Why Is the Garage Door Sensor Not Working: Reasons and Solutions

If your garage door doesn’t open or close all the way, you may start panicking. So many things can cause this to happen. Sometimes the garage door may stop working properly because of the sensor. The slightest change could cause you a great inconvenience. The sensors, as a key component of a garage door, can malfunction.

Every homeowner should understand the possible reasons why the sensor on the garage door is not working. Read this article as we discuss garage door sensors troubleshooting. You will also learn whether you can fix it by yourself or if you need a technician to look at the problem.

Why Is the Garage Door Sensor Not Working: Reasons and Solutions

Why is the garage door opener sensor not working?

Modern garage doors have security sensors that prevent the door from closing on a person or object. Garage doors usually have two sensors placed on opposite ends. The primary function of sensors is to detect any object in the door’s trajectory. If there is one, the sensors will keep the door from closing completely, which prevents any damage to the garage door or the car.

All garage door sensors, regardless of the brand, can face this problem. The causes of sensors malfunctioning are usually the same. Some issues are minor, which means you can easily fix them by yourself. Other issues are more complex, requiring a skilled technician who knows how to fix garage door sensor issues.

Why Is the Garage Door Sensor Not Working: Reasons and Solutions

Garage door sensors troubleshooting

Garage door sensor problems can occur at any time. If you sense that something with sensors is wrong, there are some things you can look at to diagnose the cause. Here is how to tell if the garage door safety sensor is not working.

1. Trouble closing the garage door

This is among the first things that will indicate that the garage door opener sensor is not working. If that’s the case, the door will open without any problems. However, once you try to close the door, it becomes impossible. Either the door will not close or only go down halfway.

Another relevant issue is when the door closes but immediately opens again by itself. That may be why you remember that you closed the garage door properly in the morning, but you find it open when you come back home.

Regardless of how this happens, the reason is most likely an obstruction in the door’s pathway. So the door stays open to avoid any injuries or damage to the object that’s blocking the door. You can easily fix it by carefully checking between the door and floor for any objects.

If you see nothing, you can use the cardboard box test to see if something is wrong with the sensors. Place some cardboard boxes under the door. If the sensors are working correctly, the door will fail to close. If the sensors are bad, the garage door would close, damaging the boxes. You may have to call a professional to look at the sensors to avoid injuring yourself or your loved ones.

2. The photo-eye lights won’t turn on

Sensors have photo eyes with LED lights. These are just a few centimeters above the ground. One of the lights is green while the other is red. When the green light is on, it shows that a signal has been sent from one photo-eye to another. A red light shows that the opposite photo-eye has received the signal. If either of these lights fails to come on, you know that the sensor is not working. The garage light sensor not working may occur because of damage to the photo-eye.

When the lights start blinking or fail to turn on, you can suspect that there may be something interfering with the signal transmission between the two photo-eyes. Another possible reason is a misalignment of the photo-eyes. For the signal to be transmitted, the photo eyes should be placed on the same level. If the green light turns on, but the red one blinks, then you can start thinking of photo-eye misalignment.

Another thing you want to check is whether this happens at specific times of the day or throughout. That’s because the sun rays may interfere with the signal sometimes. Try to test this by placing cardboard in front of the sensor. If there is interference, you may have to call an expert to place the photo-eyes so that the sun rays wouldn’t cause any.

3. Dust on the sensor lenses

Another thing you want to check is if there is dust on the sensor lenses. This happens frequently, especially if you usually keep your garage open. The simple fact that sensors are small means that it is easy for dust to accumulate over time. When this happens, it will be impossible to send a signal between sensors.

You can fix this by gently cleaning the dust with a cloth. Also, make sure to clean the wall and floor close to where the sensor is placed. After this, test to see if the sensors are working. Apart from dust, humidity may also block the sensor lenses. Make sure to regularly wipe the lenses if you live in a rainy area.

4. The power supply to the sensor is disrupted

Sometimes a supply disruption may be the reason for the garage door safety sensor not working. A quick way to test if the power supply is not disturbed is to check the sensor lights. If the green light turns on then everything is fine. However, if it doesn’t, you should check the power supply.

Make sure the cable is plugged in. If not, plug it in and test if the door closes. If the problem is the power supply, the door will shut once the power is restored. Sometimes a blown fuse may cause the sensor to malfunction. If this should occur, call a technician to replace the fuse and inspect the wires. You risk injuring yourself if you attempt doing it by yourself. If nothing happens after plugging in the cable, it may be an indicator that another issue is causing the garage to stay open.

5. Damage to sensor wires

If the garage door sensor light is out, it may be because the wires are damaged. The sensor only works appropriately if all wires are intact and connected to the garage door opener. You can tell the wires are damaged if the sensors start blinking orange, which acts as a warning sign. This may happen because of cables that are:

  • Tangled
  • Broken
  • Burned

Carefully inspect the wires from the sensor to the opener. If they are tangled, carefully untangle them. If they are disconnected from the opener, then connect them correctly. For broken ones, call an expert who can fix the garage door sensor wires. You will have to replace the cables so that you can avoid any electrical injury in the future.

Why Is the Garage Door Sensor Not Working: Reasons and Solutions

Contact STI Garage Door today

Are you having trouble closing your garage door? Then you should call STI Garage Doors. We work with highly skilled technicians who can come to your home 24/7 any day of the year. We will quickly look at the garage door, diagnose the problem, and fix it on the spot.

We have a lot of experience over the years, so we are very competent when it comes to garage doors. Whatever problem you may be facing, be rest assured that we can resolve it for you. We have worked with different brands on sensors, including:

  • Chamberlain
  • Liftmaster
  • Genie
  • Craftsman

We are dedicated to solving any problem. If you need emergency services, we can assist. Our company also repairs commercial automatic garage doors or parts. Should you need sensor replacement, we can do it without delay.

Final Thoughts

Sensors are essential for the garage door to close properly without causing any damage to your car. When the garage door is not closing, you can check if there is an object in the door’s path. Any object can prevent the signal from moving from one sensor to the other. Also, check if there is dust on the sensor lenses. Cleaning the dust will render the sensors functional again.

Make sure that the power supply to the sensor is not disrupted. If it is, plug in the cable, and the door will close again. Finally, you can check the wires. If wires are broken, make sure to call an expert to replace them.

Are you unsure of why the garage door sensor is not working? Get in touch with STI Garage Door. We will send a technician to assist you right away!





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