The Importance of Photo Eye Sensors on Garage Doors

In our decades as a garage door service in Nampa, ID, we’ve installed and serviced more garage doors than we can count. One of the most common questions we face has to do with the photo eye sensor system and how it works to keep you safe.

With that in mind, we’ve put this post together to teach you what photo eye sensors are, how they work and the most common issues with their maintenance.

How photo eye sensors work

Photo eye sensors sit at floor level and tell your garage door when something is beneath it. The way it works is by projecting a beam of invisible light from one sensor to another on the other side of the garage door. When that beam of light is broken or interrupted, the photo eye sensor “sees” this, and if your garage door is closing, the sensors override this process. This is a crucial safety system, and prevents the door from closing on people or onto your car.

It’s a simple solution. Unfortunately, it’s also by far the most common issue with owning a garage door, as its simplicity can also be its undoing.

Photo eye sensors are prone to false alarms

Photo eye sensors can be finicky. All it takes is just a little bump to get them out of line. There’s no system for telling when they’re simply out of line with each other, and when the beam is actually being interrupted by something solid. This is when you get the dreaded cycle where your door tries to close, opens itself back up and either freezes or repeats the process—close, open, close, open.

Then you spend time bending the bracket holding the sensor just so, until the door finally closes on its own, knowing that it’s just a matter of time before you bump it again, and have to go through the whole rigmarole all over again.

Sometimes it’s hard to know if they’re really broken or not

If your door is trying to close, but just won’t, no matter how much you try to realign the photo eye sensors, it could be broken.

Most new systems have some way of alerting you when the system is malfunctioning or needs work. Usually you’ll see a blinking red light from one of the sensors. If this is the case, you’re looking at an issue that probably requires an expert to correct.

If your garage door isn’t working but you don’t see that flashing light, keep in mind that photo eye sensors are extremely sensitive. Even a little dirt on one of the sensors, or debris such as wet leaves or spider webs, can cause the door to malfunction.

If you’ve done everything within your power to fix the problem and your door is still malfunctioning, it’s probably time to call in an expert.

Schedule garage door service in Nampa, ID

Haney Door Service has been installing and servicing garage doors in the area for over 30 years. We’re a family owned garage door service in Nampa, ID, with the expertise, work ethic and friendly touch to get the job done. Give us a call today and let us see how we can help you.

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