An automatic garage door opener can be more than just a useful tool when the weather outside is frightful. Still, many homeowners take it for granted and will only pay more attention to its function when it starts to play up. If you have found that your garage door seems to have a life of its own and, instead of closing, will only go so far before retreating, what could be the issue and how can you fix it as soon as possible?
If the door appears to be moving quite freely of its own accord but will not complete its operation, then the fault can typically be traced to the photo beam sensors. These sensors are placed on each side of the garage and usually towards the bottom of the guiding rail. Their job is to sense if anything is in the way, stop the door in its tracks and (most often) make sure that it reverses to the top. Of course, this solution will provide an additional level of safety so that the door does not crush anything or anyone on its way. Should an object of any kind break the beam between one side and the other, then this will automatically cut off power to the closing mechanism and reverse the entire process.
These sensors are tiny and quite vulnerable due to their location. Leaves or other debris might have blown in from the street or a spider's web may partly cover them. Before you go any further, therefore, ensure that you remove any obstructions and that one eye can see its counterpart.
Out Of Sync
You may be able to tell if specific models are out of synchronisation if a light is flashing. This warning typically means that the sensors cannot 'see' each other and you may need to readjust. You might be able to do this by yourself if the model fitted to your garage has adjustment screws. Carefully move the sensor that is flashing until it registers with its counterpart, at which time the light should stop flashing, and you might be back to normal.
What to Do Next
If this doesn't help, however, you may have issues with the wiring or may need to replace the sensors altogether. Have a look at the electrical wires that come out of the back of each sensor and see if you can notice any damage. If you do, you need to call in a repair specialist, and they may be able to repair the wiring or replace as needed. If you want more information, speak with a garage door repair professional.