How to Troubleshoot a Retractable Awning

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Awnings provide sun and shade during the summer.

A retractable awning is a practical addition to a patio or deck area, as it allows you to choose whether you receive shade or sunlight during pleasant summer weather. The awning's motor or remote control is usually to blame when the unit stops working as you expect. The awning's settings and electricity supply are also common sources of trouble. You should always troubleshoot your awning before calling the manufacturer to see if you can solve the problem yourself. This approach saves you time and money in the long run.


Step 1

Ensure that the awning's power supply is properly connected. Some awnings plug into an outlet inside the home while others source their electricity directly from the mains without an outlet. Ensure that the awning's outlet is turned on, if necessary, via a wall switch or switch on the outlet itself.

Step 2

Confirm that the awning's circuit breaker or fuse is still active; the power becomes disconnected when the breaker or fuse detects an electrical fault. Reset the breaker or swap the fuse for a suitable replacement. Call an electrician if you need help with your circuit breakers or fuses.


Step 3

Put new batteries in the awning's remote control; dead batteries might give the impression that the awning isn't working. Most remote controls are powered by common household batteries that are easily replaced. You might need to unscrew the back of the remote to access the batteries.

Step 4

Adjust the awning's limit settings; the unit might be configured incorrectly for your particular patio or deck area. The awning won't fully extend if the "Open" limit setting is set too closely to the awning's closed position. The open and close settings are usually adjusted via a control panel on the side of the awning and regulate the motor's range of movement. Consult your owner's manual for precise instructions.


Step 5

Unplug or stop using the awning and wait a few minutes; the motor could be overheating. Limit how often you open and close the awning as overuse on a hot day could cause the motor to cut out. Plug the awning back in, if necessary, and try using the awning again.



Jon Stefansson

Jon Stefansson has been a professional writer since 2009. He is currently freelancing as an advertising and web copy writer for several Canadian and American clients. Stefansson graduated from Staffordshire University, England, with a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism. He has freelanced for several British radio stations as a news reader and sports producer.