Automatic garage doors are a convenience that not many people think about these days. We only stop to think about how nice they are after they’ve stopped working. That’s because a garage door becomes a colossal pain to deal with once it no longer opens.
There are many reasons why your garage door might have stopped working for you. Fortunately, many of these underlying issues have easy fixes. This guide explores the many reasons why your garage door may have stopped functioning correctly and what you can do to handle each issue.
The Transmitter Remote Died
In many instances, if your garage door suddenly stops working, the issue likely has to do with the transmitter remote. These devices don’t need much energy to function, but they do need a little. If the batteries die, you won’t be able to open your garage door until you replace them. The replacement batteries you’ll need will vary depending on the type of transmitter you own, but switching them out is usually pretty easy.
If new batteries don’t do the trick, the remote itself might be dead. If you know your receiver’s brand, you can probably find a replacement transmitter remote that is compatible with it. If you don’t know this information, you can buy a universal remote that will link up with almost any type of garage door opener.
The Transmitter Receiver Isn’t Working
Before buying a new transmitter remote, you should check the receiver to ensure it’s still working. Sometimes, the receiver works fine, but it can’t receive a signal due to being blocked by a wall, car, or some other large object. You’ll want to make sure the antenna for the receiver is hanging down in a spot that’s clear of all obstacles.
If the antenna is damaged or the receiver just won’t pick up the signal, the whole unit might be fried. Fortunately, you won’t need to replace the entire door; however, you will need a new transmitter receiver and remote. Once you replace those components, your garage should go back to normal.
There’s a Problem With the Photo Eye
Another common issue that keeps garage doors from moving occurs when something blocks the photo eye. This invisible sensor keeps the garage from closing on something or someone. Even though this is a great safety feature, it can be annoying if something keeps falling in front of the photo eye. Usually, a child’s toy or piece of gardening equipment will be to blame. Keeping the areas clear near each eye should fix the issue.
But even if the photo eye is clear, it could still be the cause of issues if it’s bent out of shape. The eyes need to line up to work properly. Luckily, these components are easy enough to bend back into place, meaning this is another easy fix for you. However, if the photo eyes are completely broken, you’ll need to replace them.
The Track Is Bent Out of Shape
Other components that can become bent out of shape are the tracks that the garage door rides on. If you catch this problem early on, you can probably fix it yourself by loosening the screws and bending the track back into place. If you notice the door making a grinding or rubbing noise or jittering as it moves, you still have time to fix the issue on your own. If the garage door no longer moves at all, you’ll need to call a professional to fix or replace the broken track.
The Springs or Cables Are Broken
One of the worst reasons for your garage door to stop working occurs when the springs or cables that control it break. Let’s start by looking at the torsion springs. These are the main components that raise and lower your garage door. If one of them snaps, the door won’t go anywhere. You’ll know when these springs break because it will be quite loud. Some people describe the noise as similar to the sound of a firecracker going off.
If the issue comes from the tension springs or cables, the door will still open fine, but it will slam closed every time. Even though the torsion springs also play a role in closing the door, the tension springs are responsible for making the process gentler. If the torsion springs don’t have this extra help, they’ll be much more likely to break.
Regardless of which sets of springs or cables snap, you’ll need a professional garage door replacement team to come over and look at the issue for you. They will let you know if any of the components are fixable or if you’re better off replacing the entire system, which is usually the case for these types of damages.
The Disconnect Switch Was Turned On
A garage door may also stop working if the disconnection switch is enabled. All garage doors have this feature in case the home loses power, and the homeowner needs to open the garage. This switch allows you to manually move the door without messing up any of the automatic components. However, if this switch was activated accidentally, your door won’t go anywhere. Simply turning the switch back off will remedy the issue.
The Garage Door Is Locked
Another problem that isn’t too common but is easy to fix is figuring out whether someone manually locked the garage door. Many people forget that this is a possibility since the feature rarely gets used, but it is possible to lock a garage door. And, of course, a locked garage door isn’t going to open. While not all modern garage doors can lock, most older ones can lock with an exterior handle. If you notice that this is the issue, unlocking the handle should return functionality to your garage door.
The Settings Are Misconfigured
While most of the issues mentioned here have to do with the door not opening, this one has to do with it not closing properly. When you first set up your new garage door, you must set the door limit so that the system knows how far to move the door in order to close it. If this setting wasn’t configured or entered correctly, the door might try forcing itself through the concrete.
Obviously, that would break the internal components, so most systems will stop forcing the action and reverse directions, leading the garage door to close and immediately reopen. If this happens, you must reset the dials that tell the garage how far to close. You might need to do some remeasuring, but this issue should be easy to fix.