Garage Door Troubleshooting Tips For Homeowners

Posted on: 9 February 2015

Garage doors break from time to time, and while some garage door problems are easy DIY fixes, others are not. Understanding the symptoms will help you troubleshoot your door, and may give you a sense of when it's time to call a professional. 

The Remote Won't Work, But The Batteries Aren't Dead

If your remote control seems to have stopped working but you've replaced the batteries and know that they're fully charged, there could be one of a couple things going wrong. Many garage door openers have a "vacation mode" setting that enables the remote control to close the garage door but which prevents the remote control from opening the door again. In order to open the door, you'll need to go to the manual control box inside the garage and open the door from there. To fix the problem, follow the manufacturer's instructions that allow you to turn off the vacation mode setting. 

If this doesn't work, it's possible that the remote control itself is broken. You can solve this problem by purchasing a new remote control from the manufacturer, or by purchasing a universal remote. 

The Garage Door Opens But Won't Shut

If your garage door opens but won't close, the safety sensors that prevent the garage door from shutting on something in the path of the door could be dirty or out of alignment. Locate the sensors near the bottom of the door opening. There will be one sensor on each side of the door. Use a dry microfiber cloth to clean the sensors, then try shutting the door again. If the door still won't close, the sensors may need to be readjusted by a professional. Call a repair person to fix the problem. 

The Garage Door Won't Open At All

There are a number of things that could be wrong with your garage door opener that would cause the garage door not to open or close at all. Here are a few examples:

  • Broken torsion spring - The torsion spring is the large spring above the door that causes the door to open and shut. The torsion spring will be visible above the garage door. Torsion springs often make a loud "bang" when they break, and of course the broken pieces of the spring will be obvious and visible, so you'll know if the spring is broken. 
  • Broken trolley carriage - The trolley carriage is the part that moves along the rail parallel to the ceiling. If the trolley carriage is broken, it may move along the rail without moving the door. If this is the case, the trolley carriage will need to be replaced. 
  • Broken gear drive - If the gear drive is broken, you'll hear a grinding noise when you push the opener button, but the garage door itself won't move. 

These repairs are mechanically complex and some of these repairs (particularly the garage door spring repair) can be dangerous. If your garage door displays any of these symptoms, it's time to call a company like American Eagle Garage Door Services.

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When I was growing up, my parents worked very hard to make ends meet for my family and we lived in a small, basic home. After I landed my first job as an adult, I purchased my first home. When I got a promotion at work, my salary increased dramatically and I started dreaming of having my bathroom remodeled to give it a "luxury spa" feeling. I felt guilty having a luxury spa in my home when my parents still lived in the same small home they raised us in, so I had their bathroom turned into a "luxury spa" as well! It felt great being able to "pay it back" to them for all the hard work they did in raising our family. I am looking into other home remodeling projects now, and I want to share what I am learning with others who would need the information!

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