Safety sensors are an important feature of all residential automatic garage doors. In fact, federal law requires them on all garage door openers that are manufactured after 1993. For added safety, any automatic garage door opener that doesn’t have a safety reverse mechanism properly connected and installed in it won’t even travel in the down position.
This simple safety feature was designed to protect people from getting trapped or injured by closing garage doors. Garage door safety sensors work by automatically reversing the course of the garage door when it comes in contact with an object or person while it is descending.
The safety of your loved ones is important, which is why it’s crucial to make sure that your garage door safety sensors are working properly. If they aren’t, here are a few things that you can check for a possible quick fix to your problem.
What to Do If Garage Door Safety Sensors Aren’t Working
Before we dive into the ‘why’, let’s briefly review ‘how’ garage safety sensors operate. The main component of the safety sensor is called the photo eye reversal system, or safety eyes. These two lenses are affixed to the garage door tracks on opposite sides, just about six inches above the ground, and connect to the garage door opener’s motor.
The concept is simple. A tiny laser beam is constantly shooting between the two sensors. If anything breaks that beam, the garage door will reverse course and start to ascend until the obstruction is removed and the door is promoted to close again. But however intuitive and clever these sensors are, the photo-eye reversal sensors have been known to malfunction rather often. The good news is, most homeowners can resolve the issue on their own or with the help of a licensed garage door technician.
Federal law requires that the safety sensors on your garage door are working at all times, and for good reason. Garage doors can be dangerous not only to small animals but also to children. If your garage door safety sensors aren’t working properly, you may think that you need to start looking for a new garage door in Las Vegas. However, there could be a quick fix for your problem. Here are some steps you can take before replacing your garage door or calling a contractor to fix your safety sensors.
How to Align Your Garage Door Safety Eyes
Don’t be intimidated. Aligning your garage door safety eyes is easier than you may think. Follow these simple steps to see if this helps remedy your malfunctioning garage door. If your garage door starts to close and then retracts, you may have to realign the photo eyes. Before you go as far as removing the photo eye, try simply adjusting the photo eyes a tiny bit and see if the two sensors link up. If not, then you’ll have to go through this process.
- Most safety eye sensors have a green light. Start by removing the receiving sensor. This is accomplished by taking off the wing nut.
- Then point the sensor in the opposite direction of the sending sensor until the laser light goes completely off. After the light goes off, count to 10.
- Now you can realign the sensors. Slowly and carefully point the sending sensor to the receiving sensor until the light comes back on. Replace the safety eye back in the bracket and refasten.
Look for Debris
Obstructions are the most common reason that safety sensors get tripped and your garage door won’t close all of the way. Since the sensors require an unobstructed view to read each other, even the tiniest smudge can trigger them. Over time, the lenses can become cloudy, making it difficult for the sensors to read each other. Make sure the path is clear of any obstructions and double-check to see that both lenses are clean and don’t have any grime, oil, or debris on them. If there’s debris in the way of your garage door safety sensors, then they won’t work properly.
Check the Wiring
The wiring for most garage door sensors is exposed. While these wires don’t pose a threat to your safety, they can get knocked loose. If they aren’t connected, your sensors will be unable to function as intended. Reconnecting the wires is easy and typically requires only basic tools. If the whole wire is damaged, you may need to call a professional. Alternatively, if you’re feeling handy and want to test the sensor wires themselves, here is a DIY solution.
- Remove the sensors from the brackets again.
- Remove the wires from the casing.
- Strip the ends of the wiring from each of the two sensors and twist the like-colored wires together.
- Take the two sensors over to the garage door opener motor.
- Find and remove the wiring that is in the white and gray terminals on the back of the motor
- Using the corresponding wiring, insert the white wiring into the white terminal and the stripped wire into the gray terminal.
- Finally, direct the sensor eyes at each other. If both of the green lights turn on, then the wiring needs to be replaced. If the green lights don’t come on, you’ll need to replace the safety eye sensors.
If all else fails, and your garage door sensors still don’t work, you may need to call a professional to check them. They are likely completely dead and need to be replaced. Remember that not having working garage door sensors is illegal, so it’s important to have them replaced as soon as possible.
Call The Professionals at Precision Garage Door Las Vegas
Precision Garage Door Las Vegas is taking steps to follow CDC guidelines to the exact letter in regards to COVID-19. We are enacting added safety precautions to ensure our customers and their home environments are left undisturbed. This includes outfitting our garage door technicians in safety masks, gloves, and sterilization products. If you need garage door replacement or installation, you can rest easy knowing that Precision Door Las Vegas can get the job done efficiently, professionally, and safely.
For assistance fixing or installing new garage door safety sensors or if you’re looking to replace your old garage door opener, contact us directly at 702.637.2700. Our garage door installation experts can answer your questions or schedule a free virtual estimate.