How to troubleshoot your garage door opener

Your garage door opener is an often used, often misunderstood household appliance! We pay good money for our opener units and we expect them to work safely and reliably, on demand. When they don’t, we often panic! Here at Conyers Garage Door Repair we know this because we often get the urgent phone calls telling us so! Customers of our Conyers, GA shop often want to schedule repair service right away; often within hours! Why not? They need and want their garage door openers to work as they once did. Who can blame them? The fact is though; that there are easy and cost effective ways to troubleshoot your garage door yourself. Read on and see what we mean; you might just save yourself some money and a service call!

What’s the big deal?

When you think about it, garage door openers have NOT been around for very long. We didn’t have them when the pyramids were built or during the American Revolution. Opener units are fairly new, but as driving consumers, we’ve come to depend on them for security and convenience. Garage doors have been in use far longer than openers but in the “old days” you had to manually lift and lower your garage door each time you used it. There was no opener to do it for you and certainly no opener remote! You had to get out of your vehicle and manually do it yourself. We did it because we had to! Not only is this more work, but doing this also exposes people to danger. You can get mugged, kidnapped, assaulted, and worse while you are otherwise preoccupied with manually operating your garage door. In addition, your car is left unattended and usually still running. Inside it are your purse or wallet, your car’s registration, house keys and lots more. You are not the only thing vulnerable; your car is too! Humans are not the only threat during these vulnerable garage door opening moments; the weather can also play a part. Getting out of your car exposes you to wind, rain, snow, heat and more.

Consider a different scenario; your opener works just fine so you stay inside your comfortable, climate controlled vehicle as you pull up to your home. You tap a button on your remote while still listening to your favorite music or while speaking on your speaker phone. Your doors are closed and locked as you drive inside your home’s garage; safe, dry and comfortable.

Okay, I’m convinced; now, how do I troubleshoot this thing?

This first troubleshooting method is so simple and so obvious you may not even think of it yourself; check your remote’s battery! Here at our garage door repair shop, we often get calls from near frantic customers about their damaged garage door openers and later, it turns out that all that was really wrong was that their remote battery was dead. Checking yours is easy, fast and free. If you have a home battery tester, use it. If not, you can buy one locally for under $10 or if you like, you can test your batteries for free at some local home improvement and department stores in your community. Did you test your battery? Did that take care of the problem? If not, let’s move on to method two.

The remote itself

A brand new battery is useless if the remote is the problem. Look for two things; a leaky battery and remote terminals that don’t hold together well. Make a simple but effective mixture of white vinegar and water; about half and half portions. Use this to clean the terminals. A cotton swab (Q-tip) is perfect for this task. Clean terminals will allow your good battery to work as it should. If the issue is loose terminals, try squeezing them together until they hold the battery more snugly.

Your safety sensors
Your safety sensors can work strangely at times. Our garage door repair techs often get calls to fix an opener unit when the real culprit was the photoelectric safety eyes. Don’t let this attached tool scare you; it’s really and fast to adjust! Firstly, make sure that your sensors are clean. Spiders love to build their homes on these sensors, especially on the lenses. As you know, if the transmitted beam is interrupted, the garage door will go back up or not move at all. If necessary, clean your sensors with a dry, soft cloth and be sure to keep them unobstructed so that the sensor beam is not interrupted. Keep skateboards, garden tools, boxes and trash cans away from your sensors so that they don’t bump them or block the beam in any way.

More tests

Another test is to go to your wall switch power button inside your garage and push the button. If this works, your garage door opener is fine. If nothing happens, try unplugging the opener from the electric current for the home. Just pull the plug near the garage ceiling. What you are trying to do is to test the plug by adding something else to the current. For example, plug in a hair dryer or radio and see if the current is working. If it does, your power supply is fine but your opener motor may be damaged. If it does not work, you either have a blown fuse or your power is not working.

Call for help

If it looks like your opener really is at fault, you can always call for help. Our garage door repair shop offers same day service and 24-hour emergency repair. Many others in town do, as well. You can also consider upgrading to a newer, different or more powerful opener unit. Repair is not your only option and changing your present opener for a new one just might be a good idea. You can have our garage door repair shop help you select the right opener for your needs and garage door weight and also do the installation for you at a time that works well with your schedule.