Did you recently come home to an open garage door? If you’re looking to diagnose a garage door opening by itself, you’re in the right place. When opening by themselves, they’re said to be in phantom operation, which can be caused by a handful of issues. While unsettling, not all the reasons behind this problem are a cause for concern. We rank four causes from most to least likely as well as how to address each problem.
Shorts in the wiring (most likely)
The most common cause of a garage door opening by itself is an electrical short. The short could be in the opener, remote, or wall control panel. Openers have logic boards, gear kits and electrical motors made of dozens of parts. If one of these parts fails, it could trigger your door to open. The same can is true of remotes and wall control panels.
Severe weather can cause power outages and electrical surges that damage internal components. Individual parts can also go bad. Check your opener warranty for coverage. If not covered by a warranty, we recommend replacing it with a new one, complete with a new accessories. With a new opener, you’ll get warranty coverage and surety that if something fails, you’re covered.
Wall panel & remote (likely)
A sticking button on your garage door remote or wall control panel is the first place to look. Double check these openers to make sure they work. Open and close them a handful of times to see if you can get the button to stick. If you can’t replicate the error, it’s likely something else.
Another piece of advice: don’t keep your garage door remote in the junk drawer or somewhere kids can grab it. Kids love anything that clicks, and they have a knack for finding the important grown up items.
If you have replacement batteries on hand, replace the remote batteries to ensure the old batteries aren’t firing off signals, opening your garage door by itself.
Debris or obstructions
I recently came home to an open garage door. Upon entering my wife said she and the kids had come inside from playing in the front yard. In a hurry to get the kids inside, she didn’t wait to confirm the door closed. Our 4 year old left his bike in front of the sensors, so the garage door didn’t close when she hit the wall control panel.
This is a pretty common scenario and can be confirmed with a quick visual check. If you find an obstruction, move it from under the door and your door should operate.
Radio interference is the least likely cause of a garage door opening by itself
Is your garage door synced with your neighbors? While unlikely, your door can operate on the same radio frequency as your neighbors causing your garage door to open. With a quick button push of your neighbor’s remote, you can cross this off the list. It’s not likely to be the culprit of a garage door opening by itself because newer garage door openers cycle through millions of codes to make sure your opener only works with your remote.
If you live in Southern California and have a garage door that keeps opening by itself, we’d love to help get it back on track. With more than 30 years of experience, we’ve seen all the garage door problems and know how to fix them. Please contact us if we can help.