Many people believe that the biggest problem with garage doors probably has something to do with the door itself, such as a problem with one of the panels. However, that is not the case. In fact, the biggest problem with garage doors today tends to involve the automatic reverse mechanism, with the photo eyes typically being the largest source of trouble.
Many people have faced situations similar to the one that follows. It is raining and you have come home from a long day at work. You press the button to open the garage door, and it opens easily enough so you can get your vehicle inside. Then, when you try to close the door with the remote, it only goes down a certain amount before it reverses and opens back up.
This is highly frustrating, but it does not usually mean there is a serious problem with the door. As mentioned, it is often just a problem with the photo eyes, which you could take care of on your own.
The Photo Eyes
Safety is a huge concern when it comes to garage doors and openers. These doors are heavy, and when the openers are not functioning properly or when the safety protocols are not in place, they can be dangerous. Ever since 1993 in North America, all of the garage door openers sold need to have an automatic reverse system. These systems were implemented because of the many instances of people being injured and even killed by lowering garage doors.
The photo eye reversal system makes use of two units, which are placed about six inches off the ground to either side of the door. They are situated along the tracks. They are connected to the opener motor. An invisible beam passes from one of the devices to the other between the garage door opening. If there is anything that interrupts or breaks that beam when the garage door is trying to close, the door is going to reverse and go back up.
The garage doors also have a second system for automatic reversal. This is a mechanical system that works very simply. If there is an object or a person or pet that is beneath the door and is hit with the bottom section of the door when it is descending, the door will reverse direction and open back up. You can test this system quite easily to see if it is working properly. You will want to take a 2x4 and place it beneath the garage door. Close the door, and if everything is working right, the door will go up as soon as the it hits the board.
Why Are the Photo Eyes Not Working Properly?
You might be wondering just why the photo eyes have stopped working. Most of the time, you will find that the answer is quite simple. It happens because they have become misaligned for some reason. You might have bumped the door by mistake, for example. You might also have a pet that hit the eye at some point, which caused them to become misaligned.
When the door is not closing properly, you will want to check and see whether this might be the problem. In some cases, you might hear a clicking sound that would indicate that there is an issue with the photo eyes. You might also see a blinking light on the door opener. Those who have wall control panels will typically see a blinking LED light to indicate the problem.
Fixing the Photo Eyes
As mentioned, it should not be too hard for you to fix the problem. You simply have to make sure that the photo eyes are aligned and that the beam is back to the correct position. Determine which of the photo eyes was moved – it is generally going to be obvious – and then put it back in place. You will know when it is in the right place, because the light will stop blinking or the clicking will stop, depending on the opener that you have.
You should also take the time to make sure that the photo eyes are attached securely to the wall on their metal brackets. Clean the lenses, as well. Then, you can test it out. Close the garage door with the opener and if the photo eyes were the problem, then it should close without any issues. It should only take a few minutes for you to fix.
Of course, if it still does not work right, then it means that the problem might be somewhere else. For example, there could be a broken wire that connects the photo eye units and the motor of the opener. If you are unsure of what the problem is and how to fix it properly, you are going to want to make sure that you are using a professional for the job.
Always Take Safety Seriously
No matter what you happen to be doing with your garage door, you want to make sure that you are as safe as possible. Make sure that you and those in your family are always treating the garage door opener with the respect that it deserves. To do otherwise is to invite more risk into your life. Check the reversal systems regularly, and make sure that they are working correctly.
When You Still Need Help
If you still need help, you will want to contact us as soon as possible by calling 515‑276‑3700. Our team understands garage doors from top to bottom and has the experience to help you make the right decisions when it comes to repairing or replacing your door opener or system. We can even provide you with a quotation by email.
Those who prefer can also come into the showroom to look at what we have to offer. You might also want to check out a quality tool, our Design Centre, which can make it easier for you to find the perfect garage door that is going to look great for your home. If you need to have some additional inspiration, then you might wan to check out a few of the great examples in our image gallery.