16 Helpful Tips and Tricks for Garage Repair

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Electric garage doors are a great convenience — until, of course, they break. The bad news: a dozen things could be to blame. The good news: many are easy to fix yourself. No surprise that they often need attention. They also have the most moving parts. Parts can wear out or break, things can get out of alignment. All it takes is one item that is not working and the whole door can be rendered useless.

The garage door springs do the heavy lifting. When the door is down they are stretched. When you lift the door, the springs recoil and lift the weight of the door for you. The door follows tracks and uses rollers to stay in place. The moving parts need to be lubricated and the tracks need to stay in alignment. There are also hinges that hold the panels together. If any of these items fail, you will need to make an overhead garage door repair. You can get the know-how, to repair garage doors without too much difficulty.

Here are a few tips and tricks:

  • Check plug See if the opener’s cord is plugged into a working outlet. Of course it’s a ‘duh’ — but it’s also the most common reason electric garage doors don’t open.
  • See if lock is on now check the second most-common stupid reason that an electric garage door won’t open—the owner inadvertently activated the ‘lock’ feature. Many people aren’t even aware of this feature—consult your owner’s manual.
  • Turn off and on Try unplugging the garage door opener and then plugging it in again; this sometimes does the trick by resetting the sensors.
  • Try new batteries See if dead batteries in your remote control opener are the problem.
  • With a garage door opener, you have no lifting at all, just push a button. It does not eliminate the need for springs. It has moving parts and is also an electrical device. A garage door opener is one of those things that can have some simple problems that cause it not to work.
  • Reprogram the remote if the batteries are fine, the remote might have become deprogrammed. Consult your manual for instructions on resetting it.
  • Check beam next, make sure the beam sensor is plugged in. Clean the sensor clean the sensor’s eyes—usually located in front of the on/off button—with a wet cloth. When these eyes get dusty, it can block the signal that turns on the motor. Cleaning the sensor every season can reduce problems.
  • Check the chain next, check to see if the chain is broken or loose. Unfortunately, if it needs to be tightened or replaced, you’ll need to contact an electrician.
  • Verify that your garage door springs are in working order.In order to check the spring tension, roll down the main gate and release the emergency pull. This allows manual operation of the door.  When the door is raised by hand, does it feel heavy, or come back down again instead of staying open?  If so, we recommend that you get a spring replacement ASAP.
  • Keep all parts lubricated. Keeping your system well-oiled is vital to its life expectancy. Ensure that you oil not only the rollers, but the track, springs, and pulleys as well.
  • Ensure that all fasteners are tight. Verify that all nuts and bolts are tight, being careful not to strip or over tighten them in the process.
  • When the door is out of alignment it can bind and not work correctly. Adjusting the garage door may be an inexpensive solution to your problem. Before you call the repairman, find out if an adjustment is all you need. Find out what you can to adjust the door without doing a complete overhaul.
  • The garage door rollers allow the door to move up and down in the track. They can break or seize up. You can either lubricate them or replace them as needed. Replacing them is not that hard, they are less than five dollars. Ten minutes and you’re done.
  • The garage door hinges are used to allow the door panels to move independently of each other. On the sides of the door, they have a sleeve for the rollers built into them. Hinges can rust, seize up or break. This is also an inexpensive and simple repair.
  • Open manually if none of your quick fixes have worked, pull the red release cord to free the door so that it can be opened and closed manually. Consult your owner’s manual — older systems may not have a red release cord.
  • Get help Operate your door by hand until you can have the unit fixed. Contact either an electrician or the service department of the store where you bought your unit.

Hopefully these tips and tricks help you with your garage!

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