Garage Door

How To Fix The Sensor On Overhead Garage Doors

In the 1990s, a law passed by the federal regulations required garage doors to be manufactured with two safety devices to prevent accidents.

In the 1990s, a law passed by the federal regulations required garage doors to be manufactured with two safety devices to prevent accidents. In it was to install optical sensors with the garage door opening systems. The purpose is to detect whether there is an obstruction inside the door or not.

How does a Garage Door Sensor Work?

Garage Door open

Garage doors are devices that are used to open garage doors remotely when a motorized button is pressed. Some buttons are connected to an electrical circuit inside a house, and some buttons are remote control devices, which work with used batteries. However, most garage door systems are made up of two types of wiring so that the owner can operate the garage door. The garage door opening system is also designed with an infrared radio signal that is sent to the control unit, once the button is pressed in the first match. The control unit and then activates the electric motor, which is linked to a tracking and pulley system that activates the opening and closing of the garage door.

Photoelectric sensors are a safety mechanism that all garage doors must-have. Photoelectric cells come into contact to continue the door to close completely. If the gathering of the optical sensors is prevented, this means that the beam of the infrared beam connecting them has been interrupted, and the garage door is, therefore, stops. These become defective, like any other piece. When they do not work properly, the garage door opener will not work well. Universal photoelectric sensors are available at home goods stores and garage door sellers. You need to remove the photoelectric sensors from the garage door completely. This procedure and its installation are generally the same in all garage door opener manufacturers.

Problems with the garage door sensors lights

The overhead garage door is probably the most prominent moving access to your house. Therefore, you should keep a check regularly so that it works well. But like anything mechanical, it can break down, even when you maintain it. The most common problems with garage doors mean that the doors do not open or close correctly and of course if the garage door sensors are not working.

Finding out the causes will help solve these problems

Once the overhead garage door sensor detects that there is something or someone in its path, it stops. You can look for the obvious when you fix a garage door that does not close.

Dirty garage door sensors, also known as infrared or photoelectric sensors, can cause the sensors to weaken. Check that there are no obstructions, which is usually the case when the garage door falls, does not come down entirely or goes up immediately.

In other cases, the garage door openers sensors located on each side of the garage do not align with each other, causing the door to go down. Cleaning, alignment or replacement of garage door sensors can help solve these problems.

How to fix garage door sensors?

Garage Door open

Electric garage doors are a great innovation, but, as is the case with all electrical / electronic components, things can malfunction and be damaged. The garage door light sensors that make the garage doors safer are usually located in the worst possible place, near the floor. This means that they are subject to water, dirt and physical damage from careless drivers and children. Fixing them to work properly can be an annoying task. But sometimes only a few things will make your garage doors open and close like new again.

Step 1

Look for any physical object that prevents the sensors from seeing each other. This includes dirt or dust on the lens. Depending on the sensor model, the lights may indicate that the sensors are obstructed.

Step 2

Confirm that the sensors are correctly aligned. If necessary, tighten the fasteners that hold them in place or replace the cables completely.

Step 3

Make sure the unit has power, and the sensors are receiving electricity. If the lights on the sensors do not come on, check the power in the main part of the unit.

Step 4

Check the cables that connect the sensors to their connections, both in the main unit and in the sensors themselves. Replace cables if worn or damaged.

Step 5

Open the sensor units. Confirm that the wiring is welded to the right places, that there are no foreign objects inside and that they are dry.

Step 6

Finally, if nothing works, try replacing the units. In most cases, this solves the problem, but sometimes a bad circuit board in the main unit is responsible for sensors that do not work.


Do not use the low voltage cable of the photoelectric sensor for new equipment. Although it might seem like a time-saver, it is better to use a new cable when installing a new device.


Always disconnect the power from the garage door opener before attempting repairs.

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