Common Garage Door Opener Problems

When your garage door suddenly stops operating correctly, you should know that it’s time to check on your garage door opener to locate the problem.

It can help you know what kind of garage door opener you have in your garage and how it operates to determine the exact problem.

Every garage door opener runs by a motorized device attached to the door that opens and closes the garage door panels. Depending on the garage door type, the door opener comprises a power unit and an electric motor that attaches to a track through a belt, chain, screw, or jackshaft. A trolley connected to an arm attached to the top of the garage door slides up and down or back and forth on the track, thus opening and closing the garage door.

While it’s common for the garage door opener to stop working efficiently after some time because it requires regular maintenance, lubrication, or parts replacement, it could be because of a unit’s fault.

10 Most Common Garage Door Opener Problems

Here is the list of the ten most common garage door issues.

Garage Door Won’t Close Entirely

This is the scenario when the garage door operates effectively but fails to close completely. There are three probable reasons for this.

  • The garage door with the close-limit switch will encounter this problem. The close limit switch may need adjusting to calibrate the set-limits that instruct the motor when to stop running while opening and closing. If the close-limit switch is set wrong, it may prevent the door from closing entirely.

The close-limit switch is a garage door safety feature employed in every garage door to prevent garage door panels from collapsing onto something.  Adjusting the limit switch will stop your garage door from behaving erratically. You’d need to manually adjust the screws on the motor unit to adjust how far the door can descend.

  • Another problem is with the faulty safety-sensors.  Safety sensors are located near the bottom of the door track on both sides that require a clear line of view between them. The door will close all the way smoothly to the floor when the sightline is clear. The safety sensor problem may occur when something is blocking the sightline or when the brackets holding the electronic sights are out of alignment. The door won’t close entirely or will stop mid-way and reverse.

The photo eye sensors may need adjustments or realignment overtime to fix the brackets and sight path. Ensure nothing is blocking the light between the electronic photo eye sensors. Clean the photo eye sensors with a clean cloth to remove debris from blocking the light.

  • Sometimes, rusty or damaged rollers can also prevent garage door openers from operating smoothly. It’s time to lubricate the rusty rollers with high-grade silicone lubricant or replace the damaged roller altogether.

Garage Door Reverses Before Hitting the Floor

One of the most plausible reasons for this is the faulty safety-sensor. Do check the sight path and sensors, and then clean the debris with a clean cloth.

Here are the two most possible problems for garage door reversing problem.

  • Most garage door openers have an adjustment screw that controls the garage door panels’ closing force and let it descend entirely before the motor switches off. The friction of the door rollers within the tracks may be sending a wrong message to the door opener into thinking the door has reached the floor.

The adjustment screws will need calibration or readjustments to fix the close-force setting’s sensitivity.

  • Another possible reason for this is the damaged or rusted rollers. Be wary of the unusual sound when you open or close the door. Rusty or damaged rollers can emit unusual noises. Please make sure the rollers are in good shape by lubricating them with silicone lubricant.

Garage Door Reverses Immediately Upon Touching the Floor

This problem is somewhat similar to the garage door reversing before touching the floor. When the garage door immediately reverts after touching the floor, the problem could lie in the close-limit switch. The garage door reverts upon touching any surface; hence you’d need to adjust the setting so that the door panel stops just upon it touches the floor.

You’d need to adjust the close-limit switch by adjusting the screw on the door opener motor in small increments until the door stops upon touching the floor.

Garage Door Doesn’t Open Completely

If you’ve noticed that your garage door opens appropriately but stops short when it’s about to fully open, there might be a problem with the motor unit or rollers.

  • Problem with the Switch: If you’re wondering what the switch is, well, it’s a simple touch-lever mounted on the end of the garage door tracks near the motor unit. If it’s farther from the motor, the motor will stop the door before it completely opens. You’d need to adjust the up-limit switch by moving it closer to the motor unit. Although rare, this problem mainly occurs with new garage door opener units.
  • Once again, check for the roller condition. Balky or damaged rollers can stop doors from opening completely. Replace the damaged rollers or and lubricate the rusty rollers with a silicone-based lubricant.

Garage Door Won’t Open in winter

This is instead a common problem with the most mechanical garage door openers during the winter seasons. The cold gust can often jam the garage door opener’s screw and rollers, causing the garage door panel to open only halfway or doesn’t close properly.

  • Start with looking for a screw on the motor unit and then adjust its sensitivity by slowly calibrating the screw until the door opens or closes completely.
  • Next, check for garage door opener rollers. It sometimes gets stiff because of the cold causing your garage door to fail to open at all. Consider de-icing and then lubricating the rollers.

Garage Door Motor Won’t Stop Running

Sometimes, the garage door panels will open and close completely, but the motor won’t stop running.  This is probably because the up-limit switch is too close to the motor unit. In this case, you should consider moving the up-limit switch slightly farther but not too far. Keeping the switch too far can prevent the door from opening completely.

Although rare, this kind of problem mostly occurs  when you install a new garage door opener unit.

Garage Door Unit Won’t Respond to Remote or Keypad.

This problem is persistent with a smart garage door opener or the door opener that uses remote control and keypad.

Here are some of the plausible reasons why your garage door unit isn’t responding.

  • When using a remote control, consider moving close to the garage door. You may be out of range of the antenna or the signal receiver.

Professional garage door openers are essentially small radios that operate at about 315mH, and a few feet of extra distance can affect the signal of the remote control.

  • If the wall switch keypad is working fine, but the remote control won’t work, it could be time to replace the remote batteries.
  • If your remote keyword doesn’t respond to the command even after replacing the battery, then it’s time to reprogram it. The button in the garage door remote control can sometimes lose its programming after excessive use. You can consider resetting it and then reprogramming it to your desired limit settings.

Neither Remote Control nor Wall-Mount Keypad Responds

This is a relatively rare condition for the garage door remote control and wall switch keypad to stop responding.  When the garage door doesn’t respond even after replacing the dead battery, it is likely with the power supply.

  • Check if the garage door opener’s motor unit is working. If it isn’t, it’s probably unplugged. Start by checking if the door opener is plugged into the outlet. Make sure you have plugged in the outlet.
  • Check for the funny smell around the circuit breaker, fuse, or GFCI (Ground-fault Circuit Interrupters) outlet. Sometimes, the door opener circuit must have tripped or burned out. You’ll need to reset the breaker or GFCI or replace the burned-out fuse.

If the circuit breaker or GFCI is repeatedly tripping, it could sign a short circuit somewhere in the system.

  • It’s probably that the garage opener’s motor has burned out and isn’t operating at all. You would need to replace the motor completely to solve this problem.

The Transmitter Batteries are dead

If the transmitter batteries run out, the transmitter won’t respond to any signal.

Start with checking if the transmitter still sends the motor’s signal to operate the garage door when pressed. If it does, then the transmitter in your car likely needs a simple battery replacement. Once the battery is in place, test the transmitter.

Garage Door Springs are Broken

The broken garage door’s extension springs will prevent the garage door from going up or down. Check if the transmitters are working correctly and the motor is powered.

You’ll likely hear a loud bang from inside your garage, resembling the sound of a firecracker going out.

Doors come with one or two garage door torsion springs. If either spring is broken, the garage door opener may stop lifting the weight of the door. This will require a garage door professional’s help. Consider calling the garage door technician to replace the springs.

When you already know what kind of garage door opener you have, it becomes easy to understand the exact problem and apply the garage door repair.

Most garage door openers encounter a motor unit problem, while some garage door openers falter during the winter season because of the frozen rollers. It’s always handy to have the manufacturer manual with you while troubleshooting for the garage door opener problems.

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