How to Align Garage Door Opener Sensors: Step-by-step Guide
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Your garage door has two sensors, and its operation depends on them. One of them sends signals to the other to open or close a garage door. Therefore, if the sensors are out of order, you may have difficulty operating your automatic garage door. The most common issue with the garage door sensors is improper alignment, which is actually very easy to fix. In this article, we will describe how to detect garage door sensors’ issues and give you step-by-step instructions on how to align garage door opener sensors.
How to Find out If the Garage Door Sensors are Out of Order
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How do you even know if there’s something wrong with my garage door sensors and they need to be fixed? If you have questions like this, you’ll find the answer in the following section.
The first thing you need to do is to examine the LED lights of your garage door sensors. LEDs should be on without blinking, indicating the normal operation of the sensors. But if you notice that these lights are flashing, examine them more carefully because this could indicate improper garage door sensor alignment.
The second sign of a sensor malfunction is a door that won’t close. In this case, every time you press the button on your remote control to close the door, it first moves and then returns to the open position. In some cases, it will not respond to this command at all. If this happens, you also need to check your garage door sensor’s LED lights. Most likely, they will be blinking.
The next sign may be a warning sound that gives you the garage door opener. This sound usually indicates that there is something wrong with the door closing and opening.
Why is it happening? Let’s consider some reasons for garage door sensors malfunction:
Improper sensor alignment. The sensors on the right and the left side should be located at the same height, strictly opposite each other. Otherwise, there will be damage to the sensors’ infrared beam.
There are some objects between the two sensors. They can also block the beam of the sensors.
Sensor impurities. If the sensors are properly positioned and you do not find any obstructions, then dirt, dust, or cobwebs on the sensor lenses may be blocking the infrared beam.
The issues we have described in this section are not very serious, and you can fix them yourself. In the next section, we will tell you how to do it. But still, if our recommendations do not help you, it is better to ask the experts for help.
7 Steps to Aligning Your Garage Door Sensors Properly
So, you have done a thorough inspection and found that your garage door sensors are malfunctioning because of the wrong alignment. Now you have the task to fix it. You can try to do it yourself without any help. To line up garage door sensors, proceed one by one with the following simple steps:
Step 1. Disconnect garage door sensors from the power supply
Remember that your safety comes first. When working with live wires, you are putting yourself in danger, so don’t forget about this step before you start aligning garage door sensors or performing any other work with your garage door.
You can disconnect the garage door sensors from the power supply in two ways:
Simply unplug the sensor switches. But, this tip will work for you, if the sensors are plugged into a wall outlet
Disconnect the entire garage from the power supply. To do this, find your home’s breaker box and turn off the fuses.
Also, when working with wires, don’t forget to use electricity-resistant gloves to protect yourself against electric current.
Step 2. Loosen the mounting bracket
So, you’ve made sure that the sensors are unplugged and you’re not in danger of electrocution. Now you need a screwdriver to loosen the mounting bracket that holds the garage door sensors. Insert the screwdriver into the screws and rotate it counterclockwise
Note: when doing this, you only need to loosen the bracket mount, not remove it completely. Also, take care that the screws do not fall out or get lost.
Step 3. Move the garage door sensors down
Once you have loosened the bracket mount, you can easily move it up or down. Now carefully lower the garage door sensors as low as possible; the sensors should remain inside the mounting bracket. The garage door sensors’ LCDs can easily be damaged; that is why you need to move them with your bare hands without using any tools. Any damage to the garage door sensors’ displays can lead to the malfunction.
Step 4. Attach the string
After you’ve lowered the sensors, you need a string. Tie one end of the string to one sensor and the bracket mount. The knot you make should be very tight. Thread the free end of the string through the garage doorway and wrap it around the opposite sensor. Tie a knot here as well. Make sure that the string is positioned at the right level.
Step 5. Adjust the string level
Place the level under the string. Check that the string is level across the door opening. If necessary, adjust it again. Align garage door sensors and check again to make sure the string is level. After that, you can fasten the sensors.
Step 6. Tighten the screws
Once you are sure that both sensors are level, tighten the screws. Try to do it as tightly as possible. Make sure that the sensors do not move, even if you apply force.
Note: The sensors could have moved again while you were tightening the screws. Therefore, after fastening the bolts, check again to make sure that the sensors are level.
Step 7. Remove the string
After you have tightened the screws and checked that the sensors are level, you can remove the string.
Once you have followed all of these steps, the sensors are correctly positioned and should function properly. To make sure this is the case, you can perform a simple check of the garage door sensors.
How to Check Garage Door Sensors
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After aligning garage door opener sensors, you need to conduct some tests to be sure that the sensors are ok now. Keep in mind that there could be different reasons for the sensors malfunctioning besides improperly aligned garage door sensors. Below we describe simple steps to check the correct operation of garage door sensors and find all possible malfunction causes. Before testing, don’t forget to connect the power supply to the garage door sensors.
Check if any tools or boxes are located between the sensors and remove if there are any.
If you find dirt or cobwebs on the sensors, wipe them with a soft cloth. For this, use the dry cloth, because using the wet one can put you in danger.
Measure the height of your garage door sensors. After alignment, the height of both sensors should be the same.
Take a few cardboard boxes. They should be high enough to be above the level of your sensors.
Put the boxes in the doorway of the garage door in front of the garage door sensors.
Press the button on the garage door or your remote control to close the garage door. If the sensors are working properly, the door will stop closing and return to the open position.
If the door continues to close despite the boxes, there is something wrong with the sensors, and you need to inspect them. In this case, check the following:
The LED lights. They should glow. If any of the lights are blinking, don’t worry. Probably, you have to make some adjustments one more time. Read the instructions on how to fix garage door sensor alignment and repeat the described steps. After you have aligned the sensors properly, the light should stop flickering.
Wires. Another cause of malfunctioning of the sensors can be damaged wires. Therefore, check the integrity of the wires and, if necessary, replace the sensors.
Note: If the sensors get wet, e.g., because of rain, wait until they dry out and check them again. If even after the sensors have dried, the door closes and breaks the boxes, it is better to replace the sensors. The cause of the malfunction, in this case, could be a short circuit due to water.
If during this inspection you find that the sensors still have any issues that you can’t identify, you can contact the professionals to receive the high quality garage door opener repair services. Good experts can help you fix or replace your sensors quickly, safely, and efficiently if you can’t or don’t want to do it yourself.
Consider STI Garage Door Your Trusted Partner
It can be challenging to identify the cause of garage door problems correctly. It is also not always easy to solve these problems. In addition, a garage door, while not very complicated, is a rather cumbersome structure that is connected to the power supply. Therefore, trying to fix a garage door on your own can be unsafe. The experienced experts at STI Garage Door can quickly diagnose problems with your garage door sensors and fix them effectively.
If you find any signs of your garage door malfunctioning one morning as you’re getting ready to go about your business, let us know right away. You can leave us a request at any time of the day or night, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Our technicians will come and can determine on the spot if there is any problem with the sensors or other parts of your garage door. We can quickly and efficiently align your sensors and test their operation.
In addition to the adjustment of the garage door opening sensors, we can also perform garage door opener replacement or repair, garage door diagnostic, repair, replacement, garage door opener, and other services for you.
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The garage door is something we use very often in the house. Any garage door breakdown can cause a lot of inconvenience to the people living in your home, and in some cases, even create dangerous situations for your family, pets, or house guests. Regular inspection and troubleshooting of garage door sensor issues can prevent serious accidents. You can do the inspection yourself and also fix minor breakdowns. But if you see that problems with your garage door sensors require professional assistance, contact the experts at STI Garage Door. We are always happy to help our customers in any state of the USA!
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How do I know if garage door opener sensors are out of order?
The most obvious sign of garage door sensor malfunctions is garage door opening and closing issues. In this case, the first thing to do is to check the LED lights. If they are flashing, you need to take steps to align the garage door sensors.
How do I check if my garage door sensors are aligned?
First, check the LED lights. If they are on and flickering, then there is nothing wrong with your sensors. Also, try to close the garage door by placing an object in the doorway. The door should not close! If the door continues to close, then the sensors are not getting a signal that there are objects present. It is better to use cardboard boxes for this test. You will not be sorry to spoil them, and they can not damage the garage door.
How do I fix garage door sensor alignment?
It is very simple. You can do it yourself with tape and a level to make sure the sensors are properly positioned. For step-by-step instructions, check out the article.