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garage door not opening

Are you wondering why your garage door won’t open all the way up suddenly? Say you are leaving for your office early and head straight to the garage to fetch your car. But when you try to open the garage door, it stops midway or won’t open at all. No matter what you do, the condition of the malfunctioned garage door remains the same. You might not know the exact reason for such issues, but we do. The malfunction is probably because of a broken door opener. Attempting a DIY fix on your broken door opener without any knowledge can complicate the job even more. Therefore, you should always consider the assistance of a professional garage door repair company, just like us! As a professional garage door repair company, we can take care of the full spectrum of garage door repair needs.

In this article, we will answer your question “Why will my garage door close but not open?” and ways to fix the issues.

garage door not opening

Why Garage Door Won’t Open All the Way Up?

There are several reasons why your garage door won’t open completely – due to a broken torsion spring, snapped cables, or disconnected remote control. Regardless of the reason, you should always perform a basic check to understand the exact cause of why your garage door won’t open. Here are some of the reasons your garage door won’t open completely:

1. Blocked Photo-Eye 

Old garage doors have a pre-installed photo-eye. These small devices are responsible for detecting obstructions under your garage door. Photo-eye will stop working as soon as it detects an object or person blocking the garage door. Due to a blocked photo-eye, your garage door will not lower down, resulting in inconvenience. Check whether the cord of your garage door attached to the photo-eye is not damaged or cut. If you notice damage to the cable cord, we recommend you consider calling a professional garage door repair technician.

2. Broken Power Source 

People often assume that their garage door opener is not operating because the power source is unplugged. And that’s the right assumption! Sometimes, you may forget to connect the power source of your garage door, resulting in a malfunction. Apart from the connection problem, you should also check for any signs of damages. If you notice the power source is plugged and you still can’t open the garage door, consider hiring a garage door repair technician as it may be broken.

3. Broken Torsion Springs

Most problems with your garage door opener could either be due to a malfunctioned keypad or a disconnected remote control. However, you might want to check a key component of your garage door opener – torsion springs. Torsion springs are basically centered above the garage door on a one-inch shaft. The key component of a garage door system is responsible for opening and closing the door. While the garage door opener regulates the motion, torsion springs act as a counterweight to the door and balances the system. These functional springs can break due to everyday wear and tear, rust, or improper maintenance. A broken torsion spring will create a loud noise, almost like gunfire. We recommend you call a professional immediately to avoid casualties.

4. Snapped Cables 

Sometimes, the garage door opener may not function due to disengaged cables. Torsion springs are directly connected to the cables of your garage door system. When these springs break, the cable of your garage door system snaps immediately. Such incidents can possess a serious threat to you, your vehicle, and your property. Similar to broken torsion springs, you should also contact a professional garage door repair technician to fix the issue immediately.

5. Door Sensitivity Adjustment Issues

Garage door sensitivity adjustment issues are common in newly installed garage doors. Such a garage door system feature plays a pivotal role in the functioning of the door. When the garage door sensitivity level is adjusted too low or high, it affects the opening of the door. Due to such sensitivity adjustment issues, you will have a hard time opening the garage door. In such cases, you should check the manufacturer’s guide and reset the correct sensitivity level of your garage door. 

6. Broken or Disconnected Remote Control 

Another reason for malfunctioned garage doors may be due to a broken or disconnected garage remote. One of the best ways to identify whether your garage remote is broken or disconnected is by checking the range. If your garage remote is out of range, consider it to be broken. If not, the antenna on the garage door system is having issues. Regardless of the case, you should check the possibilities and find out the cause.

7. Issues With Limit Setting Adjustment

Does your garage door pop open again even after closing it properly? If so, you are likely facing issues with your limit setting adjustment. Limit setting is responsible for determining the extent or distance to which a garage door can travel while opening or closing. If the limit setting switch is off, the garage door will immediately hit the ground, causing damage to your garage door, property, and vehicle.

8. Off-Track Garage Door

Misaligned tracks are a common cause for a garage door going off track. If your garage door goes off-track, there will be a problem with sliding the door. Ensure whether the garage door is rolling smoothly along the metal track. Now check for any obstacles or bumps on the track. Such obstructions can cause the garage door to go off track, resulting in poor functioning.

9. General Obstacle

All garage door systems are designed to reverse if they come in contact with any obstacle. However, If you notice your garage door is closing halfway and then reversing for no reason, then you might want to check for any object preventing the flow. If that’s the case, you will notice the issue right away. Some of the common obstacles in such cases are rocks, dirt, and other debris. Always clean your garage door’s tracks and remove any potential obstacles for better functioning.

10. Disconnect Switch

Most people don’t know that their garage door opener has a pre-installed disconnect switch in the form of a knob or cord. Such a garage door system feature allows you to operate the door manually in case of a power outage. If you are facing problems opening your garage door, check whether the motor is disconnected or not.

Why Does My Garage Door Only Open a Foot?

If your garage door opener lifts only a foot above the ground, you might want to check several things. 

  • Garage door openers are designed to reverse back if the door feels heavier than the usual weight or facing resistance from the door. Such features can help prevent any potential damages to your door or system. If you notice your door opener is opening halfway and stopping all of the sudden, you need to check for any obstruction on the way. Sometimes, a loose screw in garage door rollers can also cause such issues.
  • Other components you might want to check are- garage door cables and torsion springs. Make sure you visually verify that the cables are in the correct position and not tangled. Torsion springs, located right above your garage door, are responsible for closing and opening the door. If the springs are broken, your garage door system will not be able to lift the door and restrict the motion.
  • Sometimes, your garage door system itself might have some problems, especially the motor. To determine whether there are any issues with your garage door system, disengage the motor from the door and manually operate it. If your garage door is operating smoothly by using manual force, then the motor requires a replacement or repair. In such cases, you might want to call a professional garage door repair technician for immediate help.

How Do You Fix a Garage Door That Won’t Open?

1. When the Garage Door Won’t Open or Close

  • Switch on your garage door opener and ensure the position of the circuit breaker is correct. Additionally, check whether your garage door has not been manually locked unintentionally.
  • Replace the batteries of your remote control or keypad connected to the garage system. Position yourself at a recommended range and use the remote control. 
  • If you want to open your garage door that restricts the motion, pull the emergency release cord. An emergency cord is easy to reach cord hanging down from the trolley allowing you to open the garage door manually.

2. External Controls

If your garage door openers are plugged in but won’t allow the doors to open or close, you might have a problem with the external controls. External controls of your garage system could be remote control, wall switch, or a keypad.

  • Check all the external controls and identify which one is not operating.
  • Most garage door opener systems have an antenna for the remote control. Check the position of the antenna or damage. In case of damages, you might want to replace the remote control. 
  • If your remote control works on batteries and is used within the correct range but not working fine, consider replacing it. In some cases, you can also reset the remote control or keypad by checking the manual. 
  • If the remote control or keypad works but the wall switch does not consider changing the old switch or new wiring. For this, you should consult a professional garage door repair technician.

3. Door Safety Sensors

Another reason your garage door won’t close all the way or operate immediately might be due to safety sensor issues. Door safety sensors prevent accidents caused by automatic garage doors, thereby limiting the chances of car damage or injuries.

  • Check whether the safety sensors are facing each other and aligned. Now use a soft cloth and mild cleanser to clean the sensors. Gently rub the cloth on the surface of the sensor and ensure nothing covers the eye. Wipe away any residue and moisture. 
  • Make sure you perform the task gently to avoid scratches on the surface of safety sensors.

4. Door Limit Switch

As mentioned before, limit setting is responsible for determining the extent or distance to which a garage door can travel while opening or closing. If the limit switch is set improperly, it can create obstructions with normal closing and opening of the door.

  • All garage door opener systems have a lever or screw feature that allows you to control and set the limit switch. 
  • Use your manufacturer’s instructions to set the limit switch. Adjust the limit based on the recommended level or until the door opens and closes at the desired level.

5. Springs and Cables

Torsion springs and cables are two of the key components in your garage door opener system that help lift the door easily. Both the components may break or wear out after some time and can prevent the door from opening and closing. 

  • Replacing or repairing torsion springs and cables on your garage door can be dangerous. Therefore, always consult an experienced door repair technician.

6. Door Tracks and Rails

All garage doors function along a metal track and rails. These tracks can malfunction due to misalignment or wear and tear. You can realign the track by simply loosening the screw drilled to the frame. 

  • Using a rubber mallet, gently tap the track back into its previous position. Use a level if you are unsure about the straight alignment. Once done, simply tighten the screws to the frame until the track is aligned properly.
  • If your garage doors have steel or nylon rollers, you might want to check for any damage or rust. Both track damage and rust can prevent your garage door from moving easily. 
  • You can also consider using a silicone spray to lubricate the rails.

Get Professional Support From Horizon Garage Doors

Are you struggling to fix your garage door issues by yourself? We can help! At Horizon Garage Doors, we offer an extensive range of garage services – from new installation, general repairs, complete replacement to regular maintenance. If your garage door is facing some problem and you need assistance, give us a call on 301-852-6441 today!

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