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5 Reasons Your Garage Door is Opening by Itself

Your garage door is meant to open and close on your command, but what do you do when it starts opening on its own? We’ve identified a few reasons this might be happening and have some DIY garage door fixes that you can try before calling a professional.

If you’ve been a homeowner for a while, you have probably experienced different parts of your home malfunctioning. Perhaps the dishwasher has groaned and creaked, the refrigerator has made gurgling sounds, or your home electronics have glitched. You may have even encountered your garage door opening by itself.

1. Scan the safety sensors and ensure they are clear of debris.

Modern garage door systems have safety features that open the door during the close cycle when they detect something blocking it. If the descending door hits an object, the motor detects the resistance, and the door opens. Likewise, if the beam of light between the floor sensors is broken, the door will not shut.

Items such as accumulated leaves, snow, or ice around the garage door can cause the door not to shut completely. Fortunately, there is usually a blinking light on the opener or at the door operator button that indicates a blockage at the door. However, if you don’t see any blockages, it’s also possible that a sensor has just gone bad and needs to be replaced.

Misalignment of the floor sensors or an accumulation of dirt can cause them not to work properly. Carefully examine the space around the door as well as the door tracks, as the sensors can be misaligned if the tracks are bumped or bent. Also, check the condition of the wires at the sensors and the connections.

2. Examine the garage door opener.

If your garage door opens by itself, troubleshoot the garage door opener button. The button can easily get dirty and stuck in the “pushed” position, so make sure it’s clean and free of debris. Once unstuck, the door should function normally again.

If cleaning the button doesn’t do the trick, check the connections in the keypad housing. You’ll need to replace the keypad if you see any frayed connections.

Finally, make sure the wiring around the opener button is not compromised. If there are bare spots in the wiring insulation anywhere along the length of the wire, it could short-circuit and force the garage door to open and close by itself.

3. Check the circuit board and transformer.

If the safety sensors and the operator button are working correctly and no bad wiring or connections are found, your issue may be with the circuit board in the garage door opener itself. A power surge from a lightning strike or other electrical problem can cause the circuit board and the transformer to go bad, which can result in your garage door not opening or closing properly.

If you are handy with a multimeter, you can check the voltage into and out of the circuit board and transformer. Doing so will confirm if one or both are bad and need replacing.

Fortunately, if you find that you do need a replacement and you’re already an American Home Shield® member, use your home warranty to cover your garage door opener. Simply submit a service request and pay your Trade Service Call Fee, and we’ll assign a contractor to diagnose the garage door opener issue. If the problem is covered, we’ll help cover the cost to repair or replace.  See the plan contract for coverage details, including service fees, limitations and exclusions. Charges for non-covered items may apply.

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4. Investigate any crossed frequencies.

If your garage door opens by itself at night or during the day and matches up with your neighbors leaving or returning to their homes, that could mean a crossed frequency. Someone living nearby may have a garage door remote that is programmed with the same code as yours. While this scenario is unlikely, it is possible.

If you have an old operator made before 1993, it is programmed by positioning clips. You can go ahead and reposition the clips and see if that works. But before you do, visit all your close neighbors with garage door operators, ask them to open their doors and see if yours opens, too. If it happens, your case is solved.

Interferences from Wi-Fi, radio, or cell towers may also be the problem. Fixing this can differ according to brand, so your best bet is to read your manual or call customer service to find out how to solve this problem.

5. Check the lift settings.

Your garage door’s lift settings tell the door how much to open and close. If they’re askew, your door may not go down all the way, forcing it to reopen on its own.

Lift limits are usually controlled by screws. Refer to the manual for your particular garage door to find out how to adjust these properly. See the video below on changing your settings if your Liftmaster garage door opens by itself. If your Chamberlain garage door opens by itself, you can follow these instructions for adjusting the travel limits properly.

If you notice your garage door opening by itself, don’t worry about garage door replacement coststhe problem can have an easy fix if you know what to look for. Reference these five tips when you encounter this type of issue.

While an American Home Shield® home warranty does not include a garage door warranty, it does include coverage for your garage door opener. This household item can break down from normal wear and tear; when it does, be prepared with a home warranty. Check our home warranty costs and plans and choose the best home warranty plan for your household and budget.


AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

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