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Most Common Garage Door Problems

A garage door opener is a motorized device that provides you with convenience and security. But as is the case with anything mechanical, years of use will take their toll and something will eventually malfunction or break. If your garage door isn’t working as it should, read through our list of common garage door problems and solutions.

Most Common Garage Door Problems and How to Fix Them

Many things can go wrong with a complex device like a garage door opener. However, some problems are more common than others. The issue you’re experiencing with your garage door is probably one of the following:

1. You Can’t Open the Door With Either the Wall Switch or the Remote Control

If your garage door opener won’t work when you press the wall switch or remote, here are the three most likely reasons:

  • Unplugged motor unit: The first thing you should check is the outlet where the opener is plugged in. Make sure the cord is plugged in all the way.
  • Burnout: Another possible explanation is that the fuse, circuit breaker or GFCI that controls the opener circuit has either tripped or burned out. If you notice that other electrical devices in your garage, such as lights and electrical outlets, aren’t working either, this is most likely the reason. If so, you will have to replace the fuse that has burned out or reset the breaker or GFCI. If you find that the GFCI or circuit breaker is tripping over and over again, this means that there’s a short circuit in the system somewhere, perhaps even in the garage door opener.
  • Broken motor: The third possibility is that the motor is broken, in which case you’ll want to hire a technician to replace it.

2. You Can’t Operate the Door With the Keypad or Remote Control

If your mounted keypad or remote control no longer operate your opener, this could be for one of the following reasons:

  • You’re too far away. Try getting closer to your door — you might just not be within range of the antenna. Modern openers are basically tiny radios that run at around 315mH, so even a few extra feet of distance can make the difference.
  • The antenna may be damaged. Check the antenna located on the motor unit and make sure it’s hanging downward and isn’t showing any signs of damage.
  • The battery may be dead. If the door works normally when using the wall switch, this probably means that the battery in the keypad or remote control needs to be replaced.
  • The keypad or remote control may need to be reset. These devices feature sensitive electronics that occasionally lose their programming. The method of reprogramming varies from opener to opener, so consult the user’s guide or look online to find the instructions for reprogramming your particular device.

3. Your Garage Door Won’t Close Completely

If your door opens properly but does not close all the way, this is probably caused by one of three things:

  • Your close-limit switch is set incorrectly. Garage doors have set-limit switches that tell the motor when it should stop, both when opening and closing. If this switch is set incorrectly, it may keep the garage door from closing or, in some cases, cause the opener to reverse when you try to close it. The close-limit switch is a required safety feature for garage doors that helps to prevent the door from closing on people. Adjust it to stop your door from behaving erratically. Although the adjustment method varies from door to door, it is usually done by adjusting a screw on the motor. By turning it, you can control how far down the door goes.
  • Your safety sensor might need to be readjusted or realigned. Close to the bottom of the garage door track are electronic eyes on both sides. These sensors require an unobstructed line of sight between them. If the line of sight is unobstructed between the eyes, your door will close normally all the way to your floor. If the sightline is obstructed, however, or if the eyes are misaligned, your door will not go down all the way. In most situations, the door will stop or go backward, and lights should flash to indicate a problem. Make sure nothing is blocking the path between the sensors. Leaves and debris are known to block sensors, and if this occurs frequently, this may mean that vibrations caused by the door moving along the track are loosening the brackets that hold the sensors.
  • The rollers may be damaged. Although this situation is far less common, damaged or rusted rollers may cause your garage door to bind in the tracks. You can fix this problem by lubricating the rollers with silicone lubricant or replacing the rollers altogether. The tracks themselves can also shift or bend, which may also cause the problem.

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4. Your Garage Door Reverses Before It Hits the Floor

If your garage door reverses before reaching the floor, it could be caused by one of the following issues:

  • The close-force setting needs adjustment. Garage door openers are also equipped with a screw that allows you to adjust the closing force, which is the pressure that a door is allowed to descend before stopping. If your door reverses before reaching the floor, this is often because the close-force setting is off and needs adjustment. Sometimes the door rollers encounter friction while traveling along the tracks, and the door opener incorrectly registers that the door has already hit the floor. To fix this problem, adjust the opener to be less sensitive.
  • The rollers are in bad condition. If your rollers are rusted or damaged, this can also cause additional friction, causing the opener to stop the door prematurely. Ensure that your rollers are in good condition and properly lubricated.

5. Your Garage Door Reverses Right After It Hits the Floor

If your door goes back up after reaching the floor, this is another instance of a close-limit switch issue. To fix this problem, turn the close-limit adjustment screw located on the motor of the door opener. Make sure to adjust in tiny increments until your garage door stops right when it touches the floor.

6. Your Garage Door Won’t Open Completely

If your garage doesn’t go up completely when being opened, the most likely causes are:

  • The up-limit switch is too far away. The up-limit switch is typically a simple touch-level located at the end of the track by the motor, and if it’s too far away from the motor, the motor will cause the door to stop before it opens all the way. To solve this problem, simply move the switch toward the motor unit. This problem is fairly uncommon and usually manifests itself right after the garage door opener is installed.
  • Your rollers are damaged or in poor condition. If your rollers are not in good condition, they may prevent your door from fully opening. Make sure to replace any damaged rollers and lubricate any rusty ones.

7. Your Garage Door Doesn’t Open in Cold Weather

Garage doors that function perfectly will sometimes cease to function once the cold weather begins. If this happens to you, find the screw located on the motor that adjusts the opener’s sensitivity. Cold weather can cause the rollers to become stiffer, and the opener might refuse to open as a result. You can also try lubricating the rollers.

8. Your Garage Door Opens but Your Motor Won’t Shut Off

This problem usually means that you need to move your up-limit switch farther away from your motor unit. This is another one of those rare garage door problems that usually occur right after the opener is installed.

9. Your Garage Door Opens or Closes With a Loud Thud

Although this problem does not interfere with the functioning of your door, it can be indicative of several problems.

If you own a 9-by-7-foot door, your torsion spring, which is above the door and acts as a counterweight, could be broken. If your door is equipped with an extension spring system, which means that the springs are above the horizontal rails, one of the springs could be broken. If you own a 16-by-7-foot garage door, which primarily uses torsion springs, chances are that one of the springs is broken. Another possibility is that one of your lifting cables is either already broken or about to break.

To solve this issue, perform a visual inspection of your springs and, if one is broken, refrain from using your garage door and have it repaired by a professional technician right away.

10. The Door Is Off Its Hinges

In most cases, this issue occurs because one of the horizontal tracks becomes misaligned, the metal bracket found at the track’s end comes loose or the bolts securing the bracket come unscrewed.

If your garage door has fallen to the floor, the only thing you can do is contact a professional technician immediately. If your garage door hasn’t fallen and the rollers are still in the track, then close the garage door gently, and tighten the bolts that hold the bracket in place. You should also ensure that the distance between the vertical tracks and the distance between the horizontal tracks is the same. Everything should be parallel.

11. There’s No Power

If your house loses power, you can still use your garage door — you just have to open it manually. You can do this by pulling on the emergency cord, which will deactivate the motor. When you want to close the door, pull the cord forward while ensuring that the carriage assembly is correctly engaged.

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Benefits of Professional Garage Door Repair

There are many advantages to leaving this task in the hands of professionals:

  • You’ll minimize the risk of injury. Many homeowners look up a couple of online tutorials and assume they can handle the job themselves. However, if you have not been trained in garage door maintenance, you could make several costly mistakes that could injure you and your family. By hiring a professional technician, you will have the peace of mind that everything will be repaired correctly without endangering anyone’s safety.
  • You’ll save time and money. By hiring a professional for your garage door opener service, you’ll save yourself time and potentially avoid costly repairs down the road. You won’t have to spend time researching repairs or shopping around for the right parts or tools. A professional technician will also prevent other issues from arising in the future, which can save you significant amounts of money.
  • The work will be protected by a warranty. By having a professional work on your door, you will obtain a warranty ensuring that the labor and parts are completely covered for an extended period.
  • You’ll make your life easier. Leaving a potentially difficult, time-consuming project in the hands of a professional is highly convenient. A pro can quickly diagnose your problem and complete the repairs promptly without you having to research, shop for the tools or spend days or weeks repairing it on your own.

Call Oregon City Garage Door Today

Oregon City Garage Door repairs both residential and commercial garage doors throughout the Portland area, including:

  • Beaverton
  • Clackamas
  • Gladstone
  • Happy Valley
  • Lake Oswego
  • Milwaukie
  • Oak Grove
  • Oregon City
  • Tigard
  • Tualatin
  • West Linn
  • Wilsonville

In addition to our garage door and opener repair services, we also perform new garage door installations, which are protected by a one-year warranty. All of our garage door products also come with a manufacturer’s warranty.

Since 2001, we’ve been providing repair, installation and other services to clients throughout the greater Portland area and have gained a reputation for being honest, friendly and dependable — three qualities we seek to demonstrate with every project we take on.

When you work with Oregon City Garage Door, you’ll always receive complete transparency — we’ll never try to sell you a part you don’t need, and we also work to find solutions that are both effective and within your budget. We’ll provide you with upfront prices and information on the manufacturer warranties of your new product, so you can be confident about what you’re receiving.

Once we select and order our products, which we acquire from industry-leading manufacturers, we’ll work hard to find a date and time that is ideal for the repair. We’ll arrive at your location, take out the broken components, install the new ones with care and perform tests to make sure that they’re functioning properly.

To schedule a garage door service, fill out our online form or call us at 503-632-3070. We’re available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and by appointment on weekends.

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