How to Fix a Garage Door Sensor

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A garage door sensor is designed to keep your garage door from closing should any object interrupt the beam going from the light transmitter to the receiving sensor. A garage door sensor that is functioning erratically or not at all is a hazard that you need to fix immediately. The methods for fixing the sensor are similar regardless of make, and they require supplies from a hardware store and tools common to most households.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Electrical cleaning spray
  • Compressed air
  • Broom
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil

Fix Faulty Wire Connection

  • Loosen the screws on the side of the sensor receiver using a Phillips screwdriver. Unwind the two wires from around the screws.

  • Scrape the exposed ends of each wire with the blade of a utility knife until the copper is shiny.

  • Shake a can of electrical cleaning spray for five seconds. Spray each screw with a two-second burst to remove contaminants that are inhibiting a good connection to the wires.

  • Wind the ends of the wires around the screws. Tighten the screws. Blow off the plastic front of the sensor with a burst of compressed air.

Remove Obstructions

  • Place your head along the edge of the sensor transmitter that is at one end of the garage door.

  • Draw an imaginary line to the receiving sensor at the other side of the garage door.

  • Remove any objects that are to the side of either sensor along the imaginary line.

  • Remove any objects that are beneath the imaginary line that could interfere with the beam -- for example, loose leaves on the garage floor's gutter grille.

  • Sweep the area inside the garage on one side of the sensors, using a broom. Sweep the area on the side of the sensors on the outside of the garage door, using a broom.

Adjust Sensor Height

  • Measure the height from the floor to the garage door sensor transmitter and to the receiving sensor, using a tape measure.

  • Measure 6 six inches up from both sensors with the tape measure if either or both of them are less than 6 inches from the floor. Make an "X" at this point on the sides of the garage door's frame with a pencil.

  • Remove the screws from both sensors using a Phillips screwdriver.

  • Realign the sensors up to the "X" mark.

  • Reattach the screws through the sensors and into the sides of the garage with the screwdriver at the "X" marks.

Tips & Warnings

  • Shut off the garage door opener with its power switch or by cutting the power at the fuse box prior to fixing a problem with the sensor.

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