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How to Align Garage Door Sensors



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A misaligned set of sensors is a threat to your family’s safety. Proper alignment must be performed by a professional to ensure precision; indeed, your warranty may be voided if alignment is not done by a professional. In this guide, we discuss how to determine whether your sensors might be misaligned, how misalignment occurs, and how a professional aligns garage door sensors.

Where Are My Garage Door Sensors Located?

Your garage door sensors are located just above floor level with one sensor mounted at each side of your garage door. Their accessibility is one reason why it’s so easy for them to become accidentally misaligned or blocked by an object.

How Do I Know Whether My Garage Door Sensors Are Misaligned?

First, determine whether an object is blocking the sensors. If you’re experiencing any of the misalignment symptoms below, call a garage door professional for help:

  • A blinking or steady red light on one or both sensors
  • The garage door not closing fully
  • The remote control to your garage door not working anymore
  • The garage door suddenly going into reverse while it’s closing

All of the above are signs that your garage door sensors are either misaligned or need to be replaced. However, the only true way to gauge the condition of your garage door’s parts is to get a professional diagnosis.

What Causes Garage Door Sensors to Become Misaligned?

Any number of factors could contribute to your garage door becoming misaligned. Below are some of the most common ones:

  • Accidentally bumping the sensors while moving something in or out of your garage
  • Loose brackets that allow the sensors to shift
  • Dirt, dust, or debris that blocks the sensors’ communication with each other
  • Wear and tear due to age
  • Initial improper sensor installation
  • Pets or animals that knock over one or more sensors

A garage door professional who knows how to align your garage door sensors properly can give you tips on how to avoid this problem in the future. Here are a few of the most important ones according to our experts:

  • Have a professional clean and inspect your sensors regularly as part of your garage door tuneup service. This prevents dust and debris from impeding the signals that your sensors send and receive.
  • Sensors can move or become displaced easily. Avoid moving objects too close to your sensors when you are moving things in, out of, or around your garage.
  • Get a professional opinion on whether your sensors need to be replaced.
  • Keep any pets or wildlife away from the bottom edges of your garage door so that they can’t interfere with your sensors.
  • Trust a garage door professional to handle any sensor alignment processes in order to avoid being left with loose mounting brackets afterward.

How a Professional Aligns Your Garage Door Sensors

Aligning your sensors takes a great deal of patience and precision and must be completed by a professional. Below are the detailed steps that your garage door professional will take to fix any sensor misalignment:

  • First, your garage door professional will ensure that the sender and receiver sensors are clear of debris. When these two sensors can’t communicate, you’ll typically see signs such as an inoperable garage door remote or a door that won’t close properly.
  • Your technician will also clean or remove any obstructions from your sensors. In many cases, this may fix the communication problem that your sensors are having. However, if it doesn’t, your pro will move to the next troubleshooting step.
  • Your service professional will loosen your mounting brackets to gain easier access to your sensors. They can then adjust your sensors vertically and horizontally so that they are leveled and at the manufacturer-recommended height.
  • Afterward, they will retighten your sensor’s mounting brackets and test your sensors to ensure that the alignment was successful. A thorough professional will also test your garage door’s reversing mechanism to make sure that this feature is working properly. The reversing mechanism on your garage door is a safety measure that helps your door reverse its direction while it’s closing if it senses an object, person, or pet in the way.
  • Determine whether replacement is necessary. Although garage door sensors can remain aligned for an extended period with the proper maintenance, there are instances in which they may need to be replaced. Your service professional can make this determination.

Why You Should Not Align Garage Door Sensors Yourself

Do not attempt to align your garage door sensors yourself, as this must be done with precision to ensure your family’s safety. Below are reasons why this particular project is suited for a DIY attempt:

  • False sense of security: While you may believe that you’ve successfully aligned your sensors after a completed DIY project, they could still be slightly off-kilter or not set according to manufacturer’s specifications. This could lead to accidental injury should someone come close to your garage door while it’s closing.
  • Requires precision: The process of aligning garage door sensors is a delicate one. Garage door service professionals have the tools necessary to make accurate measurements for optimal alignment.
  • Diagnostic capability: A professional can examine your garage door’s system as a whole to determine whether there are other underlying problems that led to your sensors being misaligned. For instance, your garage door professional may notice that your garage door opener’s blinking lights are communicating critical information about the state of your sensors, which is information you might miss.
  • Voided warranty: Many manufacturers require professional maintenance and repair in order to maintain your warranty. Trying to repair your garage door system’s components yourself could void your warranty, potentially reducing the lifespan of your sensors.
  • Saves time: Chances are, you haven’t aligned hundreds of garage door sensors in your lifetime; however, garage door professionals have. They have the experience needed to save you the time, money, and effort it takes to execute the procedure properly.

Get Your Garage Door Sensors Properly Aligned

Don’t leave safety up to chance. Contact the professionals at Precision Garage Door Service® today at (877) 301-7474 or request an appointment online.

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