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Garage Door Opener Troubleshooting: Part 2

Garage Door Opener Troubleshooting

In Part 1, we discussed what you can do to fix a garage door opener that has stopped working. In this post on garage door opener troubleshooting, we’ll cover situations where the opener works, but the garage door is not opening or closing properly.

Problem 1: Your garage door fails to completely open or close.

Check the safety sensors mounted on each side of the garage door. Make sure they (a) emit a red light and green light, (b) face each other, and (c) are aligned. Adjust where necessary.

OK, the door isn’t opening or closing. Now what?

Next, inspect the close limit switch on the back of the garage door opener unit or on the box attached to the overhead door track. The switch should have small plastic screws you can turn to adjust the switch. Or you may find the switch mounted on the rail between the door and opener unit. Using a screwdriver, loosen the switch and move it closer or farther from the unit, then tighten.

If the remote works, your next step is checking the wall unit. Does it engage the opener? If not, test the batteries and replace if necessary. If your unit isn’t battery operated, it either ties into your home’s electrical wiring or plugs into the wall. Take a good look at the electrical outlet or wiring to see if you can see any damage.

After making these adjustments, test the garage door opener. If you see a difference, continue tweaking until the problem is solved.

Problem 2: Your garage door reverses direction without prompting.

If this happens after the garage door hits the floor, check and adjust the close limit switch mentioned above. However, if the door reverses before it hits the floor, the glitch may be in the springs that help open and close the door.

These springs lose their resiliency over time, causing operational problems. When that happens, the force setting on the springs needs adjustment. To do that, grab a stepladder and look for knobs on the back of your garage door opener. Turn the desired control a bit to adjust the door, then retest it. Continue to turn each knob in small increments until the door not only opens and closes correctly, but also stays in position.

Problem 3: Your garage door opener motor won’t stop running.

Remember that close limit switch we discussed in Problem 1? Adjust it and try the opener again. That should do the trick. (If the switch is on the tracks, move it away from the motor unit.)

Problem 4: Your garage door opener hums, but nothing happens.

See if the rails are blocked by debris. Make sure the armature is connected to the garage door. Check to see if the unit is in manual mode; if so, engage it.

If all this checks out, it’s time for another visit to the force adjustment knobs described in Problem 2. Your motor may be trying and failing to compensate for old, weak springs that have lost the power to properly lift and lower the door. Adjusting the close force knobs should solve the problem.

Problem 5: Your garage door vibrates when opening or closing.

Grab a screwdriver and can of oil. Inspect the door, tracks, drive and springs. Tighten any loose components. Lubricate the travel mechanism as suggested by the manufacturer.

If these suggestions don’t solve your problem, contact a professional garage door repairperson. An experienced technician can usually make most garage repairs in less than an hour.

For tips on what to do if your garage door isn’t opening or closing at all, visit our previous post.

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