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Garage door openers are now required to have electronic reversing systems at the base of the door. It is best known as garage door safety sensors. Serious injuries and deaths have occurred due to garage doors crushing down instead of automatically going back up when someone or something is detected in its path. National standards were established in 1992 to prevent these types of accidents.

The infrared safety sensors are essential in garage safety. Typically mounted 4-6 inches from the ground along the both sides of the garage door track, the sensors detect any obstacles between the garage door and the ground, and reverse or force the garage door to stay open to prevent injury to anyone or pets and damage to property.

Common Problems of malfunctioning safety sensors:

  • An obstruction in the way of the sensors: Even dust, dirt, cobwebs and leaves can block the sensor's photo eye beam. Make sure your lenses are clean by gently wiping the lenses with soft material.

  • Sensors are misaligned: The beams do not “see” each other and one or both of the sensor light will not be on. Realign them by wiggling one or both sensors until both sensor lights come back on.

  • Sunlight Shining: Sometimes sunlight shining on the sending sensor may send signals that an obstruction is in the way. Try blocking the sun with a thin board and see if this was the cause of the problem.

  • Problem with connection or with wiring: Proper wiring may have come undone or damaged by an object, a person or a pet. This will require rewiring or new wiring.

  • Defective or damaged lenses: Your lenses or the electronics of your sensors may have become defective or damaged. This will require for your sensors to be replaced.

Unless your garage door opener is older than 1993, your opener will be equipped with photo eye beam safety sensors. The safety sensors will have a small light lit on each sensor indicating that they are properly sending and receiving signals. ​​The opener is equipped with light that is programmed to blink to indicate a problem with your safety sensors. If your garage door opens properly but does not close or reverses during travel along with blinking light on your motor head, try one or more the troubleshooting above and see if it fixes the problem. If your door still does not close without holding down your wall button, give us a call for help with troubleshooting over the phone or to schedule for an on site troubleshooting. Properly functioning garage door safety sensors help to make sure your garage door remains safe

If your garage door goes all the way down but opens back up, the board inside the motor may be becoming weak or the limit switch may need to be adjusted. The limit set on your limit switch tells the garage door opener how far the door should move before it is fully open or closed. If you need help diagnosing this problem or to reset the travel limits on your opener, give us a call.​ 

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