How to Test Garage Door Sensors

An automatic garage door system has two infrared sensors mounted approximately 2 to 6 inches above the ground on either side of the opening. These devices perform two crucial functions. First, they signal the door to open and close when you press the appropriate button on the opener’s remote control. The sensors also ensure safety by preventing the door from closing if an object enters the path of the electronic beam connecting the two photo eyes. 

How to Tell If a Garage Door Sensor Is Bad

Faulty sensors will likely impact your garage door’s functionality and pose a safety hazard. You can determine whether you have a potential sensor issue by checking for these signs:

  • Dirty lenses: The sensors won’t operate properly if dirt or debris obscures their sight. Fix the problem by wiping the lenses with a soft, clean cloth and a gentle detergent.
  • Wire damage: Garage door sensors rely on wiring that connects them to the door opener’s motor. Damage to these cables can prevent the sensors from working correctly. Look for signs of insect or rodent gnawing, water damage, tampering or fraying, and make a replacement if needed.
  • Misalignment: Your sensors include LED lights that indicate whether they are out of alignment. A blinking light means that the photo eyes aren’t facing each other at the appropriate angle, but you can correct this issue by repositioning the sensors.
  • No power supply: If the LED lights aren’t displaying at all, they may not have power. Check the wiring or the opener to see if you can find the problem.
  • Wetness: Rain or dew that collects on the sensors may cause them to malfunction temporarily. The problem often goes away when they dry.

How Do You Test Garage Door Sensors?

You can perform a simple test to determine if your garage door’s sensors are working properly. With the door in the raised position, place a cardboard box or another similar-sized object in the door opening in front of one of the photo eyes. Press the button on the opener’s remote control unit to initiate the closing process. 

If the sensors are functioning correctly, they’ll transmit a signal to the opener to indicate that an object is in the doorway, which activates the auto-reverse mechanism. This safety feature causes the door to change direction and move upward. If the door closes on the box, perform the troubleshooting steps listed above to pinpoint the issue.

How to Reset Garage Door Sensors

If the issue persists, you can attempt to reset the sensors by reprogramming the garage door opener. The resetting process on a newer model typically involves pressing a button labeled “Learn” or “Home,” but you can also consult the owner’s manual for step-by-step instructions. 

Garage Door Sensor Not Working? Contact EXL Garage Doors

If you live in or near Gallatin, TN, the professionals at EXL Garage Doors can help you determine the cause of malfunctioning sensors. Contact our expert team online to request a convenient service appointment.