Automatic garage doors are a wonderful convenience. But they have a lot of operating parts, and they require ongoing care and maintenance if they are to continue to operate properly to protect your home and vehicles, and keep your family safe. Garage doors are also heavy, cumbersome and unforgiving if something is in their path as they close.
A sensor is a requirement for all modern automatic garage doors. But if the sensor is not properly aligned and periodically tested, it cannot be expected to serve its intended purpose.
Most homeowners are aware of the need for caution around an operating garage door. Sometimes children are not. Anything in the path of a closing garage door can be damaged — tools, toys or vehicles. Pets and children are especially vulnerable, and injuries can be serious.
How to Care For a Garage Door Safety Sensor
If your garage door lifts and lowers without squeaks and rumbles, it’s only natural to assume that all its parts are functioning well. But, in the case of the safety sensor, there are some simple checks to assure that all is well. Sensors for each door are located near the garage floor at each side of the door.
- Keep the Door Threshold Debris-Free: Regularly sweep leaves, dust and blown-in debris away from the garage curb. Periodically hose off the threshold, and assure that any items stored near the garage door are clear of the rails and sensors.
- Clean the Lenses and Dust the Sensor Boxes: Gently clean the sensor’s lenses and dust the entire mechanism. Test door operation again once your cleaning is completed.
- Check the Red and Green Lights: The glowing lights should assure you that the built-in electric eyes are aligned and functioning properly. If the lights flicker or are out completely, the sensor needs care.
- Open and Close the Door Several Times: Test to assure that the low-voltage beam is working properly by opening and closing the door, and observing its operation. You can also test the sensors by placing something in the door’s path when it’s open. If it stops as it should, the sensor is operating. Confirm it by removing the impediment, and closing the door again.
- Keep the Sensors Dry: It’s especially important in winter to assure that sensors aren’t damaged by snow and ice, but heavy rain and even water from sprinklers can affect sensor operation. If they do get wet, let them dry thoroughly, check the wiring and repeat the above steps.
Warning signs of safety sensor malfunction might also include jerks and hesitation when the door is opened or closed. Even a slight misalignment can be the source of inadequate protection. If your preliminary troubleshooting doesn’t lead to an easy solution, schedule a service call through Overhead Door Company of Oklahoma City.
When the safety of your home and family is jeopardized, take immediate action to assure that your garage door safety sensors are performing up to par!