11 Reasons Why Your Garage Door Won’t Open

On November 20, 2019 by Preeti Shah

Why Your Garage Door Won't Open

Garage doors are frequently used day in and day out. It wouldn’t be surprising that it’s one of the mechanisms that’s most exposed to wear and tear in your home. Garage doors are bound to have functional issues, especially during the winter when power outages occur.

There are many reasons as to why garage doors fail to open or function properly. Knowing what causes your garage door can provide solutions to the issues. Otherwise, it is best to look for professional help.

These are the 11 common problems why garage doors won’t open:

  1. Obstruction In The Photo Eye

The garage door manufactured in the last 15 to 20 years has a built-in photo-eye that detects an object or person blocking the door from lowering throughout. In most doors, the photo-eye (which is usually about the size of a pea) will be about four to six inches off the ground. It shoots a laser across the length of that garage, which is interrupted, cuts the signal needed to open or close the door.

Routinely check if the cord is attached to the eye or if it is damaged. Misalignment between the photo-eyes can also affect the way it functions. When two sides interact, LED lights activate on both ends. Photo eyes will consist of one red light and one green light. When misaligned, the beam won’t be able to scan the clearance. Misalignment is usually caused by physical pressure, fatigue, and other issues.

Dust and dirt can also clog the eye. This can be cleaned using a tissue.

  1. Operator Is Not Receiving Power

Sometimes, simple things like forgetting your power cord are unplugged can disrupt your garage door’s performance. It sounds ridiculous, but it happens a lot. Make sure your doors are plugged before conducting a performance test.

Another culprit can be a faulty outlet. Try plugging in a lamp or an electric tool to test if the outlet works. If the lamp won’t open in that outlet compared to other ones you have in your home, then it’s highly the reason why your doors won’t open.

Blown circuit breakers and fuse can also interrupt the power flow. If this is the case, you need a professional to help you fix it.

  1. Torsion Springs May Be Broken

A loud noise like that of a firecracker could be a signal that your torsion spring broke. Broken springs are the most common repair sought by homeowners from repair companies. It is the first thing that breaks in your unit.

Never attempt to open your doors if your spring is broken. This can get very dangerous. Leave it to the professionals’ skills with the right knowledge and tools to do the job.

  1. Cables Have Snapped

Your garage door cables can get disengaged. Usually, if your torsion springs break, the cables snap as well. Repair for this issue also requires a professional to fix.

  1. Sensitivity Is Out Of Adjustment

This can happen to both new and old garage doors. The sensitivity that is set too low or too high can cause the door not to open. Reset your door’s sensitivity according to the user manual.

  1. Malfunctioning Remote Control

If your remote control seems to malfunction, it is probably caused by one of these reasons:

  1. You are out of range.
  2. There could be damage in the antenna or blocked from the signal. Check if it is hung down from the motor.
  3. Your batteries are low. A quick change of fresh ones could do the trick.
  4. If all else fails, reprogram the remote setting.
  1. Need To Adjust The Limit Setting

A door that closes and immediately opens again might need to have the limit setting adjusted. The limit setting helps determine how far should the door move to close it properly.

Unadjusted limit setting can cause the door to shut down before it should. The opener will assume that the door has hit an obstacle and will automatically backtrack to avoid damage. Refer to your manual when adjusting the limit settings.

  1. The Door Is Misaligned Or Off Track

An off-track door won’t slide properly. Check if the door is rolling smoothly along its metal track. For a quick fix, loosen the screws that hold the track to the frame. Tap the track to its proper position. Retighten the screws after.

The track should not have bumps, bends, obstacles, or gaps. Any squeaking noise or friction should be consulted to a professional right away.

  1. An Unseen, Tiny Piece Of Obstacle Getting In The Way

Generally, garage doors automatically reverse should it come in contact with an obstacle. If your door closes halfway and then reverse without obvious reasons, take it as a sign that something is preventing it from closing.

Quickly inspect if the tracks have dirt, trash, rocks, or other debris. Wipe the tracks to dislodge anything that’s getting in the way.

  1. Check If The Disconnect Has Been Switched On

Most garage door openers come with a disconnect switch. This allows you to work the door manually in case the power is out. Make sure you have not accidentally disconnected your motor.

  1. Lock Mode Has Been Activated

If your door doesn’t open as prompted, check if you have accidentally switched on the lock mode. Refer to your user manual to get your exit out of lock mode.

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