Garage Door Opener Problems: A Troubleshoot Guide

    Photo: d00d/flickrHaving trouble with your garage door opener? Now’s the time to take care of any problems. Chances are good that come winter, you do not want to arrive home from work on a cold, dark evening and be stuck outside. Even in a mild climate like Atlanta, garage doors that can’t close securely may provide intruders with easy access to your home. Garage door opener troubleshooting will let you figure out whether you can fix the opener yourself or you have to call a professional. Even if you do need a garage door repair pro, it tends to save time and money when you can describe the source of the trouble. Here is our garage door opener troubleshooting guide.

    PROBLEM #1: The remote doesn’t work.

    TROUBLESHOOT: If the door opens and closes fine when you use the wall switch, there’s a problem with the remote control. Make sure you're holding the remote within range of the garage door opener and that the motor unit’s antenna is hanging down. Replace the batteries in the device if necessary and check that it has been correctly programmed. Still not working? You might need to purchase a new remote; make sure that it is compatible with your opener, or select a universal model.

    PROBLEM #2: The remote works, but the door still does not move.

    TROUBLESHOOT: When the garage door opener does not work with either the remote or the wall switch, look at the lights. If they’re not on, the unit is not receiving power. Verify that the motor unit is connected. See whether the outlet is working and check the circuit breaker, fuse or ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to determine whether you have an electrical problem on your hands.

    After you’ve checked out the electricity, investigate the emergency release chain. Pull the chain to disengage the carriage and allow the garage door to function independently of the opener. Then attempt to open the door manually.

    PROBLEM #3: The door either doesn’t close fully or reverses as soon as it hits the floor.

    TROUBLESHOOT: Have a look at the close limit switch. It may need adjustment. If this doesn’t solve the problem, try manually raising and lowering your garage door to make sure that it is binding.

    PROBLEM #4: The door opens and closes all the way, but the opener’s motor continues to run.

    TROUBLESHOOT: Once again, this probably means that the close limit switch requires adjustment. Experiment with moving it away from the motor unit.

    PROBLEM #5: The door reverses before it even touches the floor.

    TROUBLESHOOT: Check whether there is any obstruction blocking the door’s smooth closure. If not, try adjusting the close force.

    PROBLEM #6: The opener stops in the middle of operation or fails to engage at all.

    TROUBLESHOOT: Since 1993, garage door openers come equipped with a pair of sensor beams. These increase safety but may sometimes cause performance problems. Ensure that both beam lights are on (one red and one green) and that nothing is interfering with their function. This could be one of several things: improper alignment of the sensors, a physical object between them, or grime or moisture on their surface.

    Laura Firszt writes for

    Updated April 10, 2018.

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