According to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, all installed garage doors are to be tested for safety. One of the garage door requirements to be considered safe by the standards is to have an external obstruction or anti-entrapment device. Those devices are commonly known as garage door safety sensors.
You will most likely encounter two types of obstruction sensors: Photoelectric sensors and Edge sensors.
Photoelectric sensors are devices that project a beam of light invisible to the human eye across the garage door opening. If something obstructs that beam of light, the sensor will send a signal to the operator’s control board, and the garage door won’t close and will reverse back to the open position until the obstruction is removed.
Among the photoelectric sensors, the through-beam system is very common. This system has a transmitter and a receiver. Infrared light is used so that the system does not get interrupted by the sunlight. The transmitter will be sending the beam of light to the receiver, and the receiver will be sending a signal to the operator’s control board. If the motor control does not receive the proper signal because the transmitting of the beam is being obstructed by anything, the operator won’t be “allowed” to close the garage door.
The sensor units are to be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions in most cases no more than 6 inches of the concrete slab. The transmitter and the receiver must be positioned at a certain height above the ground and are well aligned. Some of those sensors are connected to the operator through wires; some are connected wirelessly.
It will be the fastest and the simplest for an experienced garage door technician to install or repair a malfunctioning safety sensor. It will also ensure your safety.
Edge sensors also send a signal to the operator’s control board but do it in a different manner. The sensor devices are installed along the edge of the garage door and signal to the operator upon direct contact with an object. The operator’s control board then receives a signal that the door cannot be closed since there is an obstruction.
This type of sensor is typically constructed with two electrical contact strips in a tube made from waterproof material. The “obstruction” signal is created by those two strips coming into contact with each other. When the sensor comes in contact with anything that creates the obstruction. The operator’s control board then receives a signal and the garage door will not close and reverse its movement.
Similarly, the edge sensors can be connected to the operator’s control board through wires or wirelessly to photoelectric sensors. So, it is safer if the sensors are installed by a professional.
Ask your garage door technician about which obstruction sensors will suit your type of garage door best.
If you are experiencing issues closing your garage door, one of the possible reasons for the problem is your obstruction sensors. Some issues can be resolved without specialists’ help, and there are ones that will require you to call for a professional’s help. Here is a list of the most common issues you may encounter with your obstruction sensors:
If you inspected your obstruction sensors and they work correctly, your garage door does not close. You may need to inspect your garage door for other issues. It is highly advised that you to contact a garage door specialist before proceeding with any DIY repairs. Trying to repair your garage door on your own can be dangerous. Please put your safety first.