I Lost My Garage Door Opener – Now What?
It’s happened to the best of us. Losing the garage door opener is like misplacing your keys, a common occurrence that is equally annoying and frustrating.
The amount of time we spend in the car means we are bound to lose the garage opener, between moving things around and stuffing random objects in different cubbies, or things falling and become trapped between the seats. If this describes you, then it may be time to switch things up when your garage door opener is concerned.
Opening Your Garage Manually
The first step when a garage opener has gone missing is to figure out how to open your garage without it. Now, if this happens frequently, then you are likely well versed in manually opening your garage, but in case it doesn’t, here are the basic steps.
- Make sure your garage door is shut and the garage door opener is completely disconnected by pulling the emergency cord, a red handled cord that typically hangs from the center rail
- Lift the garage door fully open, ensuring that it remains open before stepping away
- To close the door, you will have to do so manually. Bring the door down until it reaches the floor
- Locking the door without your garage opener will require you to use the lock bar. Test to make sure that the door is correctly locked before leaving it
- If you do locate your garage opener, reconnect it to the mechanism and double check to make sure the door is unlocked. Having the lock bar activated can cause serious damage when attempting to open the garage door automatically
Fortunately, enough people either lose their garage door openers or have some kind of power outage that prevents garage doors from opening so manufacturers have allowed doors to open rather easily without one.
Replacing Your Garage Opener Remote
Often times, your garage door will come with two sets of door control remotes. Manufacturers know that life happens and at some point in time, homeowners will tend to lose one or the other, which is exactly why they provide the spare remote. The spare also comes in handy when members of the household learn to drive and get teenagers to start driving their own cars.
Whatever the case may be and you find yourself down to zero openers at this point, then it’s time to order a couple replacements. Look on the garage door mechanism unit and find out what brand and make your opener is. The name of the company should be displayed on the unit itself or on the external receiver. Take note of this information if you wish to order a remote directly from the same manufacture as your garage door.
What to Do if You Have an Older Garage Door
Some of us are not lucky enough to have a home with a state-of-the-art garage door opening system. Older garage doors can present a few issues, such as the company no longer making replacement parts, or perhaps the manufacturer has gone out of business, or there is little information or instructions available on replacing or installing new parts.
The best way to go if you have an older garage door is to locate the manufacturer or brand name on the unit or external receiver. An online search with this information will tell you if you’re able to get a new remote opener directly from the garage door company. If the company no longer provides replacement openers for whatever reason, there are other ways to obtain a new remote opener.
Fortunately, in the day and age of new technology and the Internet, there are both universal remotes available for older garages and sites dedicated to help you find and order a replacement remote. Many garage repair sites offer lists of manufacturers and replacement parts still available for purchase and search engines for you to locate the correct remote opener for your garage.
The Universal Remote Opener
Sometimes you can get lucky and program a handy universal remote opener with an older garage door. Even for those technologically impaired, a universal garage opener is not a difficult task to program. These not-so-new inventions are fairly simple and straightforward and always come with detailed installation instructions.
There are two different programming styles relative to remote garage openers. The first type is known as a “learn” button, or a “smart” button. Manufacturers try to make it as easy as possible to connect your remote opener to the garage door unit, and so when pressed, this button syncs the unit to the remote.
If you still have the manufacturer manual, now would be a good time to get it out to examine the required steps needed to sync your new remote to the unit. To program your universal remote to a unit that has this learn button, take off the panel to the unit and locate the corresponding button needed to sync your remote. Typically, you will need to press the remote’s button first, then the button on the unit. Most units have a light indication to notify you when the programming has been successfully completed.
The second type of programming consists of an arrangement of switches in a dual in-line package, otherwise known as a DIP switch. This manual electric programming method consists of a series of switches typically set in a printed circuit board and can be coded to a device. For garage openers, there can be anywhere from 9 to 12 switches that can be coded to make an individualized electronic fingerprint which opens your garage door when synced.
Universal remotes will often have both types of programming available for you to choose from. If you have an older garage door unit, there is a high chance you will need a universal remote that has the DIP switch method of programming. Simply match the DIP switch sequence to that which is displayed on the receiver or an old opener if you happen to still have one. The sequences must match identically for the remote to work.
Lost Garage Door Opener? It’s Not the End of the World
For those of us who will always lose any small device because of our very nature, don’t fear, because as technology becomes increasingly smarter than us, more and more solutions are continually invented to relieve humans of their seemingly unavoidable follies.
Nowadays, garage openers are becoming smart openers, and if this is a constant issue in your home, you can simply move the ability to open your garage to your smart phone. If you are one of those people losing a remote or forgetting whether or not the garage door has been accidentally left open, this new tech could be a life saver for you.
And for those tech-challenged people who would like to avoid smart-anything entirely, there’s always the old fashioned way of doing things. For the minor inconvenience it is, manually opening and closing your garage for the meantime while the manufacturer mails a replacement opener isn’t all that bad. Whatever make or model garage door opening system your home has, there is a good chance that it isn’t so obscure or outdated that you can’t find a good universal remote to solve your lost garage opener problems.