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Imagine this. You come home and head to the garage to park your car and your garage door is standing wide open! Your first thought is that there’s been a burglary. Your second thought is that your spouse or kids left the door open accidentally. Before you panic or start calling family members to give them an earful, it’s important to know that your garage door opener might be the culprit. 

Why Does My Garage Door Open and Close on its Own?

Although it’s rare, a garage door opener can sometimes activate even when you haven’t pushed your remote button. Here are a few reasons this might be happening: 

Reason #1 – Your door opened because of a safety mechanism. 

If you come home to find your garage door unexpectedly in the open position, the most likely scenario is that your garage door’s safety mechanisms reacted and reopened the door. There are two possible reasons for the two different safety features of your opener to trigger automatically.

Photo Eyes


The first place to check is your “photo eyes,” which are located on either side of your garage door, near the bottom of the door. These photosensors emit a beam, and when interrupted, they send a signal to stop the closing of the garage door. You’ll see a red flashing indicator light on the back of your garage door opener if this is the issue. 

It’s a great system to keep you, your loved ones, and/or your pets safe in case they get in the way of a closing door. However, in some cases, it’s an overreaction to something much smaller, like a stray plant waving in the breeze or a build-up of snow. Before doing anything, check that there’s nothing in the path of the sensors that would be interrupting the beam. 

Another reason your photo-eyes might not be working properly is that they are misaligned or need to be cleaned. A build-up of dirt or dust can skew the reading, so check out this quick video on how to clean your photo-eyes properly. If the eyes are clean, you may need to call a garage door technician to adjust the beams. 

Once you’ve resolved the issue, the indicator light on your garage door opener should stop blinking, and another tap on your remote should bring the door down all the way. 

Up & Down Force & Limit Settings


When your garage door won’t close, and it’s not because of your photo eyes, it’s likely because there is something physically in the way of the door closing.

Your garage door has a specific limit set that tells it when it’s all the way closed and when it’s all the way up. There are two ways this can prevent your door from opening and closing properly: 

There’s something in the way. Thanks to harsh winters in Edmonton, this is often the result of a build-up of ice and snow on the bottom of your garage door. The solution is simple: keep your door free of ice and snow.
The open and close limit is not set properly. In this case, your garage door won’t open or close properly because the limit is incorrect. To remedy this, call a garage door company in Edmonton to fix the issue.

Solutions: 

Keep your garage door free of snow and ice
Clean your sensors
Schedule a garage door inspection and service

Reason # 2 – Your garage door remote is old. 

Your garage door opens on a radio frequency. When you hit the button on the panel inside your garage or on your remote, the frequency is emitted, which then signals the garage door to open.

Decades ago, the issue was typically that your garage door opener was programmed to the same frequency as your neighbour’s. Other nearby radio signals would also interfere with your garage door, including CB radios and police radios. However, most modern remotes from companies like LiftMaster have created technology that prevents interference from other remotes or signals, but it can still happen in rare instances

One scenario that may play out no matter how old your remote is, or its make and model, is dying batteries, which would cause a signal to go out randomly. Replacing the batteries in your remotes will likely fix the issue.

If your remote is an older model, there are a few solutions to this issue. The first would be to change the frequency by programming your remote. This is an extremely simple task that only takes a few seconds. Just hold down the “Learn” button on the motor of your garage door opener, then press and hold the button on your remote until the motor’s indicator light starts blinking. This will reset the frequency of your remote. 

Solutions: 

Change the batteries in your remote 
Change the frequency between your remote and opener
Update your remote

Reason #3 –  A storm has damaged your garage door’s electrical circuits.

Damaged circuits can occur after a thunderstorm or windstorm results in power outages or electrical surges. In this case, it’s always best to call a professional garage door technician for an inspection. The technician may need to coordinate with an electrician to completely resolve the issue. 

Reason #4 – You’ve got damaged wiring.

Wiring issues can cause all kinds of problems with your garage door that can arise in many different ways. Often, insulation from your wiring could be worn down, chewed by mice, or damaged in some way that exposes the bare wire. Like above, it’s best to let the professionals handle this issue as it could be dangerous. 

The Best Solution – Get a Smart Home Garage Door Opener with myQ Technology 

The best option for a garage door that opens and closes properly is to have a garage door inspection and/or service, and to upgrade to a myQ compatible opener. myQ technology allows you to check on your garage door’s status from an app on your phone. Check with your local Edmonton garage door expert to learn more!

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