My Door Won’t Close!
This is probably one of the most common phrases heard throughout garage door service industry. You’re late for work/dinner/meeting whatever else it is that you cannot miss and you back out of the garage with the door open of course (don’t worry there are many of people who forget this important step!). You press the remote button and nothing. Press it again and nothing now you are screaming and yelling wondering who you can blame for breaking your garage door opener it because it sure as heck wasn’t you. STOP. RELAX. Take a deep breath. Ok good are you nice and calm now? Let’s go over some easy steps to help fix this problem.
Press the button on the wall and see if the door will close. If it does close then the problem is most likely the “Lock Out Switch” or “Vacation Switch”. Just about every opener manufacturer puts these on their wall control stations for what reason other than annoy the consumer we have not figured it out yet either. So most wall stations have 3 main buttons the “Open/Close” of course the most common, the “Light” used by everyone unless you can see in the dark!! And last but certainly not least the “Lock/Vacation” the little button you probably always wondered what it was for. Well now you know that this little button has caused quite a few customers to call in panic because they cannot get their door to shut. Simply toggle the button and press your remote the door should come right down and you can be on your way again.
Well if the lock button did not do the trick then it is time to move on with the list. The photo-eyes (or sensors) are mounted on either side of the door near the floor they send a beam of light and if the beam is broken by a broom or roll of wrapping paper that fell into the way then you door will not close. Now unlike the lock button this sensor does have a purpose you see if you or your children or pet decided to walk under the door as it was closing when you crossed the beam the door would stop closing. This ensures that you will not get smashed by your 300 lb door but this also mean that if they are not aligned right or there is something blocking them the door will not close either leaving you stranded screaming at your garage door.
Here is a little check list to make sure they are lined up:
#1 Check & make sure sensors are aligned; #2 Make sure nothing is blocking sensors (garbage bag, broom, etc. – it happens more than you would think); #3 Clean the lens on each sensor – sometimes dirt or grass clippings can interfere; #4 Check wires to the sensors & the one’s going to the power head – make sure they didn’t come loose; #5 Check & see if sun is shining on sensors. Sometimes the sun can “blind” the sensors and cause them to think an object is blocking the opening. If this is the case the sensors may need moved further into the garage.
The next step is to make sure the sensitivity settings are correct. If you’re not comfortable with making adjustments to the opener settings which if not done correctly can make the problem even worse than it already is, then you should call a garage door professional to check the operator. If you are feeling ambitious then you should get the opener manual and find out where the sensitivity settings are if you still have the manual if not most can be found online. Before you adjust the sensitivity disconnect the opener from the door by pulling the emergency release. Check to see how the door balances and moves. If the door is hard to open or close the problem may not be the opener. You may need to call a professional to adjust the garage door. If the door works well manually then reconnect the opener and adjust the close sensitivity. If you put a thick piece of wood under the door & the opener doesn’t reverse you need to increase the sensitivity or someone could get injured.
If all of these steps fail it is time to call the professionals a garage door can be a sensitive machine and tampering with it can cause serious injury to you or someone else so before attempting any of the above mentioned tips make sure you are alone in the garage and everyone in the house knows that you are working on it.