GARAGE DOOR / OPENER QUESTIONS? WE’VE GOT THE ANSWERS.
Need help figuring out exactly whats going on with your garage door or opener? You’ve come to right place. Here you can find all the most common garage door problems and solutions here. We will do our best to diagnose your problem and point you in the proper direction of getting everything figured out.
Before searching for a local garage door company we recommend you take a look at these occurances we get on a daily basis. You may just save yourself a service call and some money. With these types of calls a garage door technician is automatically going to try to get you for something or other and will likely charge for things you dont even need. Technicians, more specifically, honest technicians such as ourselves see this time and time again.
COMMON GARAGE DOOR PROBLEMS:
Simply click on the symptom you are experiencing or rather press the little plus sign. A bubble pops up with a explanation and solution to that particular issue. Should you feel the need to contact us with your situation, we’ll be happy to text/email you.
Garage door wont close
This is a VERY frequent issue people experience, resulting in hundreds of dollars spent on three minute service calls throughout the year. Keep your money and try to adjust them yourself, you can thank us later. Adjusting the sensors is as easy as tilting the brackets whereas on Genie/Marantec operators or unscrewing the butterfly nut on Liftmaster/Chamberlain units. You can view our sensor adjustment video here.
Alternatively there are two other possibilities as to why your garage door may not want to shut. Your garage door opener may not have enough power, or in the case you have a screw drive operator, you may need to grease the screw itself. By way of example adjusting the power and lubricating the screw DIY videos can be found here.
Garage door wont open
Coming home to a garage door that won’t open can be extremely frustrating. Allow me to help you ease your mind about why it will not open. Let’s start with a few basic checks you can do to see what is wrong with the garage door. Then I can give you options as to what is available to you in order to get your garage door working again. First off head on into your garage and locate your pull to release handle. Typically this is a red rope you pull in order to operate your garage door manually. If the power went out it’s possible your garage door just doesn’t have power. In the event you can lift it manually , proceed to use your door by hand until power is restored.
Operator has power but still wont open, now what?
Now if you cannot lift your garage door manually and your motor has power. 98% of the time this means your tension springs are broken. If your tension spring is broken there is no way to open the garage. Given that the average garage door weighs 150-160 lbs. By chance you do manage to hoist it up be very careful in bringing it back down, as it is dead weight after all.
Next you should asses if you have a single spring or a double spring setup. You can find the torsion springs above the garage door inside of the garage. If you have a single spring then that means the garage door has nothing assisting you as you try to open it.
On the other hand you have a double spring set up, you may be able to open it up with some strain. In the event you cannot tell how many springs you have, it’s possible you have a Wayne dalton torque master spring system.The springs are encased inside a tube that sits above the garage door on the inside. Typically we would recommend replacing the entire tube with the springs so that you have the springs on the outside of the tube rather than the inside. The reason being it’s cheaper to work on in the future as well as cheaper to fix.
When calling around, ask about a spring conversion, as this is what garage door technicians will call this sort of service. This is a repair intended for ONLY professionals. Consequently, serious injury and even death may occur if you attempt this on your own. Contact a local door company for a quote on replacing the torsion springs.
Springs aren’t broken either?
If your door opens fairly easily manually, this could mean one of two things.First off, your motor may need its force limits adjusted. See our DIY page for that. Secondly, if you have a screw drive operator you may need to grease the screw. What happens a lot of the time ( especially in certain Liftmaster/Chamberlain screw drive operators ) is that the screw itself will freeze and compact with the cold. Or vice versa, it will expand with heat. This is a defect in the screw that spins and the only remedy is to lubricate it and turn the power up. Once those options stop working, as a final point, the only thing left to do is replace your garage door opener.
Garage door is off track
This common garage door problem is one of the easier ones to diagnose , but come with a variety of different possible causes. The easiest way to identify if you have a garage door that’s off its tracks is if your garage door is crooked, or put simply off its tracks. Possible causes include; broken rollers, broken hinges , or broken springs.
There are two most probable reasons why your garage door would jump its tracks and become crooked. First off it may have hit a box , broomstick or any other object as it operated up or down. Either way if the door hits something on its way up or down, it will cause the tension cable on either side to become loose. Once it becomes loose it jumps over to the side and causes the door to loose its balance and the end result is an out of place door.
Didn’t hit or bump anything?
Secondly, the garage door motor may be set to open the garage door higher than it should go. See programming limits section in the DIY page. When this is the case , the door opens too far and the cables become loose. If your garage door is seven feet tall , the springs at usually set to open seven feet. With this in mind, a door thats eight or nine feet will behave the same. When the opener goes beyond that by just 2 inches the spring no longer keeps the cables taught. The cables are what keeps the garage door balanced. When it comes to this particular repair, these are often the cases.
Is your remote no longer opening your garage door ? Keypad? Wall button? First off let’s start with figuring out what’s wrong with your remote. First things first replace the battery and try it again. Typically you have a CR2032 battery inside. If this doesn’t work, try to reprogram your remote . If that does not work then you’re remote is fried and needs to be replaced. Same procedure with your keypad. Try the battery, then programming. Following these steps typically takes care of these issues. For help in programming your remote or keypad see our programming page.
If it’s your wall button that is unresponsive you can unscrew it to check the wires. If all seems well leave it alone and check the wires in the back or side of your garage door opener. Make sure they’re all plugged in and separated so as not to cancel each other out. Once you are sure everything is connected properly and yet nothing works, you are looking at a fried logic/mother-board. You can find circuit boards on our parts page in the electronics section for an idea of the cost to fix this.
Wall control not working
First thing you should establish is if the wires are correctly placed. Red to red and white to white for the wires. If that seems fine proceed to check that the wires are not stapled through anywhere along their path to your garage door opener. Check the end of the wire path to make sure they are secured on the opener itself. You can also try to wire it directly to the unit (with a separate wire) to see if the wiring is the problem. Over the ten years in this trade, we’ve found that the wall control itself is rarely the problem. If there are accompanying issues with the garage door opener, like the remotes work sporadically, its safe to assume the mother board needs to be replaced.
Noisy garage door
So you’ve noticed that your garage door is a bit noiser than usual. No worries! Ninety percent of the time all it takes is a little tender loving care, by way of lubrication. If you’d like to see a demonstration of how to do exactly that go ahead and check out our DIY section, or you can be taken there directly by clicking here. You can purchase garage door lube / spray in our part misccellaneous section. Click here to be taken to that page.
Getting rid of that noise!
All you’ve got to do is use your handy dandy garage door lube and spray the hinges and rollers. Typically you’re going to have about 15 hinges and 10 rollers. Make sure you get them completely. Sometimes loosening the screws a bit so the lube can get behind the hinge will be helpful in reducing the most noise possible. You can also use the same lube for use on the springs as well.
As for your garage door opener, You are going to want to use something a little thicker so that it doesn’t drip down onto your vehicle or any other valuables. The grease we’re most familiar with is the white lithium grease made by Lucas oils. If you need a tube of it, we have provided a link for your convenience. Click here to see our top secret weapon of ultimate silencing powers. With the tube of grease that you’ve got you want to add a thin layer on the bottom of the opener rail in the event you have a belt or chain driven operator.
With a belt driven operator chances are you’re going to get a squeek from the ruber to metal friction. In that case put a sliver of grease, about two inches long, onto the teeth of the belt. As the motor operates, the belt will run through the gear and eliminate the squeek. If you have a screw drive operator you want to put the grease along the entire length of the screw (the part that spins of course). On the whole, thats about all you can do in terms or reducing noise.
Screw turns but will door doesnt move
Your screw drive garage door opener doesnt want to open or close your door huh? You aren’t alone. First off let’s see what it sounds like and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction.
We’ll start with Genie screw drives. If your screw moves but gives off a horrible grinding noise when trying to press your remote or wall control, more likely than not, you’re looking at a stripped out trolley. If you decide to call a service company you can expect to pay anywhere from $100-200 to fix something you could do yourself for an eigth of the cost. This part can be ordered here. Alternatively, if you can hear a whirring and dont see the screw itself move, It may be a stripped coupler. You can expect to pay approximately the same $100-200 for this sort of repair when calling a technician. The part literally costs next to nothing. Save yourself some money and order it here. These are the only possibilities with a Genie opener.
With a Liftmaster the parts involved are generally the same as the Genie openers. You’ve either got a stripped trolley or stripped coupler. Both can be found here.
Older Liftmaster/Chamberlain models have small blue knobs on the sides or back of the unit. Those can be set anywhere from 1 to 9. The average levels are set at about 5. Garage door springs are always doing the heavy lifting so you don’t need to go all the way up to 9. The only time we’d recommend turning it up all the way to a 9 is if you’ve got a liftmaster screw drive dated 2006 and older. There is a known defect that only goes away by turning the power up all the way.
Genie power adjustments:
The force adjustment knobs on a Genie are located on the front side or top back side of the operator head. These can be adjusted as seen fit. The newer Genies are also digitally set. It isn’t necessary to adjust these. If you still find the need to do this on newer models, reset the limits on the opener. This will reset the force along with it.
You can view a force adjustment tutorial in our DIY page or by clicking here.
Garage door feels heavy
If the door feels heavy only at the bottom it may because you have additional supports or glass windows, in which case it will always be heavier at the bottom and is totally normal. However, if the door is heavy through-out the entire process of lifting open and will not stay open at the top, you will want to have a garage technician come out and adjust your spring tension. Something like that averages out at around $99. A balance test can be done to determine if you need a spring tune up.
A video demonstrating this can be found in our DIY section here. In plain text, when you open your door halfway (by hand), It should stay at that point without dropping to the ground or opening up further. If it opens up, the spring has too much tension and should be adjusted. If it drops to the ground the spring doesn’t have enough tension and should be adjusted by a professional.
Operator arm ripped out from the top stile
In the event you cannot tell how many springs you have, it’s possible you have a Wayne dalton torque master spring system. The springs are encased inside a tube that sits above the garage door on the inside. This would cause a lot of stress on your operator and in turn your door stile. The metal isnt exactly super strong and can rip out quite easily. For that reason it could also be ripped out due to metal fatigue. Your going to want to purchase a reinforcement operator bracket ( ORB for short).
You can find the part here. For Wayne Dalton model 9000 doors you will want a 9100 ORB. That can also be found here. If you choose to call a service company an average price range would be from $125-$225.
Gaps at the bottom of the door
A more professional approach would be to purchase a garage door threshold online or at Home Depot and place that on the concrete. The garage door threshold has different thicknesses and so you can adjust it to fit your gap. It glues to the concrete assuring it will always stay in place, and of course keeps the water out better than a carpet ever would. You can find the garage door threshold for sale here.
Garage is not level and doesnt work like it should?
Now if you have gaps and the garage door does NOT work properly you can check the cables to see if they’ve skipped a loop or had been bumped off of their drum. Take a look at the drums at the top of your garage door. The cables wrap around these drums into the grooves. If the cable is tangled, broken, or skipped a loop then the other side will more than likely raise up causing your gaps. This is when you call a licensed professional. NEVER unscrew the drums. Injuries and even death are possible when dealing with the tension of the spring!
Belt/chain drive motor makes whirring sound but doesn't move
Operator chain/belt is loose
Why is my chain/belt loose ? And why does it make so much noise now ? Though you might not notice, your chain does eventually begin to sag lower and lower over time. Contrary to popular belief, however, the chain is not stretching. The reason this happens is because the gear/sprocket is old and is starting to shift forward. This is a sign that it will break soon and will need to be replaced.
Things to look for to confirm the theory; Sagging chain , door not staying shut/ comes back up after closing, humming motor but no movement of the chain/belt (signals a completely broken gear).
Lastly you can check to see if there are shavings under the sprocket itself. You can view this by using a step ladder to view the top of the motor head. Simply tightening the chain will only cause the sprocket to break sooner. If you decide to attempt the repair you can purchase the part here.
Garage sags/bows when opening
A sag in a garage door is a quite common garage door problem. This occurs after a few years and it’s seen more in Wayne Doors more than any others (Wayne Dalton is a company that manufactures/distributes the materials). Subsequently this also occurs when you continue to use the door even after it has sustained damage.
On the condition you do not notice the sag you will notice the crack that comes with the sag. Because of the metal fatigue that comes with the bowing panels you will notice a crack begins to form on the inside first then grows to the outside of the panel. This is usually seen in the center of the door right behind the hinges. Given that, if you manage to see it before it gets too damaged you may still be able to salvage the panel. A repair company is typically who you will call to get this kind of a repair done.
Garage opens and closes randomely
In cases like this , we recommend you erase all the existing codes and reprogram your remotes/keypad and whatever else you have in order to be rid of the phantom openings. More than likely someone’s running on the same frequency as you are and it’s triggering your opener. If simply erasing and reprogramming does not work you may have a bad circuit board and that would need to be replaced. In the event that the unit is older than 10 years we would recommend you change everything. Instead of investing your money into something that may not last another 5 years.
Check the programming page for information on how to erase and reprogram your garage door opener. The page can be found at the top of your page or simply click here.
Garage closes completely then opens back up
Has this happened to you? You press the remote expecting to close the garage but whoopty doo it has a mind of its own and does not want to stay down ? Well here are a couple of tips on how to fix this sort of problem. First and foremost you should check your safety sensors( if you’ve got them) to make sure they don’t shake as your door comes down. As it closes once in a while the sensors will vibrate and that will be enough to break the beam and cause your door to come right back up. DIY on adjusting the sensors can be found here.
Not the sensors for sure.
So the sensors aren’t the issue, then what is? There are typically two other possibilities. Either the garage door opener is closing too hard and needs to be adjusted or the gear/sprocket is going bad and causing the garage door opener to close to hard. When the opener feels this excessive force while it’s closing it will come back up so that it doesn’t damage the unit or the door. Check the DIY page for adjusting the limits of your opener to fix this problem. If you need a sprocket you can find those parts in the parts page under openers/opener parts.
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