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Garage Door Safety Month: All About Garage Door Sensors

garage door sensor

May is National Garage Door Safety Month. At Garage Door Specialist, we take garage door safety seriously. One of the most important parts of the garage door are the safety sensors. They are sensitive by design and must be working properly for your garage door to function.

Safety beam sensors, or some call them eye beams or safety eyes, prevent the garage door from closing on a person, car, or object  These are typically mounted 6-8″ from the floor. There is a sending eye that sends the signal to the receiving eye. If they do not read each other, the opener will not close. It will usually go down a few inches, stop, and go back up. 

garage door sensor

If you’ve ever experienced this, it is your sign the garage door safety sensors are out of alignment or are no longer working. Liftmaster has a flashing light that blinks 4-5 times. Other operators reverse with no blinking lights.

By law, all garage door openers manufactured after 1993 must have safety sensors at the bottom of the garage door. A garage door operator must reverse within two seconds of coming down on an object. This helps prevent damage, but, more importantly, reduces serious injuries or entrapment. That’s why it’s so important for them to be working properly and why you should fix them as soon as possible if they’re malfunctioning.

If you’re having issues with your garage door safety sensors, we’re here to help you troubleshoot. 

Garage Door Sensor Not Working? Try These Tips

If your garage door sensors aren’t aligned, your garage door won’t operate properly. To see if your sensors are out of alignment, you can check the small led lights on the sensors. With Liftmaster and Chamberlain, there is a green eye and an amber eye. If they are not working, one or both of the small led lights will not be lit. Other openers use a red and green light, others green only. No matter the manufacturer, look for working LED lights.

If you are having an issue with the sensors there are a few quick things to look at:

  1. See if the sensors are physically pointing to each other and that they haven’t been bumped or knocked out of alignment. You can usually bend the bracket a little or loosen the adjustable wing nut in the front of the sensor and realign until you see the LED come back on. 
  2. Check the wiring to make sure the spliced connection is good and not corroded. If you wiggle the wire going into the back of the eye and the small LED flickers, there is either a short in the wire or a bad connection within the sensor. 
  3. Bad sensors. Sometimes sensors just fail or get wet and damaged. If this is the case, the only fix is to just replace the sensors or the entire opener depending on the age of the unit and brand. 

It is important to note if a garage door does not have safety sensors, they cannot be added. Since garage door openers without sensors were manufactured prior to 1993, the technology is simply not there. At this point, the garage door operator is at the end of its life and replacement of the entire unit is recommended.

Trust Your Garage Door to Garage Door Specialist

Garage doors sensors are a seemingly small item with a very important job, and they cause frustration when they are out of alignment. If you have additional questions or would like to schedule a safety check or preventive maintenance appointment, please give us a call at 919-841-0030.


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