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Reasons Why Your Garage Door Won’t Open Or Close

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There are many reasons why your garage door won’t open fully or close completely. Some repairs are easy to resolve while others require a skilled professional. Here are the most common reasons why overhead doors do not open or close and what you can do to fix them.

Batteries Need Replacing

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Garage doors that won’t open or close with the remote could simply be caused by a dead or extremely weak battery in your overhead door remote. This not only easy to check for, but just as easy to fix. To test your batteries, start by pressing the button on your wall mounted transmitter in the garage. Once you have confirmed it is a battery issue, test all the remotes and replace all the unusable batteries in your transmitters.

Manual Lock is Activated

If your overhead garage door won’t open, check the manual locking system. Most garage doors have this extra safety feature built in to further protect your property. If the manual lock is on, your garage door won’t open or close. You can easily fix this problem yourself by deactivating the lock.
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Power Disruption

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If your garage door won’t open or close, another reason could be a disruption in the power connection. Your overhead door has an operator or opener at the top of the door system. The opener has a six-amp motor that needs to be plugged into a 120-volt outlet to work. Over time, the cord can become frayed or disengage from the electrical outlet. Most people do not check their plug-ins so a cord only partially in will have a disruption to the power source so your garage door won’t open or close with the remote.

If your cord is not the problem, inspect and test the outlet, the fuses, and the breakers to make sure your garage fixtures are getting ample electricity. Also check to make sure your area is not experiencing a power outage as this will also prevent your garage door from opening or closing.

Limit Setting is Off

Your limit setting is a mechanism on the overhead door system that tells your operator how far down the garage door should go. If the limit setting is off, your garage door will hit the ground before your device believes it should. When this happens, the unit immediately pulls the garage door back up because it believes the door has it something. Until you readjust your limit your garage door won’t close properly. Consult with your owner’s manual on how to reset the limit.

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Photo Eye is Dirty or Blocked


The photo eye is a safety feature designed to detects objects in the garage door entranceway. If the photoelectric sensor located near the bottom of the garage door on each side of the frame is dirty or blocked by debris, the garage door will not go up or down.

Because the photo eye is so low to the ground, it gets dirty easily. The glass lens can be cleaned using a mild cleaner and clean cloth. Be sure to use a cloth that will not scratch or damage the glass lens. Once the lens is clean, inspect both eyes to make sure they are facing each other and aligned. If debris is blocking the eye or there is permanent damage to the lens, a certified overhead garage door technician should be called to inspect and possibly replace the eye.

Unseen Obstacles

Any unseen obstacles blocking part of your garage door mechanisms could result in your garage door not working. Check to make sure twigs, dirt, or other debris is not caught in your framework. Clean and remove any unwanted obstacles that are causing problems with the overhead door opening or closing.

Torsion Spring is Damaged or Broken

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The torsion spring is attached to the middle of the interior side of the door. It is a highly tense, metal coil that is designed to support the door’s weight as it glides up and down the tracks. If the coil gets damaged or breaks, the garage door will not open or close. If the torsion spring is the problem, you will have to contact a professional to repair the spring. Replacing the torsion spring yourself is dangerous and can cause severe injury.

Dislocated or Broken Cables

Cables are used to lift the door and glide it along the tracks of the overhead door so they support a lot of weight everyday. Over time, the continuous wear on the cables will cause them to pop off the track or break in two. Trying to fix broken or disengaged cables is highly dangerous so if this is the reason why your garage door won’t work, call a professional garage installation and service company to repair your cables.

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Door Is Off the Tracks

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Garage doors weigh between 150 to over 400 pounds. That heavy weight can easily fall off the tracks when moving up or down, especially if there is something in the way, a warp, or other issue with one or all of the mechanical parts. If your garage door won’t open because it has fallen off the tracks, our specialists at First Responders can put your door back in place.

Remote Needs to be Reprogrammed

If the programming on your remote is causing the issue, you might have to reprogram your remote transmitter. Consult your owner’s manual to find out how to reprogram your overhead door remote when your garage door opener is not working.

There are many reasons why your garage door won’t open or close. Before you panic, contact us a First Responders to help resolve the problem. At First Responders, we are experts in garage door installation and repair. We have years’ experience installing and service all overhead door types and sizes. We can help you solve your problem quickly and safely so you can get on with your day. If your garage door will not open or close, contact us today for same day service at competitive rates.

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