Garage door openers are often plagued by radio frequency interference caused by various devices around the home. These signals can prevent the opener from functioning correctly, causing it not to respond to the remote or malfunctioning intermittently when attempting to open/close the door. In order to diagnose and solve this problem, it is important to understand what could be causing the interference.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Interference?
Interference is a common problem that can cause disruption to your systems and devices. It can be caused by various sources, but the main three types of interference are from noise, overload and spurious emissions. Let’s look more closely at each of these interference types in turn.
Interference From Noise
Noise interference occurs when an electromagnetic noise source such as a bug zapper, thermostat, neon sign or electrical switch disrupts signals between two devices. This noise can also affect nearby neighbors and in some cases may be caused by dangerous arcs in someone’s electrical wiring or equipment, indicating a need for repair.
Interference From Overload
Sometimes powerful signals from other transmitting devices can overload your system which is not designed to process these signals. For example, if you have an older garage door opener it may respond to powerful signals from a nearby cell phone tower even though this signal is not meant for your device. Modern day devices are designed with protective measures built-in to block out these strong signals making them more immune to interference of this type.
Interference From Spurious Emissions
Radio towers may occasionally transmit weak signals on frequencies they are not supposed to be using. Known as ‘spurious emissions’ by the FCC, these spillover signals can cause problems if received by incorrect equipment. In this case the FCC requires those responsible to take action and stop the spurious emission from occurring again in order to prevent further interference in the area.
If your garage door opener is experiencing interference it might be due to one of these sources or another source entirely. Fortunately there are some basic troubleshooting steps you can take to battle any type of interference with your garage door opener and hopefully resolve the issue quickly and effectively.
How to Resolve Issues With Radio Frequency Interference
Radio frequency interference (RFI) can present a number of issues for users of hand-held garage door openers. If your device is experiencing problems with range, it could be due to a weak battery, radio or physical interference. To help diagnose potential causes and fix any related issues, here are several of the most common sources of RFI.
Car Visor Issues
If you have multiple remotes and only one is having issues, the visor in your car may be to blame. The metal from your car’s chassis can cause physical signal interference, or the positioning of the transmitter in your visor could not be suitable for transmissions. Try removing the remote control from the visor and seeing if it works in a different position while still within range. If it doesn’t, consider how to change the battery. However, if it does work, you may not be able to use your visor-mounted remote in the future.
Bent or Damaged Antenna Wire
An antenna wire that has become curved or damaged can reduce range for the garage door opener. The simple solution in this case is to try straightening out the antenna wire and seeing if remote functions improve.
LED Lights Interference
LED lights have become popular due to their low electricity consumption and long life span, but some types produce undesired radio emissions which interfere with garage door openers. If this is suspected as a cause of disruption, unplugging LED lights and testing the remotes again may resolve the issue; if successful, compatible LED light bulbs for that specific opener model should be used instead.
Metal buildings create physical interference as signals find it more difficult to pass through them. Installing an antenna extension is necessary if such a structure houses a garage door opener in order for its signals to penetrate through properly. Furthermore, ‘cross-talk’ between two openers located close together can cause issues when attempting to use remotes; here, unplugging both openers and testing only one at a time will determine which one needs its logic board replaced as it could be interfering with the weaker signal without being visibly affected itself.
Misplaced control panel wires can also cause disruptions with garage door openers. To see if this might be an issue, disconnect wires from terminals 1 (red) and 2 (white) on the control panel but do not disconnect those connected directly into the safety reversing system. Then test your remote from outside; if everything works as expected then these wires should be rerouted away from any high voltage conduits within walls so they don’t receive external signals anymore disruption occurs.
Radio Frequency Interference
Numerous devices around the home receive and transmit electrical signals frequently such as TVs, alarm clocks, PCs or Bluetooth headphones etc., making it almost impossible to diagnose without conducting a power-down test where all electronics should be switched off one by one until finding which one is actually causing reduced range when connected/powered back up again – though this could take hours so it’s best trying all other troubleshooting points first before resorting to this option as a last resort solution! Begin by turning off all power sources except for that going into garage – now test remote range – unplug each device individually while testing until finding culprit device – if modern device then likely won’t cause much issue but best getting rid altogether – now restore power room by room while testing range after every addition until noticing reduction again – once found go into respective room and unplug items until finding device causing problem and deal accordingly.
with these troubleshooting tips in mind you should now have all the tools needed to ensure your garage doors function smoothly