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Troubleshooting common outdated garage door opener problems

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The garage is a valuable part of your home, allowing the space to store your vehicle in a secure location out of the weather. It is also gives you the possibility to transition from your car to inside your house in certain conditions as bad weather. The garage is made functional by its door, and the modern garage door has one other element of convenience: the garage door opener.

While garage door openers have life expectancy of 10 to 12 years, they can occasionally have problems that compromise functionality, especially when the unit is outdated. Any issues should be immediately addressed in order to protect the remaining life of your automatic opener and your door. Here are a few common problems with old garage door openers and their solutions:

The garage door tries to close but quickly retracts
Every garage door opener that was manufactured after 1993 was required to have integrated electronic eyes or sensors for safety. You should install the sensors in both sides of the door, about 4 to 6 inches from the ground. If anything gets in the way of these sensors, the garage door will not shut.
With older garage door openers, these electronic eyes can become damaged or not function because the lenses are clouded. In case your garage door is about to close, but when it hit the button it immediately retracts, the sensors are probably damaged or the lenses are no longer clear enough to determine that the way is clear for closing.
Sensors can be replaced if they are in bad shape. However, if you think there is nothing wrong with the casing or positioning of the sensors, you may be able to rectify the situation by cleaning the lenses.

The circuit breaker to the opener continuously trips
Your garage door opener operates by an electrical current, so it is attached to a circuit breaker in the electric panel. If you see that your opener is not operating with the remote or even with the manual switch, it is possible that the circuit breaker is tripped. Unfortunately, if you have an outdated unit, this could become a continuous problem.
Older garage door openers can develop a short circuit after years of operation. If it happens, the circuit breaker will trip to protect the wiring and the unit from overheating continuously. Because fixing this issue will involve a careful examination of the unit’s wiring, this is not necessarily a DIY task.
What you can do, however, is test the opener for a short circuit by using a multimeter, which you can get for about $20 at about any home improvement store. To see if it is closed or open, the multimeter tests the circuit. This test will tell you if something is askew within the unit so you know if you need to call in professional assistance.

The garage door opener won’t stop running
You hit the button on your opener and the door opens as expected, but the motor continues to run like the door still hasn’t opened. This issue tends to happen when the up-limit switch of the automatic opener is malfunctioning. This switch is designed to carry the motor to the necessary point for door opennig and then shut down.
If the motor continues to run even after the garage door has fully opened, it can be fixed usually by calibrating the up-limit switch, like you had to do in the opener initial installation. Calibrating the up-limit switch is done in different ways according to the manufacturer of the opener. Consult your owner’s manual for instruction.
Your garage door will function without an automatic opener, but this one electrical feature makes your garage much more convenient to access. If you have automatic garage door opener issues, contact us at Garage Door Pros for assistance or advice you can count on.