When your garage door doesn’t work correctly, you feel unsafe
or secure. If your garage door is opening on its own, take a look at possible causes.

Sensor Malfunction

Garage doors made after 1993 have safety sensors that detect objects in the way of a clean close. These sensors stop the door from closing on a person, pet, or car that gets in its way. Without properly functioning sensors, it’s possible for someone or something to get stuck or injured by a closing door.

Older doors may have a physical sensor. When the door touches an object it reverses automatically. Most newer doors have photo eye sensors. When an object passes through the sensor’s line of sight it trips the sensor, causing the reversal mechanism to kick in.

Dirty, misaligned, worn, or incorrectly wired sensors can malfunction, causing the door to open when nothing obvious is blocking the way. If you store household, garden, or other items in your garage, make sure to keep them away from the sensors. A rake, sled, or other object can set off the sensor or stop it from working properly.

If you’ve cleared everything from the area, dusted the photo eyes, and made sure they’re aligned but your door still opens unexpectedly, contact a garage door professional to evaluate and repair the problem.

Opener Malfunction

Most garage doors have openers on the exterior (a keypad), on the interior, and as a remote. A malfunction of any type of opener can cause your door to behave strangely.

If a wall opener button gets dirty the buttons can stick, forcing it to stay in the on position. This results in a continuous open-close cycle of the door. Check the button, making sure it’s not pressed down. Gently wiping the opener may clean loose debris way. If the door continues to malfunction after cleaning the opener and its buttons, the door requires professional help.

It’s possible the wiring from the opener to the door is worn or not working properly. Like with a faulty sensor eye, you’ll need the help of a professional contractor to repair this issue.

If the opener button inside your home or garage isn’t at fault, check your remote. Failing batteries, sticky or dirty buttons, or improperly stored remotes can cause the door to open. Never store your remote under other items. An accidental bump to one of the remote keys could open the door when you don’t want to.

Radio Wave Interference

Along with cleanliness and mechanical problems, radio interference can also cause a garage door to unexpectedly open. Passcode keypad units and remote openers use radio frequencies to connect with the automatic opener. But these aren’t the only nearby devices that could be using radio waves.

A nearby radio, wireless network, or appliance may accidentally interfere with your garage door’s operation if they’re both tuned to the same frequency. Unlike mechanical issues, this doesn’t require a professional fix. Removing the other radio wave source eliminates the issue.

Other Garage Doors

The radio frequency your garage door opener uses may match your neighbor’s new door. If two nearby openers are programmed to the same channel, it’s possible for someone else to operate your door with their remote. Talk to your neighbors or have them test their opener on your door. If their remote interfering with your door, reprogram your unit to correct the problem.

Do you need help diagnosing or repairing an automatic garage door opener problem? Contact C and M Garage Doors for questions and information about your garage door.