, however, on the proper balance of your door. Too little or too much travel can cause a gap to appear between the door and floor. Inaccurate force settings, on the other hand, can interfere with many of the other crucial safety features.

The IDA recommends testing the balance and force of the door each month.

To test balance: With the garage door fully closed, disconnect it from the opener, following the directions outlined in your owner’s manual. This will allow you to manually open the door about three or four inches off the ground. The door should lift smoothly and remain fully open once released. If it is difficult to open – it sticks or binds – or doesn’t remain open, the door may be out of balance and should be professionally repaired.

To test force settings: With the door fully open, lay a 2×4 flat on the floor, centered directly under the garage door. Activate the door to close. Upon contact with the wood, the door must immediately reverse direction. If the door stops on the obstruction, it is not traveling far enough, but if it fails to reverse, the closing force is excessive. Either way, the opener should be serviced by a garage door repair professional.

Your Local Garage Door Repair Professionals

APEX Garage Door and Repair is a locally owned and operated garage door repair company with a team of dedicated and experienced professionals who specialize in the repair, maintenance, and installation of today’s most popular garage door and automatic opener brands. APEX proudly serves residents throughout the greater Phoenix metro area. If you are experiencing any problems with your garage door or opener, schedule an appointment today at (480) 460-1199.


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