Tuesday, April 18, 2017

GARAGE DOOR WON’T WORK – THINGS TO CHECK BEFORE CALLING A PROFESSIONAL

garage_door_opener-1Have you ever tried to make a pot of coffee but the coffee maker sputtered and shut down, leaving you with a frustrated feeling and a strong need for some java? Remember when you tried to vacuum your living room carpet and the motor burnt out? As consumers, we hate it when our appliances don’t work. We have them in the first place because we want them to perform a task for us like making coffee and picking up dirt! When they don’t work we have the options to throw them away, have them repaired or fix them ourselves. Garage doors are no different. As the largest appliance in your home, your wood or steel garage door has a job to do – work on demand, every time! When it doesn’t we have those same options; fix it ourselves, pay someone else to fix it, or do nothing at all.

Option 3 is no option at all!

That’s right; we have to have the garage door fixed; we need it to work and every time, too. That leaves either calling in a local Ahwatukee, AZ garage door specialist or fixing the problem on our own. Actually, our Ahwatukee Garage Door Repair shop recommends both actions. This is because there are some things you can check before you ever call in a professional. Doing so will save you money and time and even teach you a few things about garage door parts and functions that are useful to know.

There’s more to your garage door than your garage door!

True statement! Your garage door is more than a slab of wood or metal that moves up and down. It also consists of other parts and accessories that include your springs, opener unit, cables, pulleys, tracks, hinges, sections, safety eyes, and lots more. Doing a simple check on some of these items can reveal what is really wrong with your door, and often, after making a simple adjustment, your garage door can work as good as new again!

Battery power

One of the simplest and easy checks that you can do is to inspect your remote’s battery. There have been countless service calls made by garage door professionals when all the homeowner really needed to do was to replace the battery in the remote. Check yours. If you have a home tester, proceed to do so. If you don’t, you can buy one inexpensively for about $20, either locally or online. Or, you can take your remote’s battery in to a local home improvement or retail store that tests them for free. If the battery is good, at least you know. If it’s not, simply buy one and you just saved yourself a service call and lots of time.

Safety eyes

Your garage door uses safety sensors to regulate when the door opens and closes. Check yours to see if they are aligned correctly. If you already know how to do this, proceed with your check. If not, refer to your owner’s manual or go online and view any number of videos that show how to check your sensors and align them correctly, if needed. While you are doing so, check for frayed or cut wires, cobwebs, loose hinges and other things that can block your safety beam or cut if off completely. Please note that your safety sensors are easy to adjust manually and once you are comfortable with doing so, you’ll be able to move them slightly so that the beams align and your garage door can work reliably again.

Garage door path blockage

Modern garage doors have a safety mechanism that prevents them from closing if something blocks their path. This is a good thing. Otherwise anything (or anyone) underneath the closing garage door can be hit or crushed under the weight and momentum of the closing door. Garage doors weigh several hundred pounds and who needs all that mass coming down on them? Something as small as a child’s toy can trigger this reversing action and send your garage door right back up after it had already started to close.  Other things that can do this are items like rocks, chewing gum or dirt in the tracks that can prevent the rollers from moving forward. If nothing is blocking your garage door’s path, be sure to check the tracks and see if they are clean and allow movement from the rollers inside. It’s always a good idea to keep garage items away from your sensors as they can not only fall or lean on them, they can block the closing garage door’s path and prevent it from closing. Garden tools, trash cans, hoses, skateboards and boxes should all be far enough away from your sensors or tracks so that movement is not infringed in any way.

Manual locks

Does this happen to you? Do you try to open your garage door but instead of going up, the opener motor runs for a few seconds and stops? You know it’s not the battery because there was enough power to start the motor running. You’ve already checked the tracks and sensors to make sure that both are clear and unobstructed. What could it be this time? It may be your manual lock. These are more common in older garage doors but you may have one and just possibly you accidentally locked your garage door into place. These locks are the ones that look like a knob or handle in the middle of the garage door with two horizontal bars that stretch out, one from each side. There’s usually a small button on the top or side of the knob that allows you to lock the garage door from the inside. If bumped, this button allows the bars to slide across the garage door and seal it shut. Don’t worry; it’s easy to unlock! Simply turn the knob. You should hear a clicking sound that indicates that the lock is being taken off. By turning the handle, the horizontal bars are moved away from the edges and your garage door is now unlocked.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

CAN’T GET YOUR GARAGE DOOR OPEN OR SHUT? DON’T FRET. HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO!

If your garage door ever goes on the fritz, there are various reasons your garage door is out of whack. Some are simple; some are complex. But don’t waste your precious time going into a panic. There are plenty of steps you can take. garage_door_not_opening_large

Problems and Solutions

What if the garage door goes down all the way, but then opens again? The open-and-close limit settings of your garage door opener are likely failing. The settings instruct the garage door opener on how far the garage door should go before it shuts all the way down. If it’s set too high, the door will touch the ground before the opener thinks it should, presuming that the door is hitting an object in its path. If so, it will reverse so it won’t crush it. Follow the operator’s manual to find out how to set the open-and-close limits.

 

What if the garage door won’t close? The garage door has a photo sensor eye on each side. Between them is an invisible beam, which, when broken, prevents the garage door from shutting. Look closely to see whether they’re grimy or misaligned. Depending on which brand and style of sensors you have, if the light’s blinking, there’s something wrong. Or, if you have sensors with red and green lights, the red one often indicates that it’s not fully functioning.

An additional sensor problem might be the wiring. Inspect the sensors’ connections, making sure the wires aren’t corroded or loose. Another likelihood is that there’s a short in the wiring somewhere, which can result from a staple used during the initial installation; over time, vibrations can lead to a disconnect. Wires can also eventually stretch, resulting in disconnection.

What if your garage door doesn’t open? Then probably the springs are failing, not remaining contracted as they should. Try shortening the cables with a bracket to add tension on the springs. If your garage door has one or two torsion springs, one or both are probably broken. Don’t adjust the garage door yourself! If incorrectly serviced, a garage door spring can cause serious injury or even death. The cables, drums, or bottom brackets might also need adjusting. Or, the springs may require replacement. Either way, it’s a good idea to hire a dependable garage door professional. If you live anywhere in Ahwatukee, Arizona, consider a reputable local garage door company such as Ahwatukee Garage Door Repair.

Does the garage door opener run for a few seconds, then turn off? This occurs when the garage door is closed; the motor attempts but fails to lift up the door.

1.Take a close look at the track for possible obstacles.

2.Examine the springs.

3.See if your garage door is the kind with a built-in lock, because maybe it’s engaging by mistake. This typically happens on older garage doors.

Does your garage door opener run, but the garage door still doesn’t move? If there’s a power outage, your garage door opener has a disconnect switch, so you can shut or open your garage door by hand. The switch, attached to a knob or rope, can get unhooked accidentally.

1.Open or shut the garage door all the way.

2.Reattach the hook securely.

3.Try opening or closing the garage door again using the transmitter. It should work now.

Is the garage door randomly closing and opening? If your garage door opens or closes by itself, that’s both a security risk and a nuisance. Try this:

1.Check the transmitter. Be sure it’s not wedged under an object pressing down inadvertently on the control mechanism. For instance, the transmitter might be beneath an item you left in your car, or somewhere else nearby.

2.Test the transmitter’s frequency. A neighbor may actually have your same exact frequency.

Does your garage door shut part of the way, yet open again? A garage door has a reversing mechanism so it won’t smash anything in its path. The reversing instruction is activated by any objects on the floor blocking the door’s path ~ a trash can, bicycle, or box. You could see debris on the tracks ~ dirt or a minute object ~ that’s stopping the rollers from moving forward. This calls for professional attention.

Does your garage door slam down with a bang? You could have a broken tension spring, which counters the garage door’s weight. Probably the cables connected to the tension spring are broken. Either is hazardous. A garage door technician is needed.

The garage door track may be out of alignment. The metal track of the garage door must be properly aligned, or it won’t budge. Check if there are gaps between the rollers and the rail, or any bends in the rails. As time passes, the garage door’s weight compounds these issues, so hire a garage door expert, because the door is going to be gradually more dangerous to operate.

The transmitter batteries could be low. Perhaps all you need is replace them, and the garage door will open.

Avoid Future Garage Door Issues

The minimal effort required to keep your garage door in tiptop shape means that you won’t have to replace it for a good long time.

Once a month, check your garage door system’s components.

1.Replace worn parts.

2.Tighten loose bolts.

3.If you notice any odd noises when your garage door opens and closes, don’t procrastinate; investigate.

Every two years, clean your garage door.

1.Wash both sides with a sponge with mild dish soap and water, and rinse well.

2.Cleanse the sensor eyes using a dry, clean cloth.

3.Keep the area around the sensors free of cobwebs and grime.

4.If you have a steel garage door, apply car wax for cold-weather protection.

5.If you have a wooden garage door, if there’s chipping or peeling, apply a fresh coat of paint.

Schedule an annual inspection with a local upstanding garage door repair company. Pulleys, cables, springs, and wires need expert attention.

Follow a maintenance schedule routine to prolong the life of your garage door. If your garage doubles as a workshop or office, it’s important to lubricate the springs, hinges, and rollers ~ once a year, before winter comes. Otherwise, ultimately the springs will rust and the coils will bind. Use a top brand, so it won’t dry out. You only need a light coating.