Beam Me up Scotty: Testing and Aligning Garage Door Sensors

Written by  //  December 17, 2012  //  Garage  //  1 Comment

More often than not your electric garage doors will work as requested and you will not have any problems but sometimes the sensors will echo the thoughts of the ship’s engineer in Star Trek and say “She cannae take anymore captain”. So before you get to beam up an expert technician there are a few things to check out yourself.

How it All Works

Just in case you were wondering, it is worth taking a moment to get a general idea of the technology that you are using in your home and how it actually works. The garage door safety beams are there to prevent an accident by stopping the door from closing if the beam is broken by a person or object coming into contact with it. The technical part is that it works out the length of time it takes for the infrared beam to bounce to and from where it started. If someone or something intercepts that beam then the feedback signal will return quicker than it should do and therefore the garage door will not close.

Adjusting the Photo Eye

If the beam is not blocked and your garage door is not functioning correctly then you may need to adjust the photo eye in order to get it working again. First you should open the garage door and locate the photo eyes on either side of the door. The photo eye mount on the outside should track downwards towards the floor and will normally have a small green or red LED light.

When one of the eyes is not working properly the LED light will not be lit, which means that you should first check the connection of the wires to each of the photo eyes to see if there are any loose or broken wires. Gently pull out and push back in the connector for each eye and see if you can get the LED light to work, which means the door will now operate correctly. If the LED lights do not come on then more adjustments and work is required to correct the problem.

Using a soft dry cloth you should clean the lenses on both photo eyes and see if any dirt or debris is causing an obstruction to the beam and preventing it from working properly. Finally, gently bend one of the photo eyes in an attempt to realign the beam. A common fault is when the photo eye has been hit or dislodged or simply become misaligned as a result of regular use, and by again gently grabbing the photo eye bracket you can attempt to bend it slightly in an effort to get the LED to light up again.

Beam Me Up Scotty

If all this is a bit too technical or you do not have the confidence to try and adjust the photo eye yourself in order to correct the problem then you may be well advised to thrown down your weapons and surrender to the fact that you will be better served in the long run to beam up an expert technician and get them to fix it for you.

Sarah Bolt has worked extensively in home improvement. She enjoys sharing her insights on DIY and home improvement blogs. Visit Steel Line for more information on aligning garage doors.

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One Comment on "Beam Me up Scotty: Testing and Aligning Garage Door Sensors"

  1. January 19, 2016 at 4:05 am ·

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