How to Tell that Your Garage Door Opener is Broken

How to Tell that Your Garage Door Opener is Broken

Steps to Help Assess if Your Malfunctioning Garage Door Opener Needs Repair

To the casual observer, it may at first be testing to find any similarity between automatic garage door opener and major household utilities like hydro, water, and gas.  Let’s face it; the former is a mechanical device while the latter are fundamental services that help make a home inhabitable.

Upon closer inspection though, there are some similarities when comparing garage door openers with public utility services, principally with respect to convenience and reliability.  At basically the flip of a switch or the push of a button, one can open/close their garage door just as easily as they can turn on a television or pour a glass of water – that is the convenience factor.  From a dependability perspective, the garage door opener responds each time and every time, in the same way, that the lights always come on and the bath always has hot water.

This is why it is bewildering when any of the above comforts fails to respond; a failure is so unforeseen, it leaves a homeowner and their family members essentially in disbelief, not to mention that it is often highly disruptive to their daily routines.  And in the case of a garage door opener, Murphy’s Law dictates that it will stop functioning at the absolute worst possible time to have a car trapped in the garage.

It is important to note that, when a garage door will not open, it should not be assumed that it is the automatic opener that needs repair – the issue could lie with the device or with the door itself.  To determine the source of the problem, homeowners may actually want to begin by examining the door for one or more of the following indicators:

  • Broken spring
  • Damaged rollers
  • Loose/broken cable
  • Bent/blocked tracking
  • The door is out of alignment
  • The door is frozen shut (winter)
  • The door cannot be opened manually

If in fact the garage door can be opened manually, and rather easily, then the problem most likely resides with the door opener.  In this instance, homeowners can test various aspects of the opener to assess whether its functionality can be re-established or if there is a need for repair or replacement services.  These do-it-yourself measures can include:

  • Checking for a tripped circuit breaker
  • Confirming the connection to the power supply
  • Resetting the unit – unplug it, wait, re-connect it, try again
  • Changing/testing remote batteries to see if there is a response

If the above actions are unsuccessful in isolating the issue and/or restoring the operation of the garage door opener, it would be prudent for homeowners to call the garage door service professionals at Markham Garage Doors to determine the best course of action.

Consider the LiftMaster Series for Your New Garage Door Opener Installation

In some instances, depending on the type/extent of the repair work needed, it could be more cost-effective for homeowners to move forward with the installation of a new and upgraded garage door opener; when a full replacement is a better/preferred option, it is advisable to consider the LiftMaster line of garage door openers.

LiftMaster has been a leading manufacturer in the garage door opener industry for more than 45 years, developing and distributing a brand that well-known and respected for its quality, innovation, and emphasis on safety.  LiftMaster garage door openers can only be obtained from manufacturer-approved distributors such as Markham Garage Doors, who in turn have trained technicians on staff to ensure that the installation process is done in an expert and appropriate manner to guarantee optimal performance and safe operation.

The expertise of the Markham Garage Doors technicians in the installation of LiftMaster garage door openers includes:

  • Fastening all support rails appropriately
  • Tension adjustments for the spring/cables
  • Regulating the open-and-close travel limits
  • The set-up and testing of all safety features
  • Electrical wiring to specified codes/standards
  • Matching opener horsepower to door weight

For more information on the garage door opener repair and installation services by the experts from Markham Garage Doors, see

If you require garage door opener repair service or the installation of a new garage door opener, call Markham Garage Doors today at (905) 472-9178 or (416) 570-3667 to schedule an on-site visit and/or to obtain more information on the LiftMaster series of products.

     Commercial Residential

    Consider These Handy Accessories for Your Garage Door Opener

    Garage Door Opener Accessories Provide Added Safety, Security, Convenience

    The introduction of the automatic garage door opener was indeed ground-breaking in its own right; it permitted drivers and family members to open and close their garage door without actually touching the door.  This was, and still remains, a convenience for many people, especially when they arrive home in wet, cold, and/or windy weather conditions.

    Garage door openers have certainly come a long way since their rudimentary beginnings.  While their principal function of a garage door opener remains the same – to open and close a garage door – their level of sophistication has grown exponentially, thanks in large part to advancements in technology, but also due to an inherent need/desire to extract wider/added functionality from a single device.

    Here are some handy garage door opener accessories that may appeal to current owners of these devices, or perhaps offer enough appeal for a homeowner to have one installed:

    • Wireless exterior keypad – operates the door from the outside, based on a four-digit code; convenient access without a remote or a key e.g.: children arriving from school
    • Wireless monitoring system – allows homeowners to control and operate their garage door opener anytime, and from anywhere in the world, using a smartphone or tablet
    • Garage door monitor – check the status of a garage door before retiring for the night
    • Mini-remote – fits on a key ring/in a purse; improves security – no remotes left in the car
    • Laser parking system – helps establish where to stop/park vehicles upon entering the garage; also indirectly delineates/maximizes storage space along the back wall of a garage
    • Battery backup system – allows access to/exit from the garage during any power outage

    By integrating such types of accessories with their garage door opener unit, homeowners can benefit in a number of ways, including:

    • Improvements in home security
    • Enhancements in personal safety
    • Added convenience in daily routines

    Markham Garage Doors Offers Expert Garage Door Opener Installation, Repair

    Some brands of garage door openers are available through commercial outlets such as home improvement or hardware stores; however, the LiftMaster series of openers is only obtainable from manufacturer-authorized distributors like Markham Garage Doors.  The LiftMaster brand of garage door opener is accepted/valued for such characteristics as its:

    • Strength/Durability
    • Safety and Security
    • Reliable Performance
    • Advanced Accessories

    The installation of a LiftMaster garage door opener by a trained technician from Markham Garage Doors will provide homeowners with the confidence they want and need across all of the above features when they choose to invest in such a device.

    Sometimes, a garage door opener, regardless of its brand, will require repair or service.  In these cases, homeowners can rely on the skills of Markham Garage Doors technicians to address any garage door opener repairs quickly and expertly, in order to restore the levels of performance, safety/security, and convenience they need in their daily routines.

    Markham Garage Doors offers and installs a full range of LiftMaster garage door openers and door opener accessories to meet all needs and preferences.  Call Markham Garage Doors today at (905) 472-9178 or (416) 570-3667 to discuss how we can help make access to your garage/home more convenient, safer, and/or more secure.

       Commercial Residential

      Differentiating the LiftMaster, Chamberlain and Craftsman Brands of Garage Door Openers

      Garage door openers have become a modern convenience for many homeowners and their families. Today’s automatic openers offer much more than just a convenient way to access the garage, as manufacturers are integrating technology such as:

      • Ultra quiet smooth operation
      • Smartphone activation
      • WiFi connectivity
      • Cameras
      • Advanced security features
      • Battery back-ups

      There are many different makes and models of garage door openers on the market, and choosing one can become a somewhat overwhelming task. Three of the most reliable brands are LiftMaster, Chamberlain, and Craftsman – but what is the difference between them?

      Are LiftMaster, Chamberlain, and Craftsman The Same Company?

      Well, yes and no.  

      The Chamberlain Group is the parent company to LiftMaster, which is their “Professional” brand sold to independent dealers. The Chamberlain brand is their “DIY” line of garage door openers that are sold in home stores and online. The Craftsman line was sold through Sears until Sears went bankrupt in 2018. Since then, other retailers have picked up the Craftsman name, but it is the lesser quality operator compared to LiftMaster and Chamberlain.

      Essentially, the LiftMaster brand is the “professional” brand and is only sold by licensed dealers like Markham Garage Doors. Chamberlain and Craftsman are both residential “DIY” brands sold in different stores.

      liftmaster chamberlain comparison

      What is the Difference Between a Professional Brand and a DIY Brand?

      Let’s start with the most obvious difference between a LiftMaster opener and a Chamberlain or Craftsman opener. LiftMaster uses a one-piece, solid steel T-rail from the motor to the header. This rail is extremely heavy-duty and does a better job at handling heavier garage doors.


      Chamberlain and Craftsman garage door openers use a multi-piece drive rail, so it can be packaged in a small box for a customer to take home in their vehicle. This multi-piece drive rail assembles by pushing the sections together. This “clip-together” system creates flexibility and movement when opening/closing your garage door. While this may not be as strong as the LiftMaster rail, it has been a reliable drive rail throughout the years.

      Warranty Periods

      When purchasing a LiftMaster opener, you don’t have to worry about the warranty. Everything is taken care of by the installer. When purchasing through a box store or online, the homeowner is responsible for any warranty issues by contacting Chamberlain or the store you purchased from.

      Connecting the Operator Bracket to the Garage Door

      The mounting bracket that comes with all openers is always reinforced by an operator bracket that spans from the strut to the middle hinge, distributing the weight across the entire top section. These parts are not supplied when purchasing the Chamberlain or Craftsman brand of opener. We supply them so you get the best performance out of your door and opener.

      Get Professional Advice From the Experts in Garage Door Opener Installation

      When choosing a garage door opener, homeowners will need to take several factors into consideration. In addition to baseline aspects such as cost, noise reduction properties, overhead clearance space, and the anticipated frequency of use, assessing the following can and often will influence an ultimate decision:

      • Design – overall horsepower, dependable operation, compatibility with technology
      • Hardware – accessories such as keypad entry, keychain remotes, track strength
      • Warranties – what is covered by the manufacturers, and for what length of time?
      • Security and Safety Features – auto-reverse mechanism, anti-access capabilities
      • Customer Service/Support – owner’s manual, a service department, onsite repairs

      Whether the intent is to purchase a Craftsman or Chamberlain garage door opener from a retail outlet or a LiftMaster model for professional installation, homeowners must make an informed decision to ensure the best possible return and performance from such an investment. The Markham Garage Doors team can be a valuable asset to homeowners in making the right choice of garage door opener for their personal needs and type of door, as well as its installation and any subsequent service or maintenance.

      Hopefully, this article will help with any confusion you may have about LiftMaster, Chamberlain, and Craftsman garage door openers. To summarize, if you want the best overall parts and labor support, have a LiftMaster opener installed by a garage door professional, such as Markham Garage Doors.

         Commercial Residential

        How to Adjust A Chamberlain Garage Door Opener

        Ways to Keep Chamberlain Garage Door Openers Working at Optimum Levels

        In the vast majority of cases, Chamberlain garage door openers will open and close smoothly and efficiently each and every time they are so required. It is also generally accepted that the lifecycle for these garage door openers should be roughly 10 to 15 years, assuming a performance rate ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 open-and-close cycles annually.

        When the aggregate number of multiple-year cycles is taken into consideration, it can certainly have a toll on garage door openers, simply due to the vibrations of normal operation as well as the repeated effects of starting and stopping basically on demand. Therefore, notwithstanding their seemingly routine operation, Chamberlain garage door openers might need some periodic adjustments to ensure that they continue to work at optimum levels as long as possible. Specifically, this means paying attention to:

        • The travel limits of the door upon opening and closing
        • The force required to activate the safety mechanisms

        Any and all tests and adjustments can be performed in do-it-yourself fashion and should be completed on at least an annual basis. The process also applies to all Chamberlain garage door openers regardless of the drive system or horsepower.

        In terms of actual tools, very little is required:

        • A step ladder
        • A slotted screwdriver (often called a flathead)
        • A properly functioning garage door remote control

        Perhaps the most important element to performing any tests or adjustments will be the presence of a partner. Equipped with the above items, the team can proceed as follows:

        • Establishing the travel limits of Chamberlain garage door openers
          • Note – adjustment screws are on the left side of garage door opener motorheads
          • Note – one full turn of these screws equates to a door travel distance of two inches
            • Setting the up-limit
              • Position ladder below the back or rear portion of the opener to access the adjustment screws
              • Open door using remote – bottom of door should come to rest just below header
              • If door does not stop in this position, an up-or-down adjustment is likely required
              • Turn the up-limit screw clockwise to raise door or counter-clockwise to lower door
              • Using remote, close door then re-open to check travel – repeat process if needed
            • Setting the down-limit
              • Once travel limit has been adjusted for the open position, close door using remote
              • Door should close tightly to the garage floor without gaps (no penetration of light)
              • If there is a gap, adjust down-limit screw accordingly (counter-clockwise) to lower
              • Using remote, open door then re-close to check travel – repeat process if needed
              • Door will automatically re-open if adjusted too far (safety mechanism is engaged)
              • Readjust down-screw – turn clockwise to change travel limit for the down position
        • Testing the activation of safety features with garage door openers
          • Note – these adjustment screws are on the upper right side of garage door openers
            • Setting the up-force
              • Place ladder below lens side of opener to access these screws (under lens cover)
              • Ask partner to stand outside the door – this test should begin with door closed
              • Open door using remote – at approximately the half-way point, and with the door in motion, partner should gently clutch bottom of door and apply some downforce
              • Door should basically stop moving immediately when encountering the obstruction
              • If undue force must be applied before door stops, up-force adjustment is needed
              • Turn up-force screw slightly counter-clockwise – return door to the closed position using the remote and repeat test as needed until desired safety result is achieved
            • Setting the down-force
              • Once up-force has been correctly adjusted, use remote to open door completely
              • Once again, ask partner to stand in position just outside the garage door opening
              • Lower door using remote – at approximately the half-way point, and with the door in motion, partner should grasp bottom of door and pull upward slightly
              • Door should stop moving immediately and then automatically reverse
              • If door does not immediately stop and reverse, down-force adjustment is needed
              • Turn down-force screw marginally counter-clockwise – return the door to its open position using the remote and repeat test as necessary to achieved desired result

        If any of the above adjustments are proving to be a challenge and/or sensitive in nature, homeowners have the option of contacting an expert in the installation of Chamberlain garage door openers, such as a trained technician from Markham Garage Doors.

        Adjust Your Garage Door Opener With Markham Garage Doors 

        The adjustment of garage door openers is merely one of the many services offered by the specialists from Markham Garage Doors. For over 10 years, Markham Garage Doors has assisted residential and commercial property owners in Toronto and the GTA with all of their garage door problems and needs, including:

        • Parts/repairs
        • Troubleshooting
        • Door installations
        • Garage door opener installations
        • Maintenance and tune-ups
        • Emergency/same day service

        For more information on the extensive services provided by Markham Garage Doors, including the testing and adjusting of Chamberlain garage door openers, please visit our Services page.

        If you have been unsuccessful in adjusting your Chamberlain garage door opener and require professional assistance, call the expert technicians from Markham Garage Doors today at (905) 472-9178 to schedule your service call as soon as possible.

        Visit our Garage Door Installation page for additional information on professional garage door installations and repairs from the team at Markham Garage Doors.

        If you are uncertain or hesitant about performing your own garage door maintenance and repairs, call the experts at Markham Garage Doors today at (905) 472-9178 to help you get the job done right and right away.

           Commercial Residential

          A Garage Door Opener Provides Convenience Plus Durability And Safety Options

          In some ways, an automatic garage door opener can be likened to a cellphone, central air conditioning, or a television remote control. People may not appreciate the levels of comfort and convenience offered by such amenities until the day comes when they push the appropriate button and, lo and behold, nothing happens. It would almost seem like the device arbitrarily, and without warning, can just decide when it shall work no longer.

          However, when a garage door opener is working properly, it may come as a surprise to learn that the device itself does not actually lift or open the door. The lifting force is provided by the spring that is attached to the door, most often a torsion spring, which is designed and used to counterbalance the weight of the door via a significant amount of tension. When the garage door opener is activated, either through a wall switch or by remote control, its primary role is for regulating the speed and distance that the door travels/moves to fully open or close. Furthermore, a garage door opener can keep a door securely closed in lieu of a lock-and-key method.

          Garage door openers operate using one of three basic types of mechanisms or drives:


          • Perhaps the most common as it is the least expensive mechanism
          • It is also the loudest of the three options (rattling noise of the chain)


          • The quietest option (fewer moving parts) but also the most expensive
          • A good choice when the garage is either below or next to living space


          • Comparatively quiet – a good choice for heavy, double-width doors
          • Also requires the least maintenance (has the fewest moving parts)

          Another aspect of automatic garage door openers that is often misunderstood pertains to their safety, or more specifically, to the safety of the occupants of the home and their personal property. Through significant advancements in technology, since they were first introduced, security features have improved in the following ways:

          Rolling codes for remote control devices

          • A new code is generated each time the remote sends a signal to the receiver
          • There are literally millions of possible combination per garage door opener
          • Code hackers/thieves are therefore unlikely to access the home in this way

          Electronic eyes (or photodetectors)

          • System employs a light beam transmitter plus a receiver at the base of the door
          • Obstruction of the light beam by a person or object prevents door from closing
          • This system should also trigger an auto-reverse mechanism for such instances

          Wireless keypads

          • They can be activated using a personal identification number
          • Family members can open and close the door without a key or a remote

          Like most other devices that have moving parts and/or electronic components, a garage door opener has a finite life expectancy. Factors that can/will influence the operating life of an automatic opener include:

          • Amount of daily use
          • Quality of the device
          • Regular device maintenance
          • Regular door maintenance
          • Proper door balance

          In all likelihood, and with proper care and maintenance, a garage door opener should perform for roughly 10 to 15 years, based on an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 opening-and-closing cycles annually. Eventually, fundamental wear-and-tear can cause the device to break down and cease to function in a proper and expected manner.

          Get Expert Garage Door Opener Repairs And Replacements From Our Technicians

          If your garage door opener is making unusual or non-customary sounds, regardless of its age, this may be a sign that the device is struggling or straining and/or there may be an issue with the door itself (perhaps balance or spring tension). In such cases, it will be important to stop using it immediately and place a service call to a professional garage door opener repair service such as Markham Garage Doors.

          Markham Garage Doors services all makes and models of garage door openers and remote control systems, and has the knowledge and experience to recommend whether repairs or a complete replacement would be the better option for your specific situation. If a replacement is needed, we offer the full line of LiftMaster garage door openers, which in turn provide/include the following:

          • A variety of drive systems
          • Multiple horsepower levels
          • Proven performance and durability
          • The latest safety and security features
          • Innovative accessories

          If your garage door opener is not functioning properly, call the experts at Markham Garage Doors today at (905) 472-9178 or (416) 570-3667 to determine if there is an issue with your garage door or whether a new opener will need to be installed.

             Commercial Residential

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