Handicap Door Opener Not Working...10 Things To Check

If you are a building owner, chances are you own a building with atleast one handicap door opener. Handicap door openers, or auto door openers, are a great asset to any building, as they provide automatic access for the elderly, people with disabilities, and more. Each day we take for granted the ease of opening the door  due to the precision automation of the handicap door opener. However, as soon as it stops working, we notice very quickly. Here are 10 things to check if your handicap door opener has stopped working.

1. Check That The Power Is On

On every handicap door opener there is an On/Off power switch typically mounted on the side of the door operator header box. Some door openers feature and On/Off/Hold Open switch. Check to confirm that the power switch is in the On position.  If the door is stuck open, make sure it is not in the "hold open" switch position. Although this seems simple, you would be surprised at how many times a teenager or young adult might jump up and flip the switch. 

2. Activate Each Handicap Door Opener Switch

A typical handicap door opener features a wireless handicap door opener button on the inside of the door, and a wireless handicap door opener button on the outside of the door. First press the inside handicap button to confirm it activates the door opener. Once you verified that handicap button works properly, press the outside handicap button. If you find that one of the handicap buttons do not activate the door opener, you know your problem is in the wireless transmitter inside of the handicap button. 

Wireless Handicap Button Activation

3. Bad Handicap Door Opener Switch

If you have verified that the problem is in one of your handicap door opener buttons, you need to check if it is the transmitter causing the problem or the button itself. Press each corner of the handicap button. Does the door opener activate when you press certain parts of the door opener. If so, then your problem could be the handicap switch and not the transmitter. Handicap door openers take a beating. We of all seen the guy in a hurry who whacks the handicap door button. If the handicap button faceplate gets dented in, then it can cause button to not activate.

Pedestrian Pressing Handicap Button

4. Low Battery In Transmitter

Check the handicap button traansmitter. Disassemble the handicap button switch. This can typically be done using a small allen key and inserting it in the holes of the handicap button face plate. Please note, you want to loosen the allen screws only. You do not want to remove the allen screws all together. The handicap button faceplate will slide up and off of the loosened allen screws. Inside you will see two wires from the transmitter fob or transmitter circuit board connected to a black rectangular cherry switch. Most transmitters have an LED light. Press the handicap button switch and the LED on the transmitter should light up. If it doesn't light up, the battery could be dead in the transmitter. In this case replace the battery. If it still does not light up, by pass the mechanical handicap button switch by connecting the two wires from the transmitter together. When the two wires make contact with each other it simulates the handicap button being activated. You should see the LED light up on the transmitter. If you still have no lights from your transmitter you will most likely need to replace it.

5. Is There Water Damage

Handicap door openers are made up of electronics and therefore should not be outside in the rain. Likewise, the handicap buttons are considered electronics as well. We have all seen a handicap button mounted outside. This is totally okay, if it was installed correctly. If a handicap button is mounted outside, it should be underneath an eve, or some sort of shelter to insure rain cannot get on it. There are even handicap switch bollards, designed to be mounted outside in situations where there is no wall or cover to protect the switch. Check the handicap door opener button's transmitter. If it does not light up look for water marks or any evidence of water damage.  

6. Power Switch Is On, But Still Nothing

If there is still no power and the power switch is in the ON position, then open the header and verify you have power coming into the control board. Most handicap door openers utilize an LCD control board. Check to see if the LCD display is lit up. Many handicap door opener control boxes use fuses. Check to see if any of the fuses have popped. If the fuses have popped, you can replace them and that should solve your problem. If the fuse continues to pop, investigate the motor/gearbox and accessories making sure no wires are shorted together.

Handicap Door Opener Installed On Aluminum Door

7. The Door Goes Really Slow and Does Not Open and Close All The Way

It is very common in buildings where construction occurs, that the door openers get out of time mechanically. For example, you are getting all your doors re-painted, the painter removes the door arm and paints the door. Once he's done he screws the door opener arm back up. BIG PROBLEM! When you re-attach the door arm to the handicap door opener, the internal clock spring within the gearbox needs to be wound up. If you just attach the door opener arm without winding up the clock spring, the door opener will be out of time and may run partially at really slow speeds, or may not close altogether. The proper way to re-attach a handicap door opener arm is to flip the power switch to "hold open." You should see the door opener spindle rotate. Once the door opener spindle has stopped rotating the door opener is in the full open position. Manually move the door to the full open position at 90 degrees. Then reattach the arm. Now the clock spring is properly wound. When you manually open the door, the door opener's spring will close the door.

8. Door Will Not Close All The Way. Runs Very Sporadically, But Never Closes

Shut the door opener off. Manually close the door so that the door is set flush in the door frame. When you release your hand, does the door pop back open? If so, then your gearbox spring is broken. In this situation you would either need to replace the gearbox spring, or the entire motor/gearbox assembly.

Handicap Door Openers Provide Access To Pedestrians

9. Check For Mechanical Obstructions

Does the door have an exit device or some kind of latch. Make sure the exit device is dogged down. If the door has an electrified exit device or an electric strike, by pass them, by activating the door opener via the impulse button on the control box. If the door opener activates when you press the impulse button on the control box, then you know the problem lies in the electrified exit device or electric strike lock.

10. Perform A Reset

If the door opener has been on for a long time, try a reset. Flip the power switch to the "Off" position. Wait 2 minutes, so that all of the capacitors have drained. Turn the power switch back to the "On" position.

These 10 things are great troubleshooting techniques and recommendations. If you are still having trouble contact the manufacturer or look at the manufacturer's instructions. And you can always contact us. At Automatic Door and Hardware we are here to help. You can email us at custsvc@autodoorandhardware.com . We also offer replacement automatic door parts for all handicap door opener brands and models. If you are in need of any kind of handicap door opener replacement parts, you can check out our product offering at the link below.


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