At Amega Garage Doors and Openers, Inc., many of our openers are connected to wi-fi. While that means more convenient operation and ease-of-use for the operator, it can also result in some radio frequency interference. There are ways to prevent those issues, however, and we wanted to share them with you.
What is Radio-Frequency Interference?
Radio-frequency interference (RFI) or electromagnetic interference (EMI) occurs when there’s a external disturbance to an electrical circuit. This can happen when electrical currents change and can happen with both man-made devices (cell phones, televisions, internet, etc.) and natural sources (lightning, auroras, etc.). As with many electrical devices, a garage door opener can be prone to emitting and receiving interference. This can happen to a device that’s just been installed or one that’s been operating for years without incident.
How to Prevent Interference with Your Garage Door Opener
There are a number of ways LiftMaster recommends correcting or preventing radio-frequency interference when it comes to your garage door.
Is Your Car Causing Interference?
If the range on your remote control has been having issues, it may be due to something as simple as something blocking the signal. Remove the control from your visor to see if there’s still a problem. If there’s not an issue while the remote is out of your car, the problem may be related to something blocking the signal or from the metal of your car causing the interference. Do you have a piece of paper blocking the remote in your visor? Is there something getting in the way of the remote itself? The issue may also just be a dead or dying battery.
Is Another Opener Installed?
If you’ve installed more than one garage door opener, but just one opener seems to be having problems, there’s a fairly quick fix. First, unplug the opener that’s not experiencing problems with range. Next, simply test your remote to see whether the range improves. If you see improvement, you’ll need to replace the logic board on the unplugged opener, as that’s what likely caused the problem. If you see no improvement, the problem could be with the wiring. LiftMaster provides a simple walk-through for you here.
Is the Opener in a Metal Building?
Sometimes, the problem with radio-frequency interference stems from the garage door opener simply being installed in a metal building. Don’t worry! This is often a quick fix. Just install an antenna extension to correct the problem.
Power Down Test
Performing a power down test on your garage door opener and home is essentially like hitting the “reset” button. According to LiftMaster, your garage should be powered down first. Be forewarned that this can take quite a while and there’s no guarantee an interference can be located.
Garage Power Down
First, plug the garage door opener into an outlet in the house using an extension cord. Next, you will need to shut power to the garage off with your circuit breaker. Next, you’ll test the range on your remote controls to see if it improves. If it does, you’ll need to go through each item you’ve unplugged and plug it in again one-by-one to check whether one of them was causing the problem. However, if you tested the range and saw no improvement, your next step will need to be powering down your house.
House Power Down
When performing a power down test on your home, you’ll turn off the circuit breakers in the house, but leave the garage on. Now, unplug everything in your garage, but leave the opener alone. Now, test your remote control to see if the range improves. If so, using the home’s circuit breaker, turn power on to one room at a time, all the while, testing the range of the remote control for your garage door. Once you find the room causing the problem, unplug one electric device at a time until you find the item causing interference. Now, if you didn’t see the range improve at all, the interference may be external (not coming from your home). A new control panel may be needed.
Replacing Control Panel and Security
Unfortunately, if the control panel for your garage door opener is older, it may be more prone to radio-frequency interference. If this is the case, a new control panel may be your best bet. For instance, the LiftMaster 888LM offers the ability to monitor and control your garage door right from your smartphone, including the opener, lights, and more. Plus, it’s compatible with other accessories with MyQ technology, so you could install the timer-to-close feature so that your garage door will automatically close after a predetermined amount of time (1, 5, or 15 minutes).
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