Automatic garage door openers provide safety, security, and convenience to your home. While these systems are designed to give homeowners years of reliable service, they are complex systems with many moving parts that often operating under extreme conditions and heavy loads. Therefore, even the best systems occasionally have problems. The good news is that many common problems these machines experience can be fixed. Garage door opener repair, along with regular maintenance, can save you loads of time, hassle and money. Here are a few of the most common problems that can be repaired:
Incorrectly Adjusted Travel or Force Limits
As the opener system opens and closes the garage door, it needs to know when to stop. Travel limits control where the door stops, and force limits stop the door if something impedes its opening or closing. If your opener stops with the door partially opened or closed, the problem is likely incorrectly adjusted travel limits. If the door abruptly reverses direction in the middle of travel, or has power but doesn’t move when the controls are pushed, the problem is probably incorrect force limits. Always have a professional repair these problems, and never use force limits to compensate for a stuck or misaligned door. Failure to do so causes a risk of injury or death, particularly to small children or pets.
Incorrectly Programmed Remote Controls
The wireless controller with which your garage door opener is equipped allows operation of the door without direct access to a wired control panel. The remote control must be programmed properly in order for it to work correctly. While this is usually done by your installer at the time of installation, controllers sometimes lose their programming for various reasons and must be reprogrammed. If you are pressing the button to open the door on the controller but nothing is happening, check the battery first. If the battery is good, the controller may need to be reprogrammed. This process varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and can usually be found online or in your owner’s manual. If you have trouble, contact our helpful professionals for assistance.
Disengaged or Stuck Trolley
Garage door openers use a motor to open and close the door. The motor turns a belt or chain, which is connected to a trolley or carriage. This trolley then pushes on the opener arm, moving the door up and down. A piece of rope, usually red, hangs down from the trolley. When this rope is pulled, it disengages the trolley, allowing the door to be manually opened and closed. This feature is provided in case of emergency or malfunction. If your garage door hums for a few seconds without moving, the trolley may be disengaged. If so, follow the instructions in your owner’s manual to reengage the trolley. If the trolley is engaged, but the door still isn’t operating, then the trolley may be stuck. Common culprits of a stuck trolley are stop bolts and stop tabs. Because the stop tabs or stop bolts are part of the safety system and fixing a stuck trolley involves adjusting the travel limits (see above) and releasing the tension in the drive belt or chain, this type of repair is best performed by a professional.
Malfunctioning Safety Sensors
Most modern garage door systems use photo-optic safety sensors to prevent the door from accidentally closing on people or property and causing injury or damage. The sensors project an invisible beam of light across the bottom of the door. If this beam is interrupted, the opener will not function. If the beam emitter has burned out, has a loose electrical connection, or if the emitter and reflector have become misaligned, it causes a false signal to the door, making operation of the opener sporadic or preventing it completely.
Worn Out Motor
The motor is the beating heart of any garage door opener. Without a motor, nothing happens. Slow travel of the door, grinding noises, or the smell of hot wires during operation are all good indications of trouble with your motor. Due to the importance of the motor, and the risk of electric shock, motors should be replaced by a qualified professional. Attempting to disassemble and repair the opener yourself will usually void the warranty on the system.
If your automatic garage door opener is experiencing any of these problems, it’s time to give us a call and schedule a free estimate from one of our friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable service technicians. Because we carry a full line of parts, we can often fix problems on all makes and models the same day. Our professional staff is available to answer questions and give tips on maintenance, and we even offer emergency service. If your garage door opener is experiencing any of these problems, don’t wait for it to become an even worse, expensive, or dangerous situation. Contact us today.