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Garage Door Openers

Automatic Garage Door Opener Runs but Door Doesn’t Move

We work with a lot of homeowners who aren’t sure what’s wrong with their garage door. One of the most common problems we hear involves the garage door opener – the automatic garage door opener runs but door doesn’t move.

There are a couple of reasons why this might occur, so we thought we would explore them below in case you’re experiencing this problem.

Let’s take a closer look …

Automatic Garage Door Opener Runs but Door Doesn’t Move

Sometimes, homeowners will find that their automatic garage door opener runs but the door doesn’t move. They can hear the motor going, but the door itself is not opening. This is frustrating, especially if you’re trying to get your car out of the garage. You can troubleshoot the problem yourself though, so here’s what to do if the garage door opener isn’t doing its job.

Use The Emergency Release

The very first thing you need to do is find the emergency release and disengage it. If you’re not sure where yours is, take a look at your manual for your garage door opener, as this should have the answer for you. When you release the door, you’ll enable yourself to use it manually. Please note that you should not do this unless the door is already fully closed, for safety reasons.

Now, you’ll want to try and open the door manually. This is to check whether the issue lies with the garage door itself, or the garage door opener. If you can open the door, then the door is not at fault. Instead, you’ll need to investigate the garage door opener. If the door won’t open, then it’s the door itself which is causing the problem.

Related: How to Open a Garage Door with a Broken Spring

If it is the door, there are several reasons why it won’t open:

  • Firstly, check that the garage door isn’t locked. It sounds very obvious, but when you’re in a rush and trying to leave the house, it’s amazing how quickly you forget about this.
  • Check that nothing has fallen into the garage door track. If it has, remove it and try opening the door again. This may have been what was stopping the door from opening.
  • Take a look at your garage door springs. These are what gives your garage door the tension needed to open. If they’ve broken, then that will be why the door won’t open. Be aware though, if they are broken it’s best not to fix them yourself. Springs hold a tremendous amount of tension, so it’s best to contact a trained professional if repair is needed.
  • Check pulleys and cables, to ensure that they haven’t snapped or become loose. If you see anything that doesn’t look quite right, again, call in a repair expert to handle it for you.

Once you’ve made these checks, make sure that you’re reconnecting the emergency release to keep your garage door safe. Check the manual for your door opener to ensure you connect it properly.

Why Your Door Isn’t Opening

So you’ve made all these checks, but it’s not your garage door that’s causing the problems. There’s something wrong with the garage door opener, that’s stopping it from opening the door for you.

In most cases, the cause will be a stripped gear or a chain that has come off the sprocket. If this is the case, the motor will run but as the chain isn’t where it should be, it can’t generate the lift to open the door.

You will find many guides on how to fix the garage door opener online, but it’s up to you whether you want to attempt the repair yourself. As mentioned earlier, your garage door opener can be dangerous if you’re not properly informed on what you’re doing to fix it. If you’re at all unsure about what’s happening, talk to a repair expert to fix it for you.

You may also find that your motor won’t work as the emergency release has become jammed. This will happen if the chain or belt moves, but the door won’t open. As the release is stuck, it can’t allow the door to open. Again, you’ll need an expert to come and put this right.

How To Stop The Problem Happening In The Future

Now that the garage door opener has been fixed, you need to ensure that the same problem won’t crop up again in the future. The way to do this is to perform regular checks on your garage door opener to ensure that it’s in top condition.

When you’re checking your garage door, ensure that everything is in place. You want to ensure that everything is in the right position and able to move when it needs to move. Now’s the time to lubricate all moving parts to enable them to move smoothly when needed.

Check the tracks of the door to ensure nothing has fallen in. Clean them out to ensure that the door can run freely up and down the tracks without problem.

You’ll also need to take a look at the photo eyes on your garage door. These are there to ensure that nothing is in the path of the door when it’s opening and closing. If they’re dirty, or something is blocking it, then they won’t work as they should. A good way of testing them is to put a block of wood in the way of the door, and then attempt to close it. If the door doesn’t reverse back before it hits the wood, then you’ll need to clean the eyes. If that doesn’t fix the problem, take a look at the auto reverse function. It may need adjustment in order to function properly.

It’s also a good idea at this point to look at the garage door itself at this point. Over time, they can take dents and scratches from the elements, and from anyone bumping into the door itself. If there are dents in the door they need to be dealt with, as they will affect the way the door opens. If you have a dent use a block of wood against it, and use a hammer against the wood to hammer that dent out.

If the motor is running on your garage door opener, but the door itself isn’t opening, don’t panic. There’s usually a simple explanation for it so follow the steps here to solve the problem. Soon, the door will be opening again smoothly.

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