Troubleshooting Guide: How To Fix A Garage Door Opener That Works Intermittently

It can be frustrating to come home from work to find that your garage door refuses to open. Worse still, it’s happened a few times in a row, but on the day you plan to call for repair service, it suddenly works again. Those intermittent malfunctions in your garage door opener could have several sources. Here are some common causes for unpredictable garage door operation, plus a few troubleshooting tips you can try.

customer frustrated with garage opener that isn't working

Common Garage Door Issues

If your garage doors work sometimes but not always, check out the usual suspects:

  • Remote device. Your remote-control device may have a low or depleted battery. Two years is a typical lifespan for a garage door remote battery.
  • Physical obstruction. The receiving antenna on the door opener be damaged or covered in debris.
  • Garage door lock. It’s easy to hit the lock button accidentally on your garage door’s operation panel.
  • Lost connection. Sometimes, the remote may seem to be worn out, but it may have simply lost the programming that enables it to connect with the door opener.
  • Signal interference. Radio frequency (RF) interference may disrupt the connection between your remote control and the transmitter on the garage door opener. It can happen if another nearby electronic device is operating on the same frequency. If your remote device works close up but not further away, RF interference could be the culprit.
  • Receiver board malfunction. If you have problems operating the door from both the remote device and the wall-mounted panel, the issue may be with the receiver board.
  • Damaged electrical wiring. The wiring connecting the safety sensor and wall panel to the garage door opener’s motor can come disconnected or sustain damage.

These issues are often easy to correct if you know what to do.

frayed electrical wires

Practical Troubleshooting Tips

You may be able to save yourself the cost of a service call with these DIY troubleshooting tips:

  • Replace the batteries. Your first resort should always be to change the batteries. If you call a technician, they’ll likely ask you if you’ve tried this solution first.
  • Check the antenna. Inspect the door opener’s receiving antenna for debris or damage. A simple wipe-down with a dry cloth may be sufficient to remove the obstruction.
  • Check the operation panel. The lock button on the garage door’s operation panel should toggle on and off. Try hitting the button once, then go outside and try the remote control again.
  • Reprogram the remote control. Find the “learn” button on your garage door opener. Press and hold it until you see a flashing light on the door opener. Now, try opening and closing your garage door with the remote.
  • Eliminate RF interference. Search your home for potential sources of radio frequency interference, such as security lights, battery chargers, and wireless doorbells. Unplug one device at a time and check your garage door’s operation while that device is disconnected. You can learn more about dealing with RF interference in this blog.
  • Reset the receiver board. First, unplug the garage door opener and disconnect the two motor wires, then reconnect the power. Clear the memory and reprogram all your remote devices. Now, unplug it once more and reconnect the two wires. Finally, try using a remote control to operate the door.
  • Attach the external wiring. Check the photo eye unit on the sensor to see whether any wires have become disconnected or cut. To repair a cut wire, remove the insulation from the wire and reattach it. Ensure that the wires are attached the appropriate terminals on the back of the motor. Take care not to leave any wires exposed, frayed, or pinched.

If your garage door continues to work inconsistently after you’ve tried these tips or if you’re uncertain about fiddling with your garage door opener’s components, you don’t have to lose precious time. Sometimes your best bet is to let the experts figure it out.

Creative Door technician to the rescue fixing an opener

When In Doubt, Call In The Professionals!

Some jobs are best handled by pros with the tools and know-how to spot a problem and correct it safely. Creative Door Services™ offers professional repair and replacement services. Consider enrolling in our residential planned maintenance program to take the guesswork out of garage door upkeep. We’ll send a technician to check your garage door’s components, carry out routine maintenance tasks, and advise you if your system needs a significant repair job.

Professional Garage Door Repairs For Western Canadian Homes

From installation to repairs and maintenance, trust Creative Door Services™ for industry-leading service and personalized attention. Contact us today to schedule a service call. We’re happy to serve you from eight locations in Kelowna, British Columbia; Vancouver, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta; Edmonton, Alberta; Fort McMurray, Alberta; Regina, Saskatchewan; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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