List of 13 Reasons Why Your Garage Door Won’t Open

Are you wondering why the garage door won’t open? As the main entrance to your house, it should come as a shock if the garage door doesn’t open. Constant use can lead to some problems that make it difficult for you to open the garage door. You may face more issues during winter or whenever you have power outages.

Why won’t the garage door open? No door is immune to wear and tear, time, use and weather conditions. So, to be ready when the time comes, save the page to your bookmarks and read our guide on the top 13 common issues why your garage door won’t open.

List of 13 Reasons Why Your Garage Door Won't Open

Causes of a Garage Door Opening Problem

No matter which brand of garage make you have, it is likely to have a problem at some point of use. The mere fact that you open and close it every day is enough to cause a garage door opener problem. The severity of the problem varies on the manufacturer, materials, the area you live in, and how often you use your garage door.

Usually, you may have a minor problem. In such cases, it is easy to repair this on your own. However, you may encounter more complex problems that can only be fixed by a skilled technician. Hence, it becomes crucial to identify which situation is complex so that you can seek professional help immediately. Below we discuss the main reasons why you can’t open the garage door and possible ways on how to fix them.

1. Blocked photo-eye

  • Problem: Blocked photo-eye
  • Cause: hindrance
  • Solution: remove hindrance
  • Professional help: not needed

A common reason for why a garage door does not open is a blocked photo-eye. The photo-eye’s main function is to detect if an object is in the way of a closing garage door.

A photo-eye consists of two components aligned at the opposite ends of the garage door. These two pieces are placed approximately four feet from the ground. They must always be aligned appropriately — any misalignment may mean a garage door not opening.

The photo-eye uses lasers to identify any potential objects, so when there is something is in its way, the garage door will not open or reverse. Sometimes dust can be interpreted as an obstruction, causing the garage door to not open or close. Moisture or rain can also cause the photo-eye to malfunction.

2. Broken springs

  • Problem: broken springs
  • Cause: wear and tear
  • Solution: replace springs
  • Professional help: needed

When a garage door is not working, you can check the motor. If the motor is working, then the problem might be the springs. The springs on the garage door assembly are at constant risk of being broken. It is one of the most frequent reasons technicians are called for.

A garage opening system has two types of springs: torsion and extension. The torsion springs are placed parallel to the floor, while the extension springs lie along the garage door tracks. The extension springs lift and close the garage door.

Springs need to be replaced from time to time as they risk being damaged. If you don’t replace springs regularly, they may snap when opening or closing the garage door. When a spring snaps you will hear a loud noise. If a spring is broken, do not attempt to open the door manually. You should instead call an expert to replace the spring.

3. No power connection to the operator

  • Problem: no power connection
  • Cause: unplugged operator or broken fuse
  • Solution: plugin operator or repair fuse
  • Professional help: usually not needed

The absence of a power connection is another common reason why a garage door won’t open. Usually, it is just a minor issue, like unintentionally unplugging the power cord. Simply plugging the power cord will restore the function of your garage door.

In case a garage door won’t go up, a faulty outlet is another issue to consider. You can easily fix this by trying to plug another electrical device into the outlet. If it doesn’t work, then try plugging the operator in another outlet socket.

Sometimes, the problem may be more serious. The operator may not receive power because of a damaged fuse. If a fuse is broken, it is best to call a professional as you risk causing more damage and injuring yourself.

4. A blocked remote control signal

  • Problem: blocked signal
  • Cause: damaged antenna or obstacles
  • Solution: remove obstacles or replace the antenna
  • Professional help: usually not needed

The remote control is the most vital device as it opens and closes the garage door. This is until it begins to become difficult to use or just outright stops working. Many things could cause this, from having dead batteries to simply being out of range.

One cause that can pop up is a damaged remote antenna. This is among many things that could block the remote’s signal. Usually, a professional is called to fix this problem, but here are things you can do as well. These include removing any obstacles from the remote control’s path (trimming the trees) or cleaning its antenna.

5. Faulty keypad

  • Problem: faulty keypad
  • Cause: improper setting
  • Solution: reset the code
  • Professional help: not needed

Apart from the remote, the keypad is another component that may not work. Sometimes the keypad may need to be reset. So once you have confirmed that the remote is working, then probably the problem lies with the keypad. Resetting the code is easy. If you are not sure how to do it, just check the manual.

6. A motor that won’t work

  • Problem: disconnected motor
  • Cause: error
  • Solution: reconnect the motor
  • Professional help: not needed

When the garage door doesn’t open, it may be due to a faulty and/or disconnected motor and not the other issues that could be at the root. This is a problem that, surprisingly enough, does not require professional help.

There is a motor switch that can be used to open and close the garage door in case there is a power outage or if you cannot find the opener. However, the motor could prove useless if there is no proper connection, for example, if a cord gets caught or pulled.

List of 13 Reasons Why Your Garage Door Won't Open

 7. Small obstacles

  • Problem: reverse activation
  • Cause: small objects
  • Solution: remove objects
  • Professional help: not needed

More often than not, the reason for a door not closing is in the tiny objects that prevent the full action and can cause a closing door to reverse. These objects are usually below the beam of the photo-eye and therefore are difficult to detect.

Small objects that would normally cause obstruction include pebbles and toys that are left out in the open. However, since garage doors are usually programmed to close on solid ground, other, softer objects could result in the door failing to close.

These objects include foliage, paper, and, surprisingly, gum. These objects can also get caught in the tracks, which means that they should be checked regularly. These problems do not require professional help, but one should seek help if any objects cannot be found.

8. Bad limit setting

  • Problem: bad limit setting
  • Cause: inaccurate setting
  • Solution: adjust the setting
  • Professional help: usually not needed

This is one of the more confusing and difficult-to-understand reasons why a garage door would fail to close. One such problem is the shut-reverse when the door rises again after seemingly closing just mere seconds earlier.

A maladjusted limit setting present on the opener is usually to blame for this. To better understand this, you must know what a limit setting is. A limit setting is a program that relays information, concerning the movement required to open and close the door to the opener. In addition to controlling the rate at which a door opens and/or closes, limit settings are also integrated into various opening systems to facilitate size and height. The settings must be exact as if it is too high or low, it will result in the door remaining open. If the problem persists, it is wise to call for maintenance.

9. A manually locked door

  • Problem: a motor that is not running
  • Cause: manually locked door
  • Solution: turning the handle
  • Professional help: not needed

When you attempt to open a garage door, naturally, you should hear the motor begin to run. However, if it suddenly ceases, this most likely means that the door has been locked manually. Manual locks appear like regular door handles, but with a more complex mechanism.

Manual locks are built into the door to provide extra protection to the door but aren’t used that often. This often results in them being accidentally utilized. This problem is relatively easy to curb and requires the handle to be turned until you hear an audible snap.

10. Accidentally activating the lock mode

  • Problem: activated lock mode
  • Cause: accidentally pressing the keypad for long
  • Solution: deactivate lock mode
  • Professional help: not needed

One cause of a garage door failing to open or close is the lock mode’s accidental activation. Lock mode is activated when you press on the keypad button for too long. Often, people do this on purpose only to forget their actions later on when they return. This is an easy problem to fix, fortunately, as all it takes is to press the button and hold it for a while — this will deactivate the lock mode.

11. Broken cables

  • Problem: broken cables
  • Cause: broken springs
  • Solution: replace cables and spring
  • Professional help: needed

Broken cables are another dangerous problem for which you should call a craft master. Cables are aligned with each tension spring, thus facilitating how the garage door opens and closes. When the springs are broken, the cables keep the door from slamming shut.

If the cables are broken, the garage door will fall in its weight, causing a deafening noise. Depending on how bad it is, the garage door may need to be repaired or replaced.

The best thing to do is to replace cables as well when you have broken springs. Do not open or close the garage door until you replace the springs and cables. Regular garage door maintenance will help you avoid such problems before serious harm is done.

List of 13 Reasons Why Your Garage Door Won't Open

12. Stripped gear

  • Problem: stripped gear
  • Cause: wear and tear
  • Solution: replace the gear
  • Professional help: needed

The older a garage door assembly gets, the more wear and tear the garage door opener gains. This will result in an overused gear and, in turn, will render it unusable. You can tell if this problem is the case by listening to the opener as it is being used.

A humming sound during any of these actions is usually a dead giveaway. This is a problem that can only be solved by seeking out a professional. Their primary job would be to replace the gears, even if finding a new opener is a viable option. Examples of good garage door openers include:

13. Expired batteries

  • Problem: remote control that’s not working
  • Cause: expired batteries
  • Solution: replace batteries
  • Professional help: not needed

Automatic garage doors work with remote control. If a garage door doesn’t open, it might be as a result of expired batteries to the remote transmitter. The remote transmitter is usually placed on the wall of your garage.

You can check transmission by manually pushing on the receiver. If it opens, then the problem is with the remote control and not the transmitter. Once you replace the batteries, the garage door will start working again.

Replacing batteries is very easy. If it is your first time, you can take the old batteries with you so that you can buy the right type. Some remotes require you to use a screwdriver when opening. Most just require you to slide the back cover. Make sure the batteries are well aligned in the remote control.

Final Thoughts

A garage door may stop functioning for many reasons. While some reasons may be as easy as putting new batteries to the remote control plugging in the operator, others are more complex. Complex issues should be only fixed by specialists. If the tension or extension springs and cables are broken, you need to replace them completely. This can only be done by a professional. A broken fuse is another potentially dangerous problem. So make sure you call someone to repair it for you.

At times of trouble, contact STI Garage Door. We are open 24/7 and also offer emergency services. We provide reliable and quality products for all our customers. You can be sure to get the best support!


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