Common Reasons Why Garage Doors Won’t Open that You Probably Don’t Know About

Most people wouldn’t be concerned about their garage doors until it becomes a problem. As we use these doors day in and day out, like any other mechanisms, garage doors will eventually wear out. It’s one of the highly used machines in your home and it is bound to have functional issues, especially during the winter season when power outages occur.

Common Reasons Why Garage Doors Won’t Open that You Probably Don’t Know About. Red planked classic door


Garage doors fail to open for several reasons. By knowing what causes your door to malfunction, you can easily find solutions to address these issues. Either way, it is highly recommended to seek professional help.

These are the 11 common reasons why doors won’t open.

#1 There’s Obstruction in Line with the Photo Eye

Doors manufactured in the last 15 to 20 years have a photo eye. This detects obstruction like a person or object that’s blocking the door from lowering down to the floor all the way.

Common Reasons Why Garage Doors Won’t Open that You Probably Don’t Know About. Combined glass, wooden trimming on aluminum construction door


The photo eye is just pea size and installed about 4 to 6 inches off the ground. It shoots a laser across the garage door. Once interrupted, the signal is cut thus preventing the door from opening or closing. If you think the photo eye is the issue, check if it’s dusty or clogged with dirt. Clean it with a tissue. Also, check the cord if it’s damaged or if it’s attached to the eye.

Photo eyes that are misaligned can also affect the way it functions. LED lights activate on both sides – red light and green light. If your photo eye is misaligned, the beam won’t be able to scan the clearance effectively.

#2 No Power

Unlike what most people think, simple things like forgetting the power cord is unplugged can cause a disturbance in your door’s performance. It actually happens more frequently than expected. So make sure you check first if your doors are plugged before testing.

A faulty outlet can also be an issue. If you plugged your door and it’s still not working, try plugging in a lamp or any other device to test if the outlet works. If the lamp won’t open, then your outlet may be compromised.

Also, check for blown circuit breakers. For this issue, you need a professional to help you fix it.

#3 Broken Torsion Springs

Are you hearing loud noises like firecrackers coming from your garage door? That could be a sign that your torsion spring broke. Broken springs is a common issue. It is the first thing that breaks in most doors.

If your spring is broken, never attempt to open your doors as it is very dangerous. Always seek professional help if this is the problem. They have the right tools to get the job done accordingly.

#4 Snapped Garage Door Cables

Cables can get disengaged once the torsion springs break. This also requires professional help to fix.

#5 Sensitivity is out of Adjustment

The sensitivity that is set too high or too low can interfere with the garage door’s performance. Refer to your user manual and reset your door’s sensitivity.

Common Reasons Why Garage Doors Won’t Open that You Probably Don’t Know About. Industrial concrete facades


#6 Remote Control is Malfunctioning

There are many reasons why remote control malfunctions. Either:

  1. You are not within the range of your mother device
  2. Blocked signal or damaged antenna. Check if it is hung down from the motor.
  3. Low batteries. A quick change of fresh ones could help fix this.
  4. If it’s still not working, try reprogramming the remote setting.

#7 Adjust the Limit Setting

If your door opens and closes immediately needs to have the limit setting adjusted. The limit setting determines how far should the door move so it closes properly.

If the limit setting is not adjusted, the garage door will shut down before it should. The garage door opener will assume that there’s an obstacle and will automatically backtrack to prevent damage. The instructions on your limit settings can be found on your user manual.

#8 Misaligned or Off-Track Doors

A door that is misaligned won’t slide. Inspect if the garage door is rolling smoothly on the track. A quick fix would be to loosen the screws that are holding the track to the frame. Move the track to its proper position. Retighten the door screws afterwards.

There shouldn’t be bumps, obstacles, bends or gaps in the track. Noises or friction shouldn’t be ignored. Consult a pro right away.

#9 Tiny Piece of Obstacle Getting in the Way

Openers work in reverse once it comes in contact with an obstacle. If the garage door closes halfway and then reverse for some reason, something is definitely preventing it from closing.

Check the tracks for dirt, rocks, trash or other debris. Wipe to dislodge anything that’s getting in the way.

#10 Disconnect has been Switched On

Most door openers have a disconnect switch allowing homeowners to work the door manually in case of a power outage. See if you have accidentally disconnected your motor.

#11 Activated Lock Mode

If your garage door won’t open as prompted, you might have accidentally switched on lock mode. Check your user manual and get your door out of lock mode.

Author Bio

Mik Vil writes for Garage Door Repair and Replacement in NW Calgary – a service that provides services for all residential and commercial properties in Calgary and nearby areas.

Be first to comment