What are Photo Eye Sensors Interfering With My Garage Door?

Garage Door IssuesHas your garage door stopped working, and you don’t know what the problem is? Since a federal law change in 1993 requiring certain safety features for automatic garage doors, the most common causes of garage door problems involve photo eye sensors. Read on to learn what these sensors do and the steps for resolving a range of issues that can occur with the photoelectric eye sensors.

What is a Photo Eye Sensor?

Photo eye sensors on automatic-opening garage doors are mandatory safety features. There are two sensors, and one is placed on each side of the garage door near where the door closes. The photo eye sensors each have a beam directed at the other sensor. If anything interrupts the interaction of the beams, the sensor prevents the door from closing by breaking the circuit. For instance, if the garage door is closing and an animal or a person walks under the garage door and disrupts the photo eye sensors, the garage door won’t close.

The sensors are installed about 6 inches above the floor of the garage; and they are sensitive and delicate, easily becoming misaligned.

Troubleshooting Photo Eye Sensor Problems

If your garage door will open but either won’t close at all or only partially closes, it’s likely an issue with the photo eye sensors. The garage light may blink several times, or you may hear a clicking sound. The following are some of the steps you can take to fix the problem:

  • Check to see whether anything is obstructing the sensors. Even small things in the path of the beams can initiate the circuit that prevents the garage door from closing.
  • If there are no obstructions, check the lights on the photo eye sensors. There should be an LED light on each sensor. If one of the lights is off or flickering, it’s an indication that the sensor was probably bumped. You may be able to adjust the sensor with your hand to fix the problem. If the light starts working properly, the issue is resolved.
  • The photo eye sensors may not be working because they are at different heights. You may want to contact a garage door technician to make the needed adjustments.
  • If nothing is obviously wrong with the photo eye sensors, it could be that the units have too much of a buildup of dirt, dust, or cobwebs on them. Using a damp cloth, carefully wipe the lenses of the photo eye sensors. Afterward, try to adjust the sensors so that the lights come back on.
  • Garage Door Eye SensorIf all else has failed, check the wires that lead to the photo eye sensors. If something in the garage has twisted a wire, carefully free up the wire. After making the adjustment, if the sensors still don’t work or if you think the wire may be damaged, contact an automatic garage door repair company.
  • Another possible cause of the problem is that the pivot bracket that’s supporting one of the sensors may have come loose. Try adjusting the bracket slightly until the LED light comes back on. Then secure the screws and bolts.
  • On rare occasions, the angle at which the sun shines onto one of the garage door sensors causes the circuit to be broken. Having a sun shield installed on the sensor by a garage door specialist may resolve the problem.

Contact Safe Way Garage Doors Today

Safe Way Garage Doors, Inc., is owner-operated since 1998. You can depend on us to provide rapid, reliable garage door repair and replacement. If you are having problems with your photo eye sensors or any other components of your automatic garage door, call us today at (863) 701-9779.