Garage Door Won’t Close? Check the Photo Eyes!

Mar 28, 2019 | Garage Door Repair

Garage door won’t close? Garage doors require routine maintenance to ensure they open and close when you want them to, not when they want to, or when their components prevent them to. Speaking of components, one of the most vital is the photo eyes, or photoelectric sensors. If the photo eyes are malfunctioning, the door is not going to open or close, meaning you’ll need to quickly troubleshoot and repair the problem if you plan on parking your vehicle.

How Do They Work?

Photo eyes are a critically important safety feature. Located about six inches above the floor of the garage, one on each side of the door, the photoelectric sensors are connected by an infrared beam that is invisible to the naked eye. The safety eyes must “see each other” for the door to close. If the beam is interrupted, the sensors immediately trigger an emergency brake on the downward momentum of the door, reversing it to the open position. Their job is simple: Prevent entrapment.

The International Door Association recommends regularly testing all safety systems. To test the photo eyes, start with the door open, and then activate the opener to close. While the door is being lowered, wave a long-handled object, like a broom in the path of the beam. Verify that the door returns to the fully open position.

Troubleshooting the Photo Eyes

If the sensors are malfunctioning, one or both of their LED lights will blink. Obstructions are the first problems to look for if your garage door won’t close. The first and easiest thing to check for are obstructions. You may be surprised! If the opening is clear, try cleaning the lenses using a soft, microfiber cloth. Finally, realign the sensors, following this video from LiftMaster®.

If all else fails, contact a garage door repair professional. APEX Garage Door and Repair is a locally owned and operated garage door service company with a team of experienced professionals serving the greater Phoenix area. We specialize in the installation, maintenance, and repair of today’s most popular garage door and garage door opener brands. Schedule an appointment today by calling (480) 460-1199.


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