Troubleshoot your garage door safety sensor in Akron OH

September 1, 2022

Your garage door won’t close…or it closes partially and then reopens. Your door and door opening system are comprised of a multitude of moving parts, but odds are this problem is related to the safety sensor. Don’t delay addressing a malfunctioning sensor as the safety of your family, pets, and property depend on it working properly.

Akron garage door opening systems and garage doors across the country have been equipped with safety features since the early 1980s, with photo-eye systems included by law on garage door opening systems since the early 1990s. Depending on the age of your garage door and opener, it may have an auto reverse feature or the newer photo-eye system. Understanding how yours works and how to test it is key to your family’s safety.

These two safety systems on your garage door prevent it from closing on an object in its path. The auto reverse causes the door to reverse direction if it comes in contact with an object, while the photo-eye sensor prevents the door from closing or reverses it if it is already in motion and an object breaks the beam crossing the garage door opening. A couple simple tests can help you determine if the safety sensor is the reason your Akron area garage door won’t close.

How to test your garage door safety sensor in Akron

For older garage doors that use auto reverse, it’s important to check regularly that it does not take too much force to cause the door to reverse. These older systems will have a knob or screw on the motor that allows you to adjust the auto reverse sensitivity. Test it by placing a block or something solid on the floor below the door. The door should reverse within two seconds of making contact with the object.

Older garage door openers vary, so check your owner’s manual to determine how to adjust the sensitivity. If the door doesn’t reverse, or it appears your system is so old that it does not have a safety reverse, contact your Akron area garage door expert at Above & Beyond Door Systems to repair, retrofit or replace your garage door to ensure you have this important safety feature.

The photo-eye system uses infrared sensors installed about 6 inches above the floor on each side of the door opening. You know the system is working correctly if you place an object in the path of the sensors and the door either will not close or reverses direction if you set in in motion and then break the beam. A malfunctioning photo-eye system can cause a door to not close or reverse when no object is in the way.

To troubleshoot, check the following:

  • The two sensors are out of alignment – If one of the infrared sensors got bumped, either one of the lights will go out or it will be blinking. Adjust the sensors until both lights are on and test again.
  • The lenses are dirty – If adjusting the alignment doesn’t work, try cleaning the lenses, as their proximity to the ground can make it easy for dust and dirt to accumulate and block the signal.
  • Check for water droplets or sunlight – A drop of water or bright sun can briefly interfere with the signal sent from either sensor. Take care to keep the sensors dry and note the angle of the sun if the door suddenly starts working again.
  • No power – If both lights are out, check for broken wires or another problem with the power source.

If you need a repair or retrofit for your Akron garage door safety sensors, contact Above & Beyond for quick, quality service to keeps your family safe and your garage door working at its best.

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