Troubleshooting a Garage Door Opener Issue

Having garage door trouble can be frustrating, especially if you’ve got things to do and places to be. One common problem homeowners face is when the door will open normally but refuses to close. While concerning at first, usually it’s an issue with a simple DIY fix. Let’s look at some potential causes and solutions.

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Check the Photo Eyes

One of the first things to inspect are the photo eyes (also called optical sensors or light beams). These safety devices use an infrared beam to detect objects and prevent the door from closing on people or items in the way. If the eyes get bumped out of alignment or have debris blocking the sensor path, the door may not see it’s clear to close.

Photo eyes typically mount vertically on each side of the garage door, about 5 inches above the floor. Make sure they are lined up directly across from each other without any obstructions. Gently wipe any dust build up that could interfere with the infrared signal. Test by waving your hand in the sensor path to ensure the door stops closing when interrupted.

Test the Force Adjustment

Another common issue is the garage door opener force or Sensitivity setting being too low. This safety feature helps prevent people from getting pinched but can confuse your opener if it’s overly cautious. Most brands allow adjusting the threshold with a knob or dial setting.

Turn the dial very slightly clockwise in small increments and test the door between each adjustment. This increases the force needed to cause the door to reverse. Just a minor increase could solve the problem without compromising safety. Be cautious not to crank it up too high or the door won’t reverse on contact like it should.

Inspect the Door and Tracks

Over time, garage doors can develop issues like sagging, misalignment or worn rollers that prevent smooth operation. It takes more force for the opener to budge a problem door, which may confuse the low-force safety setting. Inspect all tracks, hinges, rollers, and screws for any signs of damage, rust, or need of lubrication.

Tighten or replace worn parts as needed to help reduce strain on the opener motor. Check for sags in the actual door section that may cause a bind. Many professionals offer Garage Door Opener Replacement in Midlothian options if a vintage or damaged door is no longer practical to repair. A new door improves functionality while adding curb appeal.

Clean and Lubricate Moving Parts

As with any mechanical system, garage doors rely on clean rollers and tracks to function smoothly. Over time, buildup of dirt, debris and rust causes extra friction that adds resistance to door movement. Take some time to thoroughly wipe down and lubricate all tracks, rollers, hinges, and springs.

Use a degreasing cleaner to remove residue, followed by a dry lubricant specifically made for garage doors. Avoid petroleum-based lubes that can gum up or attract dirt. With rollers gliding easily again, your opener won’t have to work as hard to open and close the door. Look for any other spots in need of lubrication while you’re cleaning.

Check Opener Motor and Linkage

If none of the above fixes the issue, inspect the opener itself. Test the motor by running it with the door panel removed from the equation. Does it have normal power or sound strained? Over time, motors can weaken simply due to age and usage cycles.

Also check the connection points between the rail, chain or belt that links the opener motor to door panel for wear, rust or obstructions. Clean and lubricate or replace parts as needed to ensure smooth power transfer. With the direct connection in good shape, the opener should once again close the door without problems.

Consider a Service Call

For issues that aren’t clearly solveable or if inspecting mechanisms isn’t practical due to height or safety concerns, hire a garage door professional. An expert can diagnose problems faster based on experience and specialized tools. They may catch subtle issues quicker than a DIY attempt.

Any necessary repairs or replacements would be performed quickly and properly by certified technicians familiar with your specific opener make/model. For complex systems or when safety is a concern, expert service may save time and headache versus trial and error troubleshooting.

Peace of mind knowing your doors were serviced by a pro is worth the minor cost compared to risks from continued operation with unknown problems. They can also check the entirety of your garage door system and advise on further upgrades or maintenance work that may become needed in the future.