Garage door problems for homeowners may be linked to Navy

Garage door opener

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They are supposed to open and close at the press of a button, but hundreds of homeowners on Oahu are having issues with their garage doors.

It’s a problem that appears to center around Pearl Harbor.

The remote control you use to open your garage door runs on certain frequencies that are reserved for the federal government.

Companies can use them, but they’re subject to interference, so when a large ship is in port, there may be problems.

John Lee holds in his hand, the remote control to his garage door. But it suddenly stopped working Sunday.

“I came home and it was raining and I wanted to drive in and I couldn’t, I said ‘okay that’s it,’” said Aiea homeowner John Lee said.

Lee knew that it wasn’t a dead battery or a problem with his door. He headed out to his front yard and pin pointed what he believes is causing the interference. The USS John C. Stennis, which pulled into port at Pearl Harbor the same day his remote seemed to shut off.

“It gets a little frustrating at times,” Lee said.

Since Sunday, workers at Servco Raynor Overhead Doors says the phone has been ringing around the clock.

“Non-stop calls from customers both Monday and Tuesday and it’s always the same thing that their remote controls do not work they can’t make the garage door go up or down,” said Servco Raynor Overhead Doors employee Jay Plisco said.

Homeowners he heard from are in Ewa Beach, West Lock, Waipahu, Waikele, Pearl City, Waimalu, Aiea and Halawa Heights. Basically hundreds of homes within a five-mile radius of Pearl Harbor.

“They are frustrated. They think something is wrong with the equipment,” Lee said.

KHON2 has reported similar problems when RIMPAC exercises are in town.

The Navy says the recurring issue is because garage door remotes have been allowed to use certain frequencies that are reserved for the federal government. Frequencies that can be affected by military radars.

They say it’s hard to pinpoint if the USS John C. Stennis is the source of this latest interference.

“I don’t know what can be done about it,” Lee said.

So Lee has been waiting, going on two days, but he gave it one last shot before KHON2 left.

“Oh, it worked, it worked,” Lee said.

Some viewers who called in about this issue are not as lucky, telling KHON2 their remotes still don’t work.

The Navy says the problem should be only temporary.

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