Trying to open a garage door

The automatic garage door is one of those things that makes our life much, much easier but doesn't get the credit it deserves, nor the attention. That is, until it stops working. Then everyone in the house is tuned into the garage door with laser focus. "How can it just stop working?" is the question on everyone's mind. While it's certainly vexing when the door refuses to obey, you have to remember that it's a mechanical device. And so, just like a car or dishwasher or garbage disposal, it's possible that one day, it may not respond the way you expect. In which case, you may need to call for garage door repair.

7 Reasons You May Need Garage Door Repair in Boulder, CO

Besides dealing with the obvious inconvenience, it's also important to try and get a handle on why the door is acting up. This way you can either fix it yourself or - when you call for garage door repair in Loveland, Broomfield or Boulder - you can give the technician some idea what's wrong. That way, they can hit the ground running when they get to your house. Here are 7 common reasons why your garage door won't open.

  1. The opener is unplugged - Believe it or not, this happens quite a bit. Especially if the garage is used by lots of family members (to stow their bikes etc), and the outlet the opener is plugged into is in an easily accessible place. If there's a workbench in the garage and the outlet for the door is also used for power tools, the wrong plug sometimes gets pulled by mistake. Family members can accidentally catch the power cable on their handlebars or snag it with their foot and pull it out without knowing it. The first thing you should do if the door won't move is check that it's plugged in.
  2. The disconnect switch has been pulled - Every automatic garage door comes with a disconnect switch that allows the homeowner to bypass the motor in the event of problems with it. This switch is located just above the door at the center point and typically has a red cord hanging down from it. If this cord gets pulled accidentally, it will disconnect the opener from the door, and nothing will happen when you hit the "open" button. You should also check this before calling the garage door repair company.
  3. There is no power to the plug - Sometimes the power cord will be accidentally pulled out of the wall. And sometimes the outlet itself won't have any power because a circuit breaker has been tripped. While this isn't common, it is a possible cause of the door not opening. So if you aren't having any luck determining what's wrong, check the electric panel to see if any circuit breakers have been tripped.
  4. Dead batteries - This is one of the most common reasons a garage door doesn't open. And it has nothing to do with the door itself. The remote runs on battery power. And just as the TV remote won't work if the batteries are dead, the garage door remote won't work either. So before you pull your hair out trying to figure out why the door won't open check the battery in the remote. There's a pretty good chance this is the problem.
  5. You may have a broken spring - Garage Door Tech 101 reminds us that it’s the spring that opens the door, not the opener. The opener simply gets it started and then regulates the motion of the door. Older doors typically used a single torsion spring. So if you have an older door with 1 torsion spring and the door isn't opening grab a flashlight and take a look at the torsion spring. If it's broken, it will be easy to tell. If this is the cause, you'll need to call for emergency garage door repair.
  6. You may have a broken cable - The power from the torsion spring is relayed to the door by way of the cable. If the cable has snapped the door likely won't open. The cable is like the chain on your bicycle. The power you generate with your legs is transferred to the wheels by the chain. If the chain breaks, the bike isn't going anywhere. Same with the garage door cable. If it snaps, the energy produced by the springs can't get to the door and it just sits there.
  7. The door is locked - Many homes have dead bolt locks on their garage door for extra safety. It's a good idea. But in some cases, one person may engage the dead bolt and not tell others. Then when someone else gets home and tries to open the door, the motor runs but the door stays closed. If you hear the motor running, but the door isn't lifting, don't keep trying to open it. You may burn out the motor necessitating garage door opener repair. Instead, check to see if someone engaged the dead bolt.

The Bottom Line

Before calling for someone to come fix the garage door, make sure it's not something you can easily remedy yourself. It might be something as simple as the opener being unplugged, the disconnect being engaged or the battery on your remote being dead. If you need emergency Boulder, Loveland or Broomfield garage door repair, call the experts at A Better Garage Door. We'll fix what ails your garage door in no time flat.