Whether you call it a garage opener, clicker, button, clicky-thing, or door opener, the device you use to open and close your garage door is a handy and essential tool. We understand how frustrating it can be when these remote operators stop working out of nowhere. While we all enjoy the convenience provided by these devices, we understand that when they fail you might be confused as to what the proper path of action should be. In case your garage door remote doesn’t open, here’s a list of ten tips to follow to help move you towards the direction you need to be going.
A. Check the Battery
This should remain obvious. Batteries degrade over time. Look at whatever battery is already present in the remote, and look for any signs of battery corrosion. Replace as needed with the correct battery type, and test to see if it works. If it doesn’t, move on towards the below tips.
B. Look at the Battery Terminals
These can get loose over time as the batteries get replaced. Try pinching the terminals together to help strengthen and tighten the connections between the terminal and battery in order to make sure both poles of the battery are maintaining proper contact with the channeling devices. If the terminals are dirty or corroded with battery acid or dirt, clean them with a small abrasive emery board before you install a brand new battery.
C. Try reprogramming your remote
Brand new remote models won’t carry the need to be reprogrammed time to time, but many older models do. If you tried replacing the battery and it didn’t work, reprogram it – older models might not retain the memory once the battery is changed. Refer to the manual that came with the remote in order to find out how to reprogram it- and if you don’t have the physical manual, do a Google search – many of these are available online.
D. Check if buttons are stuck together.
Just as batteries can degrade and corrode over time, buttons on remotes can become clogged with dirt, skin cells, or other particulate matter – especially if it’s dropped in the road or driveway. If the button sticks when you press it, try running a light Q-Tip soaked in alcohol around the edges of the button to see if it helps degrade whatever is sticking it together- don’t use too much! If this doesn’t work, it might be time to get a replacement for your remote.
E. Check the lens for dirt
The safety sensors on the garage might collect accumulating dirt or cobwebs over time since they are often placed in an out-of-the way area by the ceiling. Any dirt obscuring the lens of the sensor can make it very difficult for the remote to register it’s signal with the sensor. Use a soft dry rag or tissue to wipe off the sensor until it’s clean, and try again.
F. Check to see if a wire is broken or has shorted.
Make sure to check the internal garage sensor to see that all wires are still firmly attached – if the ends of the wires look degraded or rusty, cut off the damaged area, and pull back the plastic coating to see if there’s enough clean undamaged wire to reattach it to the eye of the sensor. You can track the wires from the sensor eye to its ceiling power source, seeing if there’s any breaks made by holes or staples in the wiring – any faulty wiring will need to be replaced.
G. Make sure the sensors are aligned properly
Proper alignment is shown by the blinking LED light on the sensor’s ‘eye’ – they are maintained by being held with a metal bracket, and can get knocked out of alignment quite easily. Try making the bracket tighter, and wiggle the sensor. If the light comes back on, it probably worked. This should always be done according to the particular construction of your LED sensor – refer back to your owner’s manual.
H. Check for Power Surges or Power Loss
Lighting, blackouts, or other forms of power outages can override the very thin circuitry in the powerhead of your sensor or even wall fuses. Power surges can travel throughout the wiring of your home, even if it happens in another area of your house. If you think that your house may have been hit by lightning, the best thing to do is to contact a professional.
Investigate potential Sunlight Damage
If the sun shines directly into the sensor’s eye, it can damage it. The sensor will start thinking that there’s a weird obstruction causing the garage door to suddenly reverse or stop moving at all. Try changing the location of the sensor to a shaded, but visible area, and try again.
J. Search for Water Damage
This is a common occurrence in basements or garages without proper insulation – rain or condensation can form, and the moisture can damage any circuit boards. Water damage is indicated with brown stains onto the circuit board – try repairing any water leaks that you have, reinforcing them with weather sealant around the entire perimeter of the garage’s door in order to prevent more damage from happening in the future.