Garage Door Won’t Open? Why?
Let’s face it, you use your garage door more than your front door. So does the rest of Atlanta. We get it, it’s a convenient habit. However, when that garage door Won’t open, the frustration and panic sets in. Don’t worry we are here to help with this pesky problem. This article will help to identify why and what YOU can do about it.
What to do with this guide:
1. Find The Heading With Your Symptoms
2. Spend A Couple Minutes Reading
3. Spend A Couple Minutes In Your Garage
4. Fix it!
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Garage Door Won’t Open With Remote:
This is most common problem. You hit the button on the remote and nothing happens. It never happens at a convenient time, lets face it, if you’re using the garage door, you need to get something done.
Pro Tip: First things first, a friendly reminder/tip. Only use your remote from outside the garage, never inside, use your wall switch from inside the garage. This will prevent so many accidents. Alright let’s get into it.
If you hit the button on the remote and the garage door won’t open here are a few quick steps. Whatever you do: do not continue to just hit the button repeatedly, it will not magically fix itself.
- Enter the garage a different way. If you have another garage door use it, or go through the house. (If this is not an option, experience is needed you should call a professional to prevent damage to the door.
- Inspect your springs: Your springs act as a counter balance system making the garage door feel light to you and your garage door opener. If you have a broken garage door spring your garage door won’t open. As long as you do not have a broken spring you can complete the rest of the troubleshooting.
How to Identify A Broken Garage Door Spring:
This may seem like a strange place to start, but it is most important. If your garage door will not open because of a broken spring you do not want to continue with any other steps as it could result in damage to your door. Or in rare cases injury. If you have a two car garage with 1 door you will most likely have a torsion spring system. You will see a metal rod above your garage door with 1 or (hopefully) 2 coil like things in the middle of the rod. If there is a gap (usually 2-3 inches) you have a broken spring. Spring replacement should only be done by professionals.
3. Open the door using the wall switch: If the switch on the wall works then you know you have an issue with your remote. Try new batteries first, if new batteries do not do the trick, you need a new remote. Also ensure the wall button is not locking out the remotes ( consult your owners manual) You can buy a universal remote from your local hardware store. You can check out our recommendation here.
4.Troubleshoot your garage door opener: When the garage door will not open with your remote or wall switch you have a problem with your actual opener. Here is a simple List of possible symptoms & what they mean. Some garage door opener repair can be done by a home owner. Other repairs may require a trained professional.
Wall Button Does Nothing
If your wall button does not respond at all when the button is pushed it is one of a few things:
- Tripped breaker or GFCI Outlet
- A faulty Wall Button
- Faulty wiring between opener and wall button
- Faulty Circuit Board
First check the power to the outlet the garage door is plugged into by plugging in a device you know works. (Night lights work great for this). If the outlet is good it is not a tripped breaker or GFCI outlet.
Once you have confirmed the outlet is good you have narrowed down the issue.
If the outlet is good and the wall button and your safety eyes do not light up you most likely have a bad circuit\logic board.
To test the wall button and the wiring first remove the wall button. If you have an older opener you can just touch the wires together ( no this will not shock you or short out anything) if the opener runs you have a bad wall button.
To test the wire and the button you can use some low voltage wire and directly plug the wire into the opener where the wall button wires go after attaching the new low voltage wire to the button. Then bush the button that opens and closes your door. If the opener works then you have faulty wiring. Just replacing the wiring will fix the issue.
Garage Door Opener Just Clicks
If you hit the button on your remote or the wall switch and the garage door opener just makes a clicking noise, then you have a bad logic board. When the logic board on your opener fails you have 2 options:
- Replace the logic board. These are brand and model specific. You cannot use a Liftmaster logic board on a Genie opener for example.
- Replace the whole opener. Generally speaking we make this decision based on the age of the opener. 8 yrs and older we recommend replacement of the whole unit.
If you are capable of correctly identifying the correct model number and can use a screw driver this can very easily be a DIY project. Remember to always unplug your garage door opener before attempting any repair.
Garage Door Opener Just Hums
If you hit the switch on the wall and the garage door opener just hums then you have a bad capacitor. The capacitor is what “jump starts” the motor to get it running. Your logic board gets the signal from the wall switch, the logic board sends the signal to the capacitor which then jump starts the motor, when the motor is just humming it hasn’t received enough power to run. Most of the time when a capacitor blows it will leave an oily residue on the case. Changing a capacitor is not a difficult repair, but you will need to order one online and ensure that it is the same microfarad rating as your current capacitor. You can inspect the capacitor to see what size it is or check the replacement parts section of your owners manual for the part number. Remember to always unplug your garage door opener before attempting any repair.
Garage Door Motor Runs But Chain Doesn’t Move
If the logic board is good and the capacitor is good then the motor will start, if it runs but will not turn the chain ( or belt) then the gear & or sprocket assembly has failed. Your gear & or sprocket fails from having a door that is not balanced properly. That could be the wrong size springs (too big or too small of springs can cause this). Springs that are old and weak but not broken yet can also cause this problem. Although you may be able to successfully replace the gear and sprocket yourself it is highly likely you will mess up the limit settings in the process. If the limit settings are wrong your door will not stop when it is suppose to going up and or down. Also because this problem 9 times out of 10 is caused by a bigger issue that you should not attempt your self we recommend you call in the professionals for this garage door repair.
Garage Door Won’t Open All The Way
This problem can be caused by a few thing which are always pretty easy to identify.
- A broken Spring : Most common issue, a broken garage door spring. You can almost always see the broken spring unless you have a Wayne Dalton torque master spring system. If you see a Wayne Dalton sticker on your garage door and a metal rod above the door with no coil looking object on the rod then your springs are inside that tube and you should call a garage door repair company.
- Incorrect Limit settings: If the door will open but not all the way and it stops in the same spot every time you may need to adjust the up limit on your garage door opener. This is something a homeowner can do. In order to learn how to adjust your particular garage doo opener consult your owners manual for programming instructions. If you do not physically have a copy of the manual you can download one online by a quick google search, just be sure to include the manufacturer and model number in your search.
- Bad RPM Sensor : For some garage door opener brands ( like genie and overhead door company, which is really a genie opener.) this may be called an encoder. If your door will only travel 6-8″ in either direction at a time then you most likely have a bad RPM Sensor. This is another garage door opener repair a home owner could do, but you may want to consult a professional to speed up the process. Otherwise consult your owners manual for the replacement part number and order it online from a garage door parts store like this one.
Quick Summary Checklist
- Check For Broken Spring
- Rule Out Remote & Or Keypad Problem
- Test Wall Button
- Troubleshoot Opener
Having Issues With Your Garage Door Closing? Check Out Our Guide Here.