This guide will help every homeowner. Whether you are a first time buyer or a seasoned “DIYer” or somewhere in between. Part one focuses on when the garage door will not close.
A Quick Waring About Your Garage Door
Your garage door is the largest moving object in a home and can cause serious injury or death. Keeping that in mind, this guide is meant to aid you with determining why your door is not working properly. It will help you decide whether it’s a quick fix you can handle yourself. Or is it a serious issue that should be left to a professional.
Even if it is a problem that you should leave to the professionals, knowing what the issue is alone can help a lot.
When The garage door won’t close:
As a garage door service company this is one of the most frequent calls we get. There are a few different reasons why a garage door will not close.
Sometimes a professional is needed but the number one culprit is something homeowners can take care of quickly and easily their self.
Safety sensors are the number 1 culprit. These exist on every automatic garage door opener installed after 1993. You can find them towards the bottom of your garage door track and will have an LED light on them.
How to tell if the sensors are the problem:
Door will not close with the remote
Garage Door opener lights flash when door reverses
Garage door sensors are not universal so, they do not all look the same or have the same colored LED lights. So, do not worry about what color the lights are. Both lights should be on and lit up solid. (Not blinking)
Garage Door Sensor Is Blinking:
Both LED lights are on but one of them is blinking, which means they are misaligned.
Whether they are screwed to the wall or directly attached to the track, ensure they are secure and installed at the same height.
If you have a Liftmaster, chamberlain or craftsman brand opener you may need to loosen the wing nut and adjust the sensor then re-tighten the wing nut. Let’s say none of that works. Then you may have a slight short in the wire. You can try to jiggle the wire back and forth and can get the light to stay solid. If that happens, you have a short in the wire. Replace the wiring first, if that does’t work replace the sensor.
Once the light goes solid your door will operate as normal.
Garage Doors Sensor(s) Are Not Lit:
If the LED lights on your sensors are not lit up then chances are there is a wiring problem. Garage door sensor wires are low voltage so you do not need to worry about electrocution. Sometimes a wire may have just come loose sometimes, a rodent or pet may have chewed the wire.
Just visually inspect the wires. Look for a wiring issue at the sensor itself. Then, inspect where the wires are connected to the back of the motor head. You will most likely need a step stool for this.
Replacing Garage Door Sensors
If you cannot visibly find a wiring issue, you may have a bad set of sensors. Garage door sensors are brand specific and can be purchased either online or even easier, and Home Depot or Lowes.
If you are comfortable using a pair of wire strippers and a screwdriver or drill this should be a fairly simple garage door repair for you to tackle on your own.
Other possible issues when the garage door will not close:
When a cable has come off the drum it will get tangled on the torsion tube. This will not allow the door to close. That’s a lot of technical information if you do not repair garage doors, so here is a visual of what that looks like.
When your garage door is stuck open and the cable is not spooled do not attempt to close it. It is highly recommended that you call a professional. If the cable tension is not correct serious damage can occur to the door. Which can turn a quick simple fix into a major repair or even possibly a new garage door.
What causes garage door cables to come off?
Door became obstructed in motion
Broken Torsion Spring
Garage door opener is programmed incorrectly
Garage door tracks are not level
How to fix garage door cables
First and foremost, Garage door cables are under extreme tension and can cause serious injury. Proper precautions need to be taken. Although fixing a cable issue is routine to a professional this is one repair homeowners should sit out.
Once the door is leveled out and the cable is re-spooled there may need to be adjustments to the torsion springs. Torsion springs are also under extreme tension. Due to this, it is definitely recommended that you hire a professional to handle any cable issues.
Garage door will not close with remote (but closes with wall button)
If you are having this problem and you have determined it is not the safety issues there are only a few possibilities.
Check the battery in your remote
Most remotes use a watch style battery CR2032 they cost about $5
When changing the battery doesn’t work try a new remote
Most garage major garage door openers can be programmed to work with a chamberlain universal remote, which can be easily purchased online or at a home depot or lowes.
If neither of the above work than most likely you have a bad receiver on your circuit board. Based on the make and model as well as the age of the garage door opener a new circuit board may be feasible or you may want to purchase a new garage door opener.
Garage Door will not close with wall button ( but closes with remote)
If your garage door will not close with the push button on the wall but your remote works fine you either have a faulty wall button or a wiring issue as the wall buttons are hardwired to the circuit board of your garage door opener. You can locate your model number on the back of the opener many times you can find a new wall button online for a great price and it is a pretty straight forward repair.in order to avoid the headache you want to be 100% sure of the diagnosis. This is when you may want to call and hire a professional.
Damaged Garage Door Panels.
Whether it be from the door being hit, closed on something or an improper repair/installation, sometimes your panels will develop cracks. As these cracks get worse the door will begin to not want to close. This will cause the garage door panel to sag when the door is in the up position, when this happens it becomes impossible for that section of the door to make it through the curved part of the track.
Fixing VS replacing damaged Sections
Once a garage door panel becomes damaged to the point of it cracking the damage is irreversible and fixing it is just a band-aid.
With a cracked panel a garage door technician can add a strut ( a steel I-beam type of support) to help support the panel. The strut gets attached to the damaged section and goes from one end of the door to the other. This applies some outward pressure strengthening the panel and allowing it to make it through the curve in the track on the way down.
When the damage is too bad a new panel will be needed and truly should be recommended to be done at some point regardless if a temporary repair can be made.
Every 10 years or so garage door manufacturers tend to change panel designs and this can unfortunately make swapping out panels impossible. When this happens to you, unfortunately a new garage door would be the solution.
If you are having problems with your garage door not closing, this guide should have helped you determine why. If you were unable to fix it yourself at least you know what the issue is and this can help you a lot when talking to and dealing with a local garage door company.