Custom Search

Popular Posts

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Garage Door Won't Close - HELP

This is probably one of the most heard phrases in the garage door industry. You're late for (insert the thing your always late for here) and you back out of the garage (hopefully you've put the door up first - I've seen some that haven't). You press the remote button and ...... nothing. Press it again and ...... nothing. You yell #(*@&#!!!! Jump out of the car & run back into the garage. Cursing the damn fool who installed this thing! STOP. Take a deep breath. Now lets troubleshoot the problem - it won't take long & in the end you'll know what to do if it ever happens again .

#1 - Vacation Switch/Lock-out Button. 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 (not sure why - no one ever uses them & they're a pain - that's another rant for another day). Most wall control stations will have a "Light" button (turns light on/off), "Vacation"/"Lock Out" button (locks out the remotes) and "Open/Close" button. Try disengaging the "Vacation" switch and trying your remote. If it now works you can jump back into your car & off to your appointment. If the remote still doesn't work then keep reading.

#2 - Check the Photo-eyes. The photo-eyes (or sensors) are mounted on either side of the door near the floor. There's a Emitter sensor and a Receiver sensor. These sensors have to "look" at each other so if they are knocked out alignment (kids, lawn mowers, hoses, garbage cans bumping into them can knock them out of alignment) they can't "see" each other and the opener will refuse to close door. (Side note: if you want to override the unit you can hold the close button on the wall station until the door completely closes.)
  • Check & make sure sensors are aligned
  • Make sure nothing is blocking sensors (garbage bag, broom, etc. - it happens more than you would think)
  • Clean the lens on each sensor - sometimes dirt or grass clippings can interfere
  • Check wires to the sensors & the one's going to the power head - make sure they didn't come loose
  • 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.

#3 - Check Door Close Sensitivity. If you're not comfortable with making adjustments to the opener settings (if not done correctly you could make the problem worse) then you should call a garage door professional to check the operator. If you are mechanically minded then you should get the opener manual and find out where the sensitivity settings are. Most openers have a sensitivity setting for opening the door and closing the door. 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. WARNING: DON'T INCREASE TOO MUCH - FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURERS RECOMMENDATIONS. If you put a 2x4 under the door & the opener doesn't reverse you need to increase the sensitivity or someone could get injured.

If you've checked all of the above and the opener still doesn't close the door - pull the emergency release (usually a red cord hanging from the trolley) and close the door manually. Lock the interior lock on the door (if it has one). Call your local garage door professional. There may be something else going on with the opener. The sensors or the logic board in the opener may not be functioning properly and need replaced.

If one of the above solutions worked then you just saved yourself a bill from your local garage door professional.

Remember, if you don't feel comfortable doing any of the above and get frustrated easily (some people don't like to do troubleshooting) then just call your friendly garage door service tech. They should be able to help you out in no time.

22 comments:

Maria said...

My garage door comes down half way then it goes up again, won't close completely, help!!!

Brian said...

Maria - it sounds like the close sensitivity setting is set too light. You should probably try increasing the down force a little and see if that helps.

Maria said...

One more detail, this is the Genie Excelerator just in case it makes a difference in details.


thank you!!!

Brian said...

Check your operator manual on how to adjust the sensitivity for your particular opener model. If you don't have a manual you can most likely find one at www.garagedooropenerguide.com

fishface said...

Door wont shut, can't hold down the button to override, the eyes are aligned, red stays red (unobstructed) while the door is opening and closing. This is even when the door is disconnected so I know it is not a weight issue. Ran the codes and it said it is a photo eye alignment issue despite all the above.

Brian said...

It sounds like there's something wrong with the RPM Sensor. If there's something wrong with the RPM sensor then the opener won't move in either direction (even if you try holding your finger on the close button). It's possible it came loose & isn't working properly or it has been damaged (i.e. power surge) and needs replaced.

C Jenner Jose said...

On my garage door - the Photo-eyes or sensor light does not come on.
Checked the wires on the emitter does not seem disconnected.
Does this mean I have to replace the EMitter and Receiver on the garage door?

Brian said...

Most likely one of the sensors has gone bad. You don't have to replace both sensors but they are sold in pairs.

QC100 said...

My garage opener (Craftsman LiftMaster Chamberlain) won't close with all 3 remote controls (new battery) when the motor light (the light from the bulbs on the motor unit) is on. I can open and close the garage door with these remote controls when I manually turn off the motor light. I can also open and close the garage opener from the wall unit without any problem. The door “lock” or “vacation” function is off.

Please help! Thank you.

Brian said...

QC100 - that is a very strange problem...can't say that I've heard of that happening before. So when the lights are on the remotes don't work? Sounds like a problem with the logic board. May have to have the board replaced...can't think of anything else that would cause the problem.

Anonymous said...

I don't have any problem with my door opening and closing most of the time. The only time I have a problem is when it is bright outside. My garage faces due east, so early in the morning until mid afternoon, the sunlight makes the eye think there is something obstructing the door. It will come down part way, then raise back up. The only way I have been able to prevent this from happening when leaving is after I've backed out of the garage, I keep my car as close to the door as possible so it blocks the light from obstructing the eye. But, if I just got home, my car is in the garage, so there is no way to get around the obstruction. Does anyone know how to resolve this? There is nothing wrong with the garage door, remote, or sensor in itself, since it works perfectly the rest of the time, it's only due to the sunlight. Help!

Brian said...

If the sun is blinding the sensors the 1st thing you could try is swapping the sensors. There will be a "sender" and "receiver" sensor...unplug the sensors & put them on the opposite side of the opening then they are now...sometimes that solves the sun issue.
If that doesn't work you may want to make a sun shade for the sensor using a piece of cardboard. Take a small piece of cardboard and attach to the side of the sensor (with wire or tape) to help block the sun. Make sure you don't block the front of the sensor where the IR beam comes out or your opener will think something is blocking the opening and the opener won't close the door.
I have also heard of people using toilet paper cardboard rolls, pvc piping, etc. to make a sun shade. Some manufacturers offer a sun shade that attaches to the sensor...all depends on what you have.
Hope this helps....

Italy said...

all of a sudden, my remotes don't work. batteries replaced, etc... When I try to re-program my first remote, the #7 LED on the unit does not flash quickly - as if it does not see the remotes at all. Any experience with this?

Brian said...

Italy....I would check the "Vacation" switch on the wall station and make sure it's not engaged. If it is on then it will lock out the remotes.

Colt Snowden said...

my garage door closes all the way but then it reverses and goes back up. ive been using it a lot in an effort to fix it and now it wont work at all. please help.

Brian said...

Colt - it sounds like the travel limits are out of adjustment (that's why the opener reverses when the door hits the floor). Not sure why the opener would stop working all together - possibly the capacitor blew or maybe the opener just needs reset.
Try unplugging the opener, wait about 10 seconds & then plug it back it. This will usually reset most openers. If that doesn't work then you'll probably need to call a professional to troubleshoot it.

Sylvain said...

Garage door was open all day and now won't close. Diagnostics says the vacation mode is on but the wall remote is switched to off. All remotes don't work to open or close. Any suggestions?

Brian said...

Sylvain - it sounds like the wall station has failed. I would first check the wires and make sure they are all connected correctly. If they are then possibly the wall station needs replaced.

Will Beames said...

Garage door has been reversing a few times recently and this morning it wouldn't close at all. It's very cold today (negative windchill) but if I press and hold the interior wall button it will close all the way. If I try from the remote then it just bounces every inch or two. Obstruction eye is lit green as usual, I've adjusted both the upward and downward pressure sensors all the way in both directions, still not working.
It's a craftsman 139.53627SRT. When I manage to shut it from the inside it doesn't noticably shake from side to side either so it appears to be level.

Brian said...

Hi Will

Anytime you have to use constant pressure on the wall station button to close the door it's an indication that something is wrong with the safety sensors.

Wipe the lens off of the sensors with a dry cloth. With the cold temps it's possible there was some moisture in the sensors that may have froze. You may also try warming the sensors.

jvfabian said...

Had the problem with my 16 year old Lift master. Everything was ok based on the other suggestions. I pulled the red emergency and verified that the door was not sticking or needed extra effort to close. With the door disconnected I verified the unit would open and close. I unplugged the unit for 15 minutes, then plugged it back in and now it works. I am assuming that there was glitch on the circuit board and it was reset by unplugging it

Brian said...

jvfabian...For an opener that is 16 yrs. old I would suggest that you take the cover off the opener & check the gear assembly. The gears in openers that old usually wear out. This could cause the door not to close. If the gear is worn out then most likely there is a replacement available.