Openers are a "working horses" of your entire garage door assembly, and for obvious reasons, they often do break. Most homeowners usually call a garage door technician, and the whole thing gets swapped out for a new one. However, some DIYers prefer to repair it instead of throwing away an opener which might be easy to fix. In this post, we'll show you how to dig dipper into the issue and how to repair a garage door opener.
As a safety precaution, before you start doing anything to your opener, make sure the door is fully closed, and your garage door opener is unplugged. Once you verify it's not connected to any power source, you can start unscrewing the back panel. In this particular example, we work with Chamberlain Opener which has two larger size screws at the top and a single smaller screw at the bottom.
Once you're done removing the back cover, you'll imminently get access to your opener's internal components. At this stage, there are a few things you might want to look for.
1. Take a look at the main circuit board, see if there are any signs that it's fried. If you had a lightning strike in your area, that might be the cause. Usually, you'll be able to feel a distinct smell, and you'll see a burned area of the board. In that case, you can try to find the whole back assembly on eBay and replace the entire thing.
2. Try to locate the antenna wire that is attached to the circuit board. Sometimes it's getting loose and falls off completely, so your opener doesn't get the signal from the remote. If that's the case, you're lucky, and it's a straightforward fix, reattach it back to the board, and the issue is solved.
3. Find your capacitor and look for any signs of damage or leak. This one can be tricky. The capacitor might not show any signs of external damage but can be the primary cause of the problem. Think of them as a sophisticated battery that gives the opener a burst of energy to operate your garage door. Capacitor itself isn't expensive and can be easily changed, make sure you buy the right one. It might be a good Idea to disconnect and bring it to your local electronics store so they can sell you the one that'll work with your opener.
4. Inspect the gears. Usually, those made out of plastic, and they wear out. If you see lots of ground plastic residue all over the gears, that might be a sign that your opener's gears should be replaced. You can also buy a complete gear replacement kit online. But there might be another issue you're not aware of. Sometimes the fact that your gears are damaged can be a result of another potential problem, with your garage door spring. You see, the primary purpose of the spring is to take off the weight of the door, so your opener doesn't have to work as hard while opening or closing your garage door. If the spring isn't doing its primary job correctly, your opener has to work harder, which can result in damaged gears.
You can perform a simple test to see if your garage door spring isn't performing well. There is a safety cord attached to the top rail, make sure your door is completely closed and then pull that cord to disconnect the door from the opener. Now, if your spring is OK, you should be able to lift your entire door easily with your hand, once you release it, it should not go back down. Instead, your door should stay in half closed position. If your garage door goes back down all the way, it's time to replace your springs.
5. Check the shaft and the gear that goes down from your chain or belt. Sometimes if the chain is too tight, it might bring too much pressure on the shaft and cause additional damage, those parts can be replaced along with internal gears as they usually come in one kit.
6. Lastly, check your garage door sensors connection, sometimes those can come out, and your sensors won't work. Usually, you can press on these little pins and insert the wires dipper into the openings, that should do the trick.
We hope this quick DIY guide was able to provide you with some useful tips for troubleshooting and eliminating most common garage door opener issues. We at Calgary Garage Door Fix acknowledge that calling a technician is not always the most affordable solution, that's why we'll be providing you with more DIY tips on a regular basis. Please make sure to comment below with any questions you might have and always remember, even though an average DIYer can perform some repairs, safety should still be a number one priority, so if you have any doubts, call your local garage door repair professionals!