If the safety sensors on your garage door opener are not operating properly, that could be a serious safety hazard—particularly if you have animals or children in the house. Of course, we’ve all been through the frustration of something making its way under the door and tripping the sensor only to have the door stop yet again. The fact remains, however, that without that sensor the cat or other small being that made its way under would be in serious danger. So what do you do when your garage door opener sensors are not working? Sensors are relatively easy to work with compared to most garage door parts. Here are some tips:
The first thing you do is clean them off. If they are dirty or have fingerprints on them, the sensors will not operate properly. Take a cotton swab and wet it with isopropyl alcohol, then gently wipe the sensors. Test the garage door to see if cleaning worked. If it still is not functioning properly, then you can try fixing it yourself.
To do this, you need to first turn of the electrical breaker, or disconnect the power supply to the opener. This will save you from the risk of shock while working with the sensors. Next, you need to unscrew both sensors just until they need a bit of force to be moved up or down. You can find the sensors on either side of the door, roughly 4-6 inches from the bottom of the rail frame. The maximum height for the sensors is 6 inches, for the safest option. Adjust the sensors to your preferred height, and then tie a string taught between the two sensors. It is important that the string is fairly taught so that you can measure whether the string is level. The level should be just below and slightly touching the string to measure accurately. If you find that the string is not level, adjust the sensor until the string becomes level—making sure that neither sensor exceeds 6 inches from the floor of the garage.
Once the string is level, test the door to see if they are working. If the door still does not close when the sensor is tripped, then you should check again to see if the sensors got dirty while you were working with them. Use the isopropyl alcohol and another cotton swab to clean the sensors. If they don’t work following that cleaning, then the sensors are likely not good anymore and should be replaced—or you should call a professional to take a look at it.
A properly working garage door opener is a safe one. Making sure that those sensors are in top condition is one important step to ensure your family a hazard-free atmosphere. Good luck!