423-968-9320 | commercialsales@djdoor.com

Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Garage Door Repair & Installation in Johnson City, Kingsport & Bristol, TN | Don Johnson's Door Service

Common Problems

We've compiled a list of common problems we see on a daily basis. Some of these are routine maintenance or easy fixes most people can do in just a couple minutes. Some however are more serious and require expert repair from one of our experienced technicians.

Solution: This problem is likely do to a stripped gear and will require replacement from one of our technicians.

Solution: See the section below on Sensitivity/Force Settings.

Solution: This is likely due to a broken spring and will require repair from one of our technicians.

Solution: This is actually a very good question. As a rule of thumb, only use incandescent light bulbs. There are some exceptions to this but compact florescent (the curly kind) and LED light bulbs will interfere with the radio controls of most garage door operators.

Solution: There are a few options available to solve this problem but due to variations in construction and quality of flooring, there’s not always a perfect solution. If the door is old and the bottom rubber has degraded, then new bottom rubber may be all that’s needed. We carry large and extra-large bottom rubber that can solve the issue of minor problems with out of level flooring. Storm shield applied to the flooring may be another option in some circumstances but does not completely solve the problem in all cases. This can be a quick project for most people that like to “DIY” or it can be installed by one of our technicians.

Getting To Know Your Garage Door

This section is to provide some basic information on how your garage door operates to help you with routine maintenance and trouble shooting of minor problems.

Eye Beams:

Eyebeams (also referred to as photo eyes) are located near the bottom of the door opening (on both sides) and may be mounted to the track or the wall. All residential garage door openers manufactured since 1993 are required by federal law to have this safety devise. Consisting of a detector side and an emitter side, this necessary feature allows a closing garage door to reverse direction when an object crosses the path of the opening (thus blocking the infrared beam). Each eyebeam is equipped with an LED to indicate that it is functioning and may be colored red, green, yellow or amber. The emitter side LED will always be on but the detector side LED will go out when the beam is blocked.

Occasionally photo eyes collect dust or get knocked out of alignment. A misaligned or blocked beam will not allow the door to be closed with a remote or keyless entry. The door can still be closed with the wall button but must be held in until the door is completely closed. If one of the LEDs is flickering or is not lit, adjusting the beam path and/or wiping the photo eyes free from dust is generally all that is needed. To adjust the beam path, make sure both eyebeams are secure. Then loosen the wing nut on one of the photo eyes and tilt it up and down until the LEDs on both eyebeams are continuously lit (no flickering). Then securely tighten the wing nut. Both LEDs should now be lit up with no flicker. If not, then repeat the previous steps.

If the above process did not resolve the problem, there is likely a more serious issue that will require service or replacement by one of our technicians.

Sensitivity/Force Settings:

Garage door operators are equipped with sensitivity/force settings for opening and closing. These settings exist as a safety measure to prevent the operator from exerting too much force on the door while opening or closing and may need adjusting from time to time. If too much force is require to close the door, the operator will reverse and the door can only be closed manually. The reversal could be due to a physical problem with the door, the door coming down on an object, or simply the changing of seasons.

Doors are usually a little more difficult to open/close in the cold winter months due to thermal expansion and contraction. The extra force required to close the door can sometimes be greater than the sensitivity/force setting used when the operator was originally installed (especially if installed during the summer). If so, the door will stop and reverse directions when trying to close it. The reversal may happen at any point during the attempt to close the door, even a second or two after the door has fully closed. This problem can be easily fixed by increasing the force setting on the operator.

Older model operators have an open force knob and a close force knob, usually located under the lens cover on the operator head. Newer models are adjusted with buttons, also located under the lens cover, and may require simple programming that can be found in the user manual.

If the force setting is turned up all the way and the operator is still reversing, then the door may need an adjustment from one of our expert technicians. It is not good practice to leave the force setting maxed out as this could indicate a larger problem and is a potential safety concern.


Garage door springs are the “muscle” that lifts and lowers your door. Springs come in many sizes and are designed specifically to match the weight and height of your door. A properly balanced door should be easy to open and close by hand. Two main types of springs are used in garage doors: extension and torsion. It’s important to know (or be able to determine) what type you have.

Extension springs stretch out on either side of the garage door and run alongside the horizontal track. When the door is in the up position, properly installed extension springs are contracted or “relaxed”. However, when the door is closed, these springs are stretched out and under extreme tension. When the spring breaks (all springs eventually break) the tension is quickly released and the spring can become a projectile. Due to this fact, extension spring garage doors should be equipped with safety cables to reduce the safety risks.

Torsion springs are located above the opening of your garage door and have a shaft running through them lengthwise. Like the extension spring, the torsion spring is under tension when the door is closed and most of the tension is released when the door is in the open position. The torsion spring however, turns a shaft that lifts the door up by the attached cables and provides an equal amount of lift on both sides. This spring type does not have the same risk of becoming projectile as the extension spring does. When the spring breaks, it’s still very loud but only rotates on the shaft.