Isn’t it annoying when the garage door won’t close without holding the button? Not only having to press down the button the entire time until it completely shuts is a big nuisance, but it can also be a big problem when you’re in a rush, or in emergencies.
When you think about it, having a problem with your garage door opener isn’t as trivial as some may think. Some of the possible reasons behind this issue include faulty sensors and a wiring problem.
Regardless of the core issue, we’re here to find a long-term solution, so keep on reading!
Why do I have to hold down my garage door button for it to close?
In order to find the proper solution for this problem, it is necessary to address every possible scenario. If a garage door mechanism isn’t working properly, there are a couple of things that could have gone wrong. Nevertheless, we’ve got a solution for each and every one.
In this guide, we will talk about the most common issues, and it is quite possible that you will find a solution for your individual problem among these options. Before presenting a solution, we will address the problem itself, as well as the best way to detect it.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most common issues if you have to hold a button to close the garage door.
1. Sensor blockage
One of the potential problems behind a faulty garage door mechanism is a sensor blockage. What this means is that your motion sensors may be blocked by any object insight, or even dirt and dust.
The role of garage sensors is to prevent any accidents that could occur when a garage door closes on top of a car, another object, or even animals and people. In fact, these safety sensors have become mandatory and they’re crucial for your safety.
Nowadays, modern garage doors mostly include photoelectric sensors. You will be able to detect these sensors on both sides of the door, and they’re usually positioned approximately 6 inches above the ground.
These photoelectric sensors include an infrared beam that will detect a car, object, pet, or person at the height where they’re located. In case something is blocking the way, the sensors will detect it, so the door will reverse and close.
However, if the sensors aren’t working properly, the safety mechanism may be compromised too, which is precisely why it is necessary to deal with this problem promptly. The first thing you need to do is locate the sensors and check if any object is blocking them.
In case there are any rocks, debris, or other objects blocking the sensors, make sure to remove them. Also, use a cloth to wipe the sensors clean, since dust and dirt may be an issue, as well, so ensure you’ve removed all potential blockages.
2. Sensor Eyes Issue
As we’ve mentioned, it is necessary for the sensors to be free of any blockages, including even the ones that you wouldn’t find as alarming, such as dust and dirt. However, when checking your sensors, it is also necessary to check for any scratches and damage.
If your garage door only closes when holding the button, it could be that the sensor eyes are dirty or damaged. Since these “eyes” resemble camera lenses, you have to be very careful when cleaning them, and you don’t want to leave the area smudgy and covered in strikes.
If you notice some scratches, cracks, or other types of damage that cannot be removed or wiped away, you may need to replace your sensors altogether. As we’ve already explained, sensors are of utmost importance – and not just for properly closing the garage door.
3. Adjusting Sensors
Yet another problem concerning garage door sensors is their alignment – or better, a lack of proper alignment. In case both sensors aren’t properly aligned and positioned in the same angle and direction, there could be some problems in their functioning.
Basically, if both sensors aren’t positioned and aligned identically, there will be a lack of connection between the two sensors which could compromise the door closing mechanism. In this case, you will have to hold the button down for the garage door to close all the way.
If you contact customer service and say “my garage door won’t close unless I hold the button down“, the first direction they’ll give you is to check the alignment of your sensors. Luckily, if this is the issue, you can get your garage door mechanism up and running in no time.
First, you want to check if the eyes of both sensors are positioned at the same height from the ground. This is the most important factor when it comes to sensor placement, as they work on the principle of creating an invisible barrier for foreign objects.
How can you check if your sensors are positioned at the same height? Simply use a level, preferably a laser one, which will show you if there’s any misalignment between the two sensors.
Once you’ve made sure that the sensors are aligned properly, simply go ahead and try closing the garage door without holding down the button. In the majority of cases, this little “trick” will do the work!
In case the mechanism is still not working, we advise you to call a professional and have them re-adjust the sensor eyes. It is possible, especially if you’re not using a laser level, that you weren’t so precise in aligning them, which could be the issue.
4. Faulty Lock-Out Button
Now that we’ve covered all the potential issues concerning the garage door sensors, we can move on to other potential issues that can also be easily fixed. This particular issue is related to the mechanism of the lock-out button on your garage door.
If you’re unable to open or close your garage door using a remote without holding the button down, it could be that the lock-out button is turned on. When this button is engaged, it will prevent the door from closing effortlessly, compromising the mechanism.
To check whether this is the issue with your garage door, you want to press the garage door button that you will find on the wall. If you notice a light indicating that the lock-out button is turned on, you should simply deactivate it.
However, keeping in mind that different garage door mechanisms come with different controls and settings, you may have to find a different way to disengage this button in your particular case.
In case you cannot find this control, make sure to check the garage door manual, or contact a professional.
5. Faulty Garage Door Opener
As the name itself implies, garage door openers are responsible for opening your garage door. In this case, the issue could be in the sensitivity of the garage door opener and it may have to be adjusted.
To run this test, you will have to use the emergency release in order to stop the connection between the garage door and the garage door opener. If you’re not comfortable doing this on your own, we definitely advise hiring a handyman.
The objective of this test is to check whether the garage door is closing properly and that both sides are perfectly aligned. In case one side is higher or lower than the other, it is safe to say that the problem is in garage door opener sensitivity.
If this is the issue, we strongly recommend you hire a professional to ensure that the sensitivity is adjusted accordingly and you’re able to close the door completely.
6. Wiring Issue
In order to determine whether your garage doors are not closing properly due to a wiring issue, you should check all the wires around the sensors and inside the garage door motor unit. If you notice any wire sticking out, it is possible that it is causing a problem.
To connect the wires and put them back into place, you can use twist wire connectors, as they’re durable and secure. However, if you’re not experienced in this kind of work, we’d definitely recommend hiring an electrician.
7. Garage Door Closing Limit
In case the garage door won’t close completely even when you hold the closing button down, there could be a few issues concerning the door mechanism. Firstly, you should check the close limit of the garage door.
Sometimes, if this limit isn’t properly adjusted, it could be set too high from the ground, stopping the door from closing all the way down. As we’ve discussed, there are also security sensors that can be quite sensitive and stop the door from closing completely.
Also, the issue may be in the mechanism of the door itself, especially when it comes to door rollers. If you notice that the rollers are old and rusty, it may be time to replace them or use a lubricant to allow them to move effortlessly.
It is also important to check every other component of the door that is involved in the closing mechanism. There could be a faulty, damaged, broken, or worn out piece that is compromising the entire mechanism, so it should be repaired or replaced.
Do you have to hold the button to close the garage door?
Absolutely not, nowadays garage doors are meant to open and close automatically or through a remote, but you should never be forced to hold the button until your garage door is closed.
Holding the button is uncomfortable, and it’s also something that can potentially make you waste a lot of time when you’re in a rush or you have an emergency. When your garage door won’t close unless you hold the button, the problem is either with the sensors, the wires, or the lock-out button.
Luckily, most of the time this is something you can easily fix on your own, however in some cases (for example a faulty garage door opener) it’s better to let a professional handle the situation and find the most appropriate solution for your problem.