When Your Electric Awning Won't Open

Electric awnings give you the ability to choose between shade and sun whenever you want as long as the awning is working. If the awning won't extend or retract, even though it had been working fine previously, you're likely dealing with a power issue or a physical problem with the arms that move the awning. Give the awning a quick inspection before calling contractors out to fix it so that the technicians have a better idea of what they'll be dealing with when they come out to work on it.

Short Circuit or Bad Wiring

One possibility is that the wiring for the awning has gone bad somehow. Something may have tripped the circuit breaker, so check your breaker panel to see if the corresponding switch has flipped over. If that's happened, you can try resetting it, but if it trips again, you'll need a contractor to look at the wiring. An awning technician may be able to do that, though you might need to call an electrician, too.

Another possibility is that the wiring has become corroded or damaged, such as from rodents chewing on it. If you've noticed frayed wires or signs of a rodent infestation, stop using the awning and call for both pest control and wiring repair. Frayed wires are a fire risk, so you'll want those fixed as soon as possible -- but you have to get rid of the pests, too, otherwise they'll just chew through the new wiring.

One more potential cause of wiring corrosion is water damage. Look for stains and listen for drips, and check your water bills for sudden increases. Water that's dripping from pipes in the wall can harm wiring and outlets.

Check Connections

Look at the connections between the arms and the house, and between arm segments. If any are rusted, that could be your problem; also look for debris that's trapped in the joints, such as twigs and leaves. If you recently had any of the awning arm joints replaced or repaired, the new ones could have been tightened too much and are unable to move as easily. And of course, one of the joints could be out of whack and need to be repaired.

If you can spot any of these things, you'll have a better idea of who to call first. If you still don't see anything wrong, though, call contractors who work on awnings to give the device a thorough inspection. For more information, visit websites like http://www.myawningguy.com/.