Sensor-related issues that can cause your garage door not to open or close properly

Almost all garage doors have a sensor that is used when the door is opened or closed. Once or if that sensor starts failing the garage door won’t open or close properly. This is an annoying issue that probably happened once or twice to your system. Luckily, in most cases, you can solve the main problem by yourself and you won’t have to call a professional. There are a lot of additional things and facts to know in this case scenario and now we will answer all of them.

garage door sensor problems

The location of a sensor

The sensor will usually be located on the bottom half of the garage door and it will scan the area where the door is open and closed. The main purpose of the sensor is to detect any obstacles which may occur and to prevent the garage door from closing and damaging an item or injuring a person.

These sensors can be white, gray or black and almost all of them have a photo eye or lens if you prefer on one side. They are connected to the rest of the system with wires. If you can’t find the sensor, it is possible that it is lost, it wasn’t installed or your system doesn’t have one.  It is highly recommended to install one as soon as possible.

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Check for any obstacle in front of the sensor

In most situations, the issue we have here is caused by a spider web or some other obstacle that is located in front of the sensor. It will block the sensor from seeing and it will literally cause an obstacle of the beam which is defined as the object and as such the garage door won’t open or close.

The only thing you should do here is to remove the obstacle and try the system. It should work. Just make sure to remove all the obstacles in front of the sensor.

What if the sensor is dirty?

It is a related issue that happens to millions of people each year. What this means is that there won’t be any obstacle in front of the sensor. But, the lens of the sensor will be dirty and you can see dirt or dust on it.

The issue is displayed the same as with the obstacle. The sensor beam is affected and it won’t be able to detect the actual obstacle. By removing the dust your system will continue to work properly and without any additional issues.

Always keep in mind that you should use a dry piece of cloth and you should remove all the dust from the sensor. While there, clean the rest of the sensor, just in case.

Additional causes and fixes

Sometimes your sensor is clean and there are no obstacles present but the garage door doesn’t work. If this happens, make sure to check the LED on the sensor. It should glow green. If there is no glowing LED to check the wiring that comes to the sensor. Make sure that the power is reaching the sensor and you can use a multimeter to check this. If the power isn’t coming, you have found the problem. Most of the time the battery is damaged or drained and replacing it will solve the problem.

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The next thing to check is your remote controller. It also has batteries and they must have failed. Use keypad entry to check the system. If the garage door open and close as they should, the problem is in your remote controller. If they don’t work, look for the problem elsewhere. In addition, if you have two or more remotes try all of them and see are they working properly.

Some systems are connected to the Wi-Fi and they require a persistent connection to operate. In order to check and see if this a problem, you will have to test the network and make sure that the system recognizes the garage door unit. Try and set a new network once again and test the system. It should work.

In rare situations, you will notice that none of these things fixed the problem. If or when this happens, your sensor is damaged. Despite the fact it shows a green LED or red light it might be damaged inside and the sensor itself doesn’t work or it detected an obstacle and stayed in that position. That’s why your garage door won’t work. A great advantage here is the ability to replace the sensor only, without having to change the rest of the system or to make any additional investments.

When looking for a new sensor, you will need to consider the system and its compatibility with new and older versions. You need a sensor that is exactly the same as the one you are replacing or an enhanced version. Don’t forget that some garage doors are not compatible with specific sensors so you won’t be able to install it.  The best thing is to get the same unit as the one you have. They are usually extremely affordable and installation can be done within 2 minutes. Obviously, place the sensor on the same spot as the old one.

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The final word

Most of the time the main problem for garage doors that don’t open or close properly is the faulty sensor. Make sure to clean the sensor and remove any obstacles before you decide to replace it. In the worst case scenario, you will have to get a new sensor. But, this is an affordable and simple task to perform. There is no need to call a professional or to replace the entire system. Read more at repair and maintenance.