Operator Issues

There are many different types of garage door motors/operators. The common drive systems include chain, belt, screw and direct drive.

  • Belt Drive: Most quiet drive available, virtually maintenance free and usually the preferred system for all motors.
  • Chain Drive: Not the most quiet, requires maintenance.
  •  Screw drive: Can be quiet, can also be noisy and requires maintenance. The noise level vastly depends upon the type of motor it is attached to. 
  • Direct drive/Chain Glide: Can be quiet, can also be noisy and requires maintenance. Again, the noise level depends on the type of motor it is attached too. 
  • Wayne Dalton i-drive: An uncommon system called the i-drive is a type of motor that is built onto the shaft that houses that internal springs on a TorqueMaster system. Although it is quiet, few companies (if any) carry repair parts for the units and will recommend to replace the entire system with a standard overhead motor. 

 As for the physical motor or head unit, there’s a multitude of options. Most units function in a similar way. There is the motor on the inside, which turns a plastic gear and sprocket, which then turns a pulley/sprocket on the top of the unit which bring the drive system back and forth raising and lowering your door. The issue with these is the plastic gear and sprocket, which tends to strip out on you and the replacements can be costly. There are units that have a direct motor-to-top-pulley system which eliminates the plastic gear and sprocket mechanism.  

  All units should have safety eyes on either side near the bottom of the grade door. Industry standard is that these cannot be mounted higher than six inches from the ground. If you do not have safety eyes at all, chances are your existing motor is outdated and should be replaced with a new one that does come with safety eyes. All professional companies SHOULD NOT repair an existing motor if it does not have these. They are only allowed to remove and replace the unit so that it is up to code, regardless of the issue with the motor or it’s other components. 

Troubleshooting Tips

Door won’t close unless you hold the wall button down:

Possible resolutions: Your safety eyes are not aligned or something is blocking one of them. Check your safety eyes and make sure that there is a solid illuminated light (usually red, green or orange). If one of the two safety eye lights are not illuminated, or blinking, there is an obstruction blocking their path, or possibly damage to the safety itself or its wiring. If you cannot adjust the safety eye properly to align it with the other, and the wiring looks intact, it’s time to call a repair company. 

My remotes don’t work and I’ve changed the battery already, or they work temporarily and then stop working again:

If you’ve changed the batteries in your remote, or maybe purchased a new one and you’re still experiencing issues, It’s probably the internal receiver inside the unit. There’s a few solutions; External receiver – This product bypasses your problematic internal receiver with an external receiver. It works just the same but does require a new remote. 

  If this does not take care of the issue, the problem is with the circuit board. Most of the time it is replaceable but they do not sell these at your local hardware store and usually have to be special ordered for your specific model of motor. It can take up to six weeks to special order a part from the manufacturer and the best solution at times can be to simply replace the entire unit. 

I hear my motor running but the door doesn’t go up or down.

First make sure your door is engaged to your motor. To do this go over to your door, and lift up if the door is down, or pull down if your door is up, and if it moves freely in either direction your door is disengaged from the trolley. Pull back on the red emergency release cord hanging down and move the door up/down until it engages and try operating the door again with your remote or wall button. 

If you’re positive the door is engaged the motor, and all you hear is the motor running but still nothing is happening in terms of door movement, you need to call a repair company. Most likely the gear and sprocket component and striped out, or another part and been damaged that needs to be repaired. 

Similarly, if you press the button to operate your door, and all you hear is a clicking noise coming from your motor, it’s likely the capacitor and blown.  If there is a rather unpleasant smell in your garage that was not there before and possibly a dark, thick liquid seeping out the housing of the motor, it is more than likely the capacitor. Luckily, they are relatively cheap to have replaced and usually the only component in the motor that will need to be changed out when they blow. This should bring an important question to mind though, why did my capacitor blow up? Capacitors usually blow up when the door is out of balance and the motor is working in overtime trying to bring your door up and down. They will overheat and then explode (which is not a safety hazard if you are in the garage, just try not to get the dark liquid on you or breathe in the smoke until it airs out). Another possibility is that you operated your door too many times in a row, especially if it’s an older unit. They can over heat if operated several times in a row without a break to cool down.