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Repairing a Garage Door Opener

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Your garage door opener is a useful tool for any home. Unfortunately, your garage door opener can break down or otherwise get damaged from time to time. Read this guide to find out how to repair your garage door opener if it has one of the following common problems.

Potential Problems

The following are some of the most common problems you may have with your garage door opener:
  • The door is unresponsive to signals
  • The door starts to open or close but then goes in the opposite direction
  • The door opens or closes by itself
  • The door doesn't open or close completely


As with many appliances, the first thing to do is make sure the opener is getting electricity. Check that all of the cords are plugged in. If not, secure all the wires and then try operating the opener. If this doesn't solve the problem, then the cause of the malfunction lies elsewhere.

One of the more common problems are due to the unit's beam sensor (or "electric eye"). If your garage door starts to open or close but then reverses its path, this is likely the reason. Since the beam sensor's goal is to make sure the path of the door is clear, it will reverse the door if something is in the way. You can inspect the track of the garage door for any obstruction and carefully clear it away.

Another possible problem is that the beam sensor might be off balance. You'll know that this is the problem if there are no obstructions on the track itself. Check the manual for the opener to learn how to realign the sensor beam.

In some cases, your garage door opener will open or close on its own. There are two possible reasons for this. First, the button on the remote control or wall panel may be stuck. If that's the case, try to get it unstuck. If it's permanently damaged, then you'll need to purchase a new control or panel. Your opener may also open on its own if you have neighbors have an opener of the same model. If this is the case, find out if you can change the frequency of the control system to avoid this problem.

If the garage door doesn't open or close completely, there are a couple things that can cause this problem. Inspect the track for any obstructions. If none are found, you may want to give the track a thorough cleaning (hardened grease is a common source of trouble). Other reasons for your door not opening or closing properly include loose screws, uneven tension in the springs, or off-kilter tracking. Read the manufacturer's instructions for fixing these problems, or hire a contractor to take a look for you.

These are solutions to the most common types of garage door opener malfunctions. Hopefully, this guide will help you diagnose or fix the problem with your garage door opener. Before you know it, it will be working like magic once again!

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013

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