So, as I begin to detach myself from the Bothell home I’m in the process of selling, I noticed that the garage door opener had a pretty loose button. It worked, but it was obvious that it wasn’t long for this world.
On page 284 of the “Nice Guy” manual, it says that I should probably get a replacement for it. I went to Smile.Amazon.com (the charity arm of their website–they offer the same stuff, but if you order there, a portion of your purchase goes to the charity of your choice! See, you’ll actually learn two things in this blog) and saw that a couple of replacements would set me back $20. Done deal.
When they arrived, I popped them open to set the code to the same one as the worn-out remote. That’s when I made the discovery–during the entire 9 years I owned the home, the garage door opener code was the same as the default code from the factory. The two new ones were already set to “up-down-up-down….etc.”
The lesson here: if you inherited your garage door openers from a previous owner or just used them the way they came, any burglar could drive along your street holding a button down and open your garage door.
I should have known better. I’ve often told the story of my old Bothell neighborhood, where we had an ongoing problem with a garage door that just opened randomly. I’d come home from work and it was open. I’d be out washing the car and it would close on it’s own.
Then one day, I happened to be at the right angle. As our door began to close by itself, I looked up and saw our neighbor pulling into his driveway as his garage door was opening up. I grabbed my remote, walked down to his house and hit the button. Sure enough, his door started closing. It seems we had BOTH left it on the default code.
So, now I’ve given your brain another wrinkle and provided some wisdom when it comes to garage door openers. I also may have inspired would-be burglars, but that’s the risk you take in a free society.
Don’t do it.