How to Repair a Malfunctioning Garage Door Photoeye

If you have problems with your garage door opener, your sensor may be to blame. Mandated on all garage doors installed with automatic openers after 1993, garage door sensors transmit an electronic signal across the bottom of your garage door. When this signal is interrupted when the door is coming down, the garage door will suddenly reverse itself. It’s a safety feature in case there is something in the way or if a kid or pet should run underneath the garage door as it closes.

Sometimes the sensor can have issues beyond a person, pet or object in the way. The sensor could become dirty so that the signal is not transmitted. Sunlight can also interfere with its functioning. Sometimes sensors become misaligned or are missing. 

We’ll explain how to diagnose and repair a faulty garage door sensor. 

Check the Pathway

First, check the garage door’s pathway to make sure nothing is blocking the door. Sometimes a rake or other garden tool can be near the pathway enough to set it off. Clear the path of any obstruction.

Check the Sensor

Take a look at the photoeyes located near the bottom of your garage door. Are they missing? Are they lined up directly across from each other? If the photoeye came detached, is missing, or otherwise out of alignment, your signal is disrupted and your door will reverse itself. You’ll need to reattach or reposition the sensor. This is a fairly simple garage door repair you should be able to do yourself.

Clean the Sensor

If the sensor is well positioned, but you are still having problems, clean the sensor with a wet rag and some dish soap. It’s possible that dirt has accumulated to disrupt the signal. This can be especially problematic during Roseville, California’s dry and dusty summers. Cleaning the sensor often does the trick.

Give Your Sensor Some Shade

If the door is still reversing itself, create a makeshift shading device with some cardboard and electric tape. Sometimes intense sunlight can disrupt the signal and cause the safety feature to come on, reversing the door. 

If the door still isn’t operating correctly, you may have a more serious problem. Contact a garage door repair professional for a more thorough diagnosis.

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