Automatic garage doors are designed to open and close when activated by a remote control. With regular maintenance, these doors can function smoothly and effectively for a long time without any problem. However even with regular maintenance, something could still go wrong causing your garage door opener to malfunction.
A common problem with garage door openers is when the door gets stuck halfway and refuses to close all the way down or closes smoothly but when it gets halfway, it reverses and opens all the way up. Apart from being a big inconvenience, such situations are potentially dangerous as the can act as easy access points for burglars. This can be a security risk especially if the main house is attached to the garage.
Before you call in a professional however, below are some of the things that you should check first in order to avoid spending money on unnecessary repairs or on a problem that you could easily fix. Of course, if the issues below do not seem to be the problem, you can always call in a garage door expert to diagnose and fix the problem.
Obstructed or Misaligned Sensors
Garage door sensors are designed such that they can only work when the infra-red beams are properly positioned. In lay man terms, the infra-red sensors or the photo eyes should continuously be able to ‘see each other’. The garage doors should only close when the infra-red beams are in a constant path.
If there is any obstruction in the doorway, the infrared beams will be interrupted and the garage door will not close. The sensors are mainly a safety mechanism designed to prevent any accidents that could happen if the garage doors were to close in on a person, an animal or an object caught in the garage’s doorway.
If your garage doors are not closing all the way down, it could be that the sensors are detecting an obstruction in the doorway or that the sensors are obstructed.
To diagnose the problem, first check that there is nothing blocking the doorway. If you do not notice any obstruction, check the sensors to ensure that they are properly aligned. Sensors can easily become misaligned if they are knocked or hit by any object or person that comes into the garage. If there is any misalignment, tighten the wing nuts holding them in place and turn the sensors slowly with your hand until they are accurately aligned. While doing this, clean the sensors using a cloth to remove any dirt or debris that may be blocking the infrared beams.
Another issue that could be causing your garage door to get stuck or reverse halfway is misaligned tracks. If the tracks are misaligned, they can cause a lot of tension and friction. Too much tension or friction can cause the guide tracks to reverse hence opening all the way back. If your garage door gets stuck halfway, this could mean that there is something that is blocking it. It may be that it is being obstructed by a protruding nut, misaligned cable or any other thing. Check the rollers tracks and hinges for anything that may cause the door to get jammed.
If you think that the problem may be caused by a pulley or spring, call in a professional to handle the issue. Springs and pulleys are highly tensioned and can come crashing down potentially causing serious injury.