Troubleshooting Your Garage Door or Opener

Visual Check

The first step in isolating your problem should always be to check over the your garage door and opener and look for any noticable issues or part failures. If any parts are broken or out of place, the door may be dangerous to operate before these are fixed. Most parts on a garage door are the same on both the right and left side of the door, so if you find something that doesn't look quite right, you may be able to look at the other side as a reference.

Electric Garage Door Doesn't Open

With the door closed, pull the emergency disconnect (usually a red handle near the operator trolley) If you can open the door fairly easily after disconnecting the operator from the door, you most likely have an operator problem.  If you still can't open the door, and you are certain that the operator is disengaged, check to see if the door is manually locked. If it is not, check the counterbalancing springs.  If one or more is broken, the door will be very heavy to lift.  Never pull the emergency disconnect if the door is in the open position - if the springs are broken, it could come forcefully crashing down.

What Size Door Do You Have?

It is very helpful for the intake writer to know the size of the door you have. A "single wide" door is less 10 feet wide. A "car-and-a-half" door is one from 12 feet to 14 feet wide. A "double" door is 15 feet and wider. If you do not have a long tape measure, measure to the half-way point and double it. Residential doors are usually 7 or 8 feet tall. 

Is It a Door or Operator Problem?

Briefly, if you can open the door manually, the problem is likely with the operator. If you can't open the door manually, even though the operator is disconnected, the problem is likely with the door.

What Kind of Door Do You Have?

The most common garage doors are either wood or steel. (If you can't tell, does a magnet stick to it?) If it is steel, is it insulated or non-insulated? If your spring is broken, this information will assist the service technician in selecting the proper range of materials to bring with him for your repair. Generally, wood door springs are heavier (larger wire size, diameter, and length) than the steel door springs for the same size door. There are also problems specific to steel doors not found in wood doors and vise-versa. 

What Brand Garage Door Opener Do You Have and How Old Is it?

For most modern operators, the brand name of the garage door operator is printed or embossed on the remote control or can be found on the side of the motor. Operator brands include LiftMaster, Chamberlain, Craftsman, Genie, Allister, Allstar, Stanley, Challenger, Aviator and Linear. We do not repair WayneDalton iDrive. Your remote could have those names or others like Clicker or Tri-code as some of the older garage door openers have radio controls from a different manufacturer. The Code of Federal Regulations prohibits installation of an operator that doesn't reverse when it encounters an obstruction and parts for many of the older, non-reversing operators are not even available. Openers manufactured after 1993 are also equipped with safety eyes to help  prevent closing the door on objects or people.

How to Identify a Broken Spring
How to Align Photo Eyes (Sensor Beams)
How to Build Your Door Opening
How to tune-in remote controls.