Garage door manufacturers are starting to include safety eyes and reversing mechanisms on every garage door opener, making garages safer for every home owner. Garage door manufacturers are now required by law to exercise safety measures. This legislation should reduce the number of home accidents associated with garage doors.As of 1993, all residential garage door openers are equipped with photo sensors usually located approximately 4 to 6 inches from the ground on each vertical track. One of the photo cells sends a signal to the other that there is no obstruction and the door is clear to close. But if the photo cells are out of alignment or something is blocking its path (such as a garbage can or child’s toy), the opener will make an attempt to close but will reverse and open up again and the light will begin flashing. Note: If you have no bulb in the operator, you will hear a clicking instead.
The most common reason for a garage door not to open is a broken spring. Whether you have an extension spring system or the more common torsion spring system, these springs do all of the lifting. The operator only pulls the door back. If you have a broken spring you probably heard the big bang and wondered, “What the heck was that?” Fortunately, these springs most often give way when they are loaded, meaning the door is in the down position.
Pressing the wall switch to open the door will only strip the drive gear and add additional cost to your repair. Look above the door and see if you have a broken spring. If you have a broken spring, it’s time to call your friendly neighbourhood garage door technician to install a new spring. If it doesn’t look like a broken spring, it may be the force sensitivity, another safety feature.
The operator is adjusted to open or close with about 15 lbs. of pressure if the spring has lost some of its strength, or if the door has become heavier due to moisture retention in a composite panel wood door. The operator is struggling to lift and will stop dead in its tracks. It may only need a simple adjustment or a general service and spring adjustment. Door # One offers all of these services.
Unlike the photo cells which only reverse the door when it is closing, the force sensitivity mechanisms will not only reverse the door when it is closing, it will also stop the door dead in its tracks when the door is trying to open. There could be a number of reasons the door is jamming up or it could be in the operator itself. The factory setting is about 15 lbs. It’s best to have a technician have a look at both the door and operator.
The drive gear in the operator may be stripped. Over time the machine gets worn and if it has been lifting a heavy, out of balance door, it’s quite possible the drive gear is stripped. It doesn’t take much to strip the nylon gear. It is made from nylon rather than steel because it’s safer to have the gear strip than to overheat the machine, possibly causing a fire. Call a qualified technician. If you can get your car out by using the manual release, just be sure your door is balanced properly and stays up by itself.