Why Does My Garage Door Opener Only Work Sometimes – Engineer Explains

Modern garage doors come with remotes, making them easy for us to open and close. However, you might discover that your garage door opener does not always work, and this can be inconvenient.

Why Does My Garage Door Opener Only Work Sometimes? Your garage door opener only works sometimes because radio frequencies from other devices are interfering with the opener. This interference can be caused by home appliances, airports, or military bases.

Engineers at Genie, a renowned manufacturer of garage door openers, mention that RF interference can be prevented by purchasing a door opener with more than one frequency setting. This way, you can easily switch from the frequency being interfered with to another unaffected frequency.

How To Fix RF Interference with the Garage Door Opener?

To fix the RF Interference with your garage door opener, you first need to identify the source of the interference. Then, you can either upgrade your garage door opener, reset the opener system, or seek help from a qualified technician.

All around us, there are radio signals that move about and sometimes, interact. While we cannot see, hear, or touch these radio signals, they are very present and play especially important roles in the operation of many devices and systems, both within and outside our homes.

When two radio frequencies encounter each other, it is called Radio Frequency Interference. If either of these frequencies is used to operate a device, the interference with another radio signal can affect the function of the device.

Among the many devices and setups that make use of radio frequencies, here are some of the most notable:

  • Mobile phones
  • GPS
  • Computers (laptops or desktops)
  • Christmas tree lighting
  • Wi-Fi routers
  • Power lines
  • Wireless doorbells
  • Satellite phones
  • Radio transmission towers
  • Cell phone towers
  • Remote-controlled toys
  • Microwave ovens
  • Body security scanners

Garage doors and their openers also make use of radio frequencies for their operation. If any of the devices listed above is turned on when you try to use your garage door opener, the garage door might be unresponsive. This is because the device’s radio frequency might be interfering with that of your garage door opener.

If your garage door isn’t opening because of an RF Interference, the first step to take is to find where the interference might be coming from. You can find the defaulting device by noting all devices that are likely to cause interference and then turning them off one after the other. This way, you can isolate the specific source of the issue.

After identifying the source, the next step is figuring out how to stop it from affecting your garage door opener. If the interference is caused by a portable device such as a router, mobile phone, radio, or computer, you can simply move it far away from the garage door and its opener, reducing the risk of interference.

In some cases, the interference might not be caused by a device that you can simply move about. For instance, large outdoor transformers and radio transmitters from airports and military locations can also affect the operation of your opener.

In such a situation, you might need to make changes to your door opener itself. You can buy a door opener that has more than one frequency setting, so you can simply adjust it to an unaffected frequency.

You can also reset the garage door opener. There are usually details in the manual describing how to reset it. Alternatively, you can change the garage door opener to one that has a suitable frequency range.

If these measures are either too hectic or ineffective, you can reach out to a professional technician to help find a remedy to the situation.

I decided to such online within forums to find out which brands of garage door openers seemed to minimal problems so that you would have a better idea of the brands to focus in on if you are constant rf interference. I could not find instances of such an interference with the models that are mentioned in this table.

Garage Door Openers that rarely have problems with RF interferences
Genie 7155 (click here to get yours)
Chamberlain B970T (click to get yours)
Liftmaster 8500 (click to have yours delivered)
data from various online DIY garage forums

Why Does My Craftsman Door Opener Work Only Intermittently?

Your Craftsman door opener is working only intermittently because of RF interference from nearby devices or due to a mechanical fault causing the door to jam.

If you use a Craftsman garage door opener and you notice that it only works intermittently, then there is likely an RF interference preventing the door from opening always. You can take care of an RF interference by isolating the source of the interference, resetting the door opener, or changing its frequency.

A second reason why the door might not always open could be due to a physical fault stopping the door from moving freely. Another possibility is if the logic board gets faulty. In either of these cases, you can either try replacing the component causing the issue or contact a qualified repairer.

Why Does the Garage Door Button on the Wall Not Work but the Remote Control for the Garage Door Can Open and Close the Door?

If the garage door does not open when the button on the wall is pressed but works when the remote is used, then there is a fault with the button itself. 

Typically, electric garage doors have a button on the wall that is connected to the main unit and pressing this button opens or closes the door. As an advanced door-opening option, garage doors also have remotes that can be used to open them from a distance, granting you flexibility.

Sometimes, you might find that the door does not respond when the button on the wall is pressed. If the door, however, opens up when the remote is used, then you can conclude that the issue comes from the button on the wall, located beside the main opener unit.

Your garage door button might develop an issue such as a lack of proper contact. This sort of issue arises when damage has been caused to the wall button due to constant use over an extended period or if it was hit by something accidentally.

The best way to fix this issue is to replace the wall button. While you can consult a technician to carry out this repair, you can also decide to go about it yourself. You can order a replacement button from the manufacturer’s website and check the manual for instructions on how to swap the buttons.

Before going ahead to change the wall button, you might want to consider resetting the garage door opener. Usually, a reset can help solve some general issues that come up with the door opener. However, if this does not help, then you can follow the replacement procedure above.

Is There a Reset Button on a Garage Door Opener?

There is a reset button on a garage door depending on the brand, model, and age of your garage door opener. While new garage door openers are easy to reset, their older counterparts might be a bit more technical.

Over the years, technology has become more advanced, and these advancements are being reflected in devices that we use every day. Manual, wired, and analog features are being replaced by automatic, wireless, and digital features respectively.

Garage door openers are not left out of this helpful progress either. The older versions of garage door openers function with a series of switches that work hand in hand. Operating and repairing these types of garage door openers can be stressful.

However, the newer models of garage door openers are a lot less complicated in design and can be operated with ease. They usually come with a button that can be used to perform a wide range of functions, including resetting the door opener.

The reset feature on garage door openers is a very important one since it can instantly help to resolve some issues such as:

  • RF Interference
  • Another remote controlling your opener
  • A damaged or missing remote
  • Random faults with the opener system

You can also use the reset feature if you want to change the password of your garage door keypad.

Whether you’re using an old or new garage door opener, you might be wondering how to successfully reset it. Here are some guidelines on how to go about it:

  • Older Garage Systems:

As mentioned above, older door openers are designed with switches, and they are fundamental to the function of the garage door opener. Depending on the brand, the switches might range from 9 to 12 in number, and they can either be turned on or off.

There is a set of switches on both the portable remote of the door opener and the main unit. To get to these switches, you might need to unscrew or open up a cover or control panel. These switches are arranged in a particular pattern, as some of them are turned on while others are off.

For the remote to work with the opener system, all the switch positions (whether on or off) on the remote have to correspond to those on the main unit. You can reset the opener system by adjusting these switches to the same positions.

  • Newer Garage Systems:

The more recent garage systems do not use switches for resetting, but a button instead, which is located on the main unit. To reset a new garage system, you should find a button that is labeled “Home” or “Learn”.

This important button is often placed on the same side as the system’s antenna usually has a LED beside it. Also, you might need to open up a panel to get access to the button.

After finding the button, you need to press it down for about five seconds, until the LED beside it turns off. Usually, this is the only procedure you need to reset the opener. However, some other opener models require you to quickly press the button again once the LED turns off.

Why Does My Garage Remote Not Work After Putting in a New Battery?

Your garage remote does not work after putting in a new battery when there is an interruption in the signal transfer between the remote and the main opener unit.

When a garage door develops issues (usually a lack of a response when the remote is pressed), the batteries in the remote might be dead. Garage door remote batteries last an average of about two years before needing replacement. Changing the batteries should be your first step before consulting a repairer.

If the issues persist after the batteries have been replaced, then you need to consider other possibilities. Some other likely problems are RF interference or a fault with the opener’s antenna.

If the garage door antenna is at fault, you can either replace or extend it, boosting its range and overall function. Also, RF interference can be solved by moving the source of the interference, resetting the opener, or changing its frequency setting.

Garage Chat:

If you have a new garage that is not completely finished, should I drywall my garage is a question that you might have.

Also, why is a garage door opening on its own mostly during the winter?

How To Change the Garage Door Antenna?

You can change your garage door antenna by unsoldering it from the circuit board located inside the opener. You can then install a new antenna, soldering it in the same position as the old one.

The most notable aspect of a garage door opener’s operation is its range – the distance at which the remote can control the garage door without issues. When operating your garage door opener using a remote, there are a lot of factors that can affect its performance.

The position and overall quality of a garage door antenna are some of the most notable elements that can directly influence how the opener works. Other factors include RF interference from other devices, the radio frequency of the opener, and the condition of the remote’s batteries.

Considering how important an antenna is to the function of a garage door, you might need to either repair or replace it to return your opener to perfect condition. If you suspect that your antenna is faulty, instead of going ahead to change it straight away, there are some ways to work on it.

  • Change the antenna’s position:

The location of the antenna is very important since it is what receives the signal that is sent by your garage door opener’s remote. If there is an issue of RF interference, you might need to change the position of the antenna, taking it away from the source of the interference.

An antenna is often an insulated length of wire, and you can change its position by extending it. You can use a wire cutter to open a small part of the antenna’s insulation, then connect the exposed wire to a long length of low-voltage copper wire.

This length of copper wire will serve as your new antenna, and you can secure it to any support pole in your garage. For improved range, you can even extend this copper wire outside your garage.

  • Use an antenna extension:

While the procedure above is a hands-on method that both extends and changes the position of the antenna, there are some extensions available for purchase that are specifically made for that purpose.

You can purchase an antenna extension from a hardware store, either in person or online. The pack often contains a length of coaxial cable, an L-shaped bracket, and sometimes, an antenna. Before purchasing an antenna extension, you should ensure that it is compatible with the brand and frequency of the opener unit.

Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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