If your residential garage door is not working properly, it's often best to have repair work done by a professional rather than trying to tackle it yourself. Even lightweight vinyl garage doors are very heavy, and any spring holding a door also holds lots of tension, so it can be dangerous if not downright deadly when snapped. It can also be a bit tricky to understand exactly what is wrong with a garage door, and a poor quality repair job can mean added wear and tear on the motor and gears of the door. If you do want to tackle this work on your own; however, note a few troubleshooting tips to keep in mind as you work on garage door repairs.
Remote works but wall switch doesn't
If you can operate the garage door with the remote but not with the wall switch, this is usually a problem with the wiring inside the switch. The wall switch will be directly wired to the motor of the garage door opener, and if these wires become corroded or separated from those operating mechanisms, the motor will not receive a signal from the switch. You can often remove the wall switch and test the wires with a power meter and note if they are conducting electricity, and replace them if their power is low or if you notice outright corrosion.
New door doesn't operate
You may need to upgrade the wiring if you've replaced the garage door motor or the door itself. A larger and heavier door may draw more power through those wires, and older wires may not be able to deliver that power as needed. This can be especially true if you've upgraded to specialty features, such as a programmable door that closes after a certain amount of time, or one with added locks along the tracks. These features will also require more power that may not be supported by old wiring, so upgrading that wiring can often fix these issues.
Motor makes noises but door doesn't operate
If you can hear the motor of the garage door opener humming, then you know it's getting power; if it doesn't operate the door, there is probably a worn gear inside the motor. These gears work with each other to pull the chain or spring that actually raises and lowers the door. If a gear's teeth wear out, it may spin but not move other pieces of the garage door opener assembly. Changing the gear can allow the door to be operational again.