Many clients ask us this question, “how long should a new garage door last me?”…
If your motorized garage door fails to open and close when you need it to, then you have a problem. No one wants to mess around with their garage door in the morning or evening. Worse still, you don’t want to go to bed or leave your house with your garage hanging wide open to the neighborhood.
One of the most common causes of garage door opening and closing problems in Albuquerque is the sensor. However, there can be a few different reasons that your sensor isn’t responding to your commands. Let’s explore your garage door sensor and offer some potential reasons for its failure.
Understanding What Your Garage Door Sensor Does
In 1993 the United States Government passed a law requiring motorized garage doors to have a garage door sensor. Sensors, at their core, are safety devices. To put it simply, your garage door sensor will tell your opener if there is an obstruction in the way. If the sensors detect an obstacle, it will not allow you to use your garage door.
Most commonly, your sensor will detect an obstruction and not allow you to close the door. If you own a garage door, then you’ve most likely encountered that waltz—you push the button to close your door, and it drops for a moment, only to go back up. With enough finagling, you might get it to close, but is it worth the trouble?
This is How it Works
All modern garage door sensors are what we call “photoelectric.” This means that they project an invisible infrared laser beam from one end of your garage door to the other. Think of heist movies like Mission Impossible; breaking the path of the laser will cue an alarm.
For garage doors, breaking the laser beam’s path will simply tell it not to close. As an example, if the family dog is standing in the middle of your garage door’s path, then the infrared beam will be obstructed, and the door should not close and will keep your pet safe in the process.
Why Your Sensor Might Not be Working
There are a few reasons a sensor might be on the fritz. We’ll highlight the most common ones:
- Obstructed sensor: there doesn’t always have to be something big and obvious obstructing the garage door sensor. Something as small as a broom handle, some wind-blown trash, or even fallen leaves can get stuck in the crevice of your garage door and obstruct the sensor. This is an easy one to fix; simply clear the obstruction from your sensor.
- Dirty sensor: garage doors are no strangers to dirt and dust. Concrete floors and wide-open access to the outdoors make both inevitable. If you’ve never cleaned your sensor, then it might have accumulated enough dirt and dust to stop working. This fix is also easy (and obvious.) Carefully clean each side of your sensor.
- Misaligned sensor: depending on your type of sensor, you may have a receiver on one end or a reflector. In either case, the device serves to tell the originator of the infrared beam that the beam was received unobstructed. Of course, if either of these systems becomes misaligned with the laser, then it will appear as if there is an obstacle. The solution to this problem isn’t as easy, but it’s straightforward. Simply remount your garage door sensor so that both sides are in alignment. Many models will display an indicator light once they can receive the infrared beam.
Reach Out to Us for an Inspection
Of course, your garage door sensor issue could be more complicated and harder to diagnose. That’s precisely where we come in; we can inspect your garage door and suggest a repair on the spot. When you call us, you have peace of mind knowing that we bring professionalism and expertise to deal with your garage door woes; it’s that simple.