Fixing Your Garage Door Opener: When You Can Tackle the Job Yourself and When You Need to Call the Pros

Whether your garage door opener and remote is brand new or you’ve had the technology for a few years, eventually the opener will have some functioning issues. Hopefully these aren’t so much that you consider the device broken or in need of some troubleshooting. If you do happen to run into issues that warrant repairs, you have to decide if you can tackle them yourself or if you need to call a garage door repair company instead.

Since professional repairs are always expensive, in some instances it helps to attempt to troubleshoot the issue with your garage door opener yourself. If you can diagnose the issue with your opener, you can potentially fix it with some minor repairs. For example, you may notice that your garage door opens just fine when you use the remote opener. However, any time that you attempt to close the door using the remote, it won’t work. In that case, it could just be a matter of adjusting the sensor. If the sensor has moved at any point, it may not read the remote’s commands to close your garage door. If readjusting the sensor doesn’t help though, you may need new a new one.

You may notice that parts of your garage door remote opener system have stopped functioning, such as the lights. If the opener works just fine but the lights have gone out, you’re going to have to access the garage door’s circuit board. You only need this to reach the lighting socket. Otherwise, this repair isn’t too complicated, since you only need to swap out the old bulb and screw in the new one. According to Family Handyman, you must make sure that the new bulb matches the exact wattage of the old bulb in order to promote the health of the lighting socket. You could also accidentally start a fire if you use a bulb with too high of a wattage, so be careful.

Another common issue with garage door openers and remotes is that when you attempt to use the garage door, the opener activates but the door won’t open. This is a more complicated situation that may best warrant a call to a garage door repair company if you’re unfamiliar with the components of a garage door. Three common factors could be causing this issue: how far the rail of your garage door travels, how lubricated the garage door is, and how tense that the chains are.

Garage doors include a rail which crosses horizontally. It should have an even balance or travel. If it doesn’t, it could experience what’s called overtravel, which could cause the door to get stuck when you try to open it. In this case, you will need to fix the travel and the door should open. In other instances, you may just need to apply some lubrication to the rail for it to move up and down more smoothly. Next, if the garage door chain has become too tense, it will prevent proper opening and closing. In this case, giving the chain some slack should fix the issue.

Sometimes you experience just the opposite, where for some reason the garage door opener won’t function at all. You’ve checked the wires and plugs and the opener should function, but it doesn’t. This could be a circuit board issue, which probably warrants either total replacement or a call to a garage door repair company to come out and fix it. With a new circuit board, the opener and the remote should function again.

In some cases, the opener and the remote may work just fine but its included hardware like the wall switch may not. In that case, you may need a new wall switch. You can always attempt to open the switch and readjust or solder any wires that have become loose or stopped functioning. You can also call a garage door repair company to take care of this job if you haven’t worked with wires before. After all, you don’t want to risk accidental electrical shock, which can be dangerous and in some cases even fatal.

In other cases, the opposite situation may occur, where the wall switch works just fine but your garage door remote doesn’t. The issue could be as simple as you needing to change out the batteries in the remote. However, if that doesn’t do the trick, you will probably have to look into replacing your garage door remote or even the opener entirely.

If you’re having trouble with your garage door opener or remote, don’t fret. Most of the time you can fix these issues yourself or replace the faulty part. In some cases it’s best to call a garage door repair company to take care of major repairs or electrical work though.


About Neb Aleksic

Neb grew up in the garage door business. Since joining Doorcare he has moved up in the ranks, and now oversees a team, in addition to Doorcare's marketing efforts. He is passionate about what he does, and enjoys the small things in life.
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