Doors by Russ
Serving Illinois for over 40 Years

815.436.2450 or 630.961.0947


Having trouble with your garage door opener? Now’s the time to take care of any problems. Chances are good that come winter, you do not want to arrive home from work on a cold, dark evening and be stuck outside. Even in a mild climate like Chicago garage doors that can’t be closed securely will provide would-be intruders with easy access to your home. Troubleshoot the potential malfunction sources to figure out whether you can fix the opener yourself or you need to call in a professional. Even if you do need a pro, it will likely save time and money when you can describe the source of the trouble. Here is a troubleshooting guide to common garage door opener problems.

PROBLEM #1: The remote doesn’t work.

TROUBLESHOOT: If the door opens and closes fine when you use the wall switch, there’s a problem with the remote control. Make sure you are holding the remote within range of the garage door opener and that the motor unit’s antenna is hanging down. Replace the batteries in the device if necessary and check that it has been correctly programmed. Still not working? You might need to purchase a new remote; make sure that it is compatible with your opener, or select a universal model.

PROBLEM #2: The remote works, but the door still does not move.

TROUBLESHOOT: When the garage door opener does not work with either the remote or the wall switch, look at the lights. If they’re not on, the unit is not receiving power. Verify that the motor unit is connected. See whether the outlet is working and check the circuit breaker, fuse or ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to determine whether you have an electrical problem on your hands.

After you’ve checked out the electricity, investigate the emergency release chain. Pull the chain to disengage the carriage and allow the garage door to function independently of the opener. Then attempt to open the door manually.

PROBLEM #3: The door either doesn’t close fully or reverses as soon as it hits the floor.

TROUBLESHOOT: Have a look at the close limit switch. It may need adjustment. If this doesn’t solve the problem, try manually raising and lowering your garage door to make sure that it is binding.

PROBLEM #4: The door opens and closes all the way, but the opener’s motor continues to run.

TROUBLESHOOT: Once again, this probably means that the close limit switch requires adjustment. Experiment with moving it away from the motor unit.

PROBLEM #5: The door reverses before it even touches the floor.

TROUBLESHOOT: Check whether there is any obstruction blocking the door’s smooth closure. If not, try adjusting the close force.

PROBLEM #6: The opener stops in the middle of operation or fails to engage at all.

TROUBLESHOOT: As of 1993, garage door openers come equipped with a pair of sensor beams. These increase safety but may sometimes cause performance problems. Ensure that both beam lights are on (one red and one green) and that nothing is interfering with their function. This could be one of several things: improper alignment of the sensors, a physical object between them, or grime or moisture on their surface.

Problem #7: The garage door won’t open or close.

Solution: If your garage door won’t open or close and you’ve got an electric opener, check your keypad first and find out if your opener is functioning. You might need to have the opener reprogrammed.

Problem #8: The garage door sticks when opening or closing.

Solution: If the garage door sticks, the metal rollers and hinges probably needs lubricating. The tracks may also be dirty, clogged or out of alignment.

Problem #9: Garage door opener does not operate with either the remote or the wall switch.

Solution: The power source has probably been disrupted. Make sure the motor unit is plugged in. Check the circuit breaker, fuse, or GFCI

Problem #10: Garage door won’t close all the way.

Solution: The close limit switch needs adjusting. If not, see if the door is binding when raised and lowered manually.

Problem #11: Garage door reverses immediately after hitting floor.

Solution: The close limit switch probably needs adjusting.

Problem #12: Garage door reverses before hitting floor.

Solution: The close force probably needs adjusting.

Problem #13: Garage door does not open completely.

Solution: The open limit switch may need to be moved toward motor unit. Please call for assistance.

Problem #14: The garage door opens, but the motor won’t stop running.

Solution: The limit switch probably needs to be moved away from the motor unit. Please call for assistance.

Problem #15: The garage door won’t open or close with remote control.

Solution: There are several possible solutions: (1) Move closer to the door (you might be out of range); (2) Make sure that the antenna on the motor unit is hanging down; (3) If the door functions fine with the wall switch, replace the battery in the remote; (4) Reprogram the remote.