Posted by Tim Palmer – Garage Door Service Calls.

As the largest moving object in most homes, the garage door has several moving parts that must be properly maintained to ensure many years of trouble free operation.  Even with proper routine maintenance an unexpected event may occur creating the need to call in a professional…or, maybe not…

The following are three of the most common calls for service we receive.  We’ll explain each of them and whether or not they are something you can fix yourself or if you should call in a professional.

garage door service calls 1. My Remote Control (aka transmitter) has suddenly stopped working.

This seems simple, but there are a few questions to ask first to determine if you simply need to change the battery or if your transmitter stopped working for another reason.

If you have several transmitters and only one has stopped working, typically that unit would require a simple battery change.

If all of the transmitters stop working at the same time then there is most likely a different cause for the problem that will require further troubleshooting to determine the cause of the problem.

First, check to make sure that there is power going to the garage door opener.  This can be done by checking the circuit breaker or plugging in a power tool or some other device to the same outlet to see if it runs.

Make a note if your garage door is in the open or closed position.

  • If the door is in the open position and none of your transmitters are working, check the photo safety beams at the bottom of the garage door opening.  This is perhaps the most common issue when a customer calls because their door won’t close.  All garage door openers manufactured in 1993 or later will have photo safety beams for anti-entrapment protection.  If these beams are not aligned with one another, the garage door will not close from either the wall button or the remote controls.  Most sensors have indicator lights on them that burn solid when they are properly aligned.  Simply align the photo eyes and the opener (and transmitters) should operate properly.
  • If the door is in the closed position try the push button on the wall.  If the opener runs then the issue is with the transmitter/receiver system and it’s best to call in a professional to further analyze and remedy the problem.

Refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to test and troubleshoot transmitter issues.

garage door service calls 2. My garage door opens, but does not close unless I hold my finger on the wall button.

This is another extremely common call that we receive.  The best part is it’s usually very simple for the customer to fix without the need to have a service technician make a service call.

As we discussed above all openers 1993 and newer have anti-entrapment photo safety beams.  Although the intent of these devices is clear, sometimes they can be a nuisance when you’re in a hurry to get somewhere and your garage door won’t close.

  • If your garage door opens fine but will not close, the most common cause is an object is blocking the path of the photo eye beams or they are misaligned.  Refer to the tips above to re-align the photo eyes and/or refer to your owner’s manual for specific steps that pertain to your exact make/model of garage door opener.
  • If the photo eyes are aligned and the door will still not close then something else may be the cause.  Try operating the door manually to see if it’s binding or catching on something.  If that still doesn’t resolve the issue then it is best to call a properly trained service technician.

garage door service calls 3. When I try to open my door the motor sounds like it’s struggling or it only opens a short distance then stops.

Also a very common call, this is a scenario that is almost always caused by a broken spring.

All garage doors have counter balance springs which allow them to be operated with little effort either manually or with the use of an electric garage door opener.  When a spring breaks it causes the door to be out of balance thus increasing the operational weight of the door significantly.  AT NO TIME SHOULD YOU OPERATE A GARAGE DOOR WITH A BROKEN SPRING.

A garage door is the single largest moving object in most homes.  The raw weight of the door can be as little as 100 lbs. and as much as 900 lbs. or more.

If you determine that you have a broken spring, immediately contact a properly trained service technician to perform the repair.  Also, notify all members of your household so they do not attempt to open the door until it has been repaired.


DON’T PAY TOO MUCH!!!  Spring changes on sectional (roll up) garage doors should run between $250 – $395 depending on the size and weight of the door.  It is recommended to change out both springs (if applicable) to ensure proper balance of the door.

Overhead Door Company of Southern California provides professional installation and service of genuine Overhead Door® garage doors and openers.  We offer repair and maintenance of all makes and models of garage doors and openers.