“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.
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!
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!