Garage Door Sensors
Safety is paramount, and this is no exception in the world of garage doors. To address safety concerns, the federal government mandated all garage door openers to incorporate door sensors to prevent accidents. This requirement has been in effect since the early 1990s, ensuring all garage doors are equipped with sensors to comply with federal regulations.
Although garage door sensors are nearly ubiquitous, many people still don’t know how they work. In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the functioning of garage door sensors, their importance, and what to do if they malfunction.
The Importance of Garage Door Sensors
The primary role of garage door sensors, also known as photo eyes, is to ensure no obstruction in the door’s path when closing. This is how they work:
- The photo eyes are on both sides of the garage door, approximately six inches above the ground.
- For the door to close, the photo eyes must “see” each other, meaning the infrared beam connecting the photo eyes remains unbroken.
- If something interrupts the infrared beam, the garage door will reverse direction, opening instead of closing.
How To Install a Garage Door Sensor
Installing a garage door sensor involves mounting the photo eyes (sensors) on either side of the garage door approximately six inches above the ground, ensuring they are aligned so the infrared beam between them is unbroken, and then connecting the sensors to the garage door opener following the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s important to regularly check for obstructions, clean the lens, and realign the sensors as needed to ensure proper functionality.
How Garage Door Sensors Operate
Garage doors can be opened with a remote control that activates the motorized trolley. Some garage door opener buttons are hardwired, while others are remote-powered, enabling you to open the garage door from your vehicle. Most modern garage door openers combine both technologies for convenience. Here’s how the system operates:
- You press the button on your remote, sending an infrared radio signal.
- The signal activates the electric motor.
- The motor engages a track-and-pulley system to open or close the garage door.
If the sensors malfunction, one sensor light will start blinking. Check for obstructions, as this may cause the malfunction. If the doorway is clear, you may need to clean the lens or realign the sensors. If these solutions do not work, it’s time to contact a professional.
Tips for Maintaining Your Garage Door Sensors
- Regularly check for obstructions: Make sure no objects are blocking the path of the infrared beam.
- Clean the lens: Dust and debris can accumulate on the sensor lens, affecting its functionality. Gently wipe the lens with a soft, dry cloth.
- Realign the sensors: If your garage door is not closing properly and there are no obstructions, the sensors may be misaligned. Adjust the sensors until both sensor lights are solid and not blinking.
Common Issues with Garage Door Sensors
Despite their essential role in ensuring safety, garage door sensors can sometimes experience issues that may affect their functionality. Here are some common problems:
- Obstructions: The most common issue is the presence of objects blocking the infrared beam’s path.
- Dirty Lens: Dust and debris can accumulate on the sensor lens, affecting its ability to function correctly.
- Misalignment: The sensors may be misaligned if the garage door is not closed properly and there are no obstructions.
- Wiring Problems: Damaged wires or loose connections can also cause the sensors to malfunction.
- Sensor Light Off: If the light on one of the sensors is off, it may indicate a power issue or a faulty sensor.
What to Do If Your Sensors Malfunction
If you have checked for obstructions, cleaned the lens, and realigned the sensors, but your garage door still isn’t functioning correctly, it’s time to call the professionals. We specialize in garage doors at Hostetler & Askew Door and have over 40 years of experience serving the Michiana community. Our expert technicians have over 100 years of combined experience and are equipped to diagnose and fix any garage door issue.
Get Help Now!
Garage door sensors play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety and functionality of your garage door. Regular maintenance, such as checking for obstructions, cleaning the lens, and realigning the sensors, can help keep your garage door operating smoothly. However, if you encounter any issues that you cannot resolve, it is always best to consult a professional.
At Hostetler & Askew Door, we are committed to providing exceptional garage door services to our community. Contact us today for a complimentary, no-obligation estimate, and let us help you ensure your garage door is safe and functional. 574.444.9700