A garage door that opens by itself after closing can present a serious security concern for your home. The garage door is a key entry point to your house, so you need full control over it to guarantee your home’s safety.
Unfortunately, various problems or defects in the opener system can cause the door to malfunction. When the garage door opens after closing, it can indicate a malfunction that must be addressed promptly.
This article looks at the possible causes of the garage door opening by itself after closing and what you can do about it.
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Garage Door Opens After Closing- Problems and Diagnosis
When your garage door opens right back after you close it, you might wonder if it has a mind of its own. However, the opening of the door after closing may result from blocked safety sensors when an object is on the doorway, incorrect limit switch settings, damaged logic board, or inappropriate travel down settings.
Knowing what might cause such a thing can allay any worries and help you know the appropriate way to address the issue.
This section examines the common causes of the garage door opening after closing and how you can diagnose the cause.
Common causes of the garage door opening after closing
If the garage door moves back to the fully open position after attempting to shut it, the issue often results from any of these common reasons.
An object in the doorway
Modern garage doors come with numerous security features to ensure safe operation. One main security feature is a pair of safety sensors that detect the presence of objects in the doorway and prevent the garage door from closing on them.
This feature is intended to keep your home safer by preventing the garage door from closing on kids, toys, and pets that may slip under the door while it is shutting.
Unfortunately, this feature is not without its share of limitations. One such limitation is reversing your garage door when you attempt to close it with an object in the doorway.
How to diagnose this problem
Check the doorway for any physical objects. Many of us use the extra space in the garage for various Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects and keeping tools and equipment.
Some of these objects can slip under the door, prompting the sensor to trigger the automatic reversing mechanism. If you find an object in the doorway, you will have located the source of the problem.
Blocked safety sensors
Over time, debris can build up around your garage door. When this happens, the buildup can block the safety sensors located at the bottom of either side of the garage door.
The sensor is designed to detect the presence of objects in the garage doorway and automatically reverse the door to prevent accidents and damage to property.
However, if something blocks their eye(s), it breaks the beam and renders the sensors unable to perform their role. The sensors will prevent the door from getting shut as a security measure until the blockage is removed.
Ideally, the sensors are designed to allow the garage door to be closed only when they can confirm there is nothing in the doorway. When they cannot tell whether something is there, they’ll reverse the door as a fail-safe.
How to diagnose the issue
While an object in the garage doorway will break the beam and trigger the reverse mechanism, debris or dirt buildup can block the sensor eyes. So, in this case, it is best to examine the eye of each sensor on both sides of the door.
If the lens is dirty, the chances are it is unable to send a beam or read one from the other sensor. Blockage can also result from debris in front of one or both the sensors.
Look for debris in front of each lens to tell if this may be the reason for the reversing garage door.
If the weather is chilly, check for any snow buildup in front of one or both sensors. Snow buildup is a notorious culprit for blocking garage door sensors in areas that experience cold winters.
Inappropriate travel down settings
The travel down setting on your garage door determines where the door stops when traveling down. The appropriate travel down setting allows the garage door to stop exactly after reaching the fully closed position.
Even with the proper setting, the weather can sometimes wreak havoc on the garage door opener system, causing changes or movements in key parts of the door.
When such alteration occurs, the garage door may require adjusting the travel-down settings to keep working properly.
Incorrect limit switch setting
Modern garage doors have limit settings for the fully open and fully closed positions. The settings are made on a component called the limit switch and tell the garage door when to stop when opening and closing.
When the limit switch setting is incorrect, the garage door motor will keep running even after the door has reached its limit.
The down limit switch should stop the door when it is fully shut. However, an incorrect setting will mean the door keeps moving even after hitting the ground. This issue can lead the door to open by itself after closing.
You may want to check the limit settings to determine if an incorrect setting may be the culprit.
Damaged logic board
The logic board is the brain of the garage door opener. Over time, this component can become faulty due to various reasons.
When the logic board malfunctions, it can render the garage door opener unable to operate normally. One of the problems you could experience with a malfunctioning logic board is a garage door that opens on its own after closing.
A faulty logic board will leave some clues that you could read and know if it is the root cause of the problem. Here are some of the telltale signs of a malfunctioning logic board:
- The opener fails to recognize its programmed limits
- The reduced range for opener remotes.
- Failing to send the signal to open or close the garage door.
Other places to check when your garage door opens after closing
Aside from the above primary causes of the garage door opening by itself, a few other factors can be responsible.
Stuck remote buttons
With repeated use, the buttons of a garage door remote can get stuck in their sockets. When this happens, the remote will continue transmitting signals without your input. This can lead to the opening of the garage door after you close it.
This problem is rare with new remotes but can arise over time as the device ages. Accumulation of dirt in the socket and other mechanical problems may cause the remote buttons to stick.
How you store the remote can also cause the sticking problem. For instance, keeping the device together with other objects can also have the objects push down the button and jam it in its socket.
To diagnose this problem, simply examine the garage door remote to see if the button is stuck.
Stuck wall buttons
Most garages have a wall button you can use to operate the door from within the garage. Like the remote, this button can jam inside its socket. This can happen after years of use and developing a mechanical problem.
If you suspect the wall button to be responsible for the door malfunction, examine it to see if it is stuck in its socket. If that is the case, you will have identified the source of the problem.
What to do about a garage door that opens after closing
Now that you know where to look when your garage door opens without your input, it is time to learn how to fix the problem once you detect it.
This section offers suggestions for resolving each of the problems discussed above. While some problems will require the help of a professional technician, some are easier to fix, and you have to resolve them on your own.
Remove any objects in the doorway.
Any object directly beneath the open garage door will break the sensor beam, causing it to reverse the door. This is probably the easiest problem to resolve. Removing the object from the doorway should restore the normal functioning of the door.
If no object is in the doorway, examine the space for any items stored in the garage too close to the door. Such items can also trigger the sensors to reverse the door. And removing them should help fix the problem.
Clear any ice or debris buildup and clean the lenses
If you find debris blocking the sensor eyes, removing that buildup should help fix the problem. Whether it is snow buildup or dirt, it can block the sensor beam, preventing them from working properly.
If the lenses are noticeably dirty, the buildup on the lens could block the beam and cause the sensor to malfunction. Carefully clean the lenses on the sensors with a lint-free cloth to restore their functioning.
Adjust your garage door’s travel down settings
If the travel down setting changes for some reason, often the weather, you must adjust it to control the distance your garage travels when closing correctly.
If weather changes cause some garage door opener components to contract, expand, or change, the door may not properly work until you reset it.
You should be able to follow your equipment’s manual to make the adjustments. However, you can always enlist the services of a technician if you do not feel confident making the adjustments on your own.
Set the limit switch correctly
The limit switch tells the garage door where to stop in its fully open and fully closed position. If the down limit is incorrect, the door keeps running even after opening fully.
In such a case, you may need to make a few turns on your limit switch with a flathead screwdriver to fix the problem.
This requires turning the adjustment screw on the down limit switch clockwise one turn at a time. The limit switch is typically located on the side of the garage door opener. Be sure to consult your user manual for detailed instructions.
After each turn on the limit switch, try the door by opening and closing it. You want to see if the correct setting has been achieved before adding another turn on the limit switch, so you may need to be patient in this process.
If you have a LiftMaster garage door opener, this video can guide you through the process of adjusting your garage door settings.
Replace your garage door opener logic board
The motor unit on your garage door opener has a logic board that acts as the brain of your opener system. If this component is malfunctioning, there may not be a way to restore its normal functioning.
The only option in such a case is a new logic board. As you may figure, this is not something you may do yourself. So you will need to contact your service technician to examine the unit and carry out the replacement for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my garage door go up by itself?
The garage door can go up by itself due to a few reasons. There might be a power surge on the garage door opener system, or your opener may be responding to a neighbor’s remote control due to overlapping signals.
Changing your garage door opener’s code or locating the power surge should help restore normal garage door functioning.
Why does my garage door stop and go back up?
Your garage door stopping and going back up is often due to an object in the doorway or malfunctioning infrared sensors. Modern garage doors have a pair of sensors located on either side of the garage door to detect the presence of people and objects in the doorway to prevent accidents and damage to property.
However, these sensors can sometimes malfunction and be a nuisance, reversing the door when you attempt to shit it.
Check to see if one or both sensors have some light blinking to determine if malfunctioning sensors are the problem.
If your garage door opens after closing, knowing where to look can help you fix the problem without incurring any extra charges.
We hope this guide helps you locate and resolve any malfunction on your garage door opener correctly. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.