Is your garage door stuck closed? Before assuming that it’s stuck, you should double-check that the door isn’t locked and see if you can open the door manually. It’s also a good idea to check the remote’s batteries. If this doesn’t solve the problem, what should you do?
Always check to make sure the garage door photo eye sensor is clean and nothing is blocking the path. Inspect the garage door tracks and springs to make sure there isn’t any damage. You should also make sure the remote is programmed properly and the sensitivity of the garage door hasn’t been misadjusted.
For every problem, there is a solution. Today, we’re going to discuss why your garage door could be stuck and what you can do to fix it. We’ll also cover how you can prevent this from happening. Read on to learn more.
Prevent Problems From Happening
- Keep the tracks lubricated. If you have a chain-driven garage door, the parts need to be lubricated to keep the garage door moving smoothly. Make sure the tracks and rollers are lubricated twice a year.
- Pay attention to noises. Don’t walk away as soon as you hit close on the garage door remote. Stick around for a moment as the door closes so you can hear if there is a problem.
- Keep a clear path. Garage door openers have sensors that prevent the door from moving if anything is in the path. This is for safety reasons to prevent the door from hitting a person or animal. Make sure there aren’t any objects in the way.
- Inspect tracks regularly. Does your garage door get a lot of use? Wear and tear can happen to the tracks, causing dents and bumps. Always repair minor damage as soon as you detect it to prevent further problems.
Reasons Your Garage Door Could Be Stuck
If your garage door is stuck closed, you won’t have to replace it. There are several ways to fix this problem. However, before you can fix the door, you will need to know why it’s stuck. There are several reasons why a garage door isn’t able to move.
Some causes are very simple, while others are more complicated. In this section, we’re going to cover what causes a garage door to become stuck. Once you know the reason why you’ll be able to apply the right solution.
The Photo-Eye Is Blocked, Dirty, Or Misaligned
A photo-eye sensor sends a signal that activates the garage door to open and close. This sensor needs a clear path or it won’t be able to send the signal. It also won’t be able to activate the door to open if the sensor is dirty.
It’s very easy for the photo eye to get dirty. The sensor can get covered in cobwebs, which will catch other items, like leaves and debris.
There may be something blocking its path and you don’t realize it. If you were working in the garage you may have placed something too close to the sensor. Sometimes the problem is as simple as a rake or shovel in the way of the photo-eye.
The Operator Receives No Power
A garage door operator won’t open the door unless it has power. The operator is the motorized component that is installed on the ceiling. You can control the operator with a remote or by using a control panel installed on the wall.
The operator will have a power cord that needs to be plugged into the outlet. You will also need to check the circuit panel to ensure power is turned on in the garage.
Expired Transmitter Batteries
The garage door opener relies on a remote control for you to open and close it. The remote won’t be able to send a signal to the garage door opener if the batteries are expired or dead. You will still be able to open the garage door using the control panel if this is the case.
You may not realize it, but that remote control gets a lot of use throughout the year. Most homeowners need to replace the transmitter batteries every few years. If the remote doesn’t get a lot of use, the batteries could expire and stop working.
Broken Garage Door Torsion Or Extension Springs
Every garage door has torsion springs to create torque. They also have extension springs to create resistance. If either the torsion or extension springs are damaged, you will have difficulties moving the garage door.
Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteed way to prevent the springs from breaking. This can occur due to wear and tear throughout the years. Springs are also susceptible to corrosion. It’s also more likely to occur in humid climates.
You won’t be able to use the garage door if the cables have snapped. A common reason for cables snapping is that the wrong size was installed. The cables may have been too small for the size of the garage door.
Cables are also susceptible to wear and tear over the years. If there was any damage done to the track or pulley, it can also affect the cables. Another reason this can happen is corrosion. If the cables are exposed to moisture, they are at a higher risk.
If you notice a snapped cable, it can be repaired. Make sure you turn off the power to the garage door opener first. Then carefully wrap the frayed area with electrical tape.
There is a feature on the garage door opener that allows you to adjust the sensitivity. This is an excellent safety feature because it prevents the door from closing too fast. If you have children or pets, you can understand how essential this feature is.
If the sensitivity has been misadjusted, there may be too much pressure on the garage door. This will prevent it from opening and closing. Make sure you check the adjustments to this feature to make sure it hasn’t been turned to the maximum setting.
Blocked Remote Signal
One thing you may not have considered is that something is blocking the remote signal. There are a variety of things that can cause this to happen. The most common reason is signal interference from another appliance.
Security systems, electrical transformers, and home appliances can all be culprits for blocking the remote signal. Some homeowners have even experienced a blocked remote signal from the lightbulb in the garage door opener.
Can You Fix A Stuck Garage Door Yourself?
Most of the problems causing a garage door to get stuck can be solved without calling for help. You will only need to call a professional for repairs to the operator. It’s unlikely that you’ll need to do that to get your garage door to open.
For most homeowners, the problem is either the photo eye sensor or the remote. These are both problems that you can test and resolve on your own. You don’t have to have experience either.
Solving the problem using DIY methods is a great way to save money. Since most of these issues aren’t hazardous, you can fix the problem without breaking your bank account.
Solutions That You Can Do Yourself
There are several ways that you can fix the garage door on your own. Of course, you will need to choose the right solution for the problem you’re having. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can fix a stuck garage door.
Check The Sensors
There is a screw that’s holding the sensor to the bracket. If the light is blinking, it’s most likely because this screw is loose. Use a screwdriver to tighten the screw. When it’s in place, the light will be solid green again.
Check The Tracks And Rollers
Damage to the tracks and rollers can prevent a garage door from opening. Dents and bumps in the track can prevent the trolley from moving. This is why you won’t be able to open the garage door with a remote or manually.
Carefully inspect these for any signs of dents or bumps. When you find one, you’ll want to carefully inspect it to see which direction it is going.
To fix this, all you will need to do is use a hammer to get the dent out. If the dent is inward, you will want to hammer it out to realign with the track. However, if it’s an outward bump, you can hammer it back in place.
Check The Remote
You may need to change the batteries to your remote and reprogram it. Luckily, this is a very easy solution. Make sure you get the right replacement battery for your remote. Most garage door openers require a 2032 lithium battery.
Use a flat-tip screwdriver to pry the remote open without causing damage. This is the easiest way to open the remote to change out the battery. Once you do that, you can reprogram it.
Reprogramming the remote is a very simple process. However, always test your remote to see if the garage door will open after changing the battery. Some homeowners don’t need to reprogram the remote. Follow the instructions in the user’s manual to reprogram it correctly.
Adjust The Limit Screws
Chain-drive garage doors have limit screws that adjust the travel. The garage door will be restricted if these screws are too tight. This is why you won’t be able to move it. On the same note, if the limit screws are too loose, the door will travel too fast.
You may need to loosen these screws to allow the door to travel up and down again.
Check the Garage Door Manual
Always check your garage door opener manual for the most accurate information. There could be a sensor or wiring problem. With most garage door openers, you will be able to detect this by a blinking light.
However, every garage door opener is slightly different from the next. This is why it’s important to refer to the user’s manual for the correct steps to address the problem.
Manually Close The Garage Door
Is your garage door stuck open? The problem you are experiencing with the garage door opener may not be able to be fixed today, but that doesn’t mean that you have to leave the door wide open. You can shut the door manually.
If you take a look at the garage door opener, you will notice a pull handle. Simply pull on this handle to release the garage door. This will allow you to manually close the door.
However, you should ensure the garage door doesn’t have damaged springs before pulling on this handle. If the springs are damaged, the door will come crashing down.
How To Fix A Garage Door That Is Stuck Close
The solutions we talked about above can help with a garage door that is unable to open. However, they don’t solve the problem if the door is stuck. So, why is the garage door stuck close?
Some of the most common reasons include:
- Damaged trolley or track
- Broken or corroded springs
- Dried-up parts (no lubrication)
- Need to be reset
Let’s take a look at how you can fix a stuck garage door.
Replace The Trolley Carriage
You will need to replace the trolley carriage if there’s significant damage to it. Below are the steps to replace the trolley carriage.
- Clamp the chain to the rail. This will keep it in the right place so you don’t have to readjust it later.
- Separate the ends of the chain from the trolley.
- Move the rail from side to side to disconnect it from the header.
- Carefully slide off the trolley.
- Carefully slide on the new trolley.
- Reattach the chain and readjust if needed.
- Test the garage door.
Replace The Springs
You will need to replace damaged or corroded springs. This is a job that homeowners can do on their own. However, you should be aware that there is a lot of tension that can cause this to be dangerous.
Always contact a professional if you’re not comfortable performing this fix DIY. If you do perform these steps, make sure you put safety first.
- Measure the old torsion springs to know which size of replacements to buy.
- Manually open the garage door, and secure it in place with C-clamps.
- Find the first spring that connects to the back of the door track from the bracket. Detach this spring.
- Disconnect the lift cable from the bracket.
- Disconnect the pulley from the end of the spring. You will also need to unthread the pulley’s cables.
- There is also a safety cable running through the spring. Disconnect this as well. The spring will now be free and you can connect the new one.
- Start by connecting the safety cable through the replacement spring. Then reattach it to the pulley and reattach the lift cable.
- Always lubricate the springs once they are installed.
- Test the garage door.
Release And Reset The Garage Door’s Emergency Cord
You will need to release and reset the garage door’s emergency cord to manually open the garage door. Only do this if the garage is stuck closed. If it’s stuck open, releasing the emergency cord could cause the door to crash down.
Here is what you need to do to release and reset the garage door’s emergency cord.
- Pull the emergency release cord. This will release the trolley, allowing you to manually open and close the door.
- Take a look at the spring lever. You will notice that it is extended. This means that the trolley is disconnected.
- To reset it, you will need to reconnect the trolled. To do this, pull the emergency cord down and away from the motor. The spring lever will be compressed.
Noisy garage doors are a sign that it needs lubrication. Not only does this keep everything quiet, but it also keeps everything running smoothly.
Ideally, you should lubricate the garage door twice a year. Let’s take a look at how you do this.
- Make sure the garage door opener is powered off.
- Use a damp rag to remove dust, dirt, and debris from the tracks.
- Manually open the door to lubricate the hinges.
- Lubricate the entire surface area of the rollers. Make sure you wipe off any excess grease.
- Apply lubrication to the springs and bearings. Also lubricate the armbars, lock, and keyhole.
- You should also use a rag to lubricate the top of the rail.
- Avoid putting lubricant on the tracks and chain.
Can You Use WD40 To Lubricate A Garage Door?
WD40 shouldn’t be used on your garage door because it’s not a lubricant. The WD actually stands for water displacement. This spray is meant to push water away from metal surfaces. When used on a garage door, it can soften the rubber, plastic, and nylon components.
There are several things that can cause a garage door to remain stuck closed. If this is happening to you, we suggest checking the photo-eye sensors and the remote first. These are the two most common culprits.
However, this can also occur if the door isn’t lubricated or there is damage to the springs or tracks. Pay attention to any noises your garage makes to detect a problem before it causes the door to get stuck.
Ruben has a diverse background in the home services industry, with experience running a construction company, a kitchen and bath showroom, and a moving and relocation company. This breadth of experience has provided him with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in various areas of home improvement in general and specifically in the heating and plumbing niche.