Garage doors in our neighborhood are being opened by a master code. Can an electrician wire the light switch to shut off power to the garage, so the door doesn't open at night or when we are away? I have seen the locks you can install on the door itself.

  • 1
    @bleez That utterly defeats the purpose of having a garage door opener. We don't use openers because doors are heavy. They're not, a healthy door can be lifted with one hand because it's counterbalanced. We use openers because we don't like getting out of our car in the rain. Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 6:06
  • you should have a circuit breaker already, but it might be more handy to an another switch...
    – dandavis
    Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 11:18

5 Answers 5


Yes, a switch that shuts off power to the garage door opener would make it unresponsive to commands from a remote (or anything else, such as a hardwired button). In some models, it may be possible to wire a separate switch to disable only the remote receiver while maintaining the functionality of wired buttons.

You may also look into setting a new code for your opener - this may not help but you should at least ensure the current setting isn't simply the factory default.

Another option, aside from replacing the whole opener with a new model that is more secure, might be to get an aftermarket remote kit and replace the built-in remote system. These are wired like a button control, but come with their own remote receiver and transmitters.

An electrician or garage door specialist should be able to help you with these.

  • 4
    It is not hard to make a device that will open fixed code openers in a minute or so. newer models are much tougher but as Shimon said a switch would disable the door. After market kits with rolling code are the toughest to crack from what I remember.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 16:25
  • 3
    "Newer" in this case means anything made after the 90s. I'd replace the opener. It'll cost about the same as paying for a switch install, and you won't have to goof around with a switch.
    – isherwood
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 17:13
  • 7
    A significant portion of the openers I've seen are plugged into a socket set in the ceiling for greater modularity. If that's the case you can just unplug it. Also, on most models triggering the manual release will render the motor incapable of opening the door.
    – Perkins
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 17:40
  • 1
    Last time we had a garage door opener replaced the door company just put a switch in for it. It's part of their standard practice now. Even with the door lockout function on the opener available they still do the physical switch because it's easier for people to wrap their heads around. Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 19:41
  • This is what we did. We got a local electrician who installed a 'kill' switch. This shuts off the power to our garage doors. They can not be opened until we turn the power back on. They are on a separate circuit so its easy without interfering with anything else. Its worth the safety. Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 17:49

After disengaging from the motor, most garage doors have a sliding lock. Disengage, and lock. You cannot open the door now.

  • 2
    My garage door opener has a lockout function so that remotes no matter how clever, are disabled. The only way to open the door is from the inside.
    – bleez
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 19:00

I think you're better off with something that prevents the door from opening by blocking the wheels in the track or throws a bolt from the door through the track. But then also opens itself automatically.

Something like this: https://www.surelock4homes.com/ or https://www.liftmaster.com/for-homes/autolock

But you have to make sure the default codes won't open your door or else the locks will be triggered to open.

Combining one of these with a power cutoff seems like a really secure solution. What about unplugging the opener??

  • Trying to block the door from opening is somehow better than simply cutting power to the opener so it can't operate?
    – FreeMan
    Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 11:19

A WiFi-Controlled Socket...

...may be just the ticket.

If you have WiFi in your home that covers your garage area, you could use a device such as this or this. Either would allow you to turn on/off the socket into which your door opener was plugged, thereby securing your door opener.

  • They both support a full 15A load, so you shouldn't have any issues with that.
  • They both can interface with Amazon Alexa, as well as any iOS/Android device, so you could enable/disable it with your phone from your driveway whenever you arrive/leave, or from your Echo via voice command when you get/leave home.
  • At least one of them also interfaces with Nest thermostats, so if you use those, you could have it automatically enable/disable your door opener automatically as well (if it sensed you were away, it could turn off the door opener socket, for instance.)
  • At least one of them allows you to schedule on/off times, allowing you to have the door opener enabled when you would typically be leaving / arriving home and disabled otherwise. Again, you could always override with your smartphone and the device's control app.
  • 1
    This is the proper answer! A physical switch will disable the door when you're home to turn it off, but it'll still remain operable while you're away from home which is when the house is most vulnerable to burglary!
    – FreeMan
    Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 11:21
  • @FreeMan - Thanks! I just noticed this answer languishing in my history and was surprised it hadn't gotten at least 1 upvote! :-) Personally, this is how I do it and it is great for our peace of mind. Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 22:59

Most garage doors that I've seen have a pull string to disconnect the motor from the door (it disconnects a tab from the chain). You could pull it at night and engage it again when you needed it.

Edit: This would required the mentioned door lock be used.

  • 14
    This is no solution at all! Pulling the emergency release disconnects the motor so the door can be opened by hand! It is intended to allow to you to open the door if the power fails. Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 18:21
  • 2
    It's a useful suggestion if used in conjunction with the security bolt many doors have.
    – isherwood
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 19:00
  • @Stephen - the OP already mentioned he knows about door locks, and was looking for a way to stop use of the motor.
    – xgo
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 19:34
  • 1
    Plus if you disengage then, on my door at least, if you turn the motor on after a full cycle (chain moved from door closed to door open to door closed) the latch will be reengaged.
    – Brad
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 21:08
  • One of the ways burglars (or firefighters) might open your garage door is by smashing a window and pulling that "release cord", unless it is also mechanically latched shut. Of course, not all garage doors have windows but many also do not have mechanical latches, other than the lifter linkage.
    – Upnorth
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 20:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.