Garage Opening on Its Own

So, today I watched as my garage opened multiple times on its own without me telling the garage to open. In each case it appears as if the Reflection rate was dropping down below the setting to say whether the garage was opened or closed. I check where the laser was pointing and noticed that it was just off to the side of the reflective sticker. When I moved it so that it was more centered, the garage again opened on its own. Over the course of about 5 minutes, it opened 4 times by itself. I was not hitting the garage door button, tapping the door in the app, or using my Pebble Watch.

Any thoughts?

  • Merg

I would recommend changing the password and de-authrizing any external applications and integrations, then trying to replicate the situation with laser missing the reflective tag. After that, repeat the same with the integrations and apps re-authorized one at the time. This should help determine the culprit.

I would also suggest checking that the wires are all securely attached. If one is loose, it could mimic a button press.

I’ll look more into it. When you refer to other apps integrating, I assume you mean disable the iOS app and Pebble app, correct?

I’ll also check the wiring, but it was pretty secure when I installed it.

One interesting thing was that we had a thunderstorm rolling in around the same time. Our power ended up going out a bit later. Not sure if a power surge or two might have set it off.

  • Merg

re.integrations: iOS app is unlikely the reason, but things like IFTTT and SmartThings can make autonomous decisions to operate the door.

The accidental door commands due to the power failure are blocked on the hardware level. Unless power surge damaged the hardware, it should have booted as many times as needed without issuing any unwanted commands.

I’ve had a similar thing happen with my door in the past. You want to keep your reflection rate high by keeping the sensor pointed at the pad. I ended up searching “reflective tape” on ebay and buying a roll for around $4. For me the real problem was actually the adhesive pad attaching the sensor to the garage door opener coming loose and in turn letting the sensor point away from the pad. I removed the pad, cleaned both surfaces with rubbing alcohol and then applied some new 3M sticky foam tape and haven’t had issues since. I have a SmartThings task that closes my garage door if left open after 10pm. When the sensor wouldn’t align my Garaget would have to assume the door was open and attempt to close it when in fact it was doing the opposite. Since making these adjustments (more reflective pad surface and new/more adhesive Garaget pad) I haven’t had any issues.

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From day one, I mounted the Garadget to the ceiling drywall with screws, not to the bottom of the garage door motor. I have had no issues with Garadget and it was installed about a year ago.

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You don’t have an issue with the laser pointed at a downward angle? I do have a bump-out from the ceiling that I could mount the Garadget on, but I need to get a longer wire to go from the unit to my opener.

  • Merg

It’s low voltage and low current circuit so if you have enough length of any kind of cord/wire laying around (Ethernet, usb, etc) it will work just fine for this. Otherwise you can get some bell wire or thermostat wire from the home improvement store.

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Yeah, we’ve talked about that before. I just haven’t had time to pick some up and when the few times I’ve been to the hardware store, I remember after I leave… LOL!

  • Merg

My ceiling is 1 foot above the garage door, I pointed the Garadget device down as much as it would go, then placed the reflector pad on the garage door. I thought mounting it this way would minimize the change of the beam drifting out of place over time. After a year, the laser dot has drifted from the center of pad to around 11 o’clock. I need to re-aim it to the center. Not bad after a year.

Adding more reflective tape is probably a good idea too.

Okay, I just moved mine to the ceiling. I put the reflective pad at the very top rim of the door. I was getting a reflection rate of about 75%, but after installing the paper towel tube, it is up to 96%. I’ll see how it goes.


Thanks to all for posting your experiences, here. I had a few unexpected “self opens”, all around the same time in the mid-morning on sunny days. I assume this was a combination of sun coming through the garage door windows at just the right angle, a webcore piston I created to close the garage door if it’s open and we’re away from the house and, too high of a reflectivity setting for garadget. I figure the sun was shining in, making garadget think the door was open, then my smartthings/webcore piston initiating a “close” which is really an unintended Open. All I did was adjust the reflectivity down to 10% and I’ve had no issues since.

May consider hard mounting the garadget instead of sticky tape for an extra measure of reliability.

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Thank you for this hint! I had a lot of trouble getting my door to open with garadget until I got some bell wire and used that instead of the thick wire that came with it!