Frequently Asked Questions About Garage Doors

Answers To Some of The Most Common Questions About Garage Door Opener Issues

Garage door openers are a modern fixture in our homes. We take for granted that the garage door will go up and down and we expect them to work the way they're supposed to. They provide convenience, safety, and make life just a whole lot easier. We get a lot of questions from homeowners concerning garage door openers and it’s understandable. Even though the basic concept of the automatic garage door has remained pretty much the same since they were first introduced, the details have changed in a big way: to the point where you can now operate your garage door or check on the state of your garage door springs at your home in Overland Park from your beach chair in Brazil. The following tips may help you avoid a service call but if you need help please don't hesitate to contact Mark at Moores Doors Garage Door Service.

Why does the remote only seem to work when I’m close to the opener?

One problem may be that your remote simply needs a new battery. Another possibility may have to do with radio frequency interference. You might be able to fix the problem by retuning your remote. If you have motion detectors in your home, say as part of a security system, the radio frequency they emit can interfere with the signal from your remote to the opener, so can the signal from wireless computer game consoles. If you have a flexible antenna on your opener you may be able to adjust it to fix the problem. If not, an antenna extension attached to the exterior of your home may or may not clear it up.

Will my opener work during a power outage?

A standard garage door opener will not work during a power outage, unless you install a battery backup. Battery backups are available for most garage door openers today. Typically, you install them just above the opener and plug them into the opener. If the power goes out the battery kicks in and if you need to enter or exit the house the opener works like it always does. When the power comes back on the opener reverts to the standard power source.

Why does the opener reverse before the door is closed?

Every modern garage door opener comes with auto reverse capability. If anything breaks the sensor beam that runs across the inside of the door at knee height while the door is closing the door will automatically reverse in order not to hurt people or pets. Sometimes however this sensor beam can become misaligned or dirt on the sensor can create false readings causing the door to reverse. Clean the sensor and check the alignment to fix the problem.

What’s the difference between chain, belt and screw drive openers?

Belt drives have become the most popular drive system because they are strong and quiet. While screw drives are available, they are not recommended by Moores Doors Garage Door Service due to excessive noise and wear.

Are there any advantages to DC powered openers?

With a DC powered garage door opener your opener will be capable of variable speed operation. This will enable silky smooth starts and stops and generally create less wear and tear on the garage door.

Why do people typically replace their opener?

The most common reasons for replacing the opener are:

  • Noise- As openers age they tend to get louder, particularly chain and screw drive openers.
  • Safety- Some legacy garage door openers prior to 1993 don’t have the auto-reverse function.
  • Convenience - New garage door openers can be added to the Internet devices controlled via smartphone apps.
  • Security - Many older garage door openers are still using static pass codes. New openers generate a new code every time the door is opened making the door less susceptible to hacks.

If my garage door springs break will it harm the opener?

When a torsion spring breaks it can put enormous pressure on the opener. However modern openers should be able to withstand the initial shock, but you must replace the spring and balance the door properly. If you need to replace your garage door springs give us a call.

How big should the motor be in my opener?

Horsepower is generally irrelevant because if your door is well balanced any opener will work fine. For a single car garage door ½ horsepower should be sufficient. For a heavier door you may want something more. Mark always recommends Chamberlain Garage Door Openers to his customers because they are the most reliable openers on the market. Call Mark at Moores Doors Garage Door Service for more information about purchasing an opener for your garage door.

A Rundown of Some of the Most Common Garage Door Opener Remote Issues That You Can Fix Yourself

If you are experiencing problems with your garage door that have you baffled it may be because the problem actually isn’t with your garage door at all. Before you call for garage door service stop for a moment and consider the possibility that the problem is actually with the garage door remote. The remote is often an overlooked component in the garage door equation but it shouldn’t be. It’s crucial to both the design and execution of the garage door concept and without it you’re back to getting out of your car in the driving rain or snow and opening the door by hand. Below we’re going to look at some common problems associated with the garage door remote.

Not Every Problem Calls for Garage Door Repair

When the garage door doesn’t open for some reason people tend to whip out the phone and call for garage door repair. While that’s perhaps understandable there’s also a decent chance the problem is not with the garage door at all, but rather with the remote. Here is the rundown on some basic garage door remote malfunctions.

Limited Range Syndrome

If it seems as though the door doesn’t want to open until you are practically right on top of it the problem may stem from some other device in your home that is interfering with the radio frequency of your remote. What will make the offending device devilishly difficult to find is that it will probably show no signs of malfunctioning itself, even though it’s giving your garage door remote fits. Potential troublemakers include surge protectors, battery chargers, cable amplifiers, alarm systems or anything that relies on or otherwise utilizes a timer. If the problem comes and goes it’s safe to assume that whatever is causing the interference is not on all the time, but rather being turned on and off. If you are unable to find the culprit you may have to replace your remote.

Common Problems That Require Garage Door Opener Repair

The door fails to close all the way - There may be times when the door simply won’t close the entire way, or when it closes and then starts to open again. This is a serious issue that needs to be resolved asap because you can’t run the risk that you might accidentally leave the door open after you leave the house. If the door closes part way and then opens again, it could be something blocking the auto reverse sensor. A garage door opener uses photo eyes as safety devices to prevent damage or injury when the door is operated. If something gets in the path of the invisible beam between the photo eyes as the door is closing, the opener will stop closing and will reverse operation. If this happens you may follow the steps below to align the photo eyes. They should not be blinking at all. Remember that we are happy to help you. Please call Mark at Moores Doors Garage Door Service.

  1. Push the wall control button to open the garage door
  2. Locate the photo eyes on each side of the garage door opening. The photo eyes mount on the outside of the door tracks towards the floor. They are usually black in color and will have small green or red LED lights.
  3. Monitor the LED lights on the photo eyes watch for blinking lights. When one of the eyes is not working, or if there is an alignment problem, the LED lights will not be lit or will be blinking. They should be a solid color. If the lights are a solid color & not blinking push the wall unit or remote & see if the door closes. If it does you just fixed your problem. If not follow the steps below.
  4. If there are no screw terminals or plug in terminals then they are hard wired. If not check the connection of the wires to each of the photo eyes. The wire connects on the back of each eye with a slip-in connector. Pull the connector out with your finger and push the connector back into each eye. If the LED lights are now lit, the door will operate. If the LED lights are still unlit, more adjustments are necessary
  5. Use a soft dry cloth to clean the lenses on both photo eyes. Sometimes dirt, dust and debris will obstruct the safety beam
  6. Bend one of the photo eyes to attempt to realign the beam. Most often the photo eye has been hit or may misalign itself through normal door use. Grab the photo eye bracket and attempt to bend it slightly until the LED light is lit.
  7. If the safety eyes are mounted on the tracks the tracks can wiggle with the passage of the door causing misalignment and reversal of the door. You may want to remount the safety eyes to the framing beside the track.

If none of these adjustments solve the problem or you need help give us a call. The problem could be faulty photo eyes or a problem within the control board inside the door-opener motor

  1. The door doesn’t open at all - If you send the open command to the opener and nothing happens it’s likely an issue with the power source. Make certain no one has unplugged the motor by mistake. If it’s plugged in then check the circuit breaker. If the door is battery operated, you might want to try replacing the battery. If none of these things prove to be the problem, it may be that the batteries in the remote have died. Try them in another device and see if it works. If it does, then the problem is not the batteries. Take one more look at the motor and make sure the antenna is hanging down so that it’s able to pick up the signal from the remote.
  2. The motor won’t shut off - If after the door closes the motor simply won’t shut down, you’ll need to get to the bottom of the problem quickly or your motor will burn out. In this case the limit switch might need adjustment. The limit switch tells the motor at what point the door is considered either open or closed. If the limits are set improperly the motor will pressure the door against the floor so hard that it will activate a safety system that sends the door back up. A quick check of the owner’s manual should tell you what the ideal limits are and how to set them
  3. The door doesn’t open when the weather gets cold - Sometimes when it gets very cold in wintertime a door may simply refuse to open. If this happens to you run through the check list of potential power source problems in #2 (above). If none of those are the issue. there’s one more thing that could be causing the problem. If the rollers are frozen the motor may be sensing resistance and refusing to open the door. If that happens pull the release string to see if you can raise the door manually (if it is not actually frozen to the ground). On older openers there should be a screw on the motor itself that will allow you to adjust the sensitivity of the opener.
  4. The door opens unevenly and stutters as it rises and falls - It may be that the motor itself is burning out. But it’s more likely that either one of your springs has snapped or that there is dirt, debris or some form of obstruction in one or both tracks. Look for the broken spring first and if they both look fine take a few minutes and inspect the tracks. All that may be required is a quick cleaning and lube. In addition, you may want to oil all the roller, bearings and pulleys.  Do not use WD40 as it will remove all the previous lubricants and that is not helpful for smooth operation.  A good 3-In-One lube will do the job.

There are so many things that could possibly go wrong with your garage door opener. If you haven’t been able to discern the problem or you need help to fix an issue with your garage door, please call Mark at Moores Doors.  He will be happy to help you.