Have you ever stopped to think about the biggest trouble that seems to be behind garage door malfunctions and problems? Many people believe that the issue stems from the garage door itself. However, that is not the case. The majority of the time, it is because of the automatic reverse mechanism. Specifically, it happens because the photo eyes are not aligned properly.
Let’s look at how this might happen in the real world and what it means. If you come home after a long day from work, you just want to get into the garage so you can then head inside and relax. However, when you use your controller to open the garage, it goes up without a problem, but when you try to lower the door it only reaches a certain level before it changes direction and goes back up.
Most of the time, this problem is not going to be too difficult to fix, fortunately. In fact, you are often going to be able to take care of the problem on your own. Check out what you need to know and do below.
So, What Are Photo Eyes?
You are probably wondering what photo eyes are, and that is certainly a fair question for those who do not know much about garage doors and openers. All of the electric garage door openers sold in North American since 1993 are required to have an automatic reverse system. These were added to help reduce the number of accidents and injuries that people were suffering from the garage door closing. Children were at a particularly high risk for this problem.
The reverse systems that are in use utilize photo eye sensors. These are small units that are generally installed about six inches above the ground on the tracks on the door. They are meant to be placed directly across from one another so that their sensors match up.
When they are installed and activated, there is an invisible beam that connects the two. One of the units is transmitting the beam and the other unit is reflecting the beam. When something crosses that beam and interrupts the signal, such as a pet or a child running beneath the door as it is closing, it will automatically reverse.
With the doors that are being sold today, there is a second system that is in place that is geared toward helping keep people and pets alike safe. The second system is mechanical. It works by reversing direction when the bottom of the door hits something that is at a higher level than the ground. You can easily test to see it this is working by putting a 2×4 flat on the ground and then closing the garage door with your remote. As soon as the door touches the board, it should reverse direction.
Are the Photo Eyes Misaligned?
Many different things could cause the photo eyes to become misaligned in the garage. When this happens, the door is not going to shut. There are many different reasons that one of the eyes might have become misaligned. It might have been bumped when you were moving items into and out of the garage, for example. It might have been a person or pet that moved it by mistake, as well.
You can generally tell quite easily when you have this type of problem. Depending on the type of door opener you have, the opener itself might start blinking or clicking. This tends to mean that there is a problem with the photo eye. If you have a control panel on the wall, then you will likely notice a blinking LED light there, as well.
Fixing the Issue
Fortunately, you will find that it is easy to take care of the problem on your own. The only thing that you need to do is make sure that you are realigning the two photo eye units so that the light beam is once again continuous. All you need to do is move it carefully in a line until the light on your control panel stops blinking. This means that it is once again in line.
Double-check to see whether both of the devices are properly attached to the bracket and tighten them if needed. Additionally, you might want to wipe down the lens with a soft, clean cloth, just to make sure that they are not getting too dirty and that the light beam can pass through the lenses easily.
You can then test out the door to see if it is working properly. Most of the time, this is all that you need to do to get the door back in working order. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, there are other problems that will require help from a professional.
Always Remember Safety
Whether you are merely around the garage doors or you are working on them to fix the photo eyes, you need to make sure that you are always being as careful as possible. Do not try to hop over the invisible beam to stop the door from closing and do not let your children do this. Safety should always be of the utmost importance when it comes to working around the garage door or just being around the door when it is in operation.
It is a good idea to check on both of the automatic reversal systems in your garage on a monthly basis. This way you will be able to take care of issues that crop up right away. Having an inspection for the door a couple times a year is a good idea, too.
If You Need More Help
For those who have not solved their problems, you will want to contact us as soon as possible by calling us at (416) 239-7777. We understand garage doors well, and we can provide you with the information needed to help make a decision on your next garage door and opener or repair the one that you have now. We can also send you a quotation by email.
You might also want to check out the showroom. We have a design center that can help you to find a style that is going to work for you. You can also check out the image gallery.