When you're having trouble with your garage door opener functioning as intended, it's in your best interest to know how to troubleshoot those issues. In fact, there are two common malfunctions that you may be able to address on your own, saving you the call to your garage door technician.
Disengaged or Stuck Trolley
The garage door opener's motor uses an assembly that includes a chain or belt attached to a trolley. The trolley is usually attached to a red security rope that hangs below the opener. Pulling that rope disengages the trolley from the system. When you do that, the opener will no longer be able to move the door.
This rope is used as a way to disengage the system when there's a malfunction, allowing you move the door manually so that you can still use your garage. If you hit the button on the opener and you hear the motor hum for a couple of minutes though the door doesn't move, that's a key indication that this is the problem.
You can fix it by opening the door completely, then pulling that security rope again. It will re-engage the trolley and restore the door opener's function. If this doesn't correct the problem, it means that the trolley itself is stuck or jammed. These garage doors need a contractor's attention.
Travel Limit Issues
Garage door openers rely on a travel limit to tell the motor when to stop running. This is programmed so that the door only opens or closes to the proper level. If the garage door isn't opening or closing all of the way, that's a key indication that the travel limit setting needs to be adjusted.
Grab a ladder and set it on the garage floor directly beneath the opener assembly. Look for the adjustment screws marked "UP" and "DOWN" on the side of the garage door opener. Turn the "UP" adjustment screw in very small movements to adjust the door if it's only opening part of the way. Test the door again after each small adjustment to help you get it in the proper location. If the door isn't closing properly, you'll want to adjust the "DOWN" screw. Do it in the same manner until your garage door will close completely and open fully.
Most garage door openers function smoothly and evenly. If your garage door opener isn't getting the job done, check these two things before you call the service technician. If problems persist, you'll want to reach out to your garage door service technician for more help.