Buggy garage door

One of the most common problems people have with a garage door is the photo eye sensor. Modern garage doors have a safeguard in place to keep the door from closing if there’s something in the way. This prevents injury for people and animals, and it also protects your garage door from damage.

However, if the sensor is malfunctioning, it can get really annoying really fast.

If something is wrong with the photo eye sensor, you might find that your garage door refuses to close, even if there’s nothing blocking the way. You might have your garage door start to open and close erratically, which is alarming in addition to being annoying. So what can you do to fix it?

How Photo Eyes Work

Photo eyes keep you and your garage door safe in a very simple way. There are two “eyes”–one on each side of the garage door frame, a few inches up from the ground. Pointing at each other, these eyes need to be able to “see” each other. Think of it as an uninterrupted beam from one to the other. If one of the eyes is blocked, it will alert the garage door mechanism and prevent the door from closing.

Most lenses come with a small LED indicator light, which will glow green when everything is well, and flicker, go out, or turn red if something is off.

First, Check the Lenses

Sometimes, the sensor is off due to something as simple as a smudge. Locate each eye and see whether there’s something on the lens, or right in front of the lens, blocking the line of sight. Do your best to clear the eye’s vision without knocking it off-kilter.

Second, Check the Eyes’ Orientation

If the lens is clear, and you didn’t knock the eye crooked yourself, it could still have been knocked crooked because of something else. Usually, you can visually tell if the eyes aren’t pointing at each other correctly. Adjusting or re-fastening the fixture can help them get back in view with each other.

Third, Check the Wiring

If the indicator light is unlit, you might have a problem with the connection. It could be that the photo eyes have lost power, or lost their connection with the garage door opener. Even if you’re not an electrician, you might be able to identify where the connection failed by simply looking at the wiring and seeing if everything is fully connected.

If you’ve checked these three basic things and are unable to tell what’s wrong (or unable to correct it yourself) then it’s time to give us a call. With 20 fully-stocked vehicles located throughout the Wasatch Front, we’re able to respond with same-day service almost anywhere. We can get your garage back to proper function in a jiffy. You can reach us at (801) 316-3285.