Neighbors trying to figure out mysterious garage door mishap

Neighbors trying to figure out mysterious garage door mishap


by TONY BURBECK / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

Posted on January 9, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 9 at 7:02 PM

FORT MILL, S.C. -- At least nine homeowners in Fort Mill are trying to figure out why their garage doors and openers stopped working at the same time.

Even a long-time garage door repair man says he hasn’t seen anything like it in 24 years on the job.

"Dang electronics,” said homeowner David Swygert.

He lives on Peridot Drive.  Most of the garage doors which stopped working are on the same cul-de-sac.

"This house wouldn't open, this house wouldn't open,” Swygert said while pointing out all the homes. 

"This one wasn't working, this one wasn't working and this one wasn't working,” said Wayne Witt, who also lives in the cul-de-sac.  "Two houses across the street didn't work,” Witt said.

Witt’s door didn’t work either.

"Clickers didn't work, the keypads on the outside of the door didn't work,” he said.

When Swygert's garage door did open, it wasn't his clicker or keypad. 

He says the signal came from the neighbor's clicker, three houses down.

"He called and said I just opened your garage door from my house,” Swygert said.   "My wife said ‘Why are you leaving the garage door open?’  I said ‘I'm not.’"

A possible explanation includes some sort of radio frequency interference, said Mark Burris with MKM Garage Door.   MKM was in the neighborhood Monday installing a new radio frequency device for one homeowner who didn’t want to deal with the problem any longer.

The radio frequencies which control the garage door openers apparently got out of whack.  Neighbors think it's the result of a power surge or a powerful electronic.

"Figured someone got a new toy for Christmas,” said neighbor George MacDonald.

Burris says he checked new construction, frequencies and cell towers but didn't find anything.

"We don't know, that's the real mystery.  I've been in this for about 24 years and this is the first time I've ever seen anything like this,” Burris said.

Crews replaced some circuit boards and reprogrammed clickers and keypads.  Neighbor say in some cases that didn’t work either.

Witt and Swygert went back to their initial circuit boards and that’s when their garage doors started working again.

"Somebody waved a magic wand and everything is back working again,” MacDonald said.

For now, it remains the mystery on the cul-de-sac.

"I'm definitely convinced it's going to come back,” a neighbor said.