If you’ve woken up in the morning to see your electric garage door open when you could’ve sworn you closed it before you went to bed, don’t be alarmed. You do not have a poltergeist in your home. What you do have, however, is a potential security hazard.

A malfunctioning garage door can be an open invitation to thieves, bad weather, rodents, and worse. There are quite a few reasons why your electric garage door operation may be compromised, and there are relatively easy countermeasures to fix the problems as well. Read on to discover why your garage door opens by itself and what you can do about it.

Faults and fixes

garage door keeps opening

Fault 1: Mixed signals

A fairly common reason for garage doors to randomly open is if they receive wireless signals that overlap with yours. The most plausible cause for this is that your immediate neighbor has a similar garage opener and has set it to the same frequency as you have.

How to fix it

To confirm if this is indeed the reason, get your neighbor to open and close the door on their garage, and see if yours does the same. If it does, all you need to do is set your opener frequency to a different frequency from his.

Your garage opener can be affected by various radio frequencies, including CB radios, police radios, radio towers, and more. The process to change the opener frequency may differ according to the model and make of the opener, and instructions are usually found in the owner’s manual.

Fault 2: Problematic remote control

Garage door remote controls are built to take a beating, but there is only so much they can take. Wear and tear as well as habitual misuse could have damaged the electrical components of the remote, such as the circuit board, wiring, and contact points. As a result, the remote could be sending your garage motor unit the wrong signals. This could be why your garage door opens and shuts on its own accord.

How to fix it

Check your remote and make sure there are compressed buttons. Then open it up and use a blow dryer to clean out any dust that may be inside. Repair loose or fused wires, and if necessary, change the batteries on the remote.

Fault 3: Debris

door engine for entrances and garages

Modern garage doors come with safety sensors to keep your car and people safe. If they sense any obstruction when they are closing, the reversing mechanism kicks in and forces the door to stay open.

This safety feature kicks in even when the sensors pick up insignificant debris such as rocks, twigs, and dirt.

How to fix it

Anything can trigger these safety sensors, right from things stored too close to the garage door to snow and dirt. So all you need to do is make sure there is absolutely nothing that can set these sensors off and impede the door from closing.

However, if you think the sensors themselves are faulty, you may need to call a professional garage door technician to take a look.

Fault 4: A rodent problem

Rodents like rats and mice often gnaw on garage door wires, leaving bare spots on them. Sometimes, these rodents even cause short circuits. The bare spots on the wires, especially if they are between the safety sensors and the motor unit, could cause the doors to malfunction and not shut properly.

Read more: Mouse in the house

How to fix it

While you could lay traps for rodent miscreants or call the pest control company to exterminate them, fixing damaged wiring is a job best left to the professionals.

Fault 5: Incorrect settings

Most garage doors have a couple of limit settings that tell them how far up they need to open and how far down they need to go to close. Chances are that your overhead doors aren’t closing properly because you’ve got one of these settings wrong.

How to fix it

Most garage doors have the limit setting close to the door’s opener motor mechanism. Go through your owner’s manual and adjust the limit screw as advised to make sure it operates without hindrance.

What it costs

The average cost of garage door repairs in the US ranges from $147 to $337, while in some cases, it could cost more than $500. A lot of factors influence these costs, including where you live and the extent of the damage. The national average cost, however, is pegged at $223.

While most garage door repairs are minor and can be handled by you, we’d advise that anything that has to do with door springs, circuits and sensors be left to the professionals.

Read more: A garage door opener can be too powerful?

Why is my electric garage door opening by itself? was last modified: August 29th, 2023 by Narayan Shrouthy
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