How To Repair A Garage Door When It Wont Close
Nothing is quite as frustrating as when a garage door wont close from driving up your heating bill in the winter, to leaving your property vulnerable to theft and damage, a garage door that wont shut is simply bad news.
The good news is, weve got an easy to follow guide on how to repair a garage door that wont close in a flash. We take you step by step, from the easiest fix down to the most complex, so that you dont waste any time. To that end, read on and get your garage door closing again!
Manually Close Your Garage Door
If youre unable to fix your door by yourself, you might need a technician. While you wait, secure your garage by tugging down on the bypass rope. You should be able to close your door with the trolley disengaged. If your door doesnt have built-in locking latches, your tracks will have small holes that you can feed a bolt through that will effectively lock the door.
Stripped Gear In The Opener
As a garage door assembly ages, the stress of daily activity can have a cumulative effect on the opener. Once the gear becomes stripped, the opener will no longer function.
Like springs and cables, gears can wear down, too. A stripped gear is a major problem, and youll want to call a service to get the opener replaced.
A common giveaway is when the opener makes a humming noise when prompted but wont open. In some cases, the gears can be replaced. Often, however, the only way around a stripped gear is a new opener. In the meantime, use of the door must be limited to manual activation. In any case, the replacement of your opener should only be performed by a garage door service professional.
Recommended Reading: Garage Shelving At Home Depot
The Door Track Is Misaligned
When it comes to the workings of a garage door system, the operating mechanisms activate the door, and the cables lift and lower it physically while the springs manage the tension. However, none of these actions could possibly remain centered along the garage doorway and ceiling if not for the metal tracks that keep the door in line. Therefore, the tracks that guide the door must be straight and even on both sides.
If either track becomes slightly ajar, it can slow the movement of the door. As time goes on, the problem is liable to get worse. For instance, a bend at any point along one side is bound to pull on the door, which, in turn, will put pressure on the other side and effectively duplicate the problem on the mirroring track.
Pressure and natural wear and tear can cause misaligned door tracks. Always call a service to get these tracks replaced and get your garage door working again.
If one or both tracks is bent, you might hear a squeaking sound as the rollers pass the affected area. The movement of the door might slow just slightly as it passes this spot. A problem like this can grow out of hand as the months wear on, and the weight of the door causes further stress. If you know or even sense that your door tracks have lost their alignment, call a service specialist immediately.
Check The Garage Door Safety Sensors
If the garage door wont close all the way, or closes and opens immediately, there may be an issue with the safety sensors, which are designed to prevent the door from closing on a person or object.
- Make sure that the safety sensors are pointing at each other and in proper alignment use a level if needed.
- Use a soft cloth and a mild cleaner to gently clean the sensors to make sure no dirt is covering the eye. Softly wipe away moisture and residue, taking care to avoid scratching the sensors.
- Make sure no toys, flower pots or other objects are obstructing one or both of the sensors. Each sensor should have a small light that shines when there are no obstructions.
Tip: Strong, direct sunlight can interfere with sensor performance, so make sure sensors have sun screens or are placed in shade.
Also Check: Garage Door Lubricant Silicone Or Lithium
Check Garage Door Opener Mechanism
If the garage door opener is receiving power but still not operating properly, it could have a mechanical failure.
- If the door wont open but the engine sounds like it’s running, the main gear drive may have broken and need replacement.
- If the trolley carriage moves but the garage door doesn’t, one of the components of the carriage is broken and needs replacement.
- If nothing happens at all, the circuit board of the garage door opener motor likely needs replacement.
- If you have a chain drive garage door opener, make sure that the chain has the correct tension: too little tension can cause the chain to slip the sprocket and fail to pull the trolley.
Inspect The Rollers And Friction Nuts
When youre troubleshooting the problem, you should inspect the rollers and friction nuts. These parts can get damaged when your door gets stuck or doesnt close properly.
Roller damage is usually caused by dropping something heavy on it, so if this has happened to you recently, be sure to check that all of your rollers are not bent or cracked. If they are bent, replace them as soon as possible otherwise, they may cause further issues with your garage door opener system.
If any of the rollers have been broken off completely, then there won’t be anything left holding up your garage door when it goes up and downthis means that the entire weight will fall on top of whatever is holding up the roof of your garage . Again: replace these parts right away!
Don’t Miss: Garage Door Opener For Sale
Garage Door Won’t Close All The Way
The Spruce / Ana Cadena
If the garage door opens correctly but fails to close completely, there may be one of three common causes:
Your Safety Matters The Most
If your garage door is not in good condition, then it may be good to call on an expert when dealing with the dangerous tension that makes garage doors work. Garage door springs are under significant stress, which can cause accidents for inexperienced homeowners who try self-repairing them without proper knowledge of how they should go about it.
Also Check: Best Bike Racks For Garage
Adjust The Limit Setting
If the sensors seem okay, check the limit settings, or travel limits, which tell the opener how far the door must travel before fully closing. This is a safety feature to ensure it doesnt crush anything. Too high a setting fools the door into thinking the floor is an obstruction, causing it to open. Fortunately, the issue can be easily fixed with a screwdriver, the limit settings knob on the garage door motor, or other means indicated by the instruction manual. Just be careful not to over-adjust the limit, as this could cause the door to slam the ground or move too quickly.
Your Springs Are Broken
If your garage door all of sudden wont go up and youre sure the transmitters are working properly and power is getting to the motor, then you may have broken torsion springs.
If you happen to be home when these break, youll hear a loud bang from inside your garage. This bang can be so loud that some people might think a firecracker went off inside their garage. Thats because garage doors can be very heavy and despite what most people think, its not the garage door opener that does the heavy lifting, but rather the heavy-duty springs of the door.
Doors come with one or two torsion springs. If either spring is broken, the garage door opener may struggle to lift the weight of the door or fail to open the door at all. If a spring is broken, call a professional for service as these can be very dangerous to work with. Dont try to open the door until a professional comes to inspect it and replace the springs. Springs can only be used for a certain number of open and close cycles, and over time they will eventually break and need replacing.
Recommended Reading: Garage Door Repair Buford Ga
Fix The Problem On Your Own
Some of the existing problems you can successfully fix on your own. For instance, you can clean sensors or remove obstacles blocking their regular functioning.
The situation is entirely different when it comes to mechanical failures. In such a case, you should always keep in mind that you can damage the garage door while trying to fix something without fully understanding the system of the door functioning.
Garage Door Does Not Open Completely
The Spruce / Ana Cadena
When the garage door ascends correctly but stops short it is fully open, these are the likely causes:
Recommended Reading: Double Wide Mobile Home With Attached Garage
Recommended Garage Door Openers For New Installation
87504-267 – Secure View DC LED Battery Backup Belt Drive Wi-Fi with Integrated Camera
LiftMasters most advanced garage door opener ever.
- Get alerts & control your opener from anywhere with built-in Wi-Fi & myQ technology
- Access your garage even when the power is out with Battery Backup
- 360º LED lighting increases visibility in your garage
- Integrated camera manually adjusts 360º allowing you to see the entire garage
- HD quality video begins recording when motion is detected
- Mic allows for 2-way audio communication
- Features belt drive system and DC motor for whisper-quiet operation
Genie 2128 Garage Door Opener
- Includes integrated Aladdin Connect® smart device system
- DC motor with Soft Start & Stop control
- Powerful DC motor allows for quiet operation with Soft Start & Stop control.
- Opening speed up to 7.0″ per second.
- Steel reinforced belt or chain drive choose the drive option that best fits your needs.
- Strong C-channel rail design that also helps conceal the rotating belt or chain for better aesthetics.
- Intellicode® security to stop potential code thieves.
- HomeLink® & Car2U® compatible.
Your Photo Eye Is Blocked
Most garage doors from the past 1520 years have a photo eye that detects if a person or object is blocking the door from lowering all the way. The photo eye will be about 46 inches off the ground for most doors, with an eye about the size of a pea. It shoots a laser across the length of the garage that, if interrupted, will cut off the signal used to lower and raise the door.
Check to see if the cord attached to the eye is cut or damaged occasionally, a rainstorm or leak can damage the photo eye.
Dirt and dust can clog the eye and block the laser beam, so a thorough cleaning with tissue can sometimes solve this issue.
Plug it in!
Read Also: Replace Spring On Garage Door
Inspect The Tracks And Rollers
If your sensors are clean and clear of obstructions and the garage door wont close, inspect your garage door tracks. While you should know if you ran into the track, your spouse or kids may have bumped into it. If you notice a bent or bowed section, we recommend calling a repair company to adjust it. While you can try to adjust it with clamps or a hammer, we dont recommend it. This is a good time to clean your track with a cloth to remove any grime. Note: .
Take this time to look at your rollers as well. If your garage door rollers arent working, first clean them with a bristle brush to remove and build up. Next, lubricate them with a non-silicon based product. If you door has nylon rollers, only lubricate the bearings. Stuck rollers can signal to the opener theres an obstruction because one side of the door may move faster than the other.
The Last Spring You’ll Ever Need
Just like car tires are rated by miles, garage door springs are rated by cycles . The springs commonly used by our competition range anywhere from 5,000-15,000 cycles, whereas we use a high-grade steel spring rated for 25,000-50,000+ cycles! Call Precision to get your garage door working perfectly today!
Read Also: Sickies Garage Sioux Falls Sd
Your Photo Eye Is Out Of Alignment
You may remember a time as a kid when you and your siblings would close the garage door and run underneath it as fast as possible to make it out before the door closed. Well, on any garage door installed after 1993, thats no longer possible thanks to two tiny photo eyes on either side of the garage entrance. These photo eyes transmit an invisible beam between each other that detects if anything is in the garage doors path when it closes. This safety measure is there to prevent automatic garage doors from closing on top of someone or something and causing serious injury or damage to property.
If you notice that the garage door opens normally but doesnt make any attempt to close when the remote is pressed, the first thing youll want to do is visually inspect the photo eyes. Over time, these eyes can get dirty, causing the light from the beam to be blocked. They also can eventually become misaligned, causing the eyes to not match up on both sides.
When cleaning the photo eye, you should take care not to scratch or damage the eye since its made of glass, similar to that of a camera lens. The photo eye itself is pretty small, only a few centimeters in diameter, but it can get dirty rather easily. To clean it, youll need a soft cloth and a mild, streak-free cleaner. Gently wipe away any dirt or residue that has built up on the eye and be careful not to oversaturate as excessive wetness can cause dirt to stick to the eye more quickly.
Check Your Safety Sensors
While they may seem like a relatively small component in the grand scheme of things, your garage door safety sensors are actually the most likely culprit if your garage door wont close. Theyre also one of the easiest things to fix.
The sensors are located on either side of the garage door, a few inches above the ground. One sends a signal, and the other receives it. If something gets in the way of this signal, such as a child or pet, your garage doors safety mechanism kicks in and it wont shut.
The sensors have small LED lights to let you know when the signal is on and uninterrupted. Thats very helpful in finding out if theyre the reason your garage door wont close. If the light is off, the sensor itself is probably off, and if the light is blinking, it means something is getting in the way of the signal.
Sometimes the sensor signal gets interrupted by accident, from things such as:
Recommended Reading: Replace Garage Door With French Doors
The Disconnect Switch Was Enabled
If you can hear your garage door motor running for what seems like the full amount of time it normally would take to open or close the door, but the door doesnt move, chances are the disconnect switch has been enabled. Every garage door opener comes with a disconnect switch in case you lose power. This allows you to open or close the door manually so your car isnt stuck in the garage until the power comes back on.
This switch is usually attached to a rope that can be pulled or a knob that can be turned to disconnect. Sometimes, this switch can accidentally come unhooked causing the door to be disconnected from the motor.
However, if you lose power and use the disconnect switch, youll need to reattach it to use your garage door motor to open and close your door again. Open the door all the way and then reattach this hook. Then try opening or closing the door again with your transmitter, and you should be all set. It will be easiest to reattach this hook when your car is not in the garage, as youll need to place a step ladder underneath the motor to reach it.