Garage Door Sensor and Remote Problems

There are numerous garage door sensors and remote problems. Here are some common issues you may face.

Garage Door Sensor Problems

Garage door sensors are an essential safety feature that uses “photoelectric sensors (infrared beam)” to prevent unforeseen accidents caused by automatic garage door units, and in some cases, faulty garage door units.

The U.S. Federal Law UL-325 requires all garage doors to include basic safety mechanisms, including garage door sensors because automatic garage door accidents have caused severe injuries to people and vehicles over the years.

Despite the safety feature, garage door sensors are among the most guilty parts of the garage door unit that encounter problems. Some of the common issues with door sensors are misaligned photo eyes, dirty sensor lenses, and faulty wiring. These can cause garage doors to slide halfway and revert or stop midway.

Here is the list of typical garage door sensor problems.

Problem with closing Garage Door

The garage door not closing is one of the earliest signs of garage door sensor problems. If the garage door opens but fails to close completely, then you should consider checking the door sensors.

Safety sensors are located near the bottom of the door track on both sides that require a clear line of view between them. The door will close all the way smoothly to the floor when the sightline is clear.

  • Check if something is blocking the sightline of your safety sensor. Also, consider checking if the brackets that hold the electronic sights are out of alignment. This causes the door to stop mid-way and reverse.
  • The photo eye sensors may need adjustments or realignment over time to fix the brackets and sight path. Ensure nothing is blocking the light between the electronic photo eye sensors. Clean the photo eye sensors with a clean microfiber cloth to remove debris from blocking the light.
  • Besides, excessive humidity and dust can interfere with sensor operation. You can routinely check and clean the photo-eyes for dirt, dust, debris, and moisture.

Problem with the Photo-Eye Sensor Lights

The two lights, “sender” and “receiver,” will go out or blink when there is something wrong with the sensors. This usually means something is blocking the light signal between them or the sensors are out of alignment.

  • If the red light keeps flashing, but the green light doesn’t work, this usually means the sensors aren’t in alignment. You can manually adjust the brackets to align the sensors. You will know the sensors align when both the red and green lights are light without flickering.
  • Sometimes the direct sunlight can interfere with the sensor light and cause malfunction. You can avoid this by checking it when there isn’t sunlight.

Problems with Sensor Power Supply

If you’re wondering, the green light on the sensor is always active when your garage door sensors are working. This also indicates that everything is Ok with the power supply. There is a problem with the power supply when both lights on the sensors are off.

  • Check if the power source is cut off or the cable is unplugged. Sometimes the fuse can blow due to voltage drop; this can also alter the power supply to door sensors. If everything is ok, check if the internal wire connections are in place.
  • A sensor that flashes orange instead of the regular red light indicates wire damage. Inspect all the wires going from the sensor to the terminal on the back of the openers. You can spot a staple or a nail cut through the wire insulation, affecting the water supply.
  • Ensure to connect the white wires to the white terminal and the black and white wires to the gray terminal. Contact the technician to fix the wiring if you aren’t familiar with how it works.

Garage Door Sensor Replacement

When the garage door doesn’t close persistently, and the sensors fail to light up, it’s time for a sensor replacement.

Replace garage door safety sensors should cost around $85 – $95.  A technician can replace the garage door sensors for around $170.

To replace door sensors on your own;

  • Start with disconnecting the power supply.
  • Pull the sensors out of their braces carefully and cut the wires near them so you can connect the replacement wires.
  • Connect the white wires on the sensor to the wires on the white terminal. Next, connect the black and white wires to the gray terminal. (If your model has a gray wire, you can easily connect it to the gray terminal)
  • Slide back the sensors into a metal bracelet and screw them on. Check if the photo eyes are aligned correctly, where one sensor should be green, and the other should be red.
  • Test the garage door sensor by placing cardboard underneath. A properly installed garage door sensor will stop before hitting the box.

Garage Door Remote (Transmitter) Problems

The garage door opener remote helps to operate the door without touching the wall-mount keypad. Most smart garage door openers come with remote technology that easily syncs with your smartphone.

The garage door transmitter stops working for a few reasons, including dead batteries and a worn-out remote unit.

Here is the list of typical door transmitter problems.

Replace the Batteries

Bad batteries are one of the most common causes of problems with a garage door transmitter.

  • You can easily replace the transmitter batteries by opening the panel on the back of the device.
  • Remove the screw if necessary and carefully take the remote batteries out.
  • Check if they’re worn out, dirty, or wet.
  • Clean the panel with a dry cloth before using the fresh batteries.
  • Depending on your remote device, you can either use small, round, or AA batteries.

Reprogram a Garage Remote Key

You will need to reprogram your remote on a few occasions, including installing the garage door unit.

  • Each door unit manufacturer may have different instructions for reprogramming a transmitter key. Check the manufacturer’s website or user manual for instructions.
  • Usually, you can pair the transmitter with the opener by holding down the open transmitter button while pressing the programming button simultaneously.
  • Next, release the open button when the garage door opener light begins flashing.

Garage Door Won’t Respond to Remote or Keypad.

This is a common issue with the door opener unit that uses a transmitter.

To troubleshoot the problem, start with checking your transmitter. Make sure you are in the range of the garage, and nothing is blocking the signal. Move closer to find the range, and make sure to position the transmitter’s antenna towards the door. (Most smart door openers use a small radio signal that operates at about 315mH. Even a few feet of extra distance can affect the signal of the transmitter.)

  1. Consider replacing the remote controller’s batteries if the wall switch keypad is working fine and the remote control isn’t.
  2. If your remote keyword doesn’t respond to the command even after replacing the battery, then it’s time to reprogram it. The remote button can sometimes lose its programming after excessive use. You can consider resetting it and then reprogramming it to your desired limit switch settings. (Refer to the first solution provided in this article.)
  3. It’s time to replace your door remote when it looks visibly worn out. After continuous use, a remote may stop responding, which means it’s time to replace the remote. If the door keypad needs replacement, the cost will run between $30 to $60. New remotes may cost $30 to $40 each.

If you don’t want the hassle of troubleshooting and fixing things yourself, you can always contact professionals for the garage door repair.

You can save a lot of money by learning to troubleshoot and fix your door unit by yourself. All you need to get is the troubleshooting instructions from the garage door manufacturer or check for troubleshooting tips online.


2 thoughts on “Garage Door Sensor and Remote Problems”

  1. I recently purchased a new garage door remote. It loaded up correctly. I opened and closed the door several times it worked fine. However, after the first time use I now have to wait 4-5 minutes in order to either open or close the door after the initial action. It will not operate two times in a row without the 4-5 minutes wait time.


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