How I Came to Love Construction

Troubleshooting Your Garage Door Opener

by Wade Black

Garage door openers can stop functioning for a variety of reasons.  While they may require repair, there are some situations where you'll be able to take care of the problem yourself.  Before you call someone to repair your garage door, these simple troubleshooting steps can help you to rule out basic issues before you call for help.

Make Sure It's The Opener.  If your garage door isn't opening or closing properly, the first step is to determine whether it's the door, the tracks, or the opener itself.  Pull the release handle that disconnects the door from the opener and then try to open and close the door manually.

If it moves up and down the tracks smoothly when opened and closed by hand, you can turn your attention to the opener to find the problem.

Check The Wiring In The Wall Switch.  If your remote opener is working but the wall switch isn't, you can do a simple test to determine whether it's the wires or the switch itself.  Remove the switch from the wall and remove the back.  Carefully unscrew one of the wires and touch the wire to the opposite terminal - the voltage here is low and not dangerous - to see if causes the opener to run.

If this works, it's the switch itself that needs to be replaced, a simple and affordable fix under $20.  If this doesn't work, however, you can try touching a short wire to each terminal to see if the opener operates.  If so, the wiring in the switch is bad and needs to be replaced - or you could replace the entire switch.

Replace The Remote.  In the opposite situation, where the wall switch works but the remote doesn't even after replacing the batteries, replacing the remote will usually work.  There are a number of universal remotes on the market that will most often fix the problem for a small cost, usually less than $20.

Check The Sensors.  Bad sensors can prevent a garage door from closing even when there is no obstruction in the way.  Try holding the wall switch down as the garage door closes - if the door goes down, odds are good you have malfunctioning sensors.  They can be easily replaced for a reasonable cost of around $40.

Watch The Trolley Carriage. When you hit the opener switch and the door doesn't open, watch to see if the trolley carriage is moving along the track.  If it's moving but not opening the door, it's likely broken and needs to be replaced.  The trolley carriage can be replaced for a cost in the range of $25-40 without needing to replace the entire unit.

To learn more, contact a company like Dependable Overhead Doors with any questions you have.