One of the most common causes of garage door opener failure is simply the power cord. Most often the cord shakes loose from the vibration of the opener.
Check the circuit breaker that powers the opener.
An electrical surge, even a small one, can cause a breaker to trip. Check your home’s breaker panel to see if the breaker is no longer in the “On” position. If so, toggle the breaker switch to the “Off” and “On” position to reset the breaker.
If the garage door is locked from the inside, it won’t open. We sometimes overlook the simplest things, so it’s worth mentioning and inspecting before you move on.
Check to see if the trolley has been disconnected.
The trolley moves along the chain drive when the garage door is opening or closing. Of course, all garage door openers come with a pull-cord or switch that disengages the trolley whenever you’d like to open the door by hand. With that in mind, check to make sure the cord was not inadvertently pulled and the trolley disconnected. Reconnect the trolley according to your owner’s manual for instructions, and you’ll be back in business.
Suspect the problem is in the remote, try resetting it.
If the door opens when you press the button on the wall-mounted control keypad but not when you use the remote, you might have just pinpointed the source of the problem. Try resetting the remote. You’ll need your owner’s manual, as the procedure to reset the remote varies by manufacturer, but it’s a relatively quick fix that involves pushing the buttons on the remote and on the keypad in a specific sequence.
Clean the photo eye.
The photo eye, a small sensor, hovers four to eight inches above the floor on the inside of the garage door track to detect objects in the path of the garage door. If it senses something, it signals the door to stop closing—a wonderful safety feature that prevents the door from closing on pets or small children. The caveat: A dirty photo eye can keep the door from moving in either direction. Wipe off the photo eye with a soft rag and then try to open the door again.
Adjust the opener’s pulling force.
If your opener is more than five years old, it was most likely programmed with a specific amount of force needed to pull the garage door up. Over time, that amount of force needs to be increased to compensate for damage to the rollers or the door tracks, any of which makes it difficult for the opener to lift the door. A nut located on the opener can be turned with a wrench to increase the opener’s pulling power. By increasing the pulling force, the opener may be able to open the door again. Newer models, on the other hand, have done away with the adjustment nut adjust the pulling force automatically.
The door might be off the track.
When a roller on the garage door comes off one of the side tracks, the opener won’t be able to lift the door. This can happen if a track is accidentally struck by a heavy object and bent outward, allowing the door rollers to slip out. Still, you may be able to disconnect the opener (using the disconnect switch mentioned above) and raise the door by hand while maneuvering the rollers back into the tracks. It helps to have at least two people to do this. When the door is fully open, use a mallet to lightly tap the bent side of the track back into alignment. The door should then lower easily, and you can reconnect the opener.
A torsion spring has broken.
Many garage doors have a powerful torsion spring located horizontally above the door. When the door is lowered, the spring winds up tightly, creating a pulling force that helps lift the door up. Over time, torsion springs wear out and break, making the door too heavy for the opener to raise. Installing a new torsion spring is a job for a qualified garage door technician, though—if the spring snaps off during installation it can severely injure anyone near the door.
If the above remedies didn’t fix the door, it’s time to call a garage door repairman.
Problems within the opener, itself, should also be inspected and repaired by a professional. A logic board might have failed and now needs replacing, or gears within the unit might have worn out. Before you do, though, consider the age of your opener. These units have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years. You may consider installing a new one rather than paying to fix an older model.
Please give us a call! We would be happy to help troubleshoot or schedule a technician to help fix the problem.