Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How to Fix a Garage Door Opener

My automatic garage door opener works fine in the summer but never in the winter. When I push the button on the wall or the remote, the garage door opener does one of two things:

  1. The door goes down and pops back up when it reaches the garage floor.
  2. The door doesn’t go down at all. The light blinks and that’s it.
Turns out that these two problems are common with garage door openers in winter. The cold weather causes the metal tracks of your garage door to expand ever so slightly which can knock the sensors and force of your garage door opener out of position just enough so the opener will not work properly in winter.

Fortunately, both issues have very quick fixes and take a less time to complete than a TV commercial break.


How to Repair a Garage Door Opener That Will Not Stay Closed


If you purchased an automatic garage door opener in last 10 years or so, it has a safety sensor at the bottom of the door that will not allow the door to close if something is blocking/under the door itself.

If the safety sensors are even slightly out of alignment:

  1. The light on the garage door may just blink at you and not budge
  2. The door may start to close and automatically open before the door reaches the ground.

Before you replace your garage door opener with a newer model, check the following.

  1. Do you need to replace the batteries in your remote?
  2. Are the safety sensors properly aligned (pointing directly at each other?)
  3.  Is something physically blocking the electric eye of either or both safety sensors?
Fixing the sensor alignment is easy. You can readjust the sensors by moving them to the right or left with your hands (mine has wing nuts that hold the sensor in place) or a screwdriver if needed.

In my case, my electric garage door opener wouldn’t close properly because it was covered in cobwebs.


 It’s hard to see in this photo but there are were just enough spider webs in front of the electric eye to ensure that it didn’t close the door properly.

The fix was as easy as cleaning off the cobwebs of the sensors. Done!


How to Repair a Garage Door Opener That Will Not Close in Winter

 Extreme hot and cold weather can affect the downward movement (force) of your automatic garage door opener. As in the automatic garage door won’t close in cold weather. If this is the case, you will need to adjust the upward or downward force of your garage door opener.

Use the Force!

Adjusting the force your garage door opener uses to open and close the door is simple. Two screws on the back of the garage door opener control the force. One controls the Up force and other controls the Down force. You can adjust the force with the slight turn of a screwdriver. It is a good idea to make your adjustments in small increments and test the garage door opener after each small adjustment.


A slight turn to the left with a slotted screwdriver on the Up and Down force screws of my garage door opener was all it took to fix the problem.

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