Garage Door Opener Repair & Safety Part 3 – Door Sensors and Other Safety Features

Some homeowners have been known to tape the two electric eye sensors together above
the garage door or mount them at the top of the garage door…DON’T DO THIS.

Another garage door opener repair and safety must is checking the garage door sensor. The two most commons sensors are the photo electric eye and the edge sensor.

Garage Door Sensor Testing

Edge Sensor – The least common type of garage door sensor is the edge sensor, a contactor strip installed along the bottom edge of the garage door. When the bottom of the door comes in contact with an obstruction, the sensor strip senses the contact and causes the door to reverse direction. Elevator doors use this type of door sensor to reopen when they encounter an obstacle such as a piece of luggage, a hand or foot, etc.

Photo Electric Eye – The more common type of garage door sensors is the photo electric eye. One electric eye is installed on each side of the garage door and the two devices are pointed at each other to create an electronic beam across the garage door entrance. The electric eyes should be mounted on the garage door tracks at a height of four to six inches above the floor, but no higher than six inches. Mounting at this height will ensure that a small child cannot crawl under the beam.

When the beam of light between the two electric eyes is obstructed, the garage door will not close. If the door is in the process of closing and the beam of light is broken, the door should reverse direction and reopen. If the door does not reverse direction, a fairly common garage door opener repair item, the sensors need to be adjusted. It is likely that one of the garage door sensors has been bumped or moved out of alignment and simply need to be realigned.

SAFETY NOTE: Some homeowners have been known to tape the two electric eye sensors together above the garage door or mount them at the top of the garage door rather than the bottom. DON’T DO THIS. It might seem like a nuisance to install the sensors correctly, but they just might save a life.

Another safety blunder is overriding the garage door sensors when they sense an obstruction. Most garage door openers will allow you to force the door to close by simply holding down the wall button. This is another bad idea. If yourdoor sensors are not working or they need to be adjusted, do it immediately or call a professional garage door repair and installation company to do it for you. It only takes a few minutes and it is well worth the effort.

Other Safety Features

Along with the garage door opener repair and safety tips listed in this article, here are a few more safety considerations:

    1. Parents, talk to your children about the inherent dangers of a garage door. As fun as it may be for a child to open and close the garage door using the automatic controller, it can be hazardous. Pressing the wall button and racing to beat the door is especially dangerous. Set a good example for your children and avoid this “game.”


    1. The wall button that controls your garage door opener should be installed as high above the floor as possible, with a minimum distance of five feet. This will help keep children from opening and closing the door and creating potential safety hazards. (Parents, talk to your children about this.) You should also be able to push the wall button and see the garage door at the same time. This will allow you to see an obstruction and intervene before it is too late.


    1. Keep remote control units out of children’s reach. Again, this is not a play toy even though it is very tempting and “fun.”


    1. Be sure your garage door is equipped with an emergency release cord. Pulling the cord will release the garage door from the opener and allow you to open it if the opener quits working or stops on top of an object, including people or pets. The pull cord handle should be installed at about six feet off the floor so adults can reach it.


  1. When using the automatic garage door opener to close your door, watch the door until it is completely closed. By doing so, you will be able to respond quickly if something or someone becomes trapped under the door.

Chamberlain Model WD962KD Belt Drive Garage Door Opener
Genie 1/2 hp Garage Door Opener
w/Direct Lift™ Screw Drive – Model #36280R

Go to Step 2 – Reversal Test and Force Setting

Go to Step 1 – Balancing the Garage Door

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