Your garage door is in constant use and the largest moving object of your home. We move our cars in and out daily, kids walk thru to get into the home, we sometimes have a small rec room or office in the garage – always plenty of action. Plenty of use can lead to normal wear and tear. Some can be avoided for a period of time with proper general maintenance such as springs retention, lubrication of your garage door & hardware, as well as door adjustments approximately 1- 2 times a year.
Here are some possible factors to your garage door issues.
1. YOUR PHOTO EYE IS OUT OF ALIGNMENT
If you notice that the garage door opens with ease but doesn’t make any attempt to close when your press the remote or wall push button, the first thing you’ll want to do is visually inspect the photo eye sensors (located on the bottom right and left of your garage door). Over time, these eyes can get cloudy, causing the light from the beam to be blocked. They also can also become misaligned from movement (normal wear and tear), causing the eyes to not match up on both sides.
Gently clean the photo eye sensors, be careful not to scratch or damage the eye since it’s made of glass, similar to that of a camera lens. The photo eye itself is pretty small, only a few centimeters in diameter, but it can get dirty rather simply. To clean it, you’ll need a soft cloth and a mild, streak-free cleaner. Gently wipe away any dirt or residue that has built up on the eye and be careful not to over spray as excessive wetness can cause dirt to stick to the eye more.
If your photo eye sensors are clean and the garage door will still not close, check the alignment of the sensors. The sensors should be pointing in exactly the same direction and at the same angle facing one another. If they aren’t, they’ll assume something is in its path, causing the door to stay in the open position. When checking the alignment, measure the height of each photo eye from the ground & make sure they’re pointing directly across at each other at the same angle. A laser level will make it easier to check, but if you don’t have one, a regular level will work as well.
Once you have the eyes cleaned and aligned, test your door to make sure it opens and closes normally. If you’re still experiencing issues with the photo eyes, it may be time to call the professionals to come out and possibly replace the safety sensors.
2. TRACKS ARE NOT PROPERLY ALIGNED OR OFFTRACK
The metal tracks your door runs on needs to be aligned properly in order for your door to move as it is meant to. If you see gaps between the rollers and rail, or bends in the rails themselves, there may be an issue and should be looked at by a professional. The heavy weight of the door can compound these issues after time and make them worse until it becomes dangerous to operate your door.
At times the garage door may still move but not with ease, and there are a few things you can do to attempt to repair the issue on your own. You’ll know that it’s misaligned if you hear a noise when the garage door reaches a certain spot or even slow down slightly when it hits this spot.
A garage door professional will have the necessary equipment needed to safely realign and repair your garage door. Additionally, if the tracks are bent and in bad shape, a garage door repair technician can replace them.
3. SOMETHING IS BLOCKING THE DOOR’S PATH
As mentioned in issue #1, garage doors are designed with a reversing mechanism that prevents them from crashing into objects in their way. If you find that your garage door closes part way and then goes back up, this can be triggered by objects on the ground blocking their path such as garbage cans or toys. It could also be caused by a buildup of debris on the tracks that prevents the rollers from moving forward. This could include small items like rocks, gum or mud buildup. If the door hits even a small object on the track, it will go back up to avoid crushing whatever is underneath it.
4. BROKEN GARAGE DOOR SPRINGS
If you hear a loud POP in the garage, and your garage door won’t go up, despite power is getting to the motor or even manually, then you may have broken torsion springs.
If you happen to be home when your garage door springs break, you’ll hear a loud bang from inside your garage (some people might think a firecracker went off inside their garage). That’s because garage doors can be very heavy and despite what most people think, it’s not the garage door opener that does the heavy lifting, but rather the heavy-duty springs of the door.
Garage doors come with one or two torsion springs. If either spring is broken, the garage door opener may struggle to lift the heavy weight of the door or fail to open the door at all. If a spring is broken, call a professional for service as replacement of garage door springs can be dangerous. Don’t try to open the door until a professional comes to inspect it and replace the springs. Springs can only be used for a certain number of open and close cycles, and over time they will eventually break and need replacing.
5. GARAGE DOOR LIMIT SETTINGS ARENT PROPERLY SET
This limit range tells the garage door opener how far the door should move before it’s fully closed shut. If your settings are too high, the door will hit the ground before the opener thinks it should and assume the door is hitting something in its path. It will then automatically reverse to prevent crushing whatever is beneath it.
If you find that adjusting the limit settings isn’t working, it might be time to call a technician to come and help get your garage door to stay closed.
6. THE DISCONNECT SWITCH WAS ENABLED
If your garage door opener is running but the door doesn’t move, the disconnect switch may have been enabled. Every garage door opener comes with a disconnect switch in case you lose power & electricity. This allows you to open or close the door manually so your car isn’t stuck in the garage until the power comes back on.
This switch is usually attached to a rope hanging down from the rail connecting the garage door to the opener (for overhead openers) or hanging from the opener itself (for sidemount Jackshaft openers) that can be pulled or a knob that can be turned to disconnect. Sometimes, this switch can accidentally come unhooked causing the door to be disconnected from the motor.
7. THE DOOR WAS MANUALLY LOCKED
If your garage door doesn’t open, but the opener motor runs for just a few seconds and then shuts off, the garage door itself may have manually been locked. If you’ve checked the door springs and the track for obstacles, and those things appear to be fine, check to see if the lock on the door is engaged.
Quite a few garage doors come with manual locks, especially the older models, for added security. These typically look like a knob or handle in the middle of your door with two bars running horizontally from each side. It can be somewhat easy to accidentally hit, especially if you’re getting large objects out of the trunk of your car near the door.
To manually unlock your garage door, simply turn the handle until you hear a clicking sound. This will move the horizontal bars away from the edges and secure the handle in the open position.
8. THE CABLES ARE LOOSE OR SNAPPED
Garage doors have tension springs and cables that help to slowly and safely lower your door while closing. If these tension springs or cables break, you might find that your garage door closes really fast, often with a loud bang when it hits the ground. Once the door is closed, it will not reopen without repair. This is very dangerous as there is nothing preventing the garage door from crushing something that might be below it (dead weight of the door). It’s best to call a garage door professional as soon as you can to have them come out and have him inspect and offer best options of repair.
ALL Garage Doors and Gates has been installing and repairing garage doors for years. We know the ins-and-outs of residential and commercial garage door repair, and we can help diagnose the garage door issues free of charge. We handle everything from automatic garage door openers to new garage doors. We provide repairs and service to customers in the Los Angeles and Santa Clarita Counties. Call us today 747-261-0570 or email us at GarageDoorGatesRepair@Gmail.com to answer your garage door questions or to schedule a free consultation with our skilled garage door technicians.