Garage doors can be finicky, and this really is no big surprise. The average garaged door weights in between 100 lbs. and 180 lbs., and this is a lot of weight when you consider the door opens up and down and has to work against gravity every time it is used. Also, most garage doors are mechanically and electrically operated, meaning they have more moving parts and more components where problems can occur requiring garage door repair.
The good news is that repairing garage door problems is relatively easy for a garage door specialist. There are also a number of problems which can be easily fixed by the homeowner. Here is the first in our five part series on the most common garage door problems and how to resolve them.
Garage Door Opener Batteries are Dead
It sounds simple, and it is. Nonetheless, when a garage door does not open or close, some homeowners panic, forgetting that the largest moving object in their house requires batteries to operate. There are usually two batteries in a garage door opening system, and both are vital to a safe and well-functioning garage door.
The batteries used in the remote opener have an average life span of about two years. But, your mileage may vary, depending on how often the opener is used and the quality of the batteries installed in the devise. Garage door openers usually have a coin-sized lithium ion battery or a 1.5 volt alkaline battery. Before yours goes dead, open up the remote and see what kind of battery is inside and buy a replacement before you need it.
To open the remote, look for a small slot on the side of the devise. Use a flat screwdriver or a small knife to pry open the cover. Some units have a small screw holding the cover on. If this is the case, the screw will be visible on the back of the cover. Just use a screwdriver with a small head and remove the screw. If the cover does not come off readily once the screw is out, it may also have a slot on the side that you need to pry open.
The battery inside will be clearly visible once the cover is off. Pull it out and replace it with a new one, and see if the problem is solved. If the door still does not open, make sure the lock/vacation button has not accidently been turned on. This button is located on the control box inside the garage. Actually, if your garage door is not working, check this button first. Fixing the problem may be as simple as pressing this button.
Garage Door Back-Up Batteries
Newer garage door opening systems also have a back-up battery for opening the door in the event of a power failure. These batteries are often mounted near the opening devise above the door tracks in the ceiling area of the garage. Many have an LED display indicating the battery charge, and some make a sound when the battery is running low. (The remote may also start beeping or flashing a light when the battery is getting low.)
You can check if the back-up battery is working by unplugging the opener and checking whether the remote opens the door. If not, have the back-up battery changed by your garage door specialist. Replacing the battery yourself is also not hard, if you are comfortable getting up on a ladder and using a few simple tools.
A back-up battery is a good safety feature to have in the event of a power failure resulting from bad weather or a house fire. However, it is not possible to add one if the door was manufactured without this component. If your garage door does not have a back-up battery, consider having the opener system replaced with a more up-to-date model which includes this important safety feature. A new opener system with a back-up battery can usually be installed on an existing garage door.