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Garage Door is Opening by Itself

A Garage Door that Opens by Itself is Always a Cause for Concern

Troubleshooting DIY / July 26, 2021

What Should I Do If My Garage Door Is Opening By Itself?

There are a variety of reasons that your garage door could be opening without your consent. Figuring out the source of the issue is a matter of troubleshooting what is wrong with your door operating system. Some of these issues will require the help of a professional, while others can be fixed easily by yourself, which can save money. This post will give you an overview of the most common causes of a garage door opening by itself and the solutions.

When your garage door begins acting up, it can cause a huge disruption in your day-to-day life. If you have a garage door that opens up on its own and you can’t find the cause, it’s time to call in a professional. At Overhead Door Company of Huntsville™, we’re ready to fix any issues with your garage door to get it working. We service and repair all brands.

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Possible Problem #1

A remote transmitter or button is stuck or is otherwise repeating its signal.

Explanation

The components involved in opening your garage door may wear down over time from regular use. One of the most common results of this is the physical buttons involved in opening your garage door becoming stuck. Usually, these are the devices you use to tell your garage door to open. Devices this can affect include car remotes, wall buttons, keypads, and other similar gadgets. When a button on one of these tools gets stuck, it can cause a signal to repeat itself, making the door repeatedly open and close by itself.

What To Do

Try replacing the batteries in your remote.

Check all your garage door opening devices to see if any buttons are stuck. If a remote controller has a stuck button, take its batteries out to disable the device until you can replace it. If it’s a wall-mounted button, you should unplug your garage door opener until you can get it fixed.

Get in touch with us if you need a service call.

 

Possible Problem #2

There is an issue with the electrical circuits, the circuit board, or a faulty wiring issue.

Explanation

When your garage door opens and closes, there is a lot of vibration and shaking. Over years of daily use, these violent movements can cause a wire involved in opening your garage door to become loose. Power surges and outages can also cause this issue. Wires that are not appropriately connected can short circuit, which can cause a variety of issues. One of the possible problems this can cause is the door repeatedly opening and or closing itself.

If you’ve recently experienced a power outage or surge, it may have damaged the electrical circuits that are responsible for opening and closing your garage door. This type of damage can lead to the garage door opening on its own — usually in a completely erratic manner.

The garage door circuit board, or logic board, helps operate the entire garage door. Sometimes this circuit board goes bad.

In your garage, a wire runs from the motor unit to the opener that’s mounted to your wall. Some wires run between the motor unit and each sensor on either side of the garage door tracks, near the floor. If any of these small-gauge wires have a bare spot or a short circuit, it could be the reason your garage door keeps opening on its own.

What To Do

Due to the open-ended nature of this issue, you should call a garage door technician to inspect the circuits.   If you suspect recent weather conditions or other power surges, either of these may be at the root of your garage door opening on its own.

Look for evidence of a broken or chewed wire. This sometimes happens when a staple punctures the wires, a rodent might have been chewing on the wires, or a simple mistake of a shovel or sharp instrument piercing the wires.

Call us to do an inspection and make the repairs needed to get your garage door functioning normal again.

 

Possible Problem #3

Your remote transmitter or garage door runs on the same frequency as your neighbor’s.

Explanation

Older garage doors, which more commonly face this issue, communicate with garage door openers on a narrow range of frequencies. There is a slight chance that yours is the same as your neighbors, which causes miscommunication between your garage doors and openers. This problem only occurs in older garage door openers that were programmed using positioning clips. It is rare for a remote transmitter to pair with the wrong door in newer models, but it is still possible.

What To Do

An easy way to verify this issue is to ask your neighbors to open their garage doors. When theirs opens, does yours too?

If you own a newer garage door, you may own an LCD control panel, in which case you can check it to see who is connected. If you find more than the ones you use, you’ve found the issue. To fix this issue, you will need to reprogram your remote transmitter, or your garage door will need to be set to a different frequency.

Each garage door opener manufacturer has a different way of reprogramming and/or switching its frequency.  Reach out to us to make sure your frequencies and codes are correctly set.

 

Possible Problem #4

Debris is preventing your garage door from closing.

Explanation

Garage doors have a safety mechanism to detect if something is below it, preventing it from properly closing. Debris that builds up at the base of a garage door over time, such as rocks, sticks, or even just too much dirt, can cause the door to not close.

What To Do

Most all garage doors have a safety feature known as a reversing mechanism.  If  you don’t have this system in place, this is reason enough to call us!   These sensors are located near the floor of your garage, right where the door closes. These sensors are designed to keep people and belongings safe from being crushed by the door.  When these sensors  detect  something in the way, it reverses the closing motion of the door, opening it again. Something as simple as a spider web might cause your garage door to not close.

Make sure the area surrounding your garage door is free of debris to ensure that the safety mechanism does not kick in.

Another consideration. Look up! You might find something up inside the coils of the springs keeping it from closing. It’s not uncommon for a snake or rodent to become trapped as the door begins to close.

Snake coiled up in spring of a garage door in Huntsville, Alabama - Overhead Door Company of Huntsville  

Snake coiled up in spring of a garage door in Huntsville, Alabama. Summer 2021.

Possible Problem #5

Misaligned safety sensors are preventing the door from closing correctly.

Explanation

If you have ruled out Possible Problem #4, but your door is still experiencing exhibiting the same issue of closing partially, then opening back up, this is likely the issue. Most garage doors use two thermal sensors to verify if anything is in the way. If one or both sensors become offset, then the garage door will not close.

What To Do

Verifying whether you have thermal sensors or not is easy; thermal sensors would be located at the bottom of the two rails that the garage door slides on, facing each other. An orange LED should be visible on one of the sensors; this is the sending sensor. The other sensor, the receiving sensor, has a green LED, which will be in one of four states: solid, flickering, dim, or completely off. The amber LED on the sending sensor will glow regardless of alignment or obstruction. If the LED is not producing a solid green color when unobstructed, it means that your thermal sensors are misaligned. These are referred to as photo eyes. These sensors must be connected and aligned correctly for the garage door to work properly.

If this is the case, you should contact a professional garage door technician.

Garage Door Technician Explaining Why a Garage Door Is Opening By Itself

 

Possible Problem #6

Limit settings are set incorrectly or malfunctions.

Explanation

The limit switch on a garage door opener prevents the erratic movement of a garage door, acting as a safety instrument that keeps the door from accidentally closing on someone and causing accidents and severe injuries. This setting is essential for a garage door opener to instruct the door to stop while operating.

If the limit switch is set incorrectly or malfunctions, the door may refuse to close fully close. In some cases, it will reverse after fully closing.

What To Do 

Adjust either the up or down limit switch or both, depending on the issues faced while opening or closing.

  • The up-limit knob needs adjustment if the door opens halfway or doesn’t open fully.
  • The down limit switch requires adjusting when the garage door doesn’t close entirely or stops mid-way.

If you suspect your limit settings may be the cause of your garage door opening issues, schedule your appointment today for us to adjust and reset your current settings. If the limit switch isn’t working, it won’t tell your garage door to stop when it senses an object in the way. The limit settings on a garage door opener can be extremely dangerous if not set correctly. 

Don’t See Your Issue On This List?

Contact Overhead Door Company of Huntsville/North Alabama™  to diagnose and fix your issue hassle-free! We will provide the very best service possible and offer affordable options to help you make the smartest decisions.

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Safety Precaution 

Before going any further, we want to be clear. Garage doors can be dangerous, and it’s not uncommon for people to get injured while attempting any garage door repairs. Even experienced technicians with years of experience should work with caution, as it is in the highest insurance classification for a work-related injury. This is not a garage door safety guide and cannot account for every garage door situation. Always proceed with caution. When in doubt, leave the job to garage door professionals. They are familiar with the dangers of working with a garage door, hardware, and all of its moving parts.

If you decide to operate the garage door manually, we recommend that you either close or brace the door before pulling the release cord and that nothing is in its operating path. If you attempt any adjustments, do not loosen or remove any part of the door or hardware that is under spring tension or the weight of the door. Make sure the door is not jammed. Check that its path is clear and unobstructed before operating the motor.