Keeping your garage door balanced is very crucial to making sure all of its parts are doing their job. An unbalanced garage door causes stress on the garage door parts thus wearing out the garage door opener gears.
If your garage door accessories are not working then you may want to look at your garage door opener sensors. Garage Door sensors have been mandated since 1992 and to be in compliance, they must be installed at about 6 inches from the ground. The sensors ensure the door will not close when there is an object in the way. So how do you spot inoperable sensors?
1. LED light function. One should be yellow/orange/red and one would be green. If the lights are not on, then adjust the sensors slightly. Once the eye beams have met each other, both lights will turn on. Tighten the bracket that holds sensor in place to ensure it does not move again.
2. Check wires running from the garage door opener sensors to the opener. Check to make sure the wires going from the opener unit to the sensors have not been pinched by a staple (typically staples are used by contractors to attach the wire to the wall)
3. Reset the opener. Sometimes resetting the motor will wake up all the accessories and parts. Unplug the motor and let it sit for about 30 min. Plug it back in.
4. Check the wall button. Many times the wall control unit may indicate what is wrong with you opener using codes. Refer to your manual for more information. However, you can use the wall button to try and override the sensor's safety feature. Press and hold the wall button down to see if the door operates. If it does, then you may need new sensors or they may need adjusting.
Why does your garage door close in the morning without a problem but not in the afternoon? Or maybe the opposite is true and your garage door doesn't close in the morning but has no trouble in the afternoon. If you have exhausted the obvious reasons like
1. making sure nothing is obstructing your sensors field of contact,
2. making sure the sensors are tightly screwed on and do not wiggle, or
3. using different accessories to open and close during both times of the day
Then pay attention to how the sunlight beams at your sensors. Sunlight can interfere with the sensor eyes coming into contact with each other. Check with your manufacturer's instruction on how to combat sunlight that's hitting your sensors. Typically the manufacturers provide a shield of some sort without interfering with the sensor's beam.
1. Safety Sensors - An absolute must when your door is operated by a motor is having some sort of safety sensors installed. Typically these look like small cameras with a lens that must face each other in order to work properly. They are installed about 6 inches from the ground on either side of the garage door.
Safety Commission has posted official regulations here: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/News-Releases/1993/Safety-Commission-Publishes-Final-Rules-For-Automatic-Garage-Door-Openers/
2. Lock the door and use the motor? - NEVER! So many homeowners ask to have a lock installed on a garage door that has a garage door motor installed. Although against our recommendation we do as the customer wants. We also tell them that adding a lock can become a big future expense. How? I can't tell you many times in the past years homeowners have forgotten that they locked the garage door and then used the motor to open door. What happened? The garage door panel dented. If the panel has glass, the glass can break. Bottom line, a lock is not needed when you have a motor. If you must have one. Place something over the garage door remotes, keypads, or wall buttons to remind you to unlock the door first.
3. Maintenance is key - Regularly inspect your garage door tracks, springs, cables, and other moving parts. Look for loose hinges and damaged or deteriorating parts. If you have a wood door, annual paint/stain maintenance is a must to avoid any rotting panels.
4. What NOT to use - Part of maintaining your garage door is lubrication of parts. Contrary to popular belief WD40 is NOT a lubricant and should NOT be used on your doors. Most hardware stores carry products such as a light motor oil or a non-silicon based lubricant.
Helpful Garage Door DIY repairs and FAQs
Mia is the customer service coordinator. She answers all questions regarding accounts, products, services, and the blog.
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