Troubleshooting Guide: When Your Garage Door Stops Opening

When you’re rushing out the door, the last thing you need is your garage door deciding to take a break mid-way. It’s a common problem, yet it can be incredibly frustrating. Why does your garage door stop when opening?

There could be a multitude of reasons behind this. It could be as simple as a misalignment of the photo-eye or as complex as a problem with the opener’s circuit board. Understanding the potential causes is the first step to finding a solution.

Key Takeaways

  • Misalignment or blockage of the photo-eye component can make your garage door stop midway. A simple cleaning or adjustment might resolve the issue.
  • Worn out or broken torsion springs, which provide force to lift the door, can be another reason your garage door stops. Regular inspections and timely replacements are crucial.
  • If the opener’s circuit board is malfunctioning, it may cause the door to behave erratically. Professional examination and possible replacement are necessary in this case.
  • A bent track or a track with obstructions could also cause the garage door to stop midway. Regular maintenance and cleaning can prevent such issues.
  • Improper settings on the door opener controlling how far the door opens and how much force is used might lead to the door not opening all the way. Checking and adjusting these settings can rectify the problem.
  • Lastly, misaligned or dirty safety sensors can cause the garage door stoppages. Regular cleaning and proper alignment will help ensure smooth operation. For more complex issues such as faulty wiring or power source within the sensors, professional help may be required.

If your garage door suddenly stops working, understanding how to troubleshoot the issue is crucial. Open Sesame Garage Doors offers a detailed troubleshooting guide for when your garage door won’t open or close correctly. For a broader perspective on common problems, The Home Depot provides a comprehensive guide on diagnosing issues like opener failures or alignment problems. Best Overhead Doors further explores specific opener issues and how to handle them effectively.

Common Causes of Garage Doors Stopping Midway

Navigating the complexities of a malfunctioning garage door can be tricky, yet it’s essential to understand possible reasons behind their odd behavior. If your garage door stops midway, there could be a variety of culprits, ranging from mechanical issues to electrical faults.

Firstly, consider the photo-eye component. The photo-eye, located on either side of the garage door about 4-6 inches off the ground, ensures that the path for the door is clear. If misaligned or blocked by debris, the garage door may stop or reverse mid-way to prevent accidents. A simple cleaning or adjustment might just be the solution you’re looking for.

Next, your garage door might be stopping due to issues with torsion springs. These coiled springs provide the force necessary to lift your heavy garage door. When worn out or broken, they simply can’t support the weight, resulting in the door stopping midway or moving erratically. Regular inspection and timely replacement of these springs can save you from potential hazards.

Thirdly, the garage door opener’s circuit board can also be a cause. This is the brain of your garage door mechanism, and if it’s malfunctioning, your door will behave erratically. Weather, power surges, and general wear and tear can all lead to circuit board issues. Usually, a professional will need to examine and possibly replace this component.

Another component that might cause your garage door to stop midway is the track. A bent track or a track with obstructions could prevent the door from traveling the full distance. Regular maintenance and cleaning can keep your track in top shape.

Finally, don’t rule out the possibility that settings on your opener might be off. Garage doors have limits and force settings that control how far they open and how much force is used. If these are set improperly, your door might not open all the way. Checking and adjusting these settings might get your door back to working order.

There’s a lot of detective work involved in troubleshooting garage door issues. You may find yourself dealing with one or more of these common causes – it’s all part of the process. Keep at it, let the process guide you, and you’ll be well on your way to a smooth-running garage door.

Checking and Adjusting the Photo-eye

It’s quite common for a garage door to abruptly stop partly open due to misaligned photo-eye components. These are small plastic devices located on both sides of the garage door, usually about six inches off the ground. They send an infra-red beam across the door’s path to detect any obstruction. If the beam isn’t unbroken, the door won’t close completely. This feature is designed to prevent accidents, but it can also be a cause of a door’s sudden stoppage if not properly aligned.

A straightforward way to tell if the photo-eye units are the culprits is to check for flickering lights on one or both devices. This could suggest that the beam is interrupted. You could also examine their alignment manually. If you’re not sure if they’re correctly aligned, you can gently adjust the devices until they’re properly facing each other.

Being mindful of the position of these devices and preserving their alignment can go a long way in maintaining smooth and safe operation of your garage door.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into how you can check and adjust the photo-eye units.

  1. Switch off the power: Always ensure to turn off the power to the garage door opener before starting any maintenance. It’s better to be safe than regretful later.
  2. Check for obstructions: Inspect the path of the infra-red beam. Remove any obstructions you may find. These could be as simple as a cobweb or a pile of leaves.
  3. Adjust the devices: If you find that the units are misaligned, gently adjust them by slightly moving the devices until they face each other straight.
  4. Test: Once done, switch on the power again and try opening the garage door. If it still stops midway, the problem might not lie with the photo-eye units.

Remember, while you can often solve common issues with a little troubleshooting, it’s wise not to undertake complex repairs without the necessary know-how. Get professional help if it involves handling more significant components like torsion springs or circuit boards.

Inspecting the Opener’s Circuit Board

Having dealt with the photo-eye components, it’s time for you to focus on another essential aspect of your garage door operation – the opener’s circuit board. This small but significant component works as the brain of your garage door opener. It receives commands from your remote control or wall switch and transmits them to the rest of the garage door system.

Before you proceed, ensure your safety comes first. Turn off the power to avoid any unwanted accidents. Remember that working with electrical components can be dangerous if not handled with care.

Noticing flashing lights on your garage door opener or having nothing happen at all when you press the remote control could indicate a possible issue with the circuit board. Echoing the same, continuous operation even after releasing the button or the door reversing its motion midway could also signal circuit board troubles.

Let’s delve into the inspection process.

1. Remove the Opener’s Cover

Start by removing the cover of the garage door opener. You’ll see the circuit board housed inside. Be careful during this process as you don’t want to damage any other parts.

2. Look for Visible Damage

Inspect the circuit board closely for any visible signs of wear or damage. Signs to look for include burnt spots or melted components. These indications could be due to power surges or lightning strikes.

3. Check All Connections

Next, make sure all the connectors are in the right place and properly attached. A loose connection might lead to improper functioning of the opener.

Should these inspections yield visible damage or suspect connectors, it might be time to replace the circuit board. Conversely, if you find nothing amiss but the problems persist, it’s recommended to seek the expertise of professional garage door repair services. A sophisticated component like the circuit board may demand more seasoned hands and advanced technical know-how.

Testing the Safety Sensors

Your garage door’s functioning heavily relies on the safety sensors. These infrared sensors play a significant role in ensuring the door operates efficiently and safely. So, if your garage door stops while opening, it’s likely your safety sensors are to blame.

Misaligned or dirty sensors are the typical culprits behind this issue. You may have inadvertently bumped your sensors when you parked your car or moved equipment in your garage, setting them askew. It’s also possible dust or cobwebs might be obstructing the beam. Let’s delve into some steps you can take to test and rectify this issue.

Remember, working with electrical components always requires extra caution. Always ensure your garage door is completely closed before beginning any repair or maintenance work. This helps prevent accidental door movements which could result in injuries or serious damage.

For sensor alignment, it’s useful to conduct a visual check first. Are the sensors aligned symmetrically or is one hanging askew? Does one sensor look higher or lower than its counterpart? If you notice any misalignment, gently adjust the sensors until they face each other directly. Ensure the sensor’s LED lights are solid and not flashing, which can indicate misalignment.

Next, take a soft clean cloth and wipe down the sensors. Even the tiniest bit of dirt or dust can cause your sensors to falsely detect an obstruction, stopping your garage door mid-action.

In some cases, the LED lights may not illuminate at all, indicating a more complex issue such as faulty wiring or power source. You might want to consider calling a professional garage door repair service to identify and address such complicated cases. They have the right training and tools to safely handle these issues and keep your garage door running smoothly.

Finally, after adjusting alignment and cleanliness of the sensors, run a door operation test. If the door still stops while opening, it’s not the sensors but potentially a different issue causing the problem. Keep investigating other potential causes as covered in this guide, and remember to stay patient and persistent in maintaining your garage door’s performance.


So you’ve learned that your garage door stopping mid-way isn’t always a sign of major trouble. Often, it’s just misaligned or dirty sensors causing the hiccup. By regularly checking the alignment, cleaning off any dust or dirt, and making sure those LED lights are solid, you’ll keep your garage door running smoothly. If problems persist, don’t hesitate to call in the pros. Faulty wiring isn’t something you want to tackle on your own. Remember, a well-maintained garage door is a reliable one. Keep up with the maintenance and troubleshooting, and your garage door will serve you well for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main topic of this article?

The article primarily discusses the importance of checking and maintaining the safety sensors of a garage door to ensure its proper operation.

Why is a garage door stopping while opening?

A garage door may stop while opening due to misaligned or dirty safety sensors, a common issue.

How do you check the alignment of safety sensors?

You can visually inspect the sensors to check their alignment. Ensure that the LED lights on the sensors are solid, indicating proper alignment.

What if the garage door issues persist after sensor maintenance?

If problems persist despite cleaning and aligning the sensors, it may signal more intricate issues like faulty wiring. In such cases, professional garage door repair services are necessary for a safe and effective solution.

How can we ensure smooth operation of the garage door?

Regular maintenance and rigorous troubleshooting of the safety sensors and other components can help in maintaining the smooth operation of a garage door.