Troubleshooting in Paradise

I was at my dear friend Pepper’s house when it started.

I just needed to grab something from the garage, so I opened the garage door and stepped outside before reaching to close it. Though as my luck may have it, the door went down about six inches before halting and going back up. I stepped away from the sensors, made sure nothing was blocking them, and tried again. The same issue- the door moved down slightly, before making a strained sound and moving back up. Pepper wasn’t supposed to be home for a few hours, so I called her to let her know what was happening.

She gave me the same spiel- check the sensors, make sure nothing’s in the way. Since Pepper’s no garage door repairman, that was really all she had to offer. When the door still didn’t close, she shrugged it off, and told me she’d take a look at it when she got home.

When she texted me later, it was a frustrating message something along the lines of “It’s still not working! I hate when it does this!”

Luckily, I’ve partnered with Encompass Door and Awning to provide a quick how-to in order to troubleshoot your garage door, so that when it refuses to work, you’re not quite as lost as Pepper. This way, you’ll be able to figure out what’s wrong, how to fix it, or if it’s time to call in a professional to get the safest and most efficient repair of your garage door.

STEP ONE: Check Sensors
The most common problem people call in for is the issue of a door not opening or closing, as Pepper and I experienced. This brings me back to Pepper’s advice. Though it seems simple, always be sure there’s nothing in the door’s path or anything blocking the sensors. Your system has several safety features in place, making sure no one gets caught under a closing door, so if that device thinks anything’s in the way, it’ll send the signal to stop the movement.

STEP TWO: Check Lights
If that doesn’t work, check the sensor’s lights. If one of them is out, it’s time to clean the lens, adjust the angle, and try again. If both lights are out, that’s a bigger technological issue, and it’s time to call EDA!

STEP THREE: Consult Owner’s Manual
However, the sensors may not be the issue. If that’s the case, see if your opener has any out-of-the-ordinary error codes or blinking lights. These sorts of things have solutions that are found in your owner’s manual, and taking a quick look should help to diagnose the problem. If you can’t find your copy, don’t worry! Most companies have owner’s manuals available in a PDF format online.

What should you do if the owner’s manual isn’t all that helpful? Make note of any strange sounds that may have happened when you tried to close the door. If anything sounds out of the ordinary, namely a crunch or squeal, then you’re due for an investigation.

STEP FOUR: Visual Inspection
Be on the lookout for rollers that came off the tracks. If you’re handy with a few tools and fluent in YouTube how-to videos, you may be able to fix that by yourself. But, there’s no shame if it seems to be a bit too tricky to figure out. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to construction and repairs, so when in doubt, call EDA for their support.

Speaking of “better safe than sorry,” if you notice any snapped cables or springs in your walk-through, that’s definitely an issue to call in the big guns for. Replacing springs is incredibly dangerous, especially if you’re not a professional. Since they’re under such high tension and stress as they hold up the weight of your door, an amateur replacement could lead to springs snapping and serious injuries.. At the end of the day, when it comes to springs and cables, DIY repairs can do more long-term harm than good, which is why Encompass Door and Awning is always at the ready to lend a hand.

Broken hinges and bent roller tracks are also often a culprit of a malfunctioning garage, and could likely be fixed by yourself or your neighbor who happens to be a handy-man. But if you’re not sure, or if any issues persist, it’s good to call. Like with springs and cables, novice restorations can cause you more issues in the future.

STEP FIVE: What Not To Do
Something you never want to do is keep pressing that button over and over again. Overusing the button can send confusing signals through your system, and you may inadvertently override those safety systems meant to protect you. This would cause the door to close when it shouldn’t, breaking some of its inner workings, and earning you an even bigger and more expensive mess.

With all that to say, I returned to Pepper’s house later in the afternoon to find her garage door still wide open. Apparently, she’d exhausted all her options, and the next best bet was to call her friend with Encompass Door and Awning to figure out what to do. She’d checked for lights, broken springs, snapped cables, rollers, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary, but the door still wouldn’t close.

When EDA showed up, the problem was fixed in under two minutes. Those sensors we had both painstakingly checked over? After cleaning lenses and clearing the area? Yeah, they were pointed at the sun. Pepper’s garage door wouldn’t close because the sun was in the way. Pretty ridiculous, considering both of us checked them over and over. I’m still at a loss as to how we both managed to miss that, but it’s never bad to have an extra set of eyes when faced with a dilemma. No matter the problem, Encompass Door and Awning is at the ready to help you figure out how to get your garage door moving smoothly again.

Thank you for reading our latest blog! We are excited to share insights and offer advice in our area of expertise. Encompass Enterprises Inc. is posting blogs and resources with the goal of keeping you informed on all things regarding new home builds and renovations. We are happy to assist with any home improvement endeavors and decision-making needs in order to make your dream project a reality. For more information on our divisions and services offered, please contact us at 443.771.2862 or [email protected]. We are dedicated to using every resource available in order to provide best-in-class service to our clients & community.