How Lightning Damage Affects Your Garage Door Opener
Lightning strikes are dangerous and potentially deadly, but they’re a problem that most homeowners don’t think about until they actually happen. Each year, at least one out of every 200 homes in the United States stands the risk of being struck by lightning. While the odds seem remote, there’s always a possibility that lightning could strike your garage door.
A lightning strike can do more than just leave behind burn marks on your garage door. An indirect hit can still damage or outright destroy electrical components attached to your garage door, including your garage door opener. The damage isn’t always obvious — instead of seeing the charred remains of your garage door opener, you may experience problems that are less noticeable.
This blog takes a look at some of the problems you can encounter if your garage door opener is struck by lightning.
Lack of Power
Lightning can do a number on the electronic circuitry inside of your garage door opener. The surge in electrical current that comes with a lightning strike can easily overwhelm and potentially destroy your garage door opener’s electronics. The end result is a garage door opener that’s unable to power on due to the amount of damage it’s suffered.
You might not realize your garage door opener suffered damage until you try to open it. Before you blame a lightning strike for your garage door opener’s current state, you should first rule out any other issues that could sideline your opener. Make sure the garage door opener is connected to a nearby power source and check for a tripped circuit breaker.
If plugging in a power cord or resetting the circuit breaker doesn’t work, then don’t panic. You may need to have a garage door specialist take a closer look at your opener.
Your garage door opener may be powered up, but a lightning strike can still knock out its controls. For example, you may not be able to use your remote to open or close your garage door. The same problem can happen with the hardwired controls inside of your garage.
Just like the previous example, a little troubleshooting can go a long way towards uncovering lightning-related issues. If you can’t control your garage door opener using your remote, make sure the remote has fresh batteries inside. Also, make sure the remote is operating on the same frequency as your garage door opener. If your remote still refuses to work, then there’s likely a problem with the opener itself.
If you can’t open your garage door using the hardwired controls inside of your garage, check for any signs of damaged or disconnected wiring. Lightning may have damaged the controls without damaging the rest of the garage door opener. You can even have your garage door specialist replace just those controls to rule out the problem.
If your garage door opener remains unresponsive even after replacing the controls, there may be a problem with the garage door opener itself.
Erratic or Unusual Operation
A garage door that operates with a mind of its own is another sign of a lightning strike. The tremendous amount of current produced by a lightning strike can scramble your garage door opener’s electronics. This sort of damage can cause your opener to operate in ways you wouldn’t expect. After all, no one expects their garage door to suddenly open and close repeatedly in the middle of the night.
Your garage door opener may also operate sporadically — appearing non-functional at some times and perfectly functional at others. In addition, the opener may not react to commands as it should. For instance, your garage door opener may attempt to close itself when commanded to open and vice-versa.
Scrambled LED Lights
Most garage door openers have LED indicator lights that show when the garage door is working properly. You can also find LED indicator lights on the photoelectric safety sensors located on the garage door. A lightning strike can cause these lights to work differently than usual. In some cases, they may stop working at all after a lightning strike.
If the indicator lights on your garage door opener blink erratically or out of sequence or simply don’t come on at all, it may be a sign of lightning damage. Unless you’re able to successfully reset your garage door opener, you’ll need your garage door specialist to inspect the damage and decide if a repair or replacement is needed.
The LED lights on your garage door opener may include a warning indicator that turns on if there’s a fault with the opener. If the warning indicator is on, then you’ll need to have your garage door specialist inspect the unit.
If you’re experiencing problems with your garage door opener, the experts at Raynor Door Company can help. Contact us today to have your garage door serviced.