Money Saving Tips for Garage Door Service

Nothing is more frustrating than when you press your garage door remote and nothing happens; especially when you are running late for work or it’s raining outside. When this happens, most people’s first reaction is to call a garage door technician. But before you spend $50 to $100 on a service call, there are some simple things you check yourself. As with any home project, if you are uncomfortable with any of these steps, call a garage door professional.

First, check the wall station inside your garage that operates the opener and make sure it is in the unlocked position. Most wall stations have a lockout feature, which is typically used by homeowners for security at night and during vacation. Flipping one simple switch on the wall station could save you a service call.

Next, make sure your opener and wall station have electrical power. If the buttons on the garage door wall station aren’t illuminated, check the electrical breaker that controls the garage door opener to make sure it has not been tripped. It is also a good idea to check the garage door opener receptacle (typically in the ceiling next to the opener) by plugging in a small home appliance or light, because electrical surges can burn out a receptacle. If you find there are power issues you cannot resolve, call an electrician.

Sometimes, the control wire between the garage door wall panel and the opener will break or come loose causing the door to not function properly. Before calling a garage door technician, try the garage door remote in your car. If the door opens, there is an issue with your wall station. Unless the spring is broken, the garage door can typically be opened by pulling down on the red cord on the opener tract, which disengages the opener from the door. At that point, you should be able to manually lift the door.

Another quick fix is if you press your wall station button and the opener makes sounds and movement like it is opening the garage door but, nothing happens, it is possible that someone has disengaged the opener by pulling the red cord. Simply pull the cord in the opposite direction and the garage door will be engaged. Also, in situations when the door is not opening while the operator is running, check the manual locks on the door.

If the garage door operator runs and then immediately stops, there is a good chance you have a broken spring. A spring is usually located just above the garage door and you can see the coils of the spring. If you notice a gap in the spring, it is broken. A spring is used to balance the door and allow it to be opened. For a broken spring, you will need to call a garage door technician.

One of the most common garage door service calls is a homeowner whose door opened as normal, but when they tried to close the door, it would only go down six to twelve inches before reversing back to the fully open position. At the bottom of modern garage doors are safety photoelectric sensors that must be lined up for the door to work properly. This safety feature prevents children and pets from being crushed by the garage door. If a homeowner puts a shovel or broom in front of the sensor, or the sensor is inadvertently knocked out of line, the door will not close. Remove the item blocking the beams or line them up—you just saved an expensive service call.

Keep this money-saving checklist in an easy to find place so the next time your garage door doesn’t open you will know what to do.