why does “holding down the button” make a broken garage door work?


With a functioning garage door, you press the button once and it opens/closes all the way.

Old garage doors sometimes stop or reverse and don’t seem to work with a single press, but holding down the button always seems to work. Why?

In: 0

There are built in safety features that are in effect when you press the button once. If the door detects resistance while closing (like crushing the head of a 5 year old who asks alot of questions) it reverses. If an object moves into the optical sensor range while the door is closing, it reverses to avoid a collision.

Pushing and holding the button overrides these safety features.

To make the door again work properly with a single touch, you need to adjust the sensitivity of the downward force detector, or re-align the optical sensor.

**Edit:** I seem to have misunderstood your question. Gonna keep my answer below in the event that anyone clicks on your question wondering the answer but also misunderstood what you meant like me. See the answer /u/me_at_myhouse posted for the more accurate context. Also be warned: overriding the safety feature with a broken garage door spring can be dangerous.

It doesn’t make it work any better, it just gives it more opportunities to work. When you press that button, it sends a stream of data wirelessly in all directions. They’re gonna bounce off of stuff, refract *through* stuff, and finally (hopefully) make it to your garage door receiver. Hopefully the whole message gets there and is ‘loud’ enough to be understood.

If you hold it down, it’ll send that message several times. You’ve got more chances to hear someone if they repeat themselves, right?

Regarding the specifics of what the button does: There is likely some logic in garage door receivers that understand if a message is being sent over and over (holding the button) that maybe the garage door shouldn’t open and close for as many times as it got a message.

Basically, if holding it down for 5 seconds sends 5 signals, your door doesn’t go open-close-open-close-open. But if you pressed it 5 times and waited, it *does.* The logic probably just opens and then waits for the signal to stop before listening again.

If it’s an old, malfunctioning ‘dip switch’ remote, just buy a new one (under $15 USD) and program it. It’s very simple.