Since 1993, all garage door openers sold in the U.S. must come equipped with two photoelectric sensors, known simply as “photo eyes.” One sensor is installed six inches above the floor of the garage on each side of the door. Accurate leveling is required to ensure the eyes’ beam extends across the garage door opening. If an obstruction occurs while the door is closing, the sensors will send a signal to the opener, instructing it to reverse the downward momentum of the door. Their job is to prevent potential entrapment.
Signs of Non-Working Sensor
The photoelectric sensors will stop working anytime they become misaligned or their lenses are dirty. Something may also be obstructing them. While other problems can occur, these are the simplest to fix.
Some signs that they are not working include:
- Blinking lights on one or more sensor
- Garage door opens but will not close
- Door starts to close then reverses to the fully open position
To clean the lenses, use a clean cloth and mild cleaner, making sure to dry it as well. Next, check the alignment of the photo eyes, realigning as needed. This video from LiftMaster® demonstrates the proper steps for aligning the safety sensors.
Monthly Testing Required
Monthly testing of the photoelectric sensors is required for both residential and commercial garage doors. The International Door Association recommends regularly testing all safety systems. Schedule all required tests on your calendar! To test the photo eyes, start with the door open, and then activate the opener to close. While the door is being lowered, wave a long-handled object, like a broom in the path of the beam. Verify that the door returns to the fully open position.
Professional Assistance for Photoelectric Sensors
If your garage door still isn’t functioning after cleaning and realigning the sensors, contact a local garage door service company. Arizona Garage Door & Repair repairs, services, and installs all garage door and garage door opener brands. We also specialize in the repair of malfunctioning photoelectric sensors. Should replacement be required, we stock quality sensors and other parts on our trucks, ensuring same-day repair.