It was late in the evening.  My wife had just come home.  The garage door did not want to close when she pressed the button on the remote.  It had worked just fine a few hours earlier.  My tools are in the garage.  Leaving it open all night is not an option.  

Step 1: Force It to Close?

This is the hard wired switch on the wall.  She was able to make it close by holding the pressure plate on the switch down until it had closed.
<p>Thanks! Your instruct able made me look like a smart guy. I only wish I had made it seem like an all day job. I finished this in record time, then had to do more on my honeydew list.</p>
Garage door problems are temporal and finite. Honey dew lists are eternal and infinite. I am glad it was helpful. Thank you for the report back.
Very informative article. I do have a question for Phil. I have Chamberlain LiftMaster. One of the sensors is not on. Doesn't look like wires can't be unplugged. Should I replace entire sensor? If so should I replace a pair? Thank you
I am not a professional garage door opener serviceman. The opener on the garage featured in the Instructable is a LiftMaster, and the wire connections to the sensors oxidized so that there was a poor connection. Can yu use a sharp knife to wiggle the very small plug on the wire from its socket in the sensors?
<p>Thank you sooooo much! I had the same problem and after following your clear instruction. It works!! My garage door opener is working properly now. The problem was the two sensors didn't line up.</p>
Thank you for your report. I am glad it was helpful.
<p>That is a tough situation since no one wants to leave their stuff unprotected with the door open. I wonder if there was something blocking the beam at the opening? That would make it so it wouldn't want to close. Checking the springs might be a good idea as well. http://www.cbgaragedoors.com.au/repairs-and-services12</p>
I have a garage door safety beam that blinks when blocked. The garage door rarely works with any button. I checked wires and cleaned the lenses. Any other ideas?
I have had problems with the alignment of the beam and its receiver from one side to the other of the garage door opening, especially if something bumped it. A long piece of string pulled taught to follow the beam's actual path can be helpful. I also have a laser pointer on a 24 inch household carpenter's level. It is useful for checking up and down as well as left vs. right deflection on the beam. The other problem I have had is making sure the remote and the main unit are programmed to the same code. Rubberized buttons on remotes sometimes lose the conductive coating on the working side and do not make good electrical contact. Of course, the batteries in the remote need to be good. Most problems are due to small things rather than major failures.
<p>Nice blog. This is great collection of helpful tips for garage door maintenance and I think everyone can easily use these tips in order to maintain his/her garage door without the need of any professional. I think everyone should read this blog once and apply these tips by itself. If you want more Information visit </p><p><a href="http://bouldergaragedoorrepair.org/" rel="nofollow">http://bouldergaragedoorrepair.org/</a></p>
<p>thanks! Turns out I had this exact problem (and model door opener). Sure enough, removed and re-connected the connector to the sensor, and viola! working door.</p>
Congratulations to you! I am glad this was helpful to you. Thank you for looking.
Well I have two comments. Great way to show how a simple problem ( corroded / broken contacts ) could and often does lead to calling a technician. But with just a little digging that expense can be avoided. To prevent corrosion in the future you may want to use a dielectric grease on those contacts. Second is I noticed in your response that when the emergency release was used the door was impossible for you to open. This is a problem. The springs should counter the downward force of the door so that a person can open it unassisted. By making sure this is done you reduce the work load the opener has to do. From a safety point the garage can be opened even though no power is available. A fire can knock out power real easy. I'd call a highly rated garage door service and get this fixed. It does not matter what material the door is made of the springs/ counterbalance system should do this job.
Why don't you try to reprogram it?? <br>This might help you with your <a href="http://www.gomerlin.com.au/products/garage-door-opener" rel="nofollow">garage door opener</a> <br>
The problem turned out to be an oxidized electrical connection. Reprogramming would not have helped. Thank you for looking and for commenting.
The problem that you have is a commend problem. and it's easy to fix it. You problem just need to adjust the sensors. And to make sure that both the lights are turned on. If that don't work and you need more help you and found the manual instruction in this web site. <br>http://www.burlingtoncountygaragedoors.com/
I appreciate your information. If you look again at step 3 in this Instructable, you see I noted the LED on one sensor unit was bright, but the other fluttered weakly. In the last step you will notice that the reason for the weak and fluttering LED on one of the sensors was due to an oxidized connection where the control wires attach to the sensor.
The instructions on my garage door say that entropy makes the door stiffer to pull up or down. The motor detects that as a problem and stops the door. Especially when it is getting cool.<br><br>Make sure nothing is breaking the electric eye. Disconnect the door from the opener with the lanyard. If the opener operates okay, look for two rheostats on the back of the motor -- one marked &quot;up&quot; and the other marked &quot;down.&quot; Give the appropriate rheostat a slight clockwise turn and actuate the opener to reconnect it. That should solve the problem.
Hi PhilB<br><br>I'm not sure if my comment is in any way related to your problem, but might spare you some hassle later on.<br>Reading your statement that the door was too heavy and you couldn't let it down manually, means that your torsion springs are unbalanced. This also means that the door is also extremely &quot;heavy&quot; to open. All this relates to excessive loads on the garage door opener, which then can make it register an 'obstruction', making it either return open while closing, or remaining in a half open state while going up.<br>I suggest you have it seen too, so next time you encounter a contact problem you will be able to operate the door by hand. Easily, as it should be....- Remember, the door opener is there for convenience, not to operate as a weightlifter for faulty balanced doors. This is also unsafe.<br>Norman - Garage door installer - South Africa
Norman,<br><br>Thank you for your comment and the information. Not many years ago one of the springs broke. We had professional service personnel replace the broken spring. I would have thought they would have adjusted the springs properly. Is it possible they did not?
Hi Phil<br><br>Yes it's possible for them to either have &quot;underwound&quot; the spring, installed the wrong spring in terms of weight to height ratio - springs are manufactured according to the door's weight and opening height ie. lets say your door weigh approx. 160 Kg's, then you would probably have on 2x springs of 90 kg ratio each to lift it up to 2.1m high door opening - this is so that the cables remain taught at opening height and not come off the drums because off becoming too slack. The other factor is that doors need servicing once a year. Springs loose tension as they are under strain while the door are closed, which it is 90% of the time - on average. this means that 90% of it's lifespan it's standing and loosening tension gradually. This needs to be adapted/tightened/serviced yearly. Over progression of time the springs become weak and are unable too lift the door.<br>Hope this helps.<br>Norman
Norman,<br><br>Thank you. We should probably have the service guys out again. It has been more than a year, for certain.
You do realize that you are able to Open and Close the door manually by pulling the red string buy the garage door motor...
I know about the red emergency release. I did pull the emergency release and quickly learned that this old wood door is so heavy and so heavily sprung that I would have needed several large helpers to bring it down and close it. Your suggestion might work well with a modern fiberglass and aluminum door. But, doing that still does not solve the problem of why the sensors would not let the door opener work. Service calls by garage door technicians are quite expensive, especially after hours. It is much better if a homeowner can follow a simple procedure like I outlined to troubleshoot the sensors and restore function in a relatively short period of time.
My response thought was you would be able to pull down for the night, then fix it in the morning...
Thank you for the suggestion, but this door is too heavy. I would have needed a couple of guys to help. At least my wife did get it down by holding the switch.
Bravo, Phil. Most electronic and electrical failures are due to problems of contacts, especially in areas of low voltage circuit. My microwave oven has over 15 years, and I had to gut it twice to clean the contacts. It's amazing how always something rust, or sulfate, or dirty.
Many home mechanics do not work on their own automobiles now because of the computer controls. But, as a professional mechanic on the radio stated, &quot;Cars today still need air, fuel, compression, and spark.&quot; He encouraged home mechanics not to worry about the computer circuits, but to check the basic things that have always been important and are little or no different than before computers. One thing that could be added to that would be checking electrical contacts and connections for looseness or corrosion. <br><br>I was surprised that nothing was said in the helps for diagnosing a garage door opener problem about oxidation on contacts between the sensor and the wires leading to it.

About This Instructable




Bio: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying ... More »
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