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The 7 Most Common Garage Door Problems

Garage Door Pro LLC
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Garage Door Problems

Residential and commercial garage door experts see every possible problem that can happen with a garage door. Some of those things are pretty rare and can be surprising, but many of them are relatively common and make up most of the repairs a technician does. Sometimes repairs can be done by the homeowner, but in most case, a professional will do a better job and far more quickly. Let’s look at some of the common issues people run into with their home garage doors.

Dead Transmitter Batteries

This might seem obvious, but the transmitter for your garage door must be powered on to do its job. If the batteries are dead, it’s not going to open the garage door. What you can do is check the transmitter inside the garage to see if pressing the button works. If so, that probably means that your remote or transmitter just needs a new set of batteries. If you have other transmitters, this is an excellent time to change those out as well, because they may also be close to dying.

Photocells are Unaligned

If you have no problems with the door opening, but it doesn’t close when you press the remote, it’s possible that the photocell eyes are not operating. This can be as simple as the devices being dirty, which means the light can’t pass between the two. The other possibility is that they are misaligned, which also means the light won’t beam between them. Cleaning the eyes is a good start but be sure to be gentle, so you do not scratch the eye. If this doesn’t help. Try realigning the eyes so they match up. This will often take care of the problem completely.

Broken Garage Door Springs

In a situation where the door refuses to go up, but the problem is not the transmitter or the motor, you likely have a broken spring. If you were home when the break occurred, you would have heard an extremely large noise like a bang. If one or both springs are broken, the door opener may try to lift the door but be unable to. You should call a professional to handle this issue, as the repair can be dangerous. A garage door technician will know the proper options for repair and can do it safely. They will also make sure the door is operating properly again before they finish the job.

Manually Locked Door

Sometimes, if your door won’t open, but the motor pops on for a few seconds, your garage door might be manually locked. First, you should take a look at the track and springs, but if things seem okay, you should take a look at the door to see if a lock is engaged. Many older garage doors have locks as a way to add security. They might look like a handle or a knob with two bars from each side. There might also be a button that needs to be pressed to slide the bars and lock the doors. It’s fairly easy to hit the button on accident, which will cause this problem. Once you unlock this mechanism, your door should open as normal again.

Door Path is Locked

The reversing mechanism included with your garage door will prevent the door from closing if something is in the way. If your garage door starts to close but then reverses and goes back up, this could mean something on the ground is blocking the path that the door would take. This can be anything from toys or paint cans to debris buildup like mud or rocks. The first step here is to check if anything is blocking the sensors. Next, check the door track for buildup. You also will want to procure a ladder to climb up and look at the top track. One way to avoid this issue is to wipe down the tracks occasionally, so buildup doesn’t occur.

Track is Misaligned

The track that your door comes down into in your garage has to be aligned for the door to work correctly. If there are gaps between the rail and rollers or you see bends in the rail, this can be indicative of a problem. If you allow these problems to continue, they can get worse due to the heavy door coming back again and again. If the track isn’t aligned correctly but does move, there are different ways to handle the situation. However, this is often a situation there requires a professional. This person will have the right tools and equipment to bring the track back to where it should be. In addition, if the problem cannot be fixed that way, they can instead install a new garage door track that will work properly.

Limit Settings are Off

Another common issue is your garage door does close all the way, but it then goes back up right away. This is common mainly with new garage doors, rather than those that have been around a while. When this occurs, it’s typically because of the limit settings on your garage door opener. The limit range is what communicates with the garage door opener on exactly how much the door should move and in which direction to close or open. If the setting is higher than it should be, the door will reach the ground before where it believes the ground should be. This causes it to reverse so it isn’t crushing whatever might be there. Your garage door motor will typically have dials or knobs to adjust the limits. However, if you aren’t comfortable adjusting this on your own, a professional technician can do this quickly and easily.


If you’re experiencing one of the above issues, this article should help you find the resolution you need. Of course, many other problems can crop up. If that’s the case, it may be time to get an expert involved. This will ensure the problem is fixed appropriately and you no longer have to deal with the stress of the issue.


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