Since 1993, all garage door systems have been required to have a crucial safety system known as the photo-eye sensor. The photo-eye, however, is also one of the most common causes of garage door problems! Knowing how this safety sensor works can enable home or business owners to fix some problems with their garage door, without even needing to contact an expert. So if you want to know more about the sophisticated safety of the photo-eye, read on! 


Primary Function

The photo-eye sensor’s primary function is ensuring that nothing obstructs the door’s path. When coupled with the auto-reverse mechanism that is a modern standard in garage door openers, the photo-eye is responsible for making the garage door safe and reliable. These two safety features work in tandem, and knowing how both of them work can help you inspect your garage door! 

How it Works:

The photo-eye is the first line of defense, and senses if any object is obstructing the bottom of the door. It does this by sending an laser between the two sensing eyes. If this laser’s beam is broken for any reason, the garage door opener can know that something is in the way of the door closing, and so it will reverse. This is a fantastic way to keep your family and possessions safe, but it can also be an annoying cause of false alarms. The beam of the sensing eye can be broken easily, so ever something as small as a leaf or a spare scrap of paper can cause your door to become inoperable. These are some of our favorite calls to receive because we can normally fix them over the phone! The beam between the photo eye sensors can be broken easily. If one of the sensors is bumped, it can be jostled out of its holder, breaking the connection. Alternatively, a simple bit of dirt on the lens can show as an obstruction. If your garage door isn’t closing, this is a good first place to check! 

How to tell if it is Broken:

There are a few primary signs that one of your garage door opener’s safety features is broken. A light blinking, either on one of the sensors or on the opener itself can be a clear sign. If the garage door will open but refuses to close, it usually means that the door suspects an obstruction is blocking its path. And if you begin to operate the door but then it reverses on its own, that is a sure sign that some safety protocol has been triggered. 

Time to call an Expert:

If you’ve moved everything out of the way, cleaned the photo-eye sensor’s lens, and made sure that the sensors are in alignment with each other, then you’ve probably done all you can to diagnose the problem and it’s time to call in an expert. A Plus Garage Doors has been working on garage doors for over thirty years, and there’s no problem we can’t solve. If you have a garage door emergency, trust A Plus Garage Doors to handle your home. 

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