Garage door specialists are most often called upon to help with one particular problem, and it’s related to an important safety feature. When the photo eyes or sensors of an automatic garage door become misaligned, the garage door won’t close.
The inability to close the garage door has been a source of frustration to countless Lakeland area homeowners who were unaware of this crucial feature. Read on to learn why safety features are so important plus basics about photosensors, which are also known as photoelectric sensors and photo eyes.
About 30,000 injuries occur in connection with garage doors every year, but related statistics were previously much worse. In the 21-year period ending in 1995, automatic garage doors caused approximately 85 children to either die or suffer permanent brain damage. Garage doors are very heavy, weighing from about 100 pounds all the way up to 400 pounds or more.
Beginning in 1993, manufacturers of automatic garage door systems have been required by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to have built-in automatic shut-off systems or reversing systems in order to help prevent injuries.
Although it took a while for the new requirements to have the desired wide-range effect of preventing fatalities and serious injuries, automatic garage door manufacturers now consistently do a good job with built-in safety features, though regular maintenance is strongly advised.
Photosensors are part of a reversal system designed to prevent garage doors from closing when the safety feature is triggered. The photo eye sensors are installed approximately 6 inches from the floor on each side of the garage door near the opening. The units both connect electrically to the motor of the garage door opener.
The photosensors are installed so that they create an invisible beam across the opening of the garage door. One side is the transmitter and the other sensor reflects the signal beam. If the beam between the sensors is interrupted as the door is closing, the door will automatically go into reverse and open instead of closing. If the sensors are misaligned, the door simply won’t budge even when the button to close the garage is pushed. This is typically what the situation is when homeowners contact garage door specialists for help.
The location of photosensors a half-dozen inches from the floor of the garage is a vulnerable place subject to being knocked around if care isn’t taken to avoid moving them. If the garbage can is located in that area, for instance, a bag of trash could fall onto or be placed on the sensor. Someone could move an object, not knowing that a sensor was bumped in the process.
Realigning the photosensors can be a do-it-yourself job. Depending on the make and model of your opener, there may be a blinking light on the sensors that indicate a problem. You can simply adjust the sensors to re-establish the alignment, and you’ll know you’ve succeeded when the blinking stops.
You may need to tighten the hardware on the metal bracket holding one of the sensors to keep it in the right position.
In Lakeland FL and the surrounding area, Safe Way Garage Doors, Inc. is the most trusted garage door repair service. We are known for dealing honestly with our customers. Give us a call today at (863) 701–9779 for maintenance, repair, and emergency garage door services on residential, commercial, and industrial overhead garage doors.
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