What Causes Garage Door Sensors To Not Work Properly?

Garage Door Sensors Provide Safety

A properly functioning garage door sensor is crucial for the safe operation of your garage door system. However, at times, you may encounter issues where your garage door sensor is not working as expected. This can be a frustrating situation, leading to inconvenience and potential safety concerns. In this article, we will explore common reasons why your garage door sensor may not be working and provide insights on troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue. As garage door sensors are a vital safety component, we encourage you to contact the experts at Jim Beam’s Garage Doors to ensure your sensors are properly working.

How Do Garage Door Safety Sensors Work?

In 1993, the United States Government implemented a law mandating the installation of garage door sensors for motorized garage doors. These sensors serve as essential safety devices, designed to detect and prevent potential accidents or damage. The primary function of your garage door sensor is to communicate with the opener and inform it if there is an obstruction in the door’s path. When an obstacle is detected, the sensor sends a signal to the opener, preventing the door from closing or reversing its movement if already in motion. Modern garage door sensors employ a photoelectric mechanism known as an infrared laser beam. This invisible beam is projected from one end of the garage door to the other, and when broken triggers the garage door to either stop moving or go back into its upright position. This crucial safety feature is in place to protect you, your family, and your belongings from harm. If your garage won’t close, it might not just be the safety sensors as discussed in our article Why Won’t My Garage Door Close?

Common Symptoms of Safety Sensors Not Working

One common scenario where the sensor comes into play is when you try to close the garage door, but it immediately reverses back up after dropping a few inches. This occurs when the sensor detects an object or obstruction in its path and triggers the reversal mechanism. Although it may be frustrating to experience this “dance” with your garage door, it’s important to recognize that the sensor is doing its job by prioritizing safety. We discuss garage door safety features further in our article Understanding the Role of Garage Door Safety Features.

While it may be tempting to bypass or disable the garage door sensor to avoid these inconveniences, it is strongly advised against doing so. Garage door sensors play a vital role in preventing accidents, particularly involving pets, children, or personal property that could be caught under a closing door. The temporary inconvenience of troubleshooting a sensor issue is well worth the long-term safety it ensures. Now let’s discuss some of the reasons why your garage door safety sensors are not working properly.

Misaligned Sensors

One of the primary reasons for a malfunctioning garage door sensor is misalignment. Garage door sensors are typically placed on each side of the door, near the ground. If they become misaligned due to accidental bumps, vibrations, or other factors, they may fail to detect the beam properly. Check the alignment of the sensors by ensuring they are facing each other directly and that there are no obstructions blocking the beam’s path.

Dirty or Obstructed Sensors

Dirt, dust, or debris accumulation on the sensors can interfere with their proper functioning. Regularly clean the sensors using a soft, dry cloth to remove any dirt or debris that may be hindering their operation. Additionally, check for any physical obstructions such as cobwebs, leaves, or objects that may be blocking the sensors’ line of sight.

garage door safety sensors

Damaged Wiring

Examine the wiring connecting the sensors to the garage door opener unit. Over time, the wiring may become frayed, damaged, or disconnected, resulting in a non-functioning sensor. Carefully inspect the wiring for any signs of wear or damage. If necessary, contact a professional garage door company like Jim Beam’s Garage Doors of Fort Collins to replace the wiring or sensor unit.

Electrical Power Issues

A garage door sensor may not work if there are power-related issues. Ensure that the sensors are receiving power by checking the connection to the electrical outlet or the power supply of the garage door opener unit. If there is a power outage or an electrical problem, address it accordingly and verify if the sensor starts functioning once power is restored.

Sensor Sensitivity Adjustment

Garage door sensors are designed to detect obstructions in the door’s path and prevent accidents. If the sensor sensitivity is set too high or too low, it can result in erratic behavior. Consult your garage door opener’s user manual to understand how to adjust the sensor sensitivity properly. Make incremental adjustments until the sensor responds consistently to obstacles.

Faulty Sensor or Garage Door Opener

In some cases, the garage door sensor itself may be faulty or damaged. If you have tried all the troubleshooting steps and the sensor still does not work, it may be necessary to replace the sensor or even the garage door opener unit. Consult with a professional garage door technician who can diagnose the issue accurately and recommend the appropriate solution.

Do Not Ignore Broken Sensors

A malfunctioning garage door sensor can disrupt the smooth operation of your garage door system and compromise safety. By addressing common issues such as misalignment, dirt, wiring problems, power issues, and sensor sensitivity, you can often resolve the problem. However, if troubleshooting steps do not yield the desired results, it is essential to seek professional assistance. At Jim Beam’s Garage Doors, we offer expert garage door installation services to ensure the proper functioning of your garage door sensors. Contact us today for professional assistance and reliable solutions to keep your garage door system in optimal condition.

If you don’t know already, Jim Beam’s Garage Doors is one of the top-rated garage door installers and repairers in the Northern Colorado area. With over 120+ reviews on Google and an average rating of 4.9 stars and top-rated status on HomeAdvisor, you can trust Jim Beam’s to do the job right the first time. Get a fast and free estimate on your garage repairgarage maintenance, or garage door installation today by contacting us!

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Welcome to Jim Beam's Garage Doors! With over 15 years of garage door experience, you can count on us to provide professional garage door installation, repair, maintenance, repair, opener repair, and much more.

We service the Northern Colorado area including Fort Collins, Windsor, Loveland, Longmont, Wellington, Severance, Timnath, and LaPorte. If you are looking for the best garage door service in Fort Collins, look no further than the Jim Beam team.

Service Areas

2451 South Timberline Road, Fort Collins, CO 80525

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