Garage Door Won’t Open

There are many reasons why your garage door won’t open. Some problems can be repaired quickly yourself, while others may require a service technician.  Use the following list of checkpoints below to troubleshoot an overhead door that won’t open. Before hiring a professional garage door repairman, see if you can fix the problem yourself.

Broken Spring

The most common reason for a garage door not opening is a broken torsion spring. Garage door springs do the majority of the lifting when raising the garage door. Automatic garage door openers may be able to lift extremely lite weight doors, but double car doors or steel back doors are often too heavy. Never try to raise a garage door that has a broken spring with the electric opener, unless you have no other options. Doing so will likely result in a stripped gear or burned out motor.

Stripped Gear

Inside your operator is a white nylon gear. These parts are prone to long term wear and tend to strip with age. Keeping these parts greased can extend life. Eventually all gears fail and need replacement. A stripped gear will prohibit your motor from opening the garage door.

Lock Button Engaged

Most people overlook the lock feature on the garage door opener. Most control panels have a lock button which is pressed to engage and disengage. These buttons can get pressed accidentally or forgotten about completely.  Sometimes children press buttons on the control panel, or homeowners forget they engaged the device after leaving town.

Dead Battery

Remote control batteries should be replaced every five years. Although some batteries last longer you run the risk of corrosion which can cause permanent damage. Always replace batteries in a reasonable amount of time.  This will keep your remote control signal strong and maintain range.

Power Outage

Is the garage door motor plugged into an outlet? Did you experience a power outage from a storm or tripped circuit? Always check to make sure you garage door opener is getting power. After storms and blackouts check digital displays for power. If you have a battery backup feature, make sure the battery in the motor is charging.

Bad Circuit Board

If you have experienced a power surge due to a lightning strike you may have a bad circuit board. If the door opens on its own or won’t respond with the wall control when closing, consider replacing the circuit board. Take note of the model number on the back of the control panel. Many Chamberlain, Liftmaster and Craftsman opens start with the prefix 41A. You will also need to know the color of the program button.

Remote Control Not Programmed

Holding down the learn button on the back of your motor will erase all links to remotes and keypads. Follow your manufacturers instruction to reprogram your remote controls.

Bad Remote Range

Government regulation allows for ranges of up to 150 feet. However, most controls barely range to 50 feet. Communications towers, secured buildings and metal interfere with remote control signals. Extend your garage door opener antenna by connecting wire to the end of the purple antenna hanging from the garage door operator. Run the wire up through the punch angle iron holes. The metal angle should help conduct a signal better.

Slide or Keyed Lock Engaged

Never use a slide or keyed lock on a garage door that has an automatic electric opener installed. If you forget to unlock the door and run the opener you will burn out the motor and buckle the top section.

Trolley Disengaged

Pulling the red release cord disconnects the operator arm from the trolley. If you forget to reconnect the trolley your door will not open. Most openers automatically reconnect after you engage the operator.

Reasons Why Garage Doors Won’t Open

The list above is thorough, but not exhaustive. The checkpoints listed make up the majority of reasons garage doors won’t raise. Things like track alignment and worn out garage door openers can also explain trouble opening overhead doors. When in doubt, consult a certified garage door repair technician and your local garage door dealer.

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