When you back out of the garage and onto your driveway, it’s likely second nature for you to press the garage door button so the door will close as you’re driving away. The garage door will roll down as you shift the car into drive and start to pull away from your home. However, there are some times when you may notice that the garage door isn’t closing when you press the button or is rolling down too slowly. This means that your garage door sensors may not be working, which is definitely a problem, especially if you’ve recently had your garage door installed or repaired. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to evaluate the problem with your garage and determine whether you need to get a new garage sensor.
You may think this safety feature is annoying, but garage door sensors were federally mandated when a law was passed in the 1990s to reduce garage door-related injuries. Infrared radio signals are used for the sensors and the signal passed from one node to another. The nodes are the small boxes on either side of the garage door. The nodes are usually positioned a few inches off the floor; if the nodes are working properly, the light will be green. If something is wrong with the sensors or nodes, you may notice that the lights are red and/or blinking.
If you notice this, the first thing you should do is check for obstructions. If there is an object between the infrared beam that connects the sensors, this will prompt the garage door to open right away. This is why you can’t walk out of the garage when the door is closing. The sensors will detect that something is in the way and the door will stop moving. Even a small object like a leaf that is blowing past the garage door path or if the sun is shining on the eye of the sensor the nodes won’t work properly. If you want to make sure this feature is working, let your garage door open completely, check the area around the garage and close the garage again. If it works, you’ll got nothing to worry about. If the garage doesn’t close fully, you’ve got to do some more troubleshooting.
You may need to clean the lens on the nodes. Since the garage is outside, it’s easy for the sensors to get dirty. This is why you should inspect and maintain your garage regularly. The lenses are very delicate, so you need to use a microfiber cloth to clean the sensors – don’t use your fingers. Clean the lenses the same way you’d clean the lens of a camera or your glasses. It’s fine to use a mild cleaner in some cases. However, remember that you’re cleaning an electrical appliance, so don’t use too much liquid. It’s also a good ideal to clean the walls and floor of the garage and the area around the sensors so your garage door will open and close the way it should.