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  • How to Handle an Unresponsive Garage Door

    Garage Door Repair

    If you find yourself trying to get to work and your garage door won’t open, don’t panic. When your garage door becomes unresponsive, there are some things you can try to get working before you call for help.

    Emergency Cord

    Before you troubleshoot the garage door, you need to get it open and move your car. Use the emergency cord to open the door. This cord is usually red so that it is easy to spot. It connects the flywheel that opens the garage door.


    Make sure the transmitter has power. If the transmitter does not respond, check the circuit breaker. A blown breaker will cause the transmitter to lose power. Reset the breaker. If it continues to blow, have an electrician replace the breaker.

    If the transmitter has power, ensure it can open the door without the remote. Press the transmitter; if it works, your next step is to use the remote control.

    Remote Control

    If the transmitter is not communicating with the garage door remote control, it won’t open the door. There are a few things you can check with the remote control.

    • Batteries: Replace the batteries on the remote. If this fixes the door, replace the batteries in all the remote controls. This is proactive because all the remotes were probably set up at or around the same time.
    • Reprogram the remote: The remote control may need reprogramming. Your owner’s manual will have the instructions, or you can check the garage manufacturer’s website.
    • New remote: If the batteries are good and the transmitter has power, you may need a new remote control. You can purchase a universal remote control and follow the instructions for programming it to your door.

    Photo Sensor

    If the garage door is open and not responding, you may have a problem with the photo sensors. Photo sensors prevent the garage door from closing if there is anything in the line of the sensors. If this mechanism is out of alignment, the doors will not close. Wipe the sensors down to remove any debris that is engaging the sensors.

    Mechanical Issues and Broken Parts

    If you have tried the simple steps and the garage door is still not responding, the issue is probably mechanical or part-related, such as:

    • Broken springs or cables: These are major components of the garage door and, over time, may wear out and need to be replaced.
    • Broken gear drive: If the door sounds like it is trying to open but nothing is moving, the gear drive should be checked and replaced.
    • Bad circuit board on the motor: If you get no response from any component, the circuit board may be bad.
    • Damaged tracks and rails: The tracks and rails may have one or more issues preventing the door from opening; they could need to be oiled or be out of alignment.

    These repairs are normally more than you should attempt on your own. You should call a professional garage door installer.

    If your garage door isn’t responsive and you have tried everything possible, contact Universal Garage Door Repair today. Our professionals are responsive and trained to find a solution.

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