Tips on buying an overhead door for your garage.

4 Fixes for Stuck Garage Doors

There's nothing more frustrating than attempting to open or close your garage door only to find that it simply won't budge. In some cases, your garage door may even open or close halfway only to get stuck in the process. The very first thing that you should do if your garage door seems to be stuck is to check the batteries in your remote. You'd be surprised at how often this is the root of the trouble. If dead batteries were not the issue, then use the following four tips to further troubleshoot your garage door.

1. Check the Garage Springs

The springs are an essential component to your garage door in that they enable the door to be lifted or lowered easily, despite its weight. If either of the springs are broken, then the door will become stuck. There are two types of garage door springs - torsion springs and extension springs. Torsion springs are located near the top of the door, whereas extension springs are located on each side of the door. If your garage door uses torsion springs, check for a gap between the springs to identify whether they are broken. If you have extension springs, look to see if a piece of the springs are hanging from the side.
If your garage door springs are broken, then they will need to be replaced. However, attempting to do the job yourself can be quite dangerous. Unless you have experience replacing garage door springs, leave the job to a specialist.

2. Inspect the Garage Door Opener Engine

If the engine of your garage door opener isn't working properly, then your garage door probably won't be working properly. If your garage door gets stuck and you hear a grinding sound coming from the garage door opener, then there's a good chance that there is an issue with its engine. That issue is that the main drive gear probably needs to be replaced. The main drive gear is most common of the garage door opener's components to fail. It is a plastic gear that takes some know-how to remove and replace, which is why you should strongly consider hiring a professional garage door repair service for this particular issue.

3. Check the Garage Sensors

Every modern garage door is built with a sensor due to a mandate passed by the government back in the 1990's that required garage door opener manufacturers to install safety devices. To meet this mandate, most garage doors have a sensor installed on each side of the doorway. They are often referred to as photo eyes since their main function is to maintain visual contact with one another. If that visual contact is broken by an obstruction, then the garage door stops in its tracks. This is meant to prevent the garage door from closing on a vehicle - or even worse, a person.
If the sensors are malfunctioning, it can cause the garage door to get stuck. One of the sensor lights will typically begin blinking if they aren't working properly. The first thing to check for is an obstruction in the path of your garage door. If the doorway is clear, then check to see if the sensors are properly aligned. If they are out of alignment, then they can't see one another and their line of vision is broken. Re-aligning them should result the garage door becoming unstuck if this is the case.

4. Check the Lock Switch on the Wall Button

Almost every garage door opener wall control unit has a lock button. The lock button is sometimes referred to as the "vacation button" because it's usually the only time that it is used. By pressing the lock button, you lock out all garage door opener remotes. The purpose in doing so is to ensure that nobody gets a hand on one of your remotes - such as the one left in your car - and using it to break in while you are away from home for an extended period of time.
Once the lock switch has been activated, you can only control the garage door via the wall control unit. You may have forgotten to de-activate it after coming home from an extended period away, which is why the garage door seems to be stuck whenever you attempt to use your remote. Check to see if this is the case and simply unlock your remotes by pressing the lock switch again.
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Smart Garage Door Systems

Looking for a solution to control your garage door access from your smartphone?</h2>
Below we take a look at some of the currently available off-the-shelf, retrofit, and DIY/Open Source solutions on the market.
<h3>Off-the-shelf Solutions</h3>
Asante Garage

"Garage Door Buddy is an easy and secure solution to control your garage door from your phone, without needing to replace your existing opener. Best value on the market. Easy and quick to setup. Give access to your guests while they are visiting. Never need to worry about getting locked outside of your house."

Price: $149.95
Reviews: Amazon 5/5 (4 reviews)
Apps: Apple | Android
Additional: Installation Manual (PDF)

<h3>Craftsman AssureLink</h3>
"The Craftsman AssureLink™ Garage Door Opener brings mobile communication to one of the main entrances of your home. Are you away and can’t remember if the garage door is open or closed? Ever accidentally leave the garage door open? Now you can monitor and operate your garage door from anywhere."

Price: $199 and up
Reviews: 4/5 Sears (29 reviews)
Apps: Iphone/Ipad (2.5/5 225 reviews) | Android (3.5/5 455 reviews)
Additional: Installation Video
<h3>Garage Beacon</h3>
"Garage Beacon is designed as an extremely easy-to-use application that gives you the ability to turn your smartphone into a garage-opening remote. Setup of Garage Beacon is quite simple. Stick the tiny bluetooth unit to the bottom of your garage door opener, connect 2 wires, download the app, tap scan and press the connection button on the unit and you're done. No complicated registration of usernames or wifi configuration. Simple and secure bluetooth connection that always works."

Price: $68.15
Reviews: Amazon 4/5 (5 reviews)
Apps: Apple | Android (3/5 9 reviews)
Additional: Installation Video

Garage Door Buddy

"Garage Door Buddy is an easy and secure solution to control your garage door from your phone, without needing to replace your existing opener. Best value on the market. Easy and quick to setup. Give access to your guests while they are visiting. Never need to worry about getting locked outside of your house."

Price: $59.99
Reviews: Amazon 4/5
Apps: Apple | Android
Additional: Installation Video


"Garageio is the simple and secure way to control and monitor your garage door from anywhere in the world, without needing to replace your existing opener.

No more turning around to make sure it is closed. No more leaving it open all night long. Give access to your close friends and family (up to 10 people) and see who is using it and when.."

Price: $199.99 (2 - 3 weeks shipping)
Additional: IFTTT Channel
Apps: Apple (3.5/5 7 reviews) | Android (4/5 13 reviews)
Additional: Installation Video

GD Mate

"GDMate is a simple and secure system that turns your Android into a remote for your garage door (iPhone and Windows Mobile version coming soon).

You will need to connect the GDMate Bluetooth Receiver (aka HM1100) to your overhead garage door opener. There are only two wires to connect and installation takes less than two minutes! Once installed you can then open your garage using the GD Mate App which is included with purchase of the receiver."

Price: $49.95
Garage doors supported:
Chamberlain, Liftmaster, Genie, Sears Craftsman, AccessMaster, Raynor, Wayne-Dalton, and Axis Cam garage door openers.
Apps: Android (4/5 26 reviews) | Iphone (4.5/5 8 reviews)
Additional: Installation Video

GoGogate 2

“The Gogogate 2 will provide homeowners and property managers the ability to remotely operate, monitor and control the access to their garage door or gate from a Smartphone, Tablet or PC. Gogogate 2 offers a full range of new features including access management so you can share access with your guests, video monitoring to integrate your existing IP camera in order to watch all your garage door events from a single app and Smartphone/email alerts so you get notified every time garage door is open, closed or left open”.
Compatible with garage doors and gates
Wireless sensor includes temperature and battery indicators
1 device works with up to 3 garage doors/gates
Price: $99.00 - Gogogate 2 - $35 Sensor (Wireless/Wired)
Apps: Iphone (April 2015) | Android (April 2015)
Additional: Installation Video

MyQ™-enabled garage door opener

"The MyQ® enabled LiftMaster® Internet Gateway is your simple solution for home control. It utilizes two-way communication technology which allows you to connect to and control your garage door opener, gate operators, or home lights by using an Internet-enabled computer or mobile phone from anywhere in the world."

Price: $230.00 and up
Reviews: Amazon 4.5/5 (273 reviews)
Apps: Android (4/5 652 reviews) | Iphone (3/5 277 reviews)
Additional: Installation Video


"miDoor is a revolutionary new Internet-enabled remote controller that allows users to remotely view their garage door and gate status and open or close it with an iPhone, Android device, iPad or a Web-browser.

Works with existing and new garage door and gate openers. Create users, alarms and view the status and events in realtime."

Price: $179 - From Company
Reviews: Amazon 4/5 from 14 reviewers
Apps: Android (5/5 3 reviews) | Iphone (4.5/5 9 reviews)
Additional: Installation Guide (PDF)
<h3>Mobile GDO</h3>
"The Mobile GDO controller is a small device you attach to an existing garage door opener. With your iOS device you can monitor and control your garage door, remotely, from anywhere in the world.

The Mobile GDO uses advanced encryption techniques to ensure your garage door is secure from outside intrusion. The kit includes everything required to install the controller onto your garage door opener."

Price: $149.99
Reviews: Amazon (4.5/5 16 reviews)
Apps: Apple (3.5/5 5 reviews) | Android (3/5 2 reviews)
Additional: Installation Video
"SecuRemote is comprised of two basic items:The FREE app available for all 3 major smartphone platforms. The access control device which works with your existing garage door system. Uses Bluetooth.

The Administrator can then add up to four additional users (for a total of five users) from his/her smartphone. More users can be added through SecuRemote Online. To operate SecuRemote you must be within the 60-100 foot range."

Price: $149
Reviews: Amazon 3.5/5 (6 reviews)
Apps: Android (3/5 29 reviews) | Iphone (3.5/5 57 reviews)
Additional: Installation manual (PDF)

DIY Solutions


"MyDoorOpener is a native iPhone App, combined with inexpensive and easy to setup hardware, that allows your garage door to be securely opened, closed or monitored, directly from the palm of your hand."

Iphone: $5.99

Parts List: The iPhone enabled door opener requires a wired ethernet link to your home router.
1x Arduino Uno or Arduino Duemilanove board and power supply (~30$USD)
1x 5vDC operated relay which can switch 2A 30vDC (&lt; 2$USD)
1x 1K resistor (&lt; 1$USD)
1x 2N2222 transistor (&lt; 1$USD)
1x 1N4004 diode (&lt; 1$USD)
Wiring breadboard or blank PCB and wires (&lt; 5$USD)
1x Arduino Ethernet Shield (with Wiznet W5100 ethernet chip)
<h3>D’innovative WiFly</h3>
"The inspiration for this project was simple. My daughter has a habit of forgetting her house key, and we’ve had mixed results with the wireless garage door opener keypad. Time for a new solution. She has an iPhone and it never leaves her side, so that seemed like a reasonable interface to use. Plus, if I network attached it, I could do some other nifty things like control it from the office."

Parts List:
Roving Networks RN-XV module
5v to 3.3v power adapter
Home Web Server

- Complete Writeup
- Hackaday Coverage

Brad Fitzpatrick's X10 Garage Door Opener

"Opens your garage door, either manually or when you approach your house!Android app I wrote to open my garage when I get near on my motorcycle. Don't even need to take off my gloves or helmet!This can either open immediately, or when house Wifi SSID comes into range. Useful when you forget your house keys, too!"
Parts List:
- Computer in your house (OS: Debian/Ubuntu Linux assumed, but any Unix where Go runs should work too, including Macs...)
- X10 universal module
- X10 CM11A serial module: (if your computer has serial ports, else get USB?)

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Android controlled Garage Door Remote pfodDevice™ for Arduino

"This is a simple project that converts an Arduino Uno into a remote garage door open controlled from your Android phone. NO Android programming required and (optionally) No Soldering required. Uses a simple command parser."

Android: $5.12

Parts List:
Arduino Uno R3
ProtoShield Short for Arduino (freetronics)
power supply
DC Power Line Female Connector

- Complete parts list with suppliers

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Instructables: Bluetooth Garage Door Opener &amp; Car Starter

"It is relatively easy to Bluetooth enable many devices. These instructions will explain how I Bluetooth enabled my garage doors and car starter. The implementation is quite generic. Similar techniques could be used to Bluetooth enable many other things too."

Price: $65

Parts List:
Bluetooth boardPerf board - approximately 1.1" x 1.5" (29mm x 38mm)
BS170 N-Channel MOSFET, or similar transistor
Resistor 1K - 1M
Wire for hookup - old phone wire works well

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XBee Garage Door

"The XBee Garage Door is an automation project which allows you to connect your automatic garage door lift to your mobile telephone via an Android or a mobile web application. This project was featured in Make Magazine Vol. 30 in the article "12,000-mile .

The XBee Garage Door project uses a Digi XBee to communicate and attaches to the door using a hardware design called the XBee Pulse I/O—a general purpose, open-source hardware design for simple automation projects."


Parts List
- Breadboarded or populated printed circuit board (PCB)
- XBee Pulse I/OA door-closure sensor
- Length of wire to connect to your existing automatic garage door lift button
- A ConnectPort X gateway running the XIG application or a computer running the XIG with an XBee module attached
- Android or Web application to monitor and control your door remotely

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PC Remote Garage Door

"Here's how to set up your iPhone, PC, and wwPCRemote to open your garage door" - Video


Parts List
- Devantech USB Relay Model USB-RLY02 $44.68
- Type A to Type B USB cable
- Requires soldering

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Tuxgraphics garage door opener:

"The tuxgraphics garage door opener is not limited to just one type of smartphone. It does not require the installation of an app. It works with any phone that has a web browser built-in. This garage door opener can be used from an iPhone, from an Android phone or any data capable phone. It does not even have to be a smartphone."

- avr ethernet board

"TrackPIN makes home delivery secure, controllable and convenient. No more front porch deliveries! An intelligent guardian for your garage. You decide who gets access and when your garage gets opened. Individualized PIN's: The new TrackPIN system grants and restricts access to your garage one PIN at a time. With customizable and disposable PINs, you can quickly and easily control exactly who opens your door and when!"

Price: $99.99

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