How to Tell If Your Garage Door Sensor Is Out of Alignment

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garage door sensor

Garage door sensors, or photo-eyes, are very effective at making sure your garage door is safe. They are designed to detect any obstructions and reverse the door if a person, pet, or vehicle is in the way. However, they are prone to problems over time. A sensor can become misaligned due to vibrations or if something accidentally bumps into it.

How Do I Find the Garage Door Sensor?

Located near the base of the garage door, the photo-eye sensors look like small black boxes. One unit generates an invisible beam, while the other receives it. When the beam’s signal is interrupted, this breaks the circuit causing the garage door to stop and reverse.

Determining Whether There’s an Alignment Issue

If your garage door is reversing for no apparent reason, check whether something is obstructing the sensor’s signal, such as boxes, tools, balls, toys, or other objects. Otherwise, inspect the wires to make sure there’s no wiring damage. If all else seems fine, these are some indicators your garage door sensors are out of alignment:

  • The door won’t close: If the garage door won’t close, and there’s no other reason for this such as a dirty lens or damaged wire, it’s likely the sensor is out of alignment.
  • Colored lights: A garage door photo eye features an LED light on the outside. If the sensor is working, the light will be green. A red and/or blinking light indicates that the sensor is not aligned.
  • Blinking lights: The LED lights on the sensors should always be lit. If a light is flickering or has gone out, the sensor may have been moved; adjust the unit manually to see if the light turns back on.
  • Loose sensor: The bracket or screw securing the sensor can become loose, making the sensor more prone to misalignment; if so, the bracket/screw can be tightened to solve the problem.
  • Test the door: If the remote isn’t working, try the wall switch; press and hold it if nothing happens to override the garage door opener. You can then test the sensors and align them if necessary.
  • Use a level: A level can be used to determine whether the sensors are aligned. In some cases, they may not have been installed at equal heights.

Tips on Fixing a Misaligned Garage Door Sensor

Correcting a misaligned sensor is usually simple. Generally, this requires loosening the screw, removing the wing nut, and removing the sensor from its bracket. Next, point it in the opposite direction of the other photo-eye for 10 seconds. Then rotate it back into position and make sure both are level. Secure the sensor if everything looks good and verify whether it is working.

In addition to misalignment, garage door sensors can collect dirt. While you’re checking the sensor, examine the lens for any dirt, dust, or spider webs. If anything is on the surface, wipe it away with a clean cloth. Also check whether the sensors are wet from rain or sprinkler water; if so, dry them. As for the LED lights, another reason they may fail is a lack of power. Check that the sensors are connected and the circuit breaker is turned on.

Call a Garage Door Professional

If you don’t know the source of your garage door sensor problem, call Precision Door Service of Las Vegas. We can troubleshoot and fix any sensor issue and inspect your garage door system for any other minor issues, while providing no contact service during the coronavirus pandemic. Our live operators are available 24/7. You can reach us at 702-637-2700 for help.