How to Align Garage Door Sensors?

Garage doors serve as vital entrances to both residential and commercial properties. Garage door sensors are critical components that help to prevent accidents and keep your door in good working order. You can troubleshoot your installations to bring them back on track if your electronic sensors are out of line.

What Are Garage Door Sensors?

Sensors on garage doors connect with automatic openers. A garage door sensor’s primary function is to prevent an overhead door from closing on vehicles, children, pets, or other things. Both residential and commercial garage doors require at least two sensors, one on each side of the track.

If something blocks the course of the garage door, sensors signal the automatic opener to halt closing and reverse back open.

Garage door sensors are essential to their operation. One (the emitter) sends signals to the other (the receiver), which closes your front door. However, if none of them is aligned, the receiver will not receive signals from the emitter and your door will not close.

Is your garage door not working properly? Do you have to leave the luxury of your vehicle and manually open it every time you get home? Fortunately, realigning garage door sensors is not a difficult task. You may double-check this by reading the tutorial below.

Aligning Your Garage Door Sensors

In most cases, the sensors will prohibit the door from closing but not from opening, which is a good indication that there is a problem with the door sensors. Homeowners frequently report that their door opened properly but will not close. Other indicators of blocked sensors include the absence of indicator LEDs on the sensors themselves, the door attempting to close but immediately reversing, and the dome light on the motor itself blinking when a door reverses.

adjusting a garage door sensor

When you experience one of these signs, there are a few things to check for you to decide whether it is a quick remedy or if professional help is required. To align garage door sensors, follow these steps:

Disconnect the Power Supply to The Garage

Switch off the power to your sensors. You can accomplish this by either turning off their switch (if they are manually plugged into a wall outlet) or tripping the fuse for your entire garage from your home’s breaker box.

As you fiddle with the wires, be sure you’re wearing electricity-resistant gloves. It’s possible that you’re not working with live wires. Nonetheless, experts always advise against taking any chances when it comes to your personal safety.

unplugging a garage door

Important tip: When shopping for electrically insulated gloves, look for its ‘Class.’ Those labeled ‘Class 0’ or ‘Class 00’ can tolerate voltages of up to 500 volts AC, providing appropriate safety for aligning garage door sensors.

Remove The Screws Holding the Sensors in Place

Open the screws on the mounting brackets of your garage door sensors. You can accomplish this by placing the screwdriver into the screws and rotating it anticlockwise.

Remember, all you have to do is loosen the screws. You don’t have to take them all the way out. This is because you will be sliding the mounting brackets up and down in the following phases, which will be impossible if the screws are missing.

Slide The Garage Door Sensors to The Bottom

After loosening the screws and ensuring that the mounting brackets may move freely, slide the garage door sensor downward with your bare hands.

To move the sensor, do not use a wrench. It will leave markings on the sensor’s surface and may possibly cause it to malfunction. Slide them as far down as you can while retaining the sensors inside their mounting brackets.

Tie The Knots and Attach the String

Attach an end of a string to one of the sensors and its mounting bracket after sliding them as low as feasible. Tie the knot as firmly as possible because this step has a significant impact on the ultimate success (or failure) of the operation.

After that, thread the untied string end across the opening of your garage and roll it around the center of the opposing sensor before tying the knot as straight as possible.

Examine the String’s Level

Set a level beneath the thread and ensure that it runs level across the doorway. You will be required to manually press the level against the string for a few seconds.

If the string’s line is level, proceed to the next step. If this is not the case, try adjusting one or both sensors (by sliding their mounting brackets). Continue adjusting the level until both sensors are aligned.

Screw the Screws in Place

Begin tightening the screws once the level shows that both sensors are on the same level. Tighten them until you can see that the garage door sensors aren’t shifting from their new position even after exerting effort.

After tightening the screws, use the level to ensure that the sensors are properly aligned.

One Tip: Get a helping hand if you don’t want to make numerous journeys across the garage doorway (first to level both sensors, then to tighten their screws). You’d be able to do the full task in record time this way.

Final Step

After confirming that both sensors are level, remove the strings, re-energize your garage, and test the sensors. They should be operational by now.

How Do Garage Sensors Operate?

Your garage door has two sensors, as described at the beginning of this article. One of them transmits the signals and is hence referred to as the emitter. The person on the receiving end is referred to as the receiver. You don’t need to know which of the two sensors is the receiver/emitter to understand how they work.

Both of these sensors have infrared light. This light will not be visible to the naked eye since it is not part of the visible spectrum. This light is sent by the emitter to the receiver, who then begins the process of closing your garage door.

Because the infrared light will be traveling in a straight line between the two boxes, any obstacle will cause the receiver to stop working. The receiver will then stop the door in its present position, preventing anything beneath it from being crushed.

The following are some of the possible causes of your garage door sensor not working:

  • On the sensor, too much dirt has gathered (s)
  • Its connection cables have been destroyed due to an impact.
  • You have overexposed the sensors to direct sunlight.
  • The sensors have been harmed by excessive vibrations from the door.
  • The sensors are not properly aligned with one another, and the wiring between the door opener and the sensors is improper.

How to Test Garage Door Sensors?

Once you’ve finished adjusting, try out your new sensor positioning. You only need a block of wood. Take out your automatic opener and swing the overhead door open. Place a chunk of wood between the sensors and try to close the garage door. When your overhead door senses an object, it should stop or reverse.

Remove the block of wood and continue the process until your door is completely shut. If your garage door is not closing despite the sensors being aligned, you may need to increase its sensitivity.

Choose Danley’s for Your New Garage Project

As you can see, aligning defective garage door sensors is not difficult. You only need the correct materials and should not be in a hurry to complete the task. If you have a helping hand, you can complete the entire process quickly. However, whether you have company or prefer to work alone, following the step-by-step guide will allow you to effectively complete the project.

That’s why Danley’s Garages is #1 in Chicagoland for detached garage construction. Speak to a specialist and get a free quote today.

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