Steps to Take When Your Garage Door Won’t Open

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Steps to Take When Your Garage
Door Won’t Open

opener remote

Your garage door and garage door opener are probably the most used items in your home. In fact, 71% of people surveyed said that they use their garage door, not their front door, to gain entrance into their home . It is important to keep the garage door and garage door opener in good working condition. Most likely there will be a time when the door won’t open and you need to leave. Here are 2 steps to take to quickly diagnose the problem if your car is stuck in the garage and you need to get it out.

Step One

All sectional garage doors use springs to lift the door. The most common type of springs are called torsion springs. They are located across the top of the door and the springs slide over a 1 ¼” torsion tube. Most two-car garage doors have two springs coupled together near the center with bolts and a metal center bearing plate. (If your two-car garage only has one spring, then the following instructions will not work . Please call a garage door repair company immediately.) If you see a definite separation of about 2” in one of the spring coils, the spring has broken . The door will only open less than 1 foot and then will stop. The garage door opener is sensing that the door is too heavy and refuses to open the door. However, you can open the door, but you must first check a few things.

First, make sure all rollers are properly inserted in the hinges and they are seated in the track. Second, make sure the lift cables that run vertically at each end of the door are properly attached to the bottom bracket and that they are properly wound up on the 4” diameter drum that is directly above the top of each end of the door. If both of these are properly in place, then you can use your handheld remote to activate the door while at the same time you are helping to lift the door. You are basically acting as the 2nd spring (which is broken) to lift the door and allow you to get your car out. You can close the door by reversing the process. Make sure you hold the door as it goes down to prevent it from disengaging from the garage door opener trolley. Do not continue to use the garage door long-term until a garage door repair company can replace the springs, as further damage or personal injury could easily occur.

Step Two

If the door still will not go up after you have checked the springs to make sure they are not broken, please check the garage door opener sensitivity adjustment. Most openers have manual sensitivity adjustments that need to be adjusted occasionally due to the weight of the door increasing. If you have recently painted the door or it has recently rained, many wood doors need to have their sensitivity recalibrated. Please refer to your owner’s manual to make this simple adjustment.

If you feel that these two steps are beyond your comfort zone, then please call a reputable garage door service professional.