What You Should Know About Automatic Garage Door Sensors

The sensors on automatic garage doors prevent them from causing serious injury or damage. Without them, you could close your garage door only to realize too late that something or someone was in the way. If you have an automatic garage door, you should familiarize yourself with the sensors, so check out these five important facts.

The Sensors Are Designed to Prevent Injury and Damage

Garage doors are heavy, and they are under a lot of tension, making them a potential hazard. In the US, about 20,000 people visit the emergency room each year for injuries related to garage doors. To prevent injuries to people and animals or damages to your belongings, automatic garage doors have sensors that can tell when something is under the door. If you try to close your garage door, and the sensors sense something is in the way, it should stop and reopen. If the sensors become damaged or worn, they may not work as well, preventing your door from closing completely, or worse: preventing it from stopping when it needs to.

The Safety Eyes Can Become Dirty

It isn't just damage that can affect your garage door sensors. The sensors or the safety eyes that are designed to sense items can become dirty. This thick layer of grim or dust can make it impossible for the sensor to work properly. Luckily, if you simply have dirty safety eyes, the solution is simple. Take a clean rag and remove any debris on the safety eye. Once the eyes are clean, test the door by placing a piece of wood under the garage door and closing it. If it senses the board and stops, you've fixed the problem.

You May Need to Realign the Sensors

The sensors work by sending a beam across the garage door. The eye sends a beam to the reflector on the other side of the garage door. If something is in the way, it blocks this beam, which tells the door it needs to open again. Whether due to wear and tear or damage, the sensor and reflector may no longer line up, which prevents the door from closing. To fix this, simply realign the sensor and test it until the door finally closes.

The Sensor Mount Can Become Damaged

The sensor frame itself can become damaged because of routine wear and tear. Sensor frames are typically made from aluminum, which isn't the most durable metal. If you accidentally hit it with the lawnmower or your bike, you could dent the metal. The sensor needs to be able to send a light beam to the other side of the door, but if the frame is dented, the light beam may not be able to reach. The door will think something is in the way, blocking the beam. As a result, the door will refuse to close.  

You Can Adjust the Garage Door Opener Mechanism

As another safety precaution, if the door should be able to tell when it hits something. If the eye sensors fail and the door strikes something, it should immediately stop and open again. You can adjust this setting to make it more or less sensitive. You'll want to find somewhere in the middle, so as soon as the door touches the item, it opens again. If it isn't sensitive enough, it won't stop, but if it's too sensitive, the door could stop it if it senses a small piece of debris in the track.

Garage doors are potentially extremely dangerous, but sensors are designed to prevent injury and damage. If your garage door sensors aren't working properly, and you can't fix the problem, contact a specialist from a site like http://www.shankdoor.com in your area today.