Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in maintenance, repair

What Does It Mean If Your Garage Door Opens . . . All on Its Own?

You return home from vacation and find your garage door wide open. No one has stolen anything, and nobody saw who did it. You close it, thanking your lucky stars that nothing went missing, but it happens again. You wake up in the middle of the night to that telltale buzz, you run to catch the culprit . . . and nobody’s there. A phantom has been operating your garage door.

Garage Door Opening

Although it would make an interesting story, there isn’t actually a ghost or phantom in your garage door. Phantom operations happen to anyone and everyone, and they’re nothing more than a short in your garage door opener’s transmitter.

What Are Phantom Operations?

If you’ve got an old, damaged, or worn transmitter, it probably has a short of some kind in it. The wiring has become loose or worn in one way or another so that it doesn’t function properly, sending phantom signals to your garage door.

However, your wall or key-ring transmitter doesn’t just send signals of its own accord. It still needs triggers, and those triggers could be anything from lightning to military equipment operating on the same frequency. Any power surge can open your garage door at any time.

How Do You Banish the Phantom?

If you’ve found your garage door open when it isn’t supposed to be, and you’ve found it that way several times, there are a few household remedies that you can try:

  1. Change the code. If you have an older transmitter, a simple code change may fix the problem. Open up the cover and change the code on the code wheel. You’ll have to remember to replicate the process with the opener above the garage door.
    Unstick or repair buttons. Your buttons might just be stuck. Work them loose if you can, but replacing the transmitter might be easier.
  2. Shut off the power to your garage opener. This is a little drastic, but it is a great solution if you have to leave for work before making repairs. If you can’t banish the phantom with a new code or a button repair, you’ll need to call a professional. This remedy will keep your garage shut and secure in the meantime.
  3. Your best course of action is to replace the transmitter as soon as possible, but there’s always a chance that it will wear out again. You may want to replace your entire garage door instead. Newer models have advanced technology, so they won’t wear out as quickly—and they’re less likely to have phantom operations when they do.

If you need help banishing the ghosts in your garage door, contact The Garage Door Company. We’ll help you identify the problem and make your home secure again. Call us to learn more today!

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