Is Your Garage Remote Not Working From Outside?

Is Your Garage Remote Not Working From Outside?

Does your garage door remote work sometimes but fail to respond when you need it most? We understand that can be challenging, especially when you don’t know the cause of the malfunction. 

As one of your home’s most frequently used entrances, your garage door undergoes a lot of wear and tear, leading to occasional issues. However, if the defect occurs more than usual, we recommend you contact an expert immediately to resolve the problem. 

This comprehensive guide on troubleshooting your garage door remote and opener will teach you how the garage door remote works so you can understand what you’re dealing with. You’ll also learn how to resolve the problem when your garage door won’t open.

7 Tips for When Your Remote Won’t Open the Garage Door From Outside

Your garage door may have stopped working for various reasons. While you can fix most of these issues with minor adjustments, like changing the batteries, others may require closer attention.  

Problems with garage doors opening often start with the remote. Garage door remotes use radio technology to operate. The remote control is a transmitter, sending signals to the garage door opener’s built-in receiver. When you press the button, the remote transmits a radio signal specific to that remote. 

Any interruption within this process may prevent the garage door from working. Knowing the cause of the defect can help you determine what action you should take.

1. Check the Remote Battery

Garage door openers need a functioning battery to operate correctly. If the remote suddenly stops working, you may need to replace the battery. Signs that the battery needs a replacement include slow or intermittent responses as well as a failure to open altogether. 

Before you open the remote, test it by standing in different positions. If your remote has an LED light, press the buttons to see if it lights up. The opener’s motor unit is responsible for opening and closing the garage door — hold the remote next to the motor unit to see if it responds. 

If the remote’s LED light stays dark and the garage door ignores your instructions, check the manufacturer’s instructions to find what type of battery your remote needs. Replace the old batteries and test the remote again.

2. Check the Remote Signal

If your garage door won’t open with the remote even after changing the battery, the signal may be disrupted between the door sensor and the remote. There are several explanations for this: 

  • The remote control may be out of range. 
  • There might be an obstruction.
  • The remote’s antenna could be faulty.

Move close to the door to ensure you’re close enough for the remote’s signal to reach the sensor when you test the remote. If the remote still doesn’t work, remove any obstacles. Besides physical structures, electronic appliances emitting signals at the same frequency could also block the garage door from working. In rare cases, the radio interference could be from miles away.

You can perform the power down test for your home to find other devices competing with your garage door and locate the source of the interference:

  1. Use an extension cord to plug the opener into an electric outlet inside your home.
  2. Locate the circuit breaker box and shut down the power to your garage.
  3. Stand at various distances and test the remote to see if the range improves.
  4. If the range improves, unplug all devices in the garage. 
  5. Turn the breaker back on and plug in the devices one at a time to test if they reduce the remote’s range. 
  6. When you identify the devices causing the interference, remove them from the garage or purchase a garage door opener that operates on a different frequency. 

The last thing to do is check the antenna. See if the antenna points towards the door and ensure it’s still intact. Clean away any excess debris and try the remote again.

3. Check the LED Lights

LED lights may also disrupt the wireless signal from the remote control. Low-quality LED lights sometimes interfere with the frequency, causing the following problems:

  • The remote control or keypad closes the garage door but cannot open it.
  • The remote control only works when it’s close to the garage door opener.
  • The remote control fails to respond altogether.
  • You’re unable to program a new remote control or keypad.

Use bulbs within the recommended wattage and refer to the product manual for the correct size. You’ll also want to avoid halogen, short-neck or specialty light bulbs.

4. See if the Lock Button Is Engaged

If your garage door has a control panel mounted on the wall, there may be a lock button that prevents it from opening. It’s common to accidentally engage the lock feature or forget that you’ve turned it on intentionally. Check the lock system on the control panel and try opening the door with the remote. 

5. See if the Remote Is Damaged

While durable garage door remotes can last a long time and survive several falls and impacts, they aren’t indestructible. Some damages are easy to ascertain, especially when the remote physically breaks. It could also be that the defect is on the inside. 

While you may be able to fix some faults, it’s often best to replace your remote control. Keep the new remote away from intense weather conditions that could affect it, and always position it safely to avoid falls.

6. Reset the Remote

If your garage door is not opening, regular usage may have caused the remote to disengage from the opener. Reprogram the remote control to fix this problem:

  1. Locate the “learn” button on the opener, on the same side as the antenna — you may have to remove the light lens to access it.  
  2. Press the button (don’t hold down for longer than several seconds as it will erase all previously programmed remotes/keypads). 
  3. Within 30 seconds, press the button you wish to program and hold for three seconds, then release. 

When the LED lights turn off, and the garage door’s operator lights start to blink, the reprogramming is successful. You can now test the remote to see if it works.

7. Check for Wiring Malfunction 

Power surges may cause door control wiring malfunction. To test the wiring’s quality:

  1. Unplug the openers and disconnect the wires from the control panel and motor.
  2. Reconnect the machine and wipe the memory.
  3. Reprogram the remote controls, then reconnect the motor and control panel.
  4. Test the door with the remote to see if it works.

Contact a professional to inspect and diagnose the opener’s circuit board. 

3 Other Reasons Your Garage Won’t Open From Outside

Although people often blame the remote control, there may be other reasons your garage door won’t open. Let’s consider these three common issues:

1. Broken Spring

The garage door could be too heavy to open if you have a broken spring. Broken springs strain your opening mechanism and make the door difficult to open or close safely.

Replacing your springs is the best solution. For safe and proper installation, you should always contact a professional.

2. Broken Cable

Garage door cables contribute to the door’s counterbalance system and need regular maintenance. A weak cable may cause the door not to close entirely on one side or jerk or make noise when you operate it. When the cable snaps, one side of the door may lift while the other stays closed. If the door is unresponsive, then it could be that the door is too heavy to open with only one cable. 

Contact your local, trained garage door cable professionals to help you fix the problem and bring your garage door back to life.

3. Stripped or Broken Gear

You may press the remote and hear a humming sound from your garage door opener, but nothing happens. Although you don’t see any movement, the noise indicates that the motor is turning. In this case, you likely have a stripped or broken gear. 

White shavings on the floor beneath the opener or inside the garage door case will confirm that you need to replace the gear. Most gears include instructions and grease packets to assist you with the installation.

Contact Whitby Garage Doors for Your Garage Door Repairs!

Garage doors remote systems offer convenient access to your property. It’s therefore essential to ensure they’re working at all times. It’s common to have occasional malfunctions, but when the defects prevail, troubleshooting may be able to get your door working again. If the problem persists and your garage still won’t open from the outside, consult a trusted professional instantly.

Whitby Garage Doors is a local garage door company serving Whitby, Ajax, Bowmanville, Brooklin, Coburg, Newcastle, Oshawa, Pickering, Port Hope, Port Perry and Uxbridge. We deliver quality services at competitive prices. Do you have a challenge concerning your garage door? Contact us today and take advantage of our reliable services.

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