GARAGE DOOR WON’T STAY OPEN
Have you ever experienced a garage door that won’t stay open? It’s not fun. In fact, it is downright annoying and even dangerous. You might have the garage door open while you and the kids work and play during nice weather. All of a sudden it comes down, all on its own! Everyone scatters out of the way and good thing, too! Or, maybe you are having some furniture delivered and entering the house through the garage door just makes sense. The workers are in the midst of bringing in your new sofa when the garage door shuts; all by itself! What on earth can cause this strange garage door behavior?
Before you panic and start imagining the worst, be aware that the problem is most likely your springs. Here at Chamblee Garage Door we sometimes get frantic calls about garage door issues that get blamed on snapped cables, broken rollers and bent tracks. Often, the caller is simply guessing what the problem is. Unless a trained garage door repair specialist has a look at your door and its symptoms, there really is no way to really tell what the problem is but usually when a garage door won’t stay open, it the cause is a torsion or extension spring issue.
Don’t fix your springs!
What we really mean is don’t fix your own springs by yourself! Do it yourself projects might be all the rage lately but when it comes to spring repair or replacement it’s always best to leave it up to the pros who have the training, tools, skill and experience to do the job right and safely. Springs can be dangerous when damaged. This is especially true for extension springs. They pack a lot of power and when they snap, they can fly through windows, drywall and windshields with terrific power! You certainly don’t want to be in their way when they do that and every year, many injuries occur when well-meaning folks attempt do-it-yourself spring service.
Life cycle of springs
Here in Chamblee, GA our winters can get pretty cold. If your springs are already worn or older, they can be adversely affected by the frigid air surrounding them. In the garage door industry, spring life is measured in cycles instead of months or years. One garage door opening and one closing is counted as one cycle. Your extension springs usually last for around 10,000 cycles and if you have the torsion variety, they can last for about double that. Torsion springs also cost more than the extension ones but they last longer and are generally safer.
Try this spring test
An easy way to see if your garage door springs are damaged or not is to disconnect your door from the automatic opener system by pulling on the emergency cord dangling near the opener light. It’s the one that has the red knob at the end of the cord. Now, try and manually lift your door and notice how smooth (or not!) the ascent is. If your garage door is hard to lift and moves up with a choppy motion, it is likely that you have at least one damaged spring. If the ascent is smooth and somewhat easy, the problem is most likely your close limit switch.
Close limit switch issues
If your close limit switch is not working right, it can produce the same symptoms as faulty springs; a garage door that won’t stay open. Don’t panic; most times, you will be able to have your switch adjusted and not replaced. This switch is designed to limit the ascent of your garage door so that it reaches the correct height. If it is not adjusted correctly, the garage door will reach a certain point and then start to go back down again. The adjustment is easy to do as the opener motor has the switch on it. For best results be sure to check your owner’s manual for more details and proper adjustment instructions as there are a large varieties of openers in use. If you don’t have an owner’s manual, you can still consult the right one by looking it up online. Use your favorite search engine and enter the keywords that match your model number and maker along with the words owner’s manual and PDF. You can also search YouTube. They won’t have your owner’s manual online but they do have dozens of useful and easy to follow videos on how to make this adjustment.
Do you rent or own?
If you own your home, the upkeep and maintenance of your garage door are totally up to you. Try to find an experienced and licensed garage door repair shop to work with. Even if you don’t need their professional assistance now, it’s smart to have a reputable shop already picked out, just in case. Look for a shop that is licensed, bonded and insured. Another big plus is 24-hour emergency service. You never know when you might need it so it’s best to be proactive and select a shop that offers it. Affordable pricing and free price quotes are also somethings to keep an eye out for. It’s really worth your while to call around and find a local garage door repair company that you truly feel comfortable with. Many times, repairs and/or adjustments can be made on your own. Once in a while you may need to call in the pros so why not use the best in town?
If you are leasing your home, condo or apartment, your garage door repair bills may be covered. Be sure to check your lease for further details. Many lease agreements specify that all repairs below a certain dollar amount are the responsibility of the tenant. This limit may be as low as $25 and as high as $200, so be sure to check your lease for details. Sometimes the lease dictates that you pay the entire amount of the repair and the owner or property manager reimburses you at a later date. More often than not, you can get written estimates from 3 repair shops and the owner will pay the entire amount if it is above $50 or so.