Modern garage doors have sensors, motors, transmitters and other features that make accessing your garage hustle free. However, these new features not only add complexity to the doors, but they also increase the number of possible problems that you might encounter.
This article gives you a deep insight into some common garage problems, possible solutions, and some preventive measures.
Solutions to Common Problems
1) Something is preventing your door from closing
A typical door comes with a built-in safety mechanism which enables it to reverse when an object is detected in the path. The door will roll up if there is a water bucket, a toolbox or even a human being on the way. The reversing mechanism is also triggered when rollers are unable to move forward. It might be due to mud, rocks or debris build-up on the tracks. You might solve this problem if you remove all objects blocking the door’s path. If this trick doesn’t solve the issue, then the problem lies in the tracks. Get a spotlight and a step ladder, and then inspect if there is any buildup on the tracks. Clean the tracks using a damp rag to remove mud, debris, and other materials. You might consider cleaning the tracks and rollers periodically to prevent this problem.
Sometimes you might find it difficult to troubleshoot and fix a door that doesn’t close or other problems that you might encounter. As a rule of thumb, you need to consult or call a professional door repair/installation company to ensure repairs/installations are done correctly. This prevents you from accidentally damaging some components, and it also minimizes the chances of the problem recurring in the near future. If you are living in OKC and you encounter some problems with your door, there are many experts that you can consult. Conveniently the Discount Garage Door is located in OKC and it offers affordable door replacement and repair services. The company has door specialists who can diagnose your door and help you make an informed decision on whether to replace the faulty component or replace the entire unit.
2) Broken cables or springs
The heavy-duty torsion springs play a big role in lifting your door. Before you focus on the springs, you need to check if the motor and the door transmitters are working properly. Each spring has its own maximum close and open cycles, after which it breaks or becomes ineffective. A broken spring will make the door opener to lift the heavy door slowly or fail to move it at all. Torsion springs and cables make the door close at a moderate speed which is safer. When they break, you’ll notice that the door descends at a faster rate and produces a loud bang when it hits the metallic framework at the bottom. It is risky to use a free-falling door since it might hit someone, your vehicle or something valuable with a great force.
It is recommended that you replace the springs/cables on time and avoid any potential risks and further damages to the door. Protective gear and Special tools are required when replacing a torsion spring. This is because a broken spring has sharp edges which might cause an injury if not handled properly. It is advisable to contact a professional who has the right tools to replace the springs.
3) Misaligned door tracks or limit switches
The doors have inbuilt limit switches which determine how long they travel to fully close. Incorrect settings can make the door open again immediately after touching the ground. This problem is common in older models and newly installed ones. A High limit range makes the door opener to assume that the door is crushing into something and this triggers the reverse mechanism. You can fix this problem on your own by resetting the limit switches. Climb on your step ladder to reach the knobs then adjust the settings until the door works as expected. You should check the owner’s manual when adjusting the settings since the instructions vary from one brand to another.
Door tracks can get misaligned during installation or if a heavy object knocks them out of position. Misaligned tracks will make a door to accelerate or slow down when the rollers hit the affected area. You can fix minor bends and gaps between the rail and rollers on your own. Track realignment involves loosening the rail screws then gently hitting the track with a rubber mallet until it gets into the right position. You require a level to check if the rails are aligned properly before tightening the screws. However, if the door doesn’t move, contact a technician who has the right equipment to fix the problem.
4) The disconnect switch is activated
The disconnect switch can be activated or deactivated depending on your preferences. Most individuals use the disconnect switch to open the door manually when there is no power while a few prefer opening the door the manual way to save power. When the switch is enabled and you try opening the door using your remote, the motor will just run without moving the door. If you face such a problem, get a step ladder and reattach the motor at the top of the door. Some door models have a knob to connect/disconnect the motor while others have some kind of a rope which you can pull to attach the motor.
5) The lock is engaged
Some door models feature a manual door lock which can be operated from inside your garage. This additional security feature comprises of two horizontal bars with a handle which you can turn to open/close the door. Sometimes you might accidentally engage the lock, thus making it impossible to open the door using a remote. In case you press your remote and the motor spins for a few seconds and stops, then it is most likely that the manual lock is engaged. Get in your garage, and then turn the handle in the middle of your door until the horizontal bars move away from the edges of the door. When it opens, you’ll hear a clicking sound and the handle will remain in an open position.
6) Door transmitter problems
There are several garage transmitter problems which you might encounter. But the most common one is the short signal range. The range of your device will vary depending on various factors, including interference, terrain, frequency, garage materials and much more. Generally, most transmitters work when you are within 100 feet from your garage. It is therefore pointless to press the button on your transmitter while you are still a few miles away. However, if you are in range but the door fails to open, the problem could be the antenna. Ensure that the antenna is within line of sight and it is hanging freely. Remove any metallic objects around the antenna since they might be blocking the signal. In case the antenna has some cracks or other damages, call a technician to replace it since some components might not be functioning.
A door that closes and opens continuously when you hit the button is dangerous since it can hit someone or crush onto your car. This behavior can be triggered by many things. First, ensure that the button on your transmitter is not stuck inside and there is no heavy object pressing it. If this trick doesn’t solve the issue, try changing the frequency of your transmitter since there could be some interference from your neighbor’s device. Another possible solution to the problem is to reprogram the transmitter. Check your owner’s manual for the right steps to reset your device.
7) Misaligned photo eyes
Modern doors feature two photo eyes located on both sides of the doors. These sensors detect if there is an object in the door’s path to prevent the door from crushing on it. Over time, dust and other particles accumulate in the photo eyes, thus blocking the infrared light. If your door doesn’t close and there is nothing in its path, visually inspect the sensors for dirt. Clean the photo eyes using a wet cloth to remove dirt and other residues. If this doesn’t make the door close, use a level to align the sensors. Misaligned sensors make the system to assume that there is something blocking the beam hence the door won’t open.
8) Dead transmitter batteries
Just like other electronics, door transmitters also need power to function properly. Your transmitter will stop sending signals the moment the batteries are unable to produce enough energy to power the electrical components. To ascertain that the batteries are dead, check if the transmitter installed in your garage works as expected. Replacing a transmitter battery is a simple task. In some models, you just slide the battery cover lid to expose the battery while others require a screwdriver to open the battery lid. Whichever the case, just replace the dead batteries with new ones.
The battery size needed might vary from one model to another and you should check the owner’s manual for the right battery models. The only thing to keep in mind while replacing the batteries is to ensure that the battery is secured firmly. Also, ensure that the positive (+ve) side touches the right terminal for the unit to work.
6 Tips on Preventive Maintenance
1) Lubricate mechanical parts
Doors have several mechanical parts which need regular lubrication to prevent corrosion and rust. If you don’t lubricate the unit, it might start sticking and producing some unwanted noises every time you open or close it. In most cases, the friction between the movable parts causes corrosion which eventually leads to door failure. Always apply white lithium grease or any relevant lubricant on the bearings, springs, hinges, pivot points, and rollers so that the door can run smoothly. Lubrication stops the movable parts from rusting or grinding thus preventing major damages on the main components. For smooth operations, it is recommended that you lubricate the parts at least once per year. Clean the springs twice or thrice a year to remove dust and other materials that build up after some time. You should spray a relevant lubricant on the springs each time you clean them to prevent corrosion and rust. This elongates their life span and keeps them flexible.
2) Seal up tight
Moisture is known to accelerate corrosion and rusting on some components. To prevent this problem, always check if the weather seal is functioning properly and edges of your door are airtight. You can find the precise spot where air and moisture is leaking using simple tools. Just go outside with a hairdryer and ask someone to move his hand along the frame as you move the hand-held dryer. It is recommended that you call an expert to install a new seal or fix gaps on your door in case you detect a problem. Weather stripping keeps the moisture out and prevents heat loss during cold seasons. This prevents you from using excess energy in heating/cooling your garage, thus reducing your electricity bills.
3) Test emergency reversals
Statistics show that failed emergency reversal systems kill or injure many people, especially children. This is because the system is prone to failure and it is recommended that you test it at least once per month. You can do this by placing an object at the center of the doorway, and then press the close button. If the system detects the object and reverses quickly, the door is working perfectly. However, if it crushes the object, contact a technician to fix the problem in time.
4) Balance the door
Well-balanced doors have fewer or no gaps and they reverse perfectly. You can tell whether yours is well-balanced or not by disengaging the opener, and then pull the door halfway. If the door rises up, there is too much tension on the springs and if it hits the ground, there is less tension. A well-balanced door will remain in position without tilting to one side.
5) Perform infrared checks
The infrared sensors are the ones that detect if there is a person or an object on the doorway. The sensors should not be more than six inches above the surface. To test if they are working as expected, press the close button then move an object closer to the photo eyes and see if the door rolls up. If it fails to detect the object, contact an expert or check the owner’s manual on how to troubleshoot the problem.
6) Perform force tests
The door should be able to reverse if it encounters some slight resistance. You can perform this test by holding the door when it is rolling downwards. If the system doesn’t reverse, adjust the force settings until you get better results. There are numerous problems which you might face while using both old and new doors. The most common ones include broken springs, objects on the door’s path, engaged lock, incorrect door limit settings and many more.
It is recommended that you call a technician on time to prevent risks associated with a faulty door.
Preventive home maintenance is important since it keeps the door safe and elongates its lifespan. As a matter of fact, a well-maintained door doesn’t stick or produce unnecessary noises when running.