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My garage door has opened twice in the last 2 weeks during the night. Is someone driving by and opening it "accidentally"? How do I keep this from happening?

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    in the mean time, 1) if you have a doorway from the garage, keep it locked; 2) some openers have a wall mounted control unit, and some of those control units have a tiny switch to disable the opener. If you disable the opener, or simply unplug the opener's power cord, make sure you know how to open the door manually in case of emergency such as fire. Also, unplugging or disabling the opener may make it possible to open the door manually (from outside), in which case it will need to be manually latched closed as well for security. – mike Jul 15 '13 at 2:57
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    Thanks Mike. I have all doors locked and garage doors latched with handle and spring lock mechanism. Will try to reset remote and code box. – Nanny Jul 15 '13 at 4:28
  • good. It would be stating the obvious, but two other steps would be to google the model number. It's likely that the mfr put the owner's manual online, or that someone posted a scanned version. The other is to call customer service. Much depends on the age and model that you have. Sorry I can't be of more help. – mike Jul 15 '13 at 5:03
  • Our prior house was built before the age of the rolling code openers, and we had the garage door opener circuit controlled by a switch inside the house, which we turned off at night and when away for more than a day. – TomG Jul 15 '13 at 23:48
  • The president used to do that as he flew over in Air Force 1: nytimes.com/1986/04/05/us/… This and similar problems with Air Force continued at least up to 2006: denverpost.com/2006/12/04/air-force-triggers-garage-doors – Wayfaring Stranger Aug 30 '17 at 0:38
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If you have an older style garage door remote, before they used rolling codes, you could very easily have some people driving by activating it accidentally. I had a similar problem, so I ended up unplugging the remote control portion of it, so the wall mount switch still works, and the whole unit is going to be replaced soon anyways (electric eye sensor, etc).

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    I would agree with Aaron. There are so many DIY projects for making a garage door opener that tests all possible codes in rapid succession. instructables.com/id/Garage-Door-Opener Some of them have been reduced to a mobile phone application that only requires a $5 device to be connected to the phone. Also, if all the homes in your neighborhood are about the same age, there's a good chance the same company setup the garage door systems for all the houses, and a common open code is probable. – DevNull Jul 15 '13 at 16:24
  • That instructables URL is interesting, but that particular one is just controlling the inside-the-house X10 setup to simulate a push on the button, not sending RF to the garage door opener – Aaron Jul 15 '13 at 16:39
  • Agreed. There are at least 20 similar projects, some of which actually communicate with the external receiver. I just wanted to make a point, and draw attention to the existence of such DIY projects which, while academic in nature, are open to considerable abuse. – DevNull Jul 15 '13 at 16:43
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I have three Genie garage door openers. Two years after installation one started opening and closing on its own. I took the batteries out of the transmitters, shut off the switch on the door button, and reprogrammed the open/close limits. Nothing worked.

When checking the door button/wiring for a short, I found that one wire from the wall button connected to the back of the opener had worked loose and was just lying against the contact. I slid the wire back in and made sure it would not pull back out. End of problem!

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I had a similar problem KennethR - it took a couple weeks to figure out what happened - the problem was: I was programming a new key pad to open my door. Apparently when i had the the opener in LEARN mode my neighbor came home and opened his garage door with his car opener-and his opener became programmed to open my garage door.

Therefore when ever he came home and pushed his opener to open his garage-mine also opened. Since he closed it via the open/close pad when he went in his house his door would close and mine wouldn't because his inside button wasn't programmed into mine - only the one in his car.

Maybe when kennethR was programming one of his openers someone at the neighbors used the keypad and that got programmed to open his. The remedy is, as KennethR did, clear all devices from your garage door by holding the learn button for 30 seconds -and reprogram all of your openers to your garage door. And check that no neighbors are opening their doors when your programming you openers.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Good answer; keep 'em coming! – Daniel Griscom Apr 1 at 1:48
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Are the openings related to any particular environmental conditions? I have an occasional false open when it gets very cold. I suspect that the safety mechanisms are triggering it (It also exhibits some other mis-triggers of the safeties), but I haven't proven that yet.

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Had this happen four times hours after I had left the house. After changing the control pad it happened again. Bought a WeMo to kill the power when I leave.

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If you have a home warranty, see if it covers it. Check the owners manual, check for obstructions, the eyebeams, (dirt, cobwebs, etc) loose connections, such as wiring, eyebeams or a stuck switch.

Also home settling can misalign the beams. It may simply need for a readjustment or just unplug the cord, wait (according to the manual) to reset, plug back in, try again.

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My garage has a switch (just a light switch) that turns off power to the garage. My home inspector said it is useful when going on vacation to prevent anyone from opening the door.

I'm not familiar with what features newer openers have, but having a switch to turn off the power would definitely help.

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I recently had the same problem,our door would be open at odd times. I was working on the problem when suddenly the door opens. I walk outside a the neighbors kids had used a key pad to open their garage coming home from school. I asked the neighbor to try the key pad and sure enough their key pad would open and close my door. Their remotes in their car did not open my door nor did my remote open their door. Only using the key pad would open my door. I reset my door opener codes by holding the learn button in until the light went out. I reprogrammed my remotes, problem solved. Hope this helps.

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