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A Guide to Troubleshooting Garage Door Sensor Repair

in Garage DIY Repair, Garage Maintenance by elkgrovegaragedoorco

If you have a garage door opener that was installed any time after 1993, it has a garage door sensor that improves safety and prevents injury. (And if your garage door doesn’t have this, it’s time to upgrade with a new installation.) These sensors are great for safety, but they can have issues from time to time. The good news is these garage door repair issues tend to be simple. Most are DIY.

Sensor issues are surprisingly common. When it comes to garage door opener repair, chances are you’ve got a battery or electricity issue, or you’re having a problem with your garage door sensors.

How Garage Door Sensors Work

Garage door sensors work by transmitting a photoelectric beam of light between two sensors located near the bottom of your garage door. If something blocks this path, say a child, a running cat, or the lawn mower, the garage door will instantly reverse itself in operation. This keeps you safe and protects your garage door and possessions from damage.

When Garage Door Sensors Get Dirty

As we mentioned, the garage door sensors sit close to the ground. They tend to get dirty fast. This is especially true in wet and windy weather. Your tires tend to kick up water, dirt, and other debris, which can cause the sensors to malfunction.

If you’re experiencing this type of garage door repair, the first thing we recommend is to take a wet rag and wash off your sensors. Most of the time, this works like a charm.

Stuff in the Way

Another common reason your garage doors are going off is there is actually something in the way, perhaps a small item that has been overlooked. Check the area of your garage door opening, especially at the bottom, and make sure nothing is blocking its path.

When Your Sensor Needs Reshaping

These sensors are vital, but they are made of soft aluminum that can easily become bent or out of shape. Walking by them or kids playing near them can cause misconfigurations and disrupt the signal.

Fortunately, these fixtures are quite malleable so they can easily be bent back into shape without damaging them.

When Your Sensor Needs Realignment

Another possibility is that your sensors are slightly out of alignment with each other. Fortunately, this is a fairly easy garage door repair to fix. Tie a string between the sensors and see if it is level. Make sure the sensors are directly opposite each other. This will ensure a direct delivery of the signal.

Common Garage Door Parts Explained

You probably don’t think about the parts of your garage door very often — until something goes wrong. Most of us take our garage doors for granted. They work so smoothly we assume they will always continue to function in their prime. But it’s important to remember that garage doors are highly complicated pieces of equipment. Something will go wrong eventually. So it’s a good idea to understand how they function. Your springs are the metal coils that do the heavy lifting of your garage door. The tube shaft is directly above the door and holds the torsion springs in place so the tension in the springs can be transferred to the drum and raise the door. The drums are the parts of your garage door that sit on either end of the torsion bar. They spin as the door goes up and down, rolling the cables out. Running from the top to the bottom of the door, the lifting cables provide the connection to transfer the force of the spring so the garage door can go up and down.