Garage Door Sensors: Beam Me Up Scotty

Government regulations stipulate that garage door opener sensors must have safety devices installed to prevent accidents. Garage doors with remote sensors allow the homeowner to remotely access and open or close their garage door, either from their home or their car.

Garage door openers have infra-red radio wave signals installed into the receiver end and the remote controlled end. As with a TV remote, the infra-red signal sent by the garage door remote control carries the waves across to the receiver inside the garage. The receiver is wired to the garage door opener and in turn, when the remote control is activated, the signal tells the door to open. The sensor switch receivers are usually found just inside the garage door, very close to the ground.

Garage door sensors can also be hard wired into the home, so that before you leave you can open your garage door via a switch, which sends a signal to the remote receiver. The door then opens automatically so that you can drive your car from the garage. At the same time, you can press the remote control device from your car to close the garage door as you leave.

Garage door safety sensors are there to both protect and enhance the safety of your automated garage door. Too many accidents can occur without them or if they are malfunctioning.

What Do Garage Door Safety Sensors Do?

Safety sensors were invented as a result of accidents happening with automatic doors coming down on top of people, cars and animals.

When the device detects any person or object in the path of a closing garage door, it signals the motor to stop the downward action and switch the motion into reverse to stop the obstacle being crushed. The sensors are located low on each side of the garage door, and the 2 beams meet performing a connection. Should something block the beam, they set the garage doors into a reverse motion to keep the door from hitting or crushing the object.

Can Sensors Malfunction?

Sensors can malfunction if the beams are out of alignment or dirty. When this happens, they need to either be repaired or replaced. If the beams are dirty, they will not reach each other properly and this can cause them to malfunction.

The position of the sensors is such that they can be accidentally damaged by a knock or a bump. Being moved can throw them out of alignment, and they will then need to be adjusted to work correctly again. Knocking or bumping can also sometimes cause the connection wires to be damaged, which will then require repair.

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