Broken Garage Door Sensors Happen
Maybe your garage door won’t close. Maybe it won’t open. Maybe it opens when you don’t want it to, or, for an extra-special treat, closes on command but then opens again right away. No, your garage door is not possessed—you may have broken garage door sensors or some other entirely mundane problem. In fact, there may be an easy fix you can apply yourself, or, if not, it won’t be anything that your friendly garage door repair specialist can’t handle.
But if you want to fix it yourself, first you need to get an idea what kind of problem you have, and since the same symptom could have multiple causes, it won’t be a simple puzzle to solve.
Start with the simplest possibilities. Does your remote need new batteries? Is something blocking the antenna that receives signals from your remote? Does your neighbor’s garage door work on the same frequency as yours?
If you eliminate all the face-palm possibilities (did you accidentally put the door in manual-only mode? Or is it manually locked?) and the door still won’t cooperate, take a look at those door sensors and at the tracks. For obvious reasons, modern garage doors are designed not to close if something that could be crushed is in the way. Is something, such as a box or your car’s rear bumper, in the way? Are the sensors dirty or misaligned? Is a clod of something stuck in the track—if the descending door hits anything it will automatically open again, because it can’t tell the difference between a clump of dirt and a child’s shoulder.
And that going-down-and-coming-back-up thing? Your door opener should know how much the door needs to move in order to close, that way it won’t attempt to drive the door down into the floor, but if the range limit is set too far, the door will react as though the floor were simply an object in the way—and it will spring open again for safety’s sake. You may be able to adjust the range limit yourself, or you can call in a professional.
There are a few problems that you should definitely not handle yourself, nor should you put off dealing with them, because someone could get badly hurt. A door not opening due to bent tracks, broken springs, or broken cables fits into the leave-it-to-the-professionals category. If you notice the door scraping a little due to a bent or misaligned track, you may be able to fix it yourself, as long as the door can still move, but don’t even go near a spring or a cable about to break. You do not want to be hit when the piece goes.
Broken garage door sensors and other puzzles are not evidence of demonic possession—there’s usually a perfectly reasonable explanation. But you might want to call in a professional, anyway.