A garage door is probably the most under appreciated mechanical device in many homes. Without thinking about it, we expect this giant door that can weigh hundreds of pounds to open and close on demand with the simple push of a button on our wall, in our car or even from our phones. We expect to be able to store our vehicles and our belongings safely behind the door, but to be easily able to access them whenever we want. Heck, for many of us we don’t even carry a key to our front doors anymore as the garage door is the main access point for the family to get in and out of the house.
It’s only when our garage door stops working normally that we suddenly realize how much we rely on them.
One of the more frustrating things that you might encounter with your garage door is when you try to close it, it won’t stay closed. Instead, it gets to (or near) the bottom, closed position, then reverses directions and opens up again. This can be so frustrating! No one wants to leave their garage door wide open!
Why is the garage door not staying closed?
Does this sound familiar at all? … When you were a kid, you and your siblings would close the garage door and run underneath it to get out before the door closed. Well, now thanks to two tiny photo eyes on either side of the garage entrance, any garage door that was installed after 1993 this trick is no longer very easy to pull off. The invisible beam between the photo eyes is used to detect if something is in the path of a garage door. There is a safety measure in place to prevent automatic garage doors from closing on top of someone or something.
So, if you’re door isn’t closing, first, check if there is anything that is interfering with the beam between the two photo-eye sensors.
You can find an infrared sensor / motion detector near the bottom of your garage doors, just above the floor. This device detects movement within the area covered by the light beams. When something moves into the path of the beams, the lights will go out momentarily. In order to keep your garage doors open, you must clean the lenses of these devices regularly. Make sure that there is nothing blocking the beam. Also make sure the two ‘eyes’ are pointed at each other so that they create a connection.
These sensors can easily get bumped out of position, or something can be just partially blocking one of them. It can be anything from something significant like a trash can, to something small like a leaf or even an accumulation of dirt. Anything that prevents the two sides from ‘connecting’ via the beam will signal to the door to return to the open position.
If this is why your door isn’t closing, this is actually good news for a couple of reasons
- Your door is working as it is supposed to. There is nothing “wrong” with your door such as a broken spring – its built-in safety system is working to protect you and your belongings from accidentally getting crushed by the door as it comes down, in the event there is some kind of obstruction – something is in its path and shouldn’t be
- This is a very easy fix for you that can be done in a matter of minutes, at zero cost! Simply get the sensors lined up correctly and keep anything from getting in their way. Easy Peasy.
If your garage door sensors are on, lined up and nothing is in the way and your garage door still isn’t closing, things may be a bit more complicated
There are other reasons your garage door may open automatically again after closing.
You May Need to Adjust the Limit Switch
The limit switch is one of the most common reasons for your garage door going back up. The limit switch is used to determine where the garage door stops. When the door reaches the bottom, it will appear as if there is something in the way, and the safety mechanism will kick in and open the door. If this is the case, adjusting your limit switch with a flathead screwdriver is a good idea. The limit switch is not set correctly.
The travel module in your garage is responsible for controlling how far the garage door travels up and down. If your garage door stops working properly, check whether the travel module is worn out. A broken travel module can cause the garage door to stop functioning altogether. Replace the module if necessary.
You May Need to Replace the Logic Board
A logic board controls the motor that moves the garage door up and down. Over time, the logic board can become damaged and fail, causing the garage door to malfunction. You can replace the logic board yourself, but more often than not, considering the number of other parts in a opener, you’re better off simply buying a new unit, otherwise you may find yourself throwing good money after bad. We recommend contacting a professional garage door service company and asking for their recommendations.
Looking for Help with Problematic Garage Door Openers?
While some issues such as cleaning of the safety sensors are very easy to deal with, others such as a limit setting can be slightly more challenging. Then there are things that are well outside the realm of what an average homeowner should consider attempting on their own. At times like these, it’s best to call in a garage door professional.
While you may not consider a garage door a highly ‘technical’ part of your home, you may not realize that it can have dozens of moving parts responsible for moving a several hundred pound door. If you don’t think all those garage door components each play an important role, and the knowing how they all work together… please trust us when we say that you should not be attempting a garage door repair yourself.
The time, money, frustration and potential serious bodily injuries you could save by simply calling in a garage door professional such as Discount Door Service, who has been providing garage door repair in Tucson, AZ since 1999, is significant.