“Can garage door open by itself ?” That’s a common question any garage door business regularly receives from their clients. And as a garage door repair company based in Calgary, we’re no exception.
Unfortunately, the answer is yes. A garage door can open up by itself, and there are several factors that may cause it. In some cases, this issue is preventable. But for the most part, the homeowner usually contacts us only after the problem appears for the first or the second time.
Needless to say, if a garage door can open up by itself, it may lead to stolen belongings from your garage or even a house robbery, if the man door leading into the home wasn’t locked.
Those are the most common reasons for your garage door to open up unintentionally. Below, we’ll elaborate on each point and offer an appropriate solution.
As one of the most trusted garage door repair companies in Calgary, we regularly get complaints where the garage door opens up by itself, and in 70% of cases, opener frequency reset does the trick.
In simple terms, one of your neighbors has a garage door opener that uses the same signal as your opener. So when they drive by your house and push the button on the remote to open up their garage door, yours opens up as well. Then they close their garage with the wall-mounted button, which is wired directly to the opener, meaning it doesn’t send a radio signal. As a result, your garage door stays open until you notice it.
This situation is a widespread issue because of the over-saturation of the same brand of garage door openers across the neighborhoods. Chamberlain and Liftmaster are the leading garage door opener manufacturers that became very popular thanks to their best-in-class features. As a garage door repair company, we always reset a factory-programmed set of codes while installing a new garage door opener. It lowers the chances of garage door opener frequency overlap.
The procedure is straightforward, and all you need is a suitable ladder to access your garage door opener controls. The vast majority of garage door openers have a dedicated “Learn” button located on the machine itself. It is usually clearly visible and has a distinct color. For example, garage door openers by Liftmaster and Chamberlain may have yellow, purple, and red learn buttons. The Yellow “learn” button means your garage door opener belongs to the latest generation.
You’ve completed the opener frequency reset at this stage, and your neighbor shouldn’t be able to control your garage door anymore. However, if your garage door opens up by itself even after the reset, you might need to check other options.
Something as simple as two low-voltage wires touching each other can trigger the open/close operation. Garage door openers have two wires coming out the back panel leading to the wall station or wall button. The wires can get loose over time and work their way towards each other, where even the slightest vibration may cause a short circuit which triggers the opener. Another possible cause of a short circuit is a staple that goes through the wires.
The garage door opener installer will often use a staple gun to secure the wires to the ceiling or the drywall. A staple may puncture the wires and trigger the opener during certain conditions. Therefore to rule out this issue, you would need to inspect both ends of the button wiring and the staples. Ensure no excess cable is exposed that may cause problems, and no staples go through the wires.
Sometimes the wall button will cause your garage door to open up by itself. This is a more widespread issue with the jackshaft series openers by Liftmaster and Chamberlain. With the first models, the original wall button could fail after a few years of operation, and the garage door would open up by itself. The opener would even disengage the magnetic lock when the button fails.
To fix this issue or even prevent it from happening, you need to replace the original wall button with the LM 889.
The installation is extremely simple. All you need to do is connect two wires to the back of the button, and your opener will be operational again.
Let’s be honest, we rarely watch our garage door go all the way down when we hit that close button. When you go out for work in the morning, you drive out, hit the button on your remote and leave, assuming your garage door will do what it always does. However, if your safety sensors trigger while the door is on its way down, it will bounce back up. And you’ll only see that when you’re back or someone calls you later in the day to let you know. Make sure your sensors are correctly aligned, lenses are clean, and nothing will get in the way when you’re closing the door.
Sometimes when the sun shines directly into one of your garage door sensors. Your door will bounce right up, and you’ll have to hold the wall button all the way down to close the door. There’s an easy fix to this issue.
You can change the position of your sensor. Find out which sensor gets hit by the sun rays, take it off the vertical track, and move it further away from the opening. Usually, you will be able to secure it with a few screws about a foot away from the opening.
It is important to verify the sensors can communicate even after you relocate one of them. Have a look at the LED indicators located on the garage door sensors to confirm they can “see” each other.
There are instances when your garage door will go all the way down, hit the floor, and bounce back up. Find out how you can solve this…
Any garage door opener has what’s called “travel limits.” This programmable setting allows you to “tell” the opener how far away it should push your garage door down to close it, and the same with opening the door. When the lower travel limit is set too low, your opener will “feel” the resistance of the floor and bounce back up.
You might notice that your garage door opens up by itself when there’s ice and snow accumulation underneath the door.
If the limits were set during the summer when the floor is clear of any ice build-up, you might have to readjust it in winter to allow for a “higher” floor level due to ice and snow accumulation. Otherwise, make sure you thoroughly clean your garage’s concrete floor to prevent your opener from auto-reversing.
In some cases, the travel module of your garage door opener may fail, and the adjustment knobs won’t change settings. At this point, you should hire a local garage door repair company to solve this issue.
Some homeowners turn their garage into a storage unit. And some of the belongings can find their way into your garage door’s path. Auto-reverse is a safety feature that any garage door opener should have. It will reverse the garage door if it feels enough resistance on the way down. Therefore all the gardening tools you like to keep in the corners of your garage right by the door should be carefully stored.
Sometimes even a loose screw inside the vertical track can cause your door to open up without fully closing. And this is another reason you need to hire a professional garage door repair company to inspect your garage door regularly.
Last and the worst cause for your garage door to open by itself is a faulty logic board. We call it the worst reason as this will require the attention of a professional garage door repair company. Some garage door companies will troubleshoot a faulty logic board and offer a replacement, while others will suggest replacing the whole garage door opener. At Calgary Garage Door Fix, we believe replacing the opener makes more sense if the unit is more than five years old. The price for replacing a logic board can sometimes be close to 40-50% of the price for a new garage door opener installation. Therefore it makes much more sense to get a new garage door opener installed and have peace of mind with a new opener under warranty.
Calgary Garage Door Fix Inc.
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