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Troubleshooting garage door openers

What a thankless job! We are talking about our garage door openers! We use them day in and day out with scarcely a thought; until they stop working, that is! Then, when we are forced to part in the street or driveway and use the front door, we suddenly miss our handy and useful opener units. Out of sight is often out of mind except for one thing; our opener remotes are right before us when we are driving! Here at Garage Door Repair Trenton, we often get asked about our recommendations when garage door openers stop working. Do customers throw out the remote and get a new one? Do they simply change batteries? Does banging on the remote help at all? Is there an opener repair or advisory line that they can call? There seems to be a million questions and few answers.

We are not spoiled; just used to convenience!

There was a time when we didn’t have the luxury of sitting in our cars and pressing a button to open or close our garage doors. No – we had to physically get out of our vehicle and manually lift and lower our heavy wooden or aluminum garage door. We drove the car in or out and then manually closed the door again. Did we complain and write our Congressman? No, this is simply what you did if you want to park in the garage. Today, our busy lives dictate otherwise. Our automatic garage door openers give us both convenience and added security by letting us remain inside the car the entire time. The simple act of staying inside the car prevents wallets, purses and even the car itself from being rifled or stolen while we are momentarily distracted by the act of manually operating the door. The constant use of this useful technology has in a way spoiled us so that we come to expect our openers to work; all the time, too!

It’s not just crime that is a concern. Here in Trenton, Georgia we experience hot, humid and often rainy summer days and cold, wet, and frozen winters. It’s so nice to be able to stay put in the warmth (or coolness) of your vehicle and enter or leave your garage by simply tapping a button on your opener remote. Weather, convenience, safety, crime and sheer affordability make having a correctly working garage door opener system a real necessity.

How do you troubleshoot a garage door opener?

The process sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. There are some simple, easy tasks that most anyone can do to troubleshoot your opener system including the remote. Let’s start with the easiest, most obvious one; the remote’s battery. Open your remote up and remove the battery. You should test it to see if it is still good. Many people have a home battery tester. If you do, use it to check the strength of your battery. If you do not, you can buy a new one for less than $20 in most hardware or home improvement store. A free way is even easier. Simply take your battery to a local store that offers free battery testing. Every community has these and they will cheerfully test your battery in the hopes that you will buy your replacement (if needed) at their establishment.

Did that help? If not, try adjusting your remote’s battery terminals. These should squeeze together firmly enough to hold your battery in place. If they are too loose, the battery loses its effectiveness. They are made to be easily adjusted by simply using your fingers.

Safety sensors

If all checks out with your remote and its battery, move on to your photoelectric safety eyes, also known as your safety sensors. While often the blame for a non-working garage door opener is placed squarely on the remote, it can sometimes be the fault of misaligned safety sensors. If the sensor beams are not perfectly aligned, the garage door won’t open or close correctly. Often, the sensor beam is blocked by debris. You should keep the lenses clean and dirt free. Wipe with a soft, dry cloth if needed. If you know how to adjust your sensor beams, go ahead and do it now. If not, there is any number of online videos that show the simple process. If you still have the owner’s manual to your sensors, try looking at that. If you know the make and model of the sensors, try entering this information into your favorite online browser in parenthesis along with the words “owner’s manual” and you should be able to get the PDF version online. You may be tempted to simply call a local garage door repair shop and let them handle everything, however you can often save yourself the money from a service call and the time involved by troubleshooting the problem yourself first.

The opener itself may be the culprit

If the problem is not your remote, or your safety sensors, it’s time to see if your opener unit itself is the problem. Push the power button on the wall switch inside your garage. Did the garage door open? If it didn’t, unplug the opener from the electrical outlet in the garage ceiling. Now, plug something else in and see if you have power or not. Try using a hair dryer or small radio; something that is not heavy to lift. If you have power, the problem may be the motor to your opener system. If the small appliance test fails, you have either lost power or have a blown fuse. You can check for those conditions on your own. You can reset a tripped fuse or replace a blown one. If the power is off to the property you should call your power company and take it up with them.

Lastly, if none of these solutions are effective, place a call to your favorite local garage door repair shop that offers full service assistance that includes opener systems.

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