Garage Door Problems
A Look At A Few Common Garage Door Problems
Garage door problems are a fact of life, though most of the time the solution to a given problem is something relatively simple. If you started out with a manual system, rather than a garage door opener system, you probably remember having fewer problems that you've had since installing garage door openers. With a manual system, the problem encountered was usually either a wheel coming out of the track, an obstruction, or the door freezing to the floor in cold weather. Those problems still exist with a door opener system. In fact a whole new set of problems comes along with the added convenience. Things more than balance out though. A garage door opener system is better than the manual approach, hands down.
A Mind Of Its Own - Maybe you've seen the commercial where a man is flipping a light switch on and off in his house, trying to locate a problem, and as a result, a garage door down the street is opening and closing, on the hood of the neighbor's car. Some of the garage door problems encountered have indeed been situations in which the door opens or closes by itself. When this happens, it's generally assumed that someone else's garage door system is on the same frequency as yours, and when they open or close their own garage door by pressing the button, your door follows suit. The chance of that happening is really very remote. What is usually the case in a situation like this, is there is a short circuit somewhere in your own system, likely either in the transmitter or in the wiring to the back-up wall button. If a short circuit is causing a constant transmission, the door will reverse once hitting the limit of its travel. An intermittent short will cause the same thing, only not every time.
If The Door Jerks - Another common problem is a garage door that jerks when opening or closing. Garage door system have either a chain drive, a screw drive, or a belt drive. In the latter case, the belt may be slipping, either because it's becoming worn, needs tightening, or some substance is causing a loss of friction. If it's a newer system, the belt might simply need tightening, while it may have to be replaced if the system is many years old. Most belt drives will last a long time, since they are not in constant use. If the system is a chain drive, a worn sprocket is the most frequent cause of the problem. If the sprocket is not worn, it may be the drive gear itself that is wearing out. The drive gear is often made of nylon, and a worn one will be easy to spot. If the garage door opener has a screw drive, the source of the problem is almost always a worn drive gear.
Springs Can Cause Problems Too - Most garage door openers are installed so that the door will remain stationary if stopped in mid-position. If it will not, the springs may require adjustment. This is also one of the common manual garage door problems. Sometimes the spring can be adjusted, but in some instances it is best to call a professional repairman. The springs controlling garage doors are wound with tremendous force, and could be very dangerous and even lethal, if the tension is accidentally released.
A Preventable Problem - One of the more common garage door problems during the winter is the door sticking in the closed position. This problem is in most cases preventable, by keeping the garage floor free of snow and ice. If it's not possible to keep the area immediately under the bottom edge of the door dry, and it probably isn't, the limit can be adjusted so that the door stops a fraction of an inch above the floor. You can make the opening larger, but you may not wish to if you have a heated garage, or want to keep small creatures like mice out. A fraction of an inch should be perfectly sufficient in most cases.
These are the more common problems usually encountered. You really needn't worry about your neighbor down the street being able to control your garage door operations. If there's a problem, it’s either with your transmitter of in your garage.