My Garage Door Opens by Itself! What Should I Do?

You left home this morning in a bigger hurry than usual. When you came back a few hours later, you realized your garage door was still wide open!

Is This an Actual Problem?

Yes, it’s possible, although rare, for your garage door to open by itself. There are a few factors that can cause this issue. Here are a few scenarios we’ve come across:

  • This first scenario is applicable to door openers manufactured before 1993. Before this date, remotes were programmed by positioning clips. This meant it was possible for one of your neighbors to have a remote programmed with the same code as yours. Since 1993, LiftMaster uses a rotating code with millions of possible programming combinations.
  • Residential electric garage door openers manufactured after 1993 are equipped with two safety mechanisms, which operate while the door is closing. The first is photo‑electric, the second is mechanical. The most common issue is a misalignment of the photo‑electric reversal system. If the two sensors are misaligned and the beam is cut off, the opener registers it as an object in the way of the door’s descent. As a result, it automatically reopens the door. Realigning the beams will resolve this problem. To make sure it has been corrected, check the wall panel near the entrance to your home. The indicator light should no longer be blinking.
  • Another possible scenario happens during the winter. The threshold to your garage door must be kept clean to avoid any accumulation of snow or ice. Otherwise, the door’s mechanism will rest against this buildup, and depending on how sensitive it is, may reverse the door.
  • Finally, a power surge caused by a lightning storm, for example, may have damaged your door opener’s electrical circuits.

Persistent Urban Legend

According to a persistent urban legend, it is believed that a plane passing over your home could cause your garage door to open. This would only be true if your door opener used the same code frequency as the airplane. The frequency used in older garage door openers actually could have interfered with certain military planes. This problem was corrected in 1993 by using different transmission frequencies.


  • Before leaving home, wait a few moments to watch your door close completely and ensure none of the security mechanisms have triggered it to reopen.
  • Another solution: if you want to be sure your garage door is closed properly, you can install a garage door monitor. Mounted anywhere in your home, the monitor alerts you if the door is left open.
  • The permanent solution: the use of LiftMaster’s MyQTM technology. From your smart phone, you can get an email message to inform you that your garage door is open.

If your garage door opener doesn’t work and these solutions don’t resolve your problem, contact Baker Door Company at 717-767-1419 for help. We have been servicing and repairing garage doors for many years, and we work on all brands of garage door openers.

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