What to Do When My Garage Door Keeps Opening?

*Disclaimer: This information is specifically for newer Chamberlain and LiftMaster garage door openers. However, it may be true to other brands.

Did you park your car in the garage after a long day at work, clicked the remote to close the door, and the garage door would back up immediately? Before contacting your local garage door company, you can perform the following tests and perhaps save yourself time and money.

Garage Door Sensors 101

Garage door safety sensors are included with newer openers and are installed on each side of the garage door (usually on the vertical tracks, garage wall, or floor, no more than 6″ above the ground). If the sensors are misaligned (i.e. not facing each other correctly) or blocked by an item of some sort (e.g. person, cobwebs, etc.), the garage door will not shut, but rather start to go down and then back up.

Recognize the Problem

There are 2 indications for safety sensors issues that you could easily recognize.

  1. When the door reaches the up position, most openers will have a clicking sound, and if they have light bulbs installed, they will also blink a few times.
  2. Most sensors have tiny light bulbs in them, one with orange light and the other with green light. The garage door sensor with the orange light stays permanently on. However, if something blocks the sensors’ lenses or they are misaligned, the green light on the sensor will turn off.

DIY – Check & Test

Now that you recognize an issue with the sensors, make sure that the sensors are aligned. Perhaps you grabbed a tool from the garage and hit one of the sensors, causing a misalignment. Aligning the sensors is simple and usually involves loosening a screw, adjusting the sensor position, and tightening that same screw.

If the issue persists and the garage door backs up when you try to shut it, take a paper towel and wipe the sensors’ lenses and maybe even the bottom panel. If this doesn’t work, the issue may be more complicated and may require you to contact a garage door specialist. If you are located in the New Haven, CT area, feel free to contact us at (203) 404-4824 or fill out this contact form.

I Can’t Leave My Garage Door Open All Day/Night

Don’t worry! While waiting for a garage door company to take care of your issue, you could try one of two ways to close your garage door.

  1. Continuously press the wall-button until the garage door is closed. Usually, continuously holding the wall button bypasses the safety sensors mechanism and allows for the garage door to go all the way down regardless.
  2. Pull the red cord that connects between the opener and the garage door. This will allow you to manually operate the door.