Tag Archives: garage door sensors

Troubleshooting: Remote Control for Your Garage Door Opener

Believe it or not, technologies like garage door opener remote controls are supposed to make our lives easier. Unfortunately,  there is nothing easy about having to open a garage door by hand in the middle of a freezing winter night because the remote for the opener won’t work. As technologies become more complex, there are more and more ways in which they can break down. Scan the list of problems below to find one that sounds familiar, then read the quick fix underneath it. Hopefully, it will help correct the error within the remote so that the garage will open and close without any issues.

The Garage Door Opener Remote Only Works Up Close

There are quite a few things that could cause this to happen. First, check the batteries within the remote itself to be sure they still carry a charge powerful enough to operate the remote. While replacing the batteries, be sure to clean the electrical contacts, since this may be another cause of a weak signal from the remote. If the remote is still only working up close it may be time to go talk to the neighbors. If a button is stuck on a neighbor’s remote, the signal can cause an interference that may shorten the range of other radio frequency based devices in the area. Houses within the proximity of military bases will have this same problem and it is recommended that people in this situation switch to remotes that operate below 390 megahertz to fix the problem.

The Garage Door Remote Won’t Work but the Wall Switch Does

Check the batteries and electrical connections in the remote to make sure they are working correctly. If they are working correctly, the problem might be because of the safety sensors. Some garage doors have infrared sensors that shoot an invisible beam across the door. If one of these beams is misaligned, blocked or the lenses are dirty, then, as a safety feature, the opener will not allow the door to close unless the wall switch is held down. Clean the beam lenses, and make sure they are aligned and unobstructed. If this fails to fix the problem, unplug the door opener and then plug it back in. This will often reset the safety systems of the unit.

Remote Only Works in Cold or Warm Weather

If there are problems with the remote that seem to occur only when the weather is either cold or warm, the problem probably has to do with the infrared safety sensors that run along the bottom of the door. Next time it happens, try going inside the garage and holding down the wall switch to override the safety. If the door works when this is done, then it is indeed the sensors that need to be realigned. What happens when the weather turns, is that the steel which houses the sensors either expands or contracts which, in turn, will distort the path of the sensor beam. If the beam was slightly misaligned in the first place, then the slight change in the temperature of the metal will force the safety to kick in. Also, in cold climates with heated garages, the lens on the sensors can be clouded by either fogging or frosting. Clean the lenses and realign the sensors to fix the problem. If that doesn’t work try rebooting the unit by unplugging the opener and then plugging it back in.

The Batteries in the Remote are Brand New and the Door Still Won’t Open

If the remote is set to the correct frequency, then this may not be a remote problem, but rather a problem with the garage opener itself. Check to make sure that the opener is plugged in and that no fuses are blown or circuit breakers tripped. If the power seems to be working properly, there may be an internal problem with the opener’s mechanisms. If this is the case, the unit will need to be serviced.

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Garage Door Isn’t Behaving

Troubleshooting garage door problems isn’t anyone’s favorite weekend activity, but it’s a task that pretty much every homeowner has to deal with at one point or another. Probably the most common issue you’re likely to encounter with your garage door is that it doesn’t close correctly. Maybe it stops and starts, or goes all the way down only to bounce back up. Or, it might not close at all, and you have to tug with all your might to get it to close manually. No matter what the scenario, it is more than inconvenient! Fortunately, in the majority of cases, there’s a relatively easy answer to be found, with an associated quick fix.

Problem 1 – Blocked Sensors

If you have an electric garage door and it’s simply not responding to the door opener, either for opening or closing, then check for the simplest problem first: blocked sensors. On the roof of your garage, usually in the middle of the tracks that the garage door runs on, is an electric sensor that receives the waves from your garage door opener, and that also senses potential obstructions in the path of the garage door, in which case it will keep the door from closing to prevent possible harm or injury. That’s a great safety mechanism, but it’s also relatively easily disturbed. Check to make sure that there isn’t any debris or some obstruction that has worked its way in front of the sensor, either keeping it from receiving the door opener waves or making it think that something is in the path of the door. Remove anything that could potentially be blocking the sensor and, while you’re at it, give it a wipe down with a rag to make sure that an accumulation of dust and dirt isn’t the issue.

Problem 2 – Lack of Lubrication

If you find that your garage door is indeed correctly responding to your garage door opener, but is simply refusing to shut properly (maybe it’s descending very slowly, getting stuck or making a terrible noise every time it opens or closes), it may be in adequately lubricated. Especially during cold weather times, or if you live in an older home that hasn’t been receiving the tender loving care that it needs, the joints, gears and mechanisms that operate the garage door can get dry and rusty, causing them to stick, jam, moan and complain. Simply purchase some lubrication specifically formulated for these situations (be careful not to choose a product that could make the problem worse by gumming up the joints; try Genie lubricant, or if in doubt, ask the salesperson at your hardware store) and apply it generously to the affected areas.

Problem 3 – Misalignment

If you’ve unblocked the sensor and lubed up the garage door, but it still isn’t behaving, then you may want to check and see if you have some misalignment problems. If you live in a climate that is subjected to extremes of hot and cold, then it’s more than possible that the metal brackets and tracks that hold the door in place and allow it to open and close have expanded and contracted in accordance with the climate, which can eventually cause misalignment. If these elements get misaligned, you’ll have a hard time getting that door to close. Check and repair as needed, which may involve replacing certain parts.

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