Help! What to do? Who to call?

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  #1  
Old 07-18-07, 09:45 AM
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Help! What to do? Who to call?

This morning I noticed my garage door was open, although I know I closed it last night. Later, it closed by itself (while I was sitting at the kitchen table - no where near it). After that it started opening and closing - going up a few feet - down a couple inches - up all the way, down part way -- it was going nuts! I pushed the button to close it and the button didn't work at first - eventually I got it to work and closed the door and turned off the breaker.

The breaker is the same one that runs the kitchen light and the ceiling fan in the dining room. The light on the ceiling fan has a mind of its own too... comes on sporadically for no apparent reason and goes off when it pleases. I can't get it to work with the remote though, although the fan works as it should.

A few months ago I had an electrician come out and look at the breaker box because of the fan light situation (it's been going on for quite some time), he said it was fine, yet gave me no explanation for the light going on and off by itself.

Personally, I think it's the outlet in the kitchen that's 'messed up (the electrician looked at it too, but didn't seem to find anything wrong with it). The outlet has 3 controls - kitchen light, kitchen fan and dining room fan. There are so many wires in there it would boggle the mind to determine where they all go!

I'm at a loss! Any suggestions?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-18-07, 09:53 AM
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Garage door openers have remote controls. Your fan has a remote control. You are getting signals from somewhere else.

Change the settings for both the fan and the garage door.
 
  #3  
Old 07-18-07, 09:58 AM
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Many times when this happens, you find that something is accidentally pushing the button on the remote. Perhaps you have it in a roof-mounted box that is squeezing it a bit tight (especially with temperature changes). Perhaps your dog is stepping on the remote.

First, find all the remotes, including the ones that you forgot about. Most openers come with two or more remotes, and some people throw one in a drawer somewhere and forget about it.

If you have a wired keypad, or a wired button by the door to the house, make sure nothing has pinched the wires.

If the opener is really old (perhaps more than 20 or 30 years), it may be reacting to false signals. Most newer openers are pretty immune to those.

It seems unlikely to me that you have a problem with your breaker box.

Have you installed anything recently that uses special controls? Perhaps a ceiling fan with a remote? Or a motion sensor? Or a photo cell? Anybody driven any nails or screws into any of your walls to hang a picture or bookshelf?

You can unplug the opener until you figure this out to prevent these problems.
 
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Old 07-18-07, 10:27 AM
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This reminds me of that funny commercial when the guy was asking his wife what this mysterious switch controlled and it was making his neighbors garage door go up and down.
 
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Old 07-18-07, 11:12 AM
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Smile had to laugh...

I thought of that commercial too when my door was going up and down.... i actually stepped outside to see what the heck my neighbors were doing and if they were messing around with their garage doors -- haha. I even thought that maybe someone had just installed a new opener that was like mine and their remote may have been triggering my door, but all seems quiet in the neighborhood - garage doors are closed!!! And by the way, I know there's a way, but I don't know how to reprogram the remotes.

I checked the remotes to see if they were touching anything (don't have a dog)! The garage door opener is fairly new - less than a year old, and I do have a remote on the fan/light but this just started today and both the fan and the opener have been working fine for the past several months (or whenever i had that opener installed - probably six or eight months ago).

Nothing new has been installed and no new pictures hung - I am however painting my kitchen and took off the switch plate, but didn't disturb any of the switches.

However, just a few minutes ago, I took the switches off and checked the wires. There's no ground wire for the ceiling fan switch - should there be? Anyway, after checking to see that there were no bare wires, I shoved them all back into the box and reattached the switches. After turning the power back on, I opened the garage door - so far, so good - nothing's happening (knock on wood!). Garage door is still open. I only have one wall switch for the opener and two remotes -- I noticed the wall switch was unusually sensitive (barely touching it sets it off), could it be a faulty wall switch?

Thanks so much for your suggestions (and humor!)
 
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Old 07-18-07, 12:11 PM
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It could be a power surge that went un-noticed "partially" fried components in both. The surge could have been small, just an enough to alter the value of a capacitor or resistor that controls a frequency related circuit or some such.

In the beginning days of garage door openers people near airports found their doors mysteriously opening and closing. Turns out the frequencies the FAA assigned for garage door openers were in the same group as planes used on approach to airports. Perhaps a novice HAM radio operator in your area made a mistake.

However they may be unrelated. The interior pushbutton for the garage door opener is nothing more then a cheap button similar to those used on door bells. Replace it first.

May I ask why you didn't just unplug the garage door opener and trip the manual release so you could open and close the door by hand? Your best bet if it happens again is to call a garage door repair company.
 
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Old 07-18-07, 12:31 PM
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Opening it by hand wasn't going to fix the problem of it from going up and down by itself. I didn't need it open, I just needed to find out why it was malfunctioning.

I turned off the breaker rather than unplugging it because the plug is on the ceiling so I'd have to either move the car out (not a good idea when the door is going up and down by itself!) and then get a ladder or else climb up on the car -- figured the breaker was the best choice.
 
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Old 07-18-07, 08:53 PM
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Reprogramming instructions are usually written on the motor housing. You'll have to get out a ladder to read them. But that's okay, because you need the ladder anyway to do the reprogramming. The reprogramming instructions from one model to another are very similar. Typically you hold down some button on the motor housing for ten seconds or so to erase all codes. Then you can hold it down briefly while you press each remote to program the door to the new remote.

It's possible somebody accidentally programmed your neighbor's remote to your door. This could happen if your neighbor pressed his remote button at the exact same time you were programming your remotes to your opener. It's also possible that you or some previous owner lost a remote that was found, and then used, by your neighbor.

False signals such as from a passing airplane are impossible with today's openers. They use at least 32 bit digital codes that are unique worldwide. Some of the newer ones even use rotating codes that change according to an encryption algorithm every time you use them.

Reprogramming your opener, after erasing all existing codes, is a good place to start.
 
  #9  
Old 07-19-07, 11:50 AM
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I'm putting my money on the wall switch for the opener being bad. If it's that sensative ("barely touching it sets it off"), it's probably making and breaking contact with temperature changes.

Doug M.
 
  #10  
Old 07-19-07, 06:13 PM
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Question

Originally Posted by dougm View Post
I'm putting my money on the wall switch for the opener being bad. If it's that sensative ("barely touching it sets it off"), it's probably making and breaking contact with temperature changes.

Doug M.
I believe that's where I'll start - and if temperature changes does something to it, lord knows we got temperature changes! It's hot hot hot all over the world, isn't it???

last night when I got home, the darn thing wouldn't open at all. the light (on the opener) flickered on and off and buzzed like it was trying to do something, but the door wouldn't budge, so at this point I've unplugged it and opening the door manually.

What kind of switch do I need to get and do you know how much they cost?

If I go down to HD and tell them what I need, I guess they can point me in the right direction.
 
  #11  
Old 07-19-07, 06:52 PM
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If you got the door opener at Home Depot, they'll have the correct control. Look across from the Millwork desk or in Hardware where the door openers are. Make sure you know what brand opener you have (it's on the opener) and tell the associate.

Actually we're having an unusually cool summer with way too much rain. Last year when everyone else had flooding we had the worst drought we've had in decades. I'd send you some cool rain if I could find a big enough box

Doug M.
 
  #12  
Old 07-19-07, 09:21 PM
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It's a Genie and I got it at Lowes, so I guess I'll need to go there... thanks for the info! I've had problems with this opener ever since I bought it! I thought it was a good choice at the time but I don't think I'd buy another Genie -- I'm tired of the hassles!

Cool rain sounds delightful -- Seems like it's been much hotter hear than normal! Northwest is suffering from record highs... high nineties and into the hundreds -- 114 in Utah (I think) last week. I lived in Texas for awhile several years ago and I know when you people get rain -- you get RAIN - !!
 
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