You may be surprised to hear that the majority of service calls received by garage door specialists are not in regards to the actual garage door, but instead, the automatic reverse mechanism. In many cases, the garage door will open just fine, it goes up smoothly and without any sort of hiccup or indicator that there is a problem. It works as it should. However, when the door is signaled to shut, it starts off working correctly but then suddenly reverses direction and rises back up to be fully opened.

This is one of the top issues we see, and can certainly be the most annoying for homeowners who are either heading to work or just getting home! Don’t fret, this is an issue that can be resolved at home, without a professional service call. The issue here is most commonly with the photo eyes, and in this article, we are going to discuss what photo eyes are and how they affect your garage door opening and closing.


What Are Photo Eyes?

Since 1993 all garage door openers are required to have an automatic reversal system in place to avoid accidents and injuries. These reversal systems make use of what we call photo eye sensors. These are placed on each side of your garage door along the tracks approximately 6 inches from the ground and are directly connected to the opener motor.

These eyes act a lot like the automatic doors we see when entering the local grocery when they sense an obstacle beneath the garage door. Much like the grocery doors, these eyes have the garage door open when they sense something is in the way.


Are There Other Garage Door Reversal Systems?

There is a second automatic reverse system for the garage door meant to help protect property and individuals. This version, however, is mechanical and requires a person or object to be hit by the bottom of the door to register the obstacle and trigger the reversal system.

The sensitivity of the mechanical reversal system must be properly adjusted. If it is, then a board laying on the ground beneath the garage door will trigger it to go back up. Making this a good way to test if your door has the mechanical safety reversal system in place. In this article, however, we are focusing on the photo eyes.


How Do Photo Eyes Become Misaligned?

Misalignment can occur without our even being aware. The smallest bump against one of the units is enough to throw it off the invisible beam. This can occur while working in the garage, perhaps an item falling against the unit, or even children getting a bit too close.

Regardless of the cause, it is easy to spot when your garage door decides it isn’t interested in closing. You will most likely see your garage door opener light blinking to indicate there is an issue that needs resolve, perhaps even some clicking sounds as well.


The DIY Resolution

As stated above, this particular issue doesn’t precisely require a professional service call. All you really need to do is realign the two units. Take a look at each one to determine which one has been bumped. Minor adjustments will help you in the realignment process and once you no longer see a blinking light, either on your garage door opener or the wall control panel, then you know you’ve got the photo eyes aligned properly.

To help prevent further issues, ensure the brackets are securely in place and that nothing was loosened when the bump occurred. While you’re there, take some time to wipe the lens clean on each photo eye so that this doesn’t cause any unwanted issues in the future.


Final Thoughts

If you continue to have issues either with your garage door opener, garage door, or photo eyes, don’t hesitate to give our professional staff a call right here at Straight Up Garage.

Published On: July 16th, 2019 / Categories: Articles / Tags: /