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May 22, 2019|Garage Door Service, Garage Doors Maintenance, Garage Doors Safety, North Vancouver, Vancouver, West Vancouver

Garage Door Opener entryway

Garage Door Photo-Eye Sensor: What It Does and How It Works

Garage door opener photo eye sensors beam

If you have a garage door opener system, you’ve probably heard of the photo-eye sensor.

This nifty little gadget has been required by law since 1993 and is an essential safety feature.

It’s responsible for detecting any object in the path of your garage door and stopping it from closing on anything or anyone.

In this article, we’ll explore how the photo-eye sensor works and why it’s so crucial for your garage door’s safety.

Understanding the Primary Function of the Photo-Eye Sensor

The primary function of the photo-eye sensor is to detect any obstruction in the garage door’s path.

When an object is detected, the sensor sends a signal to the door opener, which activates the auto-reverse mechanism immediately.

This keeps the door secure and reliable, preventing it from closing on people or objects.

How Does the Photo-Eye Sensor Work?

The photo-eye sensor is made up of two components: two small sensors, one on each side of the garage door tracks, and a laser beam that travels between them.

The beam is set at a specific height (usually 6″ from the floor), and travels horizontally across the path of the door.

If something blocks the beam, the sensors detect it and send a signal to the garage door opener, which causes the door to stop or reverse direction.

Potential Problems with Photo-Eye Sensors

While the photo-eye sensor is an excellent safety feature, it can occasionally generate false alarms.

Even small objects, such as a leaf or a piece of paper, can cause the door to stop or reverse.

This can be aggravating, especially if you’re in a hurry or have to constantly open and close the door.

Here is more reasons for the sensors not to work properly:

  • The sensor path is obstructed by an object.
  • There is a problem with the power supply for the sensors.
  • LED lights on both or one sensor are not illuminated.
  • The sensor lenses need to be cleaned because of:
  1. Pollution
  2. Exhaust from automobiles
  3. Spider webs 
  4. Leafs and dirt
  • Your sensors were exposed to excessive moisture.
  • Sensors that are not properly aligned. If the sensors are properly aligned, their LED lights should be illuminated.
  • Your sensors were subjected to normal wear and tear, particularly if they were installed years ago.

How to Troubleshoot a Faulty Photo-Eye Sensor

If you suspect that your photo-eye sensor is not working properly, you can try troubleshooting the problem before contacting a professional.

Blinking lights on the sensor or opener, the door not closing or reversing on its own, or the sensor not detecting any obstruction at all are all red flags.

If any of these problems occur, try cleaning the sensor’s lens or adjusting the sensor’s alignment.

Check that they’re pointing at each other and that nothing is in the way of the beam’s path.

If these simple steps do not resolve the problem, it is best to contact a professional to diagnose and resolve it.

Photo eye sensors red laser beam

Trust VanCity Doors for all of your Garage Door Opener requirements.

At VanCity Doors, we’ve been in the business of fixing garage doors sensors and other garage door opener related issues in Vancouver, BC for over fifteen years.

We understand the importance of regular maintenance to keep your garage door functioning correctly and ensure your home’s safety.

If you’re experiencing any issues with your garage door or photo-eye sensor, don’t hesitate to contact us. 778-588-9549  We’re here to help.