6 common reasons your garage door won’t open

December 23, 2014

Pulling up to your garage to find the door won’t open is frustrating. Now it seems you’ve got to call a repairman – or do you? Here are 6 common reasons your garage door won’t open and how you can fix (most) of them quickly and easily.

6 common reasons your garage door won’t open

Before you pick up the phone, consider first doing some troubleshooting. Sometimes wear and tear can cause part of your garage door mechanism to break. If so, these 6 common problems are relatively simple to diagnose, and some are even easy to fix, possibly saving you from having to pay a repairman.

Ultimately, understanding what the problem is will help you determine if a quick trip to the hardware store or a call to a repairman is in order. So where should you start?

1. Garage door opener remote

One reason why your garage door won’t open is that the batteries have died in your remote.

  • If that's the case, then this is a really simple fix. If after replacing the batteries, the remote still won’t activate the garage door, then there may be damage to the remote itself.

2. Reverse sensors are blocked

Almost all garage door openers have a door reverse feature.

  • These are sensors located on both sides of the garage door track and will trip if an object passes through them as the garage door is closing. It will stop and reverse the door to rise again.
  • If these sensors are blocked while the door is closed, then automatically the door will stay closed.
  • Check to see if this is the case, because sometimes dust and dirt can clog the sensors’ eye.

3. Power source is dead

Check to see if your garage door opener is plugged into a working outlet.

  • Sometimes a power outage occurred or a circuit breaker trips the outlet into which your garage door opener was plugged.  Without a power source, the door opener won't operate.

4. Broken springs

Broken springs are a much more serious problem as to why your garage won’t open – especially if they have snapped.

  • If this is the case, NEVER try to open the door. This can be very dangerous as the springs help lift the garage door.
  • This situation absolutely requires that you call a professional to repair the damage.

5. Snapped cables

When the springs of a garage door snap, the door cable will typically snap under the amount of energy released with the break.

  • Be very cautious if you’ve already noticed the springs have broken! The release can cause the cable to whip lash.
  • As with broken springs, do not attempt to fix snapped cables yourself. Call a professional who has experience repairing garage doors.

6. Sensitivity adjustments

If the sensitivity is set too high or too low, the opener will not be able to sense the weight of the door, whether too little or too much. The result? It may cause the garage door not to open at all.

  • This usually occurs on a recently installed garage door or a very old one.
  • A simple adjustments can do the trick, but refer to the manufacturer's instruction manual for directions.
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