How To Repair A Broken Garage Door Opener

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How To Repair A Broken Garage Door Opener

Having to repair anything related to the garage, especially the garage door opener, might seem like a job best left for a professional. However, depending on the issue you’re dealing with, you may actually be able to surprise your spouse and fix it all by yourself. 

The garage door goes hand-in-hand with the opener and often a broken door opener is an indication that the door itself is faulty. Sometimes, the spring or lifting cables of the garage door may break or snap, leaving all the work to the motor and this places more stress on the opener. In such situations, the opener will have to work extra hard to get the door open and sooner rather than later, this will damage the door opener. 

Well, if you’re reading this, it has probably gotten to this stage and all you want now is just to find a way to fix it. But take note that the garage door should first be examined because the root of the problem has to be dealt with instead of repairing only the broken opener. Otherwise, it will need repairs again soon after.

There are three main types of drive systems of garage door openers, namely, the belt drive, chain drive, and screw drive systems. Belt drives are more expensive but also the quietest drive systems. They operate using a rubber belt which drives the trolley in order to open or close the door. That makes them very silent so if your opener uses this type of system, loud and unusual sounds coming from it are an indication that it is broken. 

Chain drives on the other hand use chains to lower or raise the door making them very noisy systems. 

Screw drive systems use a threaded rod mechanism and are in between the belt and chain systems in terms of noise and affordability. 

Garage door openers also vary in terms of modernization. You may have an older version or an automatic opener. Either way, in order to know the best way to repair a broken opener, here are some of the common issues associated with garage door openers and how to deal with them amicably.

Related article: How To Fix A Broken Garage Door


Problems You Might Encounter With Your Garage Door Opener

1. The Garage Door Opener Remote Control Doesn’t Work

The first thing to do when the remote control isn’t working is to check that the batteries are not weak. If this isn’t the cause, then try approaching a close range before trying to use the remote control. In some cases, the issue might be you are too far away from the garage door.

If you have replaced the batteries of the remote control with new ones and also maintain close range when using it but it still doesn’t work, consider resetting the remote using the instruction manual or better yet, get a new remote that will work with your garage opener. In some cases, you might not be able to get a remote for your exact garage door, you can opt for getting a universal one or install a new receiver.

2. The Wall Switch Doesn’t Work

There are two possible reasons your wall switch isn’t working. It is either the wall switch is faulty or the wires connecting it to the garage door opener are faulty. To find out which one of these is the problem, unscrew the wall switch and detach the wires from the switch.

Slightly touch the two wires together, if the garage door works, the wall switch is faulty and you might need to get a new switch to replace the old one. But if the garage door doesn’t work after touching these two wires together, the fault might be in the wires and you would need to replace them with new 18 to 22 gauge wires.

 3. The Garage Door Does Not Close Completely

A garage door that closes only midway or does not go all the way is one of the most frustrating issues you can encounter with a broken garage door opener. If this happens, the rollers may be damaged or there may be rust preventing the garage door from working properly. You can either replace the damaged rollers or apply lubricants to them to help them run smoothly. However, this might not be the issue all the time. 

Some other possible causes of this problem include:

 i. The close-limit switch may be set wrongly

The close-limit switch is a feature that is required for every garage door opener for safety reasons. That is the switch that tells the motor when to stop running when the garage door is being opened or closed. That switch prevents the garage door from hitting or closing on people.

If the close-limit switch is not set correctly, this would cause a malfunction in the closing of the garage door and it may even roll back when you try to close it. The solution to this issue is to make adjustments to the close-limit switch.

ii. The safety sensors aren’t properly aligned

The safety sensors are located at both sides of the bottom track door and are the photo eyes or electronic eyes. If there is no issue with these sensors, the garage door would close fully well. The garage door won’t close completely or might pull back if there is an obstruction between them or each sensor is not in alignment with the other.

To avoid this, you need to make sure the sensors are properly aligned and there are no obstructions between them throughout the span of the garage door’s motion.

4. The Garage Door Does Not Open

It can be very annoying when you are in a hurry and you can’t get your garage door to open. That can leave you feeling trapped! There are a number of reasons this may occur:

The opener isn’t plugged

If your garage door isn’t opening, in some cases it could be that the garage door opener isn’t plugged properly or there is an issue with the electrical outlet the opener is plugged into.

There might be a problem with the remote

It’s possible that the reason your garage isn’t opening is that the battery in your remote is bad or there is an issue with the remote itself. To determine if the issue is with the remote, try opening the door using the wall switch. If it works, then try putting in new batteries. If it still doesn’t work, you might need to reset your remote using the owner’s manual.

There might be an issue with the circuit breaker

In some cases, due to an electrical surge, the circuit breaker can trip. You would need to check the service panel in your home to see if the breaker powering the garage door opener is still on. If it is not, you would need to switch it off and on again then try the garage door again.

The Photo-Eye Could Be Obstructed

The photo-eye is a small sensor located at the bottom of the garage door that helps prevent the door from closing if there is an object in the way. It stops the garage door from closing on children and pets that are in the way. If the photo eye happens to be dirt, it might obstruct the door from opening. To fix this, clean the sensor with a clean rag and then try to open the door again.

If any of the above solutions do not work, you would need to call a professional to check your garage door and inspect your garage door opener. It is all right not to be able to fix everything by yourself as you need to avoid causing more damage.

Related article: How much does garage door repair cost in Toronto?


How To Maintain Your Garage Door Opener

The garage door and its opener work together so in order to maintain the opener you need to maintain the garage door itself. That will subsequently keep the opener well taken care of as a badly-maintained garage door is likely to place more strain on the opener. Proper maintenance of the garage door would prevent the rate at which the garage door opener undergoes damages and constant repairs. 

These maintenances should ensure safe, long-lasting and efficient working of the opener. It is very important to carry out a series of inspections at least once a month. That would help to make sure your garage door opener lasts for a longer period of time and prevent a series of damages from occurring. 

There are a number of ways you can inspect your garage door and make sure it’s working properly:

1. Apply Lubricants To Moving Parts

The lubrication of moving parts of the garage door should be done at least twice a year in order to reduce stress on the garage door opener and have it last for a long period of time. It is best to use the right kind of lubricant for your garage door in order to avoid damage.

A white lithium grease or a silicon spray is one of the best lubricants to use. After applying the right amount of lubricant, your garage door would work smoothly and would even reduce the noises caused prior to lubrication.

2. Tighten Up Hardware In The Garage Door

The vibration or motion caused by the functioning of the garage door opener and the movement of the garage door on a daily basis is one thing that might cause the loosening of hardware. Once in a while, inspect the screws and bolts in the system and if anyone of them is loose, tighten them properly to avoid further repairs.

3. Clear or Clean Up The Tracks

In maintaining your garage door, it is very important to pay good attention to the tracks. Due to the daily usage of the door, the tracks may become disordered over time. That would disrupt the door from opening and closing properly and increase the stress on the garage door opener.

To avoid this, clean the inside of the tracks which may be clogged with dirt and grease that has built up over the years. Apply a disk brake cleaner and wipe the tracks with a clean rag. Check out the alignment of the horizontal and vertical tracks and make sure they are aligned properly. Doing this should make your garage work smoothly and properly.

4. Inspect the Rollers

In the process of using your garage door, series of dust particles would get stuck to the rollers and this might cause your garage door to make scraping noises or even damage and wear out the bearing of the rollers. That is why it is important to inspect your rollers at least twice a year.

If your rollers have a lot of dust and dirt particles, you would need to first remove them from the garage door before cleaning. If your rollers are worn out, cracked, or there is any damage done to the rollers, you might need to replace them with new ones.

5. Inspect The Pulleys And Cables

The pulleys and cable help in lifting and lowering the garage door. They are usually attached to the roller brackets at the bottom of the door and serve as the connection between the spring and the door. In inspecting the pulleys and cables, it is important to inform an expert for their help if you notice any damage as these are high tension wires and can cause personal injury if you make the wrong move.

6. Check The Balance Of The Door

Check the balance of your garage door regularly and make necessary adjustments if needed. When checking the balance, you need to first of all disconnect the garage door opener from the garage door. Lift the garage door up and drag down to see how smoothly the garage door works in motion.

Your garage door would be out of balance if you lift it up halfway and it either falls down due to lost tension of the spring or it slides upward. In some cases, there may be a need for a replacement of the spring for it to function properly.

Related article: Top 10 Garage Door Repair companies In Toronto

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