Imagine you are late for work and get in your car. You press the garage door opener and expect to be able to leave quickly, but nothing happens. You can not get the door to move and see that the sensors are blinking red lights. It is a common and annoying problem, and often, it is due to an issue with the garage door opener sensors. Do not worry, though. This guide will show you how to find and fix sensor problems easily. Let us dive in and get your garage door back to its smooth, reliable operation.
How Do Garage Door Opener Sensors Work?
Garage door opener sensors are an important part of making sure that an automatic garage door is safe and easy to use. These sensors keep accidents and property damage from happening. Most systems have two sensor units, one on each side of the garage door, close to the ground. One sensor sends out an invisible infrared beam while the other sensor receives it.
If there are no obstacles in the way of these sensors, the garage door works properly. However, if something blocks this beam, it will signal the garage door opener to reverse or stop the door’s movement. Additionally, these safety features have been required by federal law on garage doors since the early 1990s.
Types of Garage Door Sensors
- Photo-Eye Sensors: They are the most popular and use an infrared beam to find obstacles.
- Pressure Sensors: In some garage door systems, pressure sensors check for resistance when the door is closing. If they find one, the door will reverse itself.
Common Signs of Sensor Malfunction
When working with garage door opener sensors, it is important to know the early warning signs of a problem. Here are some common signs of a broken garage door sensor:
The garage door does not close or open properly.
Once the garage door does not close or open properly, it is a very clear sign that something is wrong with the sensors. The sensors could also be responsible if the door closes quickly or does not respond to commands.
The door reverses before it hits the ground.
When sensors detect objects in its path, the garage door automatically reverses itself for safety reasons. However, if it reverses before hitting the floor for no apparent reason, check the sensors and the area around them. Misaligned or blocked sensors could be to blame for why the door keeps going backward. This one is a classic symptom of sensor malfunction.
The sensor lights blink.
Most garage door sensors have indicator lights. If these lights blink all the time, it is a clear sign that something is wrong. Your opener sensor’s blinking pattern may be different based on the model. Check the user manual for information about light patterns, or better yet, call a local garage door technician.
The garage door opens and closes randomly.
If there are problems with the sensors, the garage door might open and close by itself. It is generally because of sensors losing connection or wrong detection of an object’s presence.
The sensor light does not turn on.
If the lights on your sensors are not on, it could mean that there is a problem with the power or with the sensor itself. It is important to make sure that the sensors are getting power and always connect to the opener.
There is visible physical damage.
Any damage to the garage door opener sensors, like dents or cracks, can make them less useful. It is important to examine the sensors to see if there are any clear signs of damage.
Environment-related factors affect the sensors.
Elements in the surroundings could sometimes cause the problem. It could be direct sunlight blocking the sensor’s infrared beam or dirt and dust covering the lenses.
How to Troubleshoot Garage Door Opener Sensors
Mishandling garage doors can cause crashes or more damage to the system because they are heavy and have a lot of moving parts. Here are some safety precautions you should take:
Disconnect the garage door first.
Before you start, you should always turn off the power to your garage door opener. Usually, you can do this by unplugging the unit or turning off the circuit breaker. This step is necessary to keep the door from opening accidentally while you are working.
Avoid touching moving parts.
Pay attention to the garage door springs, cables, and other moving parts. These are under a lot of stress and can hurt you if they break. Avoid touching these parts and only focus on the sensors.
Use proper tools and equipment.
Make sure you have tools like screwdrivers, pliers, and a level that you need for this task. Do not forget to wear the right safety gear, such as gloves and safety glasses.
Know your limits.
If you are not sure about something or if the problem seems complicated, you better stop and talk to a garage door professional. Doing repairs on things you do not fully understand can lead to crashes or more damage.
After making sure you are safe, you can start fixing problems with your garage door opener sensors. By following these steps, you can find and possibly fix common sensor problems:
Check for obstructions.
Inspect the place where the sensors are. Remove anything that could get in the way of the sensors’ view, such as trash, dust, and cobwebs. Make sure that nothing is hanging or mounted near the sensors that could block them.
Clean the garage door opener sensors.
The best way to clean the sensors is to wipe them with a soft cloth. Remove any dirt, dust, or grime buildup on the lens. Do not use rough chemicals or materials that could damage the sensor.
Check for sensor alignment.
There must be a perfect alignment between sensors for them to work properly. With a level, make sure that both sensors are straight and directly facing each other. To make the necessary changes, loosen the mounting brackets and adjust the sensors as needed.
Inspect all wiring and connections.
Check the wires that connect to the sensors for any signs of damage, wear, or disconnections. Make sure that every link is secure. Connectors that are too loose or rusted can stop the sensor from working.
Test the sensors.
After you have done all the steps, turn the power back on to your garage door opener. To test the sensors, close the garage door and place an object in the path of the sensors. If the door reverses, the sensors are working. If not, they may need further adjustment or a new garage sensor replacement.
Remember, if the problem persists or you are unsure about any step, it is best to consult with a garage door professional. It will keep you safe and make sure your garage door works properly.
Having trouble with your garage door because of a broken sensor? Look no further than Titan Garage Doors Lincoln NE. We are your leading garage door experts, serving Lincoln, NE, and the surrounding cities, including Beatrice and Papillion, NE. From sensor replacements to major garage door repairs and maintenance services, we have got you covered! Do not let a faulty garage door ruin your day. Call us at (402) 576-5771 for a free estimate!