shutterstock_1589767When your automatic garage door won’t open, there’s a high likelihood that the problem is electrical rather than mechanical. Mechanical problems tend to give you some warning signs before the door stops working completely. There are a number of possible reasons for an automatic garage door to suddenly refuse to open. If you should find yourself stuck outside your garage with an impotent remote in your hand, try the following checks before calling in the repair guys.

1: Check Vacation Mode

Someone may have inadvertently switched your automatic door opener into “lock” or “vacation” mode. If so, your door will not open in response to the remote. If the door is not in lock or vacation mode, move on to the next check.

2: Test the Remote Battery

If the battery in your remote control is getting low, the automatic garage door opener unit may not receive a signal from the remote. Go into your garage (via the internal door from your home) and check for a red blinking light on the garage door opener housing. If the light is blinking, press the “open” button on your remote control. If the door opens, move further from the control unit and press the “close” button. If there is no response from the door, you know your battery is getting low and is only sending a weak signal. Replace the battery and your door should open and close just fine from outside.

If the door doesn’t open or close even when you are close to the control unit or the red light is not blinking, replace your remote battery and then test the door again. If the door still won’t respond to the remote control after you have replaced the battery, move on to the next check.

3: Test the Wiring

If you look closely, you will see that there are two fine wires running from the garage door control unit to the internal switch, which is normally located near to your internal garage door. There will be two more wires running from the control unit to each of the electric eyes at either side of your garage door, near the bottom.

You will need to test all the connection points, do this by wiggling one wire at a time while pressing the “open” button on your remote control. In total you will be testing two wires at the wall switch, four wires at the control unit and two wires at each of the electric eyes. If the door opens while you are wiggling any of the wires and pressing the “open” button, you will know that the wire you are wiggling is loose.

Shut off the power to your automatic garage door. Use a screwdriver to tighten the loose wire at its connection terminal and then turn the power back on. You should find your door will now open when you operate the remote control.

If you still can’t get your garage door to respond to your remote control after following all the above checks, it might just be time to call in a local garage door installation/repair service. The technician will be able to identify any more complex problem with your automatic garage door and get it back in working order for you.