It can be frightening to find the door of your garage unexpectedly wide open in the morning or hear it pull up open when nobody is coming home. Not only can it seem ghostly, but a garage door that opens by itself can also pose a security problem by exposing your belongings.
If you want to know the reasons why garage door is opening by itself, read on. We have listed below some of the things that cause this problem and how to fix it once and for all.
1. Conflicting Wireless Signals
One of the reasons a garage door would open by itself is overlapping signals. If your neighbor has set the opener of their garage door to the same code as yours, your garage door opener will respond every time they enter the code.
How to Fix
Ask your neighbor to open and close the door of their garage while looking at yours to see if it reacts to their signal.
If they have the same opener frequency as yours, try setting your opener to a different frequency and see if it solves the problem.
Changing your garage opener’s frequency can also prevent interference from other objects like police radios, CB radios, radio towers, and radio stations.
It’s important to note that because garage doors come in different makes and models, there may be different ways to change different openers’ frequencies. So, read your user manual or directly contact the manufacturer for guidance.
2. Faulty Remote Control
A faulty remote control may send wrong signals to the garage door, causing the door to open by itself. You see, if your garage remote control is for like most people, chances are it will not always find itself in the kindest conditions.
It will be thrown into dusty pockets, be forgotten on patio tables, or even get banged on the floor by kids while they play. Sure, garage door remotes, like most remotes, are built to stand the test of time, but constantly exposing them to these not-so-friendly conditions will eventually do a number on their inner circuit board.
Wires and contacts can wear out, become loose, or get fused, resulting in the remote sending inaccurate signals to the motor of your garage door. These signals could cause the garage door to open by itself.
Also, it could be that some remote buttons are stuck, causing the remote to continue transmitting signals and your garage door to randomly open and close.
How to Fix
If you suspect a faulty remote control could be the reason for your garage door having a mind of its own, start by checking the buttons to make sure none is pushed down.
Open the remote and fix any loose, broken, or fused wires inside, and use compressed air to blow out any dust and debris that may be accumulated in the circuit board.
You may also want to replace the remote batteries; sometimes these may cause it to transmit false signals too.
3. Dirt Buildup
If you engage your garage door operator to close, then wave an object under the door as it closes, the door will stop, then open back up. This is because garage doors come with a reversing mechanism, a safety feature that prevents people and their belongings from being crushed.
If the door starts to close and senses something on the way, it will reverse the closing motion and open again.
While this sensor is excellent at keeping you and your car safe, sometimes it becomes a nuisance. If you start closing your garage door and the sensor identifies a rock, stick, twig, leaves, or any other type of large debris, it will initiate the reverse mechanism, and the door will not close until its path is cleared.
How to Fix
Check to see none of the items you store in the garage are too close to the sensor and causing the door to open back up.
Remove any debris and objects that may be triggering the reverse mechanism. Sometimes even snow buildup could be a culprit, so clear any snow buildup near the garage door.
If you think the sensor is faulty or the associated wires are bent, loose, or damaged, consider having it checked by a professional.
4. Incorrect Limit Settings
The ‘open’ and ‘closed’ limit settings are some of the most important settings in garage door openers. The open-door limit tells the door how far up it needs to go before it stops and the closed-door limit tells it how far down it should go before it stops.
If these settings are not done correctly, you may experience issues closing or opening your garage door. The door may stop before it reaches the ceiling or the floor, and you may find yourself wondering why it won’t close all the way down or open all the way up.
How to Fix
The only way to solve this problem is to adjust your limit settings. How to do this may vary depending on your door’s make or model, but for the most part, you will find two limit switch adjustment screws near the opener’s motor mechanism.
If the problem is getting your garage door to close, turn the limit screw as instructed by the manufacturer. You will typically have to turn the screw anticlockwise to keep the door completely closed. This video explains how to adjust a garage door’s limit switch. Check it out.
5. Damaged Electrical Circuits
Windstorms, thunderstorms, heavy rains, and other atmospheric conditions, can cause unexpected power outages and surges, which can damage the electric circuits of your garage door.
If you have been experiencing electrical outages or surges and your garage door keeps opening by itself, there is a chance that the electrical circuits responsible for triggering the opening and closing mechanism are damaged.
How to Fix
This is one of the fixes that we recommend bringing in a garage door expert. Unless you have prior experience working with electricity, it is best to have your garage door checked by a professional.
6. Damaged Control Wiring
Your garage door is made of many different parts connected by wires to ensure the proper functioning of the door. There are small gauge wires running between the motor unit and the door and between the motor unit and the safety sensors.
If there is a bare area or short circuit in any of these wires, your garage door may have a problem staying closed and may open back up on its own.
Most bare spots on garage door wires are a result of a hungry mouse or damage from garage equipment. It could also be caused by nails piercing the wires or friction wearing the wire over time.
How to Fix
Whatever may have caused the damage, it is best to have any faulty control wires inspected and replaced by a professional. You don’t want to perform this task especially if you are not familiar with how garage door wiring works.
7. Misaligned Safety Sensors
While debris buildup and items blocking the safety sensors are the main reason why the reverse mechanism of your garage door is triggered, this mechanism can also be initiated by misaligned sensors.
Most garage doors will have two sensors that start the reverse mechanism, located on each side of the door opening. In some instances, you will see the sensors strike a ray of light across the garage door.
For your garage door to function properly, these safety sensors must be aligned correctly. If a beam of light is interrupted, the sensor will think there is something in the way and will immediately start the reverse mechanism.
But it is also possible for two sensors to become misaligned. When that happens, instead of the sensors producing one solid ray of light pointing at one another, the rays tend to point at different spots, and this is often interpreted as something being in the way. As a result, the reverse mechanism is triggered in spite of the garage door not having any obstacles in its path.
How to Fix
Issues with garage door safety sensors will typically occur because of wrongly connected wires, shorts in wires, or a poor connection.
If you suspect a misaligned sensor could be the reason why your garage door is opening on its own, have a garage door technician examine it. Not only will they fix the problem but they will also offer tips for preventing future sensor misalignments.
A garage door that keeps opening by itself can be a cause for concern. Luckily, most of the problems that cause this can easily be fixed. Depending on what’s making your door go back up, you can either solve the problem yourself or involve a garage door technician.
Minor problems like replacing the remote control batteries, changing the door opener’s frequency, or removing obstacles near the safety sensors are things you can do on your own. But if you suspect that the sensors are misaligned or electrical circuits are damaged, it would be best to call a professional.