Common Reasons Your Garage Door Won’t Open

Common Reasons Your Garage Door Won’t Open

November 19, 2021

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It’s frustrating when you’re coming home or trying to leave and your garage door isn’t opening the way it should. The last thing you want to do with your valuable time is spending it trying to figure out the issue. There are also certain parts of your garage door you shouldn’t try to fix on your own.

At the same time, many of the most common reasons your doors aren’t opening are things you can deal with on your own, even if you aren’t especially handy. 

The following are some of the most frequent reasons your garage door isn’t opening. 

How’s the Power Source?

First is a simple but frustrating reason your garage door might not open. Check that your cable box is plugged in. If it is plugged in, you should check the outlet. Test it by plugging something else in like a lamp to see if that works. 

If it does, then it’s not the power. 

If the lamp doesn’t turn on, you should proceed to check your breaker box. 

If your outlet isn’t working and you can’t identify a tripped breaker, you should contact an electrician. 

Similarly, do you have a battery issue? The batteries in your remote transmitter might need to be changed. If you manually push the button on the receiver located inside your garage and the door opens or closes, this is probably the issue and you just need to change the batteries. 

Common Reasons Your Garage Door Won’t Open

Blocked Photo-Eye

A garage can have something called a photo-eye. Most garage doors include this and have since the 1990s. A photo-eye is considered a safety feature. 

Photo-eye components align face-to-face across each side of your garage door. Most are located around four feet off the ground. Then, when they’re activated, a small beam is sent from one end to the other. 

When you close the garage door, the beam activates and scans to make sure there are no obstructions, and there’s adequate clearance. If anything is blocking it, the door will either stop moving or reverse. The goal of course is to make sure the garage door isn’t closing on people, pets or objects. 

If there’s even something small in the way, the photo-eye will stop the movement of your garage door. If your garage door doesn’t close, the photo-eye can also be dirty, and the laser “thinks” that’s an object in the way. The photo-eye circuits can also potentially be damaged by moisture. 

Another issue is that there could be a lack of alignment between the two photo eyes

Try cleaning it off and see if that helps. 

Broken Springs

If your garage door’s motor runs but the door doesn’t open, the problem might be the door’s springs. Broken springs are one of the most common reasons you need to call a service person to your home. 

Springs run over the width of the door, and two springs lift and lower the door on the tracks. Every spring is given a rating based on its maximum number of cycles. Once the spring goes through all of its cycles, it needs to be replaced.

Don’t try to open your garage door manually or activate it if you think a spring breaks. Don’t try to fix this on your own—contact a specialist. 

There’s also an even more dangerous situation that can occur—snapped cables. 

The extension springs create tension for the raising and lowering of the door, and then the cables that align with each spring physically bring the door up and down. After springs snap, the cables are all that prevent the door from hitting the ground with its total weight. If you suspect that issue you need to contact a technician right away. 

Common Reasons Your Garage Door Won’t Open

Blocked Remote Signal

If your garage door remote only works when you’re very close to the door, the remote itself could be dirty or have debris blocking it. You might also want to see if there’s something like a tree branch stopping it from working at a long-range. 

There could be a broken antenna on the device too. 

Misaligned Tracks

You may need lubricant on the wheels or tracks of your garage door if you hear rubbing or squeaking. 

Your tracks can also get so bent the doors can’t open or lower, and you would need a professional to help you replace these. If your garage doors aren’t working for a reason you can’t identify, contact someone who can help you. Doing work on your own garage doors can be incredibly dangerous.

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