Try these three troubleshooting steps to get your garage door to close properly
Automatic garage doors really are a wonderful modern convenience—at least until they stop working properly. Then, they can be a huge hassle. One of the most common garage door malfunctions that homeowners may experience is a garage door that won’t close. Somehow this always manages to happen when you’re already running late and have zero time to waste messing with a stubborn garage door. Here are three quick ideas of what to do when your garage door won’t close that just may help you fix the problem and get on your way faster.
Check the Lockout Switch
Most garage door opener wall units have a switch or button that will put the opener in “lockout” or “vacation” mode. Activating this feature causes to your garage door opener to ignore signals from the remotes. The idea is to provide extra peace of mind against a break in through the garage while you’re away from home, but in practice this feature is mostly just an annoyance. It’s easy to hit the button or switch by accident when opening the garage door from the inside, then back out in your car only to find that you can’t close the door with the remote. If this happens, go back in the garage and try to use the base unit to close the door. If this works, the problem was probably the lockout switch, or else a dead remote battery.
Check the Photo-Eye Sensors
Any modern garage door opener system comes with a safety sensor that uses a pair of photo-eyes to prevent the door from closing when an obstacle such as a pet, child, bicycle, etc. is in its path. This is a very valuable feature, but when your photo-eyes malfunction your garage door can seem to take on a life of its own. If your garage door travels most of the way down but then reverses, check the alignment of the photo-eye sensors. They need to be aligned, turned on, and clear of dirt, dust, and debris. They also need to be out of direct sun as this can “blind” the sensor. If your garage door still won’t close after fiddling with these sensors, they may need to be replaced by a skilled garage door repairman or you may have another problem.
Check the Opener Motor
If your garage door doesn’t move at all when you activate the remote or the wall unit, you may have a problem with your opener motor. Check that there is power to the unit and then listen to see if you can detect any sounds that might indicated a worn out motor or broken drive mechanism. If you have problems with your garage door opener, you should use the manual release to close the door and call your garage door repairman to come provide a professional solution.