When your garage door opener isn’t working it can make everything seem difficult, especially if you were planning on quickly pulling out of your driveway or sneaking into your garage without anyone noticing. Garage door openers are complex mechanical devices that can break down at any time.
Even if you take good care of your garage door opener, chances are it will malfunction at some point. You might need to replace the remote or program new codes, fix a broken safety sensor, or troubleshoot an issue with the main unit itself.
Luckily, with a little patience and elbow grease, you should be able to troubleshoot your opener so that it is working in no time. This article provides tips on how to diagnose and repair common problems with garage door openers. If you’re not sure what’s wrong with your opener, use this guide as a starting point for your investigation process.
When was the last time you opened your garage door with ease?
If you are currently having issues opening or closing your garage, it may be necessary to troubleshoot your garage door opener.
Homeowners should keep a garage door remote and a key on hand at all times in case their opener stops working unexpectedly. If this is the case, you’ll need to troubleshoot your garage door opener before attempting any repairs or replacements.
Before beginning any diagnostic testing, it’s important that homeowners turn all power off to the garage door opener
To do this, homeowners will have to turn off the circuit breaker that controls the power going to their specific garage door opener.
This can be done by either locating the circuit breaker in the main house panel or, if you’re unable to locate your circuit breaker, turning off all breakers and flipping the main circuit breaker off and back on.
How do you troubleshoot your garage door opener when it’s completely broken down and you don’t know where to start?
This article will help homeowners as you unpack exactly what steps should be taken in order to get things up and running again.
- First, the power should be shut off to the garage door opener. This can be done by either locating the circuit breaker in the main house panel or, if you’re unable to locate your circuit breaker, turning off all breakers and flipping the main circuit breaker off and back on.
- Secondly, homeowners should test the safety sensors that are mounted inside their garage. If you have two sets of safety sensors, test both sets with a ladder or step stool. At each sensor, use a continuity tester to check for power. If the tester comes on, there’s still electricity running to your garage door opener.
If this is the case, you’ll need to check the cables that connect the sensors to your garage door opener for any fraying or damage, then continue troubleshooting using a multimeter.
If neither of your safety sensors is working, use your ladder or step stool to get to the garage door opener itself and check the wire going from the sensor to the opener. The multimeter should be able to tell you there’s no power running into your sensors. If this is the case, then it’s time to call in a licensed electrician.
If it’s frayed or damaged, cut the wires back until they are long enough to work with and splice them together using wire nuts.
After this is done, you can now test your garage door opener using the techniques discussed below in this article.
If you get power running to your opener, then set your multimeter to DC volts and check to see if you’re getting the proper voltage at the wire. If not, replace any corroded or broken wires with new wires and continue testing for continuity using your multimeter.
After this is done, run through the safety test process again to ensure your garage door opener is working properly.
- Once you’ve fixed all wiring problems, go back into your home reset the circuit breaker and turn on the power to your opener. Test out your garage door opener by pressing the button to open or close your door – if it works, you’re good to go!
If your opener still isn’t working at this point, it’s time to call in a licensed electrician. Your best bet is to have an expert who can quickly diagnose the problem and fix it for you so that you can get back to enjoying your garage door openers again.
And there you have it! With a little patience and elbow grease, you should be able to troubleshoot your garage door opener so that it’s back in working order. Once you’ve got the hang of this process, don’t be afraid to fix your opener yourself next time – even if the problem is a bit more complicated than this article made out to be.
Are our garage door openers universal?
Garage door openers are not universal and each garage door opener is built differently. Without more information, we cannot say if it is a universal or built-in opener.
If you do not know how to remove your current opener, please consult the directions that came with your opener.
If it’s a built-in system – some of the instructions below may help:
1. Check power to the opener – Make sure that both the breaker and fuse for your garage door opener are on. If they still don’t work, then there may be issues with your transformer (the part of some openers where the electricity is converted from standard AC current to DC current). This can be especially true if you have an older opener.
2. Lubricate the rail – If your garage door is more than five years old, it may be time to lubricate its rails. The grease that was put on when the door was installed will naturally break down over time and needs to be reapplied every three to five years or after you lubricate your garage door (which only needs to be done every few years). If your opener is running slowly, it may mean that the rail is too dry and isn’t moving smoothly. Use S100 or WD-40 on the rail to make sure that they are not sticking.
3. Make sure chains aren’t tangled – Even if the chain for your garage door opener is perfectly fine, if it gets caught on something (or someone), it might snap. If this happens, make sure to replace the broken chain with an identical replacement part – using a longer or shorter chain will cause damage to your door and opener.
4. Check for blockages – Make sure that there are no obstructions around your garage door. If anything is blocking the way, it could slow down the opening and closing of your door.
5. Check for damage – In general, if an opener is not working as well as it used to, you should replace it entirely. The moving parts may have been damaged by extreme heat or cold or from a recent accident, and a new opener will probably be more energy efficient.
If it’s a universal opener – some of the instructions below may help:
1. Make sure the cord is plugged in – If your garage door opener isn’t working at all, make sure that the power cord is plugged into an electrical outlet. Even if you have to switch outlets, that may be the problem.
2. Check for broken safety sensors – If you do not have a light on your opener’s panel, try rearranging the cord to see if you can get it to work. If this doesn’t work either, take off the cover from your opener and check for obstructions in the sensor beam or in the sensor itself. If there are no obstructions, try cleaning the sensors with a dry cloth, and if this doesn’t work, buy all new safety sensors. This is one of the most common problems for openers breaking down – it is important to take care of them right away so that you don’t get injured or electrocuted!
3. Check the light bulb – If your opener comes with a built-in light (usually found in older units), make sure that it isn’t burned out before trying anything else.
4. Make sure your remote works – While you are checking for problems, try using your remote to see if that is working properly. If it doesn’t, you can either buy a new remote or have your opener’s system repaired.
5. Garage door is not balancing properly – If the garage door isn’t closing or opening smoothly, it could be because one side of the garage door is heavier than the other side (or that there is something in between them). Make sure that nothing is blocking the tracks and that both sides of the garage door have equal weight.
6. Make sure power is on – If your garage door opener has a battery backup, make sure that it isn’t dead before you try anything else.
7. Check for loose screws – In some cases, screws can come loose from wear and tear or from being jarred. Try tightening them before doing anything else.
If it is a professional garage door opener:
1. Check your keypad – Make sure that the keypad isn’t jammed, but if it is, be careful not to touch any of the buttons more than once without first checking for additional problems on these steps. If you press more than one button at a time, you will probably have to replace your keypad.
2. Make sure the wall switch is pushed all the way in – This is another common problem with openers breaking down, and it can be caused by someone pushing the opener’s wall switch in too early or not fully enough when pressing the door open button on their remote. If this happens and you can’t get your door to open, make sure that the wall switch is fully pressed in.
3. Make sure safety sensors aren’t obstructed – Check to see if there are any obstructions around or inside your garage door’s safety sensors (usually found on either side of the garage entrance). If they are dirty, clean them with a dry cloth before attempting to do anything else.
4. Check belts – If your garage door opener is making an abnormal sound or if the door isn’t opening smoothly, check its belts for damage and replace them if necessary. Also, remember that the cables should be properly lubricated at all times for smooth operation.
5. Check for loose or broken rollers – Anytime you’re dealing with a garage door opener, look out for any signs of broken rollers. If you see them, replace the entire track instead of just replacing the roller because that could cause additional damage to your garage door and opener system.
6. Check for loose screws – In some cases, screws can come loose from wear and tear or from being jarred. Try tightening them before doing anything else.
7. Check circuit board – If you have a newer opener, the problems with your garage door’s system could be caused by a malfunctioning circuit board, which can be fixed by getting it repaired or replaced depending on the type of electric system it is.
8. Check for a power outage – If you live in an area that has frequent storms or if your garage door opener is especially old, there could be a malfunctioning breaker switch, which will require professional repair.
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