# Strange problem with garage door opener!

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#### Techyboy

##### New Member
I'm hoping someone here can possibly give some advice for a strange problem occuring with my garage door opener. It seems that everytime there is a power outage during a thunderstorm or any other time, something causes my garage door to trigger open. I've come home from work on numerous occasions and to my surprise, there's the garage stuck wide open.

When i try to duplicate this by just unplugging the power and then plugging back in, or tripping the main breaker, it doesn't trigger the door open. It seems to be only during a power outage.

What is inside the main module that can be causing this fault to occur?
Is there not some protection circuit designed in the main housing/unit that would prevent such a thing? It just makes no sense to me.......any advice would be much appreciated.

I've also tried a surge protector but after buying it realized it was a single shot so it may or may not be still protecting the device.

BTW the unit is a Genie GCG350ML

#### creakndale

##### New Member
I can think of some potential causes...

1) Have you used a 2-to-3 prong adapter on the opener's power cord? Lack of a ground could cause an intermittent problem. I remember when I first installed my home alarm system and I hadn't yet connected up the ground (to a copper water pipe, in this case) I got false triggers during thunderstorms. Connecting the ground fixed the problem.

2) The close force adjustment is too sensitive. You press the remote and the door begins to close but you drive off before it's fully closed. Then, just as the door is fully closed it detects an over-current situation and switches direction.

3) Sensors detect an obstruction. As the door is closing, the sensors across the door opening "see" a glint and thinks there's an obstruction so it automatically reverses direction. Could happen during certain times of the year when the sun is just in the right spot to cause a glint.

4) Someone has stolen one of your remotes or has captured your dip switch code (assuming the opener is of older design and doesn't incorporate rolling-code technology). Try changing the dip switches.

5) A neighbor has similar garage door opener and their remote is using the default dip switch setting. Yours is also using the same default dip switch setting. So as he closes his door and yours opens.

6) Does it ever open when you're home and a power outage/thunderstorm occurs? If not and you're over 40, then it's likely a "senior moments". My neighbor occasionally leaves and forgets to close his garage door. He can't figure out how it opened all by itself. He swears he closed it.

creakndale

#### Techyboy

##### New Member
Yes, the possibility of a "floating" ground has crossed my mind,
which i still have yet to check. As for the 2 to 3 prong adapter, the main unit
is already a 3 prong so i don't think that's the issue.

As for the door opening at other times, well that's the problem, it just doesn't!
Its ONLY during power outages, no other times are there any phantom
openings. I've been asleep and i could her the power flutter on and off because smoke detector starts beeping, and then all of a sudden, i can hear the garage door opening. So yes i've witnessed it first hand.

#### karyoker

##### New Member
You are ubder surveilence by the the FBI and their bugs and gear are opening your door.....ROFL Sorry couldnt resist...

#### creakndale

##### New Member
Have you recently incorporated any X10 home automation devices or an intercom that impresses signals on the 110VAC power to communicate?

Does the opener have an antenna wire hanging out of it to pick up signals? Has this antenna wire been repositioned or accidentally pulled on recently?

The next thing is to inspect for cracked solder joints on the circuit board and resolder any suspect connections. Replace any capacitors that are bulging. Verify all wire connections.

Attached are a couple of pics from when I refurbished my Stanley garage door opener.

creakndale

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#### DickV

##### New Member
I have same problem with a Genie ProMax2 PCG700

I have exactly the same opener issue. 3-4 times over the last year I have come home to find the garage door open. I'm pretty careful and almost always watch the door close completely before driving off. When I came home to find the door open, my kitchen appliances were also showing Power Failure.

But I was never 100% positive until last Saturday morning when we were lying in bed watching TV and the power flickered. I heard the door motor start, but it stopped right away because the power went out completely. Then about a minute later the power came back on and the garage door went up all the way. I went out to close the door and the opener's light was still on. The wall button and remotes were inoperative. I unplugged and replugged, but still inoperative. After about 10-15 minutes I tried again and it was working again. Normal operation has always been correct.

I have tried to duplicate this condition by quick un-plugging/plugging and even using the switch on a power strip, but I've never made it fail. I called Genie tech support and they said "it happens" and to put in a surge protector. Well, I already had one. I've checked all the wiring and connections.

I've searched for other remedies, but most are more expensive than buying a new opener and I wouldn't be sure the new opener wouldn't have this same issue.

Home sized UPS's are mostly too small and not built for running motors. The 1/2 HP unit says it needs 5 amps, which means a 600 watt load while the door is opening. A UPS that can handle 600 watts (not VA) is $200-$300.

One interesting thing is that the Genie GPWC-2WLB wall control unit lists this issue as one of its features:
--> Superior electronic design prevents uncontrolled operation after a power failure or power surge.

Any new ideas?

#### carmusic

##### New Member
ups rating are only for battery operation, while power is there you can draw 1000 watt if you want. If you want you could also separate supply and only connect pcb transformer on ups and motor on regular supply

#### KeepItSimpleStupid

##### Well-Known Member
OK. I'll bite. I had this issue with something I was building. A linear power supply would not rest the rocessor while a switching power supply would. Well since i had the schematic I chanced an IC to a schmidt trigger version that drove the reset pin.

So, that being said, I think you need a better (more expensive) processor reset circuit.

See if you can find an RC circuit to the processor. Better yet, find what processor was used and find a data sheet.

or

Just put the electronics, no motor on a UPS. My 500 VA UPS's cost me just the cost of a battery. One was battery +$10 at a thrift store. Last edited: #### HiTech ##### Well-Known Member Put the opener on a quality surge protector -- and not those flimsy little units that are$3 at the store either. I also would inspect the wiring to/from any wall mounted control units. Perhaps even disconnect them for awhile and see what happens during a T-storm (lightning) to narrow down the possibilities. Check for spurious signals around your yard or home that could trigger the opener (wireless routers & such). If the opener is more than 15yr.s old, there's likely to be poor RF shielding and such making it susceptible to stray RF that could trigger it. Here's a link to some general questions about garage door openers:

Garages and Garage Doors Power Surge/Outage Causes Garage Door to Open homehelp.ewesystems.com

#### DickV

##### New Member
The Genie ProMax2 opener is about 6 years old and uses rolling-code security. All of my neighbors probably have the same and none of their garage doors were open after the last power failure.

I've already tried a small UPS and the door would not operate with the AC power on. The motor would start and then reset.

I like the idea of separating the electronics from the motor supply, but that will take some investigation and work. The UltraBlok sounds good, but there is no way to test. I have to wait until the next power failure, whenever that happens, which is the real problem for any "fix".

#### gary350

##### Well-Known Member
Those things have switches inside the remote control transmitter and receiver if only a few of them are switched on that make it more sensitive to static problems. Look an see if only 2 or 3 of the switches are switched on. You can change it to anything you like as long as the switches in the transmitter match the switches in the receiver. Certain combinations of switches also seems to make them more sensitive to static problems. Turn on more of the switches also experement with different numbers. Some garage door installers will only flip a few switches it is quick and easy for then so turn on more switches.

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#### DickV

##### New Member
This type does not have dip switches. It has the learn button that allows any compatible remote to be used. In fact my Buick's built in HomeLink transmitter works great.

#### Duamates

##### New Member
Hi Dick,

I am checking if you had any permanent solution for your garage door's opening during power outage. Mine has identical problem as yours.

Thank you.

#### shokjok

##### Member
Have you installed MOVs ( metal oxide varistors) in the power socket feeding the GDO? You'll need three MOVs, one across the Live and Neutral terminals, and one each from both terminals to wall case ground ( not outlet ground screw). The surge disrupts the power-on feature inside the GDO, giving false signals.

#### gary350

##### Well-Known Member
Maybe you live near someone with a Tesla Coil. I have a whole assortment of Tesla Coils from very small 3" sparks to a large 1 that will makes 27 foot diameter circle of sparks and arcs in the back yard. When I fire up the big Tesla Coil it sets off every alarm system in the neighborhood for a 6 block radius of my house, 100 garage doors are going, up, down, up, down,up, down,up, down,up, down,up, down,up, down, 700 motions detector lights flashing, on, off, on, off,on, off,on, off,on, off,on, off,on, off,on, off,on, off,on, off,on, off, 150 cars horns honking, 40 home alarms sounding, lots of people are freaked out wondering what is the world is happening. LOL

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