Home Maintenance: Garage Door Won’t Open All The Way

A malfunctioning garage door can be a pain especially when you are late, and all you need is to get the car and drive. A series of features are combined to make your garage door function properly.

When the door doesn’t work properly, it is an indication that one or more of the features has malfunctioned. Here are some common problems that can hinder your garage door from opening all the way:


​The power source can sometimes be the primary problem. When you are troubleshooting why your door is not opening all the way the power source is the first place you want to start.

​The voltage powering your door may be less or no power at all. Check the main power source to see if the door is plugged in then follow the circuit to ensure that there is proper continuity of current.

Use a meter to check if the voltage reaching the door is the right one. Other things to check when inspecting your power source are your fuses and circuit breakers.​

The cables can be dangerous if broken or loose. It is good to examine the condition of your cables when troubleshooting the problem. Sometimes broken or loose cables interrupt the circuit flow causing the malfunction.​

2. Blocked photo eye

This one of the common problems that will prevent your garage door from opening all the way.

Photo-eye is a pea sized sensor that is responsible for automatically opening or closing your garage door.

It is typically placed 4 to 6 inches off the ground, and it has a laser that shoots at a given distance.

The signal can be interrupted if something blocks the laser making impossible for it to open or close your garage door. When trouble shooting check if dirt or anything ha clogged the eye or if the cable connecting the eye is broken.

3. Faulty transmitters

Different garage door models have different ranges in which they operate within. When your door is new, you might be out of range for the door to operate so check the manufacturer’s guidebook to see the range.

When you have been using the door, and all over sudden it does not open all the way then you may want to check your antenna and transmitters. The antenna has to be in an open space that can receive signals from your transmitter.

Sometimes the batteries are worn out, and you need to replace them. Try changing your transmitter batteries before troubleshooting further.

4. Broken door springs

Your garage door is fitted with heavy duty torsion springs that do all the heavy lifting when it comes to opening and closing your garage door.

The door comes with 1 or 2 torsion springs and when either is broken it becomes a struggle to open or close the door.

The spring breaks with a bang and if you’re within you will hear a loud sound from your garage door. You will need the right tools to replace the springs but if you do not have them then call for a technician because it ca be messy.

However, this is the last thing you troubleshoot for when your garage door is not opening all the way because it is a bit rear.

5. Active Disconnect switch

This is like the emergency switch that allows you to manually operate your garage door in case of low voltage or no power. When the Disconnect switch is turned on it restricts all the automatic operation and disables the sensors.

Check if the Disconnect switch is off before calling for a professional that will charge you a service fee for something you could have done. The Disconnect switch varies depending on the model you are using, and you will have to refer to your manual if you want to locate your Disconnect switch.

6. Adjust your door’s sensitivity

This is a common problem to old or newly installed garage doors. If the sensitivity is above or below the recommended level your door will give you problems opening or closing. Each manufacturer provides the sensitivity range in the manual; reset the sensitivity to see if your door will function properly.

7. Adjust your door’s track

Your garage door has a defined path that aids in the smooth opening and closing. When your door does not open all the way, it may be due to a foreign object in the track, a bend, or space between the track and rollers that is stopping the door.

To troubleshoot for misalignment observe the door when you are opening or closing. When you hear a rubbing noise or a slight pause in your door’s movement, then you will have to do an alignment repair.


These are some of the reasons that may prevent your garage door from opening all the way. However, other technical reasons may cause such as a faulty motor or broken rollers.

Troubleshooting is the hardest part but if you know the problem it is easy to decide if you will do the repair yourself or call a professional. Whatever you choose, you have to be careful because garage doors are heavy and can cause serious accidents.

I am Vera Watson. Drawing The House is a dream that was conceived when I saw a niche in consumer guide on almost everything in our homes. My main aim is to help you save money by testing the products you need and recommending you the best of them all. I believe in the family as an institution and the first way to make a family happy is providing the best for them.

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