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How To Repair A Garage Door Opener

How to repair a garage door opener

Having problems with your garage door opener? Whether the door won’t open all the way, or it won’t open at all, it’s going to be a problem for you when you need to get your car out. Not to worry though, as often you’ll be able to troubleshoot the problem yourself. Here’s how to repair a garage door opener and get it working again.

The Basics on How to Repair a Garage Door Opener

When the garage door opener isn’t working like usual, there can be various things that could be causing the issue. Often, it’s going to be something very basic that can be fixed in moments. Even if you think it can’t be any of the following, you’ll want to check just in case:

Get closer to the door: Get closer to the door in the first instance, and try the remote again. If it opens at this point, you’ll know that the remote needs to be in closer range to open the door.

Replace the batteries: Put fresh batteries in your remote, and see what happens when you try it again. If it works, then the batteries were simply dead, and you’ve solved the problem. If you empty the battery compartment and the contacts look rusty, make sure you give them a polish too. 

Check the door isn’t locked: It could be that the garage door is locked manually. If so, the garage door opener won’t be able to lift it up. 

Check the garage door opener isn’t disengaged or unplugged: You’ll often unplug and disengage the garage door opener when working on the garage door, for safety. If it’s not opening, check for this. It may have been left unplugged, and also remember that the plug could have been knocked out of the socket. 

If you’ve tried all these and you still can’t get the garage door opener to work, then you can move on to the next step. 

Try The Wall Switch

Next, give the wall switch a try rather than the remote opener. Does this open the garage door? If so, that’s a good sign as you most likely just need a new garage door opener remote. You can quite easily pick one up, and reprogram it to your garage door. The way that they are programmed will be different depending on the garage door opener you have, so check the instructions to see how to do it. 

Once the new opener is programmed, try the garage door again. In most cases, this should have solved the problem for you.

Lubricate The Trolley Rail

Ideally, you’ll be doing maintenance checks on your garage door at least twice a year. This lets you check the condition of your garage door, and ensures that it’s in full working condition. At this point, you should also be lubricating the door to keep it moving throughout the year.

If you find that the garage door won’t open, it could be that the trolley rail on the opener needs lubrication. Get a lithium-based grease and apply it to the trolley rail. A spray is a good option here, as you’ll be able to get into all the spaces and properly lubricate them. 

Once you’ve done that, test the garage door opener again. If it works, then you’ll see that the rail needed lubrication. Make sure you keep up with it twice a year to keep everything moving as it should. 

Adjust The Photo Eyes

Are you finding that the garage door won’t close all the way when you press the button to close it? If you’re seeing it auto-reverse, that’s a good sign that the photo eyes are at fault. These are the two sensors that sit close to the ground, either side of your garage door, and what checks for anything in the path of the door. If anything breaks the beam between them, they’ll send the signal to open the door again. 

Firstly, give the sensors a wipe with a soft cloth. This may be all they need to get working again. They can get dirty easily, being on the ground. If that doesn’t solve the problem, readjust the eyes themselves. You can use a length of string and a spirit level, to check if they’re level with each other. If they’re not, then the beam is broken. Readjust the photo eyes and try the opener again, to see if this solves the problem. 

Adjust The Travel

Has adjusting the photo eyes not solved the problem with your garage door not closing? Then it could well be an issue with the limits on your garage door opener. This tells the opener how far the garage door should travel before it hits the ground. If you’re seeing the door auto-reverse when it touches the ground, it may be programmed to think the ground is further away than it is, and so it believes that something is in the path of the door. 

You should find a switch to adjust the travel on the garage door opener itself. Use the manual to use it, and adjust the travel. This may take some experimentation, but it will get it right and stop auto-reversing. 

Check The Chain Tension

Finally, if you’re finding that your garage door won’t open all the way, that could be an issue with the chain tension. If there’s too much slack, it won’t be able to open the door up properly when needed. It’s quite easy to check if this is the problem. 

Take a look at the garage door opener manual, as this will tell you how much slack there should be. Typically, it should be about ¼ to ½ an inch of slack. Measure your chain to see if this is the case, and tighten it if there’s too much slack. 

With these tips, you’ll be able to fix most problems that occur with your garage door opener. If you still can’t get your garage door opener to work, call on a garage door expert to help you with it.

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