How to Test Garage Door Sensors


Garage door openers made after Jan. 1, 1993, use a photo-eye sensor system. This sensor system automatically stops the door as the door is closing if there is an obstruction in the door path of travel. The sensors emit an infrared beam from one side of the door opening to the other. When the beam is broken, the door will stop and reverse to the open position. Most manufacturers suggest testing the garage door sensors once a month. Testing the sensors only takes a few minutes, but it is well worth the investment of time.

Things You'll Need

  • Large ball
  • Cloth
  • Wrench
  • Push your garage door opener wall button or a remote control to close the garage door.

  • Roll a large ball slowly through the garage door opening while the door is closing. The ball will break the infrared beam. The door should stop momentarily, and then reverse direction. If the door does not stop and reverse, the photo eye sensors need adjusting.

  • Clean off the sensors with a dry cloth. Look for the LED lights on each sensor. Both lights should be illuminating. If one is not lit, adjust the sensors to line up with each other.

  • Loosen the securing screw on the unlit sensor with a wrench. Move the sensor up and down until the LED lights and stays lit. Hold the sensor in position, and tighten the securing nut.

  • Push the wall button station to open the garage door. Close the door again and roll the ball through the door opening. If the sensors fail the test again, call a service professional to inspect the system.

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