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Posts Tagged ‘Infrared Safety Beams’


“Why Won’t My Garage Door Close!?” – Safety Sensor 101

You’re leaving the house, kids are packed in the car, you’re off to a soccer game and running 15 minutes late.  You pull out of the garage ready to take off, glancing sub-consciously at the door, waiting for it to shut…and it doesn’t.  UGH! Why me, why now? The Simple Answer: your sensors are doing their job.  If the lights on the motor unit on the ceiling are blinking or flashing, something has likely broken the safety beam sensor (or ISB) path, or caused it to become misaligned; which will not allow your door to close.

Infrared Safety Sensors for Garage Door Opener

To minimize this occurrence in your life, and to keep you from yelling at your garage door (it has feelings too!), here are suggestions on keeping your door sensors happy.

First and foremost, the purpose of the sensors is for safety. Again, if anything breaks the path of the laser beam, the sensors will not allow the door to close. Period. Even if you don’t think so at the time, this is a good thing.  Too many accidents have, and still do, occur from doors closing on people, vehicles, lawn mowers, etc.

Secondly, when it comes to the sensitivity of the sensors, it can be extremely high.  This also is a good thing.  (See the previous sentence)  In order to keep them functioning properly, it is necessary to maintain them.  It takes all of 5 minutes or less; and here’s how:

  • Make sure to keep the area around the sensors free of debris. Sweep away any leaves, grass, etc that may interfere with the tracks/sensors.
  • Wipe the sensors gently with a soft, damp cloth paying attention of keeping them in place. If they’re moved too much, it will enable them from working, which will keep the door from closing, which will not make you happy.
  • Lawnmowers, kids toys, bikes, and rolling trash cans create 99% of these issues!
  • After cleaning the sensors, operate the opener to test the door and ensure it is opening and closing properly. This is also a good time to maintain your door and opener too.
  • Remember that the light on BOTH sensors must be lit up solid (they can be green, amber, or red).  The sending sensor is usually amber or red, and the receiving sensor is usually green or yellow.  Any flickering indicates alignment is needed.

PRO TIP:  Watch the sensors as the garage door operates.  Vibrations in the track, or even objects attached to the garage door (leaves, brackets, the bottom weather seal) can break the beam as the door closes.  Remember that garage doors age, foundations shift, and parts come loose over time!

Safety Sensor ISB

Just so you’ll know, something as small as a fleck of dirt or a spider web may cause a break in the beam and allow the sensors to “work”.

One last thing…it is THE FEDERAL LAW to have sensors on all doors with openers. If you have an outdated opener it’s recommended that you consider replacing as soon as possible.

We hope this information helps you; if you have any questions, or would like to schedule an appointment to have one of our technicians come out to service or install a new garage door opener, please contact our showroom for an appointment today!


By Nick McGregor, General Manager of Plano Overhead Garage Door

How to Adjust Infrared Safety Beam Sensors


Why won’t my garage door close?

It is very frustrating when you go to close your garage door and it starts to go down and comes right back up! The most common reason that this happens is because the safety beam sensors located at the bottom of your garage door. These sensors are very sensitive and if there is anything blocking the beam, such as a blade of grass or cob web, will cause the door not to go down. Also if the sensor is not lined up properly it will cause this as well.

How do I fix this problem?

It is actually very simple to fix this problem yourself without having to have one of our service technicians some out and fix it. There are a couple of ways for you to test or troubleshoot this problem. Sometimes it can be the wiring itself or a short in the wiring. You can inspect the wiring yourself with these simple steps:

  1. Check for incorrect wiring between the sensors and the garage door opener.
  2. Verify the wire connections are correct on the garage door opener. The solid white wires connect (insert) to the white terminal and the white and black wires connect to the grey terminal.

Note: The amber LED on the sending sensor will glow regardless of alignment or obstruction. If the green LED on the receiving sensor is off, dim, or flickering (and the invisible light beam path in not obstructed), alignment in required.

How to test the wiring?

There are also simple steps to test the safety sensor wires.

  1. Remove the sensors from the brackets.
  2. Remove the wires from the wire nuts or cut the sensor wires 12” from the sensors.
  3. Strip both ends of wires from each sensor and twist like colored wires together. Proceed with both sensors to the garage door opener motor unit.
  4. Remove existing wires from the white and grey terminals on the back of the operator.
  5. Attach or insert white wires into the white terminal and black/white striped wires into the grey terminal.
  6. Point the sensors at each other-if both sensor LED’s turn on, there is an issue with your wiring. Replace the wires between the opener and the sensors. If the LED’s DO NOT turn on, replace the sensors.

Note: If after replacing the sensors, the LED’s still do not light, it could be the circuit board or even a new opener.

If it is not fixed what do I do?

If after trying these steps and your sensors are still messing up there may be some bigger issues at hand. In that case you might want to give us a call and have a technician come out and give you a free estimate. Do note that if you cannot get your garage door to close because of the sensors, you can hold down the wall console button inside your garage and it should close all the way. That way you can get it closed if you are in a hurry and we can come out right away. Just give us a call at (972) 422-1695 to schedule your free estimate!


By Nick McGregor, General Manager of Plano Overhead Garage Door

Plano Overhead Garage Door

1100 N. Central Expy Suite #A
Plano, Texas 75074

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