How Do I Know if My Garage Door Sensor Is Broken?

Garage Door Sensor Issues

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Garage doors keep our lives on track as we open and close the entrance to our garage. Modern garage doors can be operated with a combination or key fob, helping to protect your valuables. When the garage door breaks down or will not open or close properly, it affects our daily lives. 

A common problem with a garage door is when the sensor moves out of alignment. How can you be sure your garage door sensor is the culprit of a broken door? Signs include a blinking red light, dirty lenses, damaged wires and more. RCS Garage Doors is here to help you understand garage door sensors and how to test their functionality. From there, you can potentially fix the problem yourself or call the professionals to handle the repair.

Garage Door Sensor Signs to Look For

While garage door sensors are convenient, they offer more than just an easy way to open and close your garage door. Garage door sensors are a safety measure that prevents the doors from closing on an unsuspecting person or valuable objects, such as a vehicle, tools or equipment. All modern garage doors must come equipped with a sensor to prevent accidents or injuries. These sensors can change the direction of the door if they detect something in its path, forcing it to open. If a garage door sensor stops working, it can become a significant safety hazard and an inconvenience.

Garage door sensors work by using infrared sensors that are equipped to either side of your door. These sensors are usually no more than six inches from the ground and create an invisible line across the door that detects if something is in the way.

Is My Garage Door Sensor Broken? How Can I Tell?


If you’ve noticed that your sensors aren’t working correctly and are closing on objects, there are a few ways that you can identify the root cause. Once you get to the underlying problem, you can contact a professional to help you fix your garage door sensors. There are three signs you can look for to tell if your garage door sensor is broken:

  • Light indicators: The garage door open indicator lights on the exterior of your garage door are one of the easiest ways to tell if your garage door sensors are misaligned.
    • Sensor Blinking Red: If these lights are blinking red when you try to close your door, you likely have poorly aligned garage door sensors. Green lights would mean your sensors are working properly, so red or no light on the garage door sensor must be checked immediately. You may have a problem with your bracket or need to tighten a screw on the sensors, or it might be a problem with the circuit board that requires professional assistance.
  • Dirty lenses: Sometimes, your garage door sensor lenses can become dirty, which makes it hard for the sensors to detect anything in the way. You can use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe away the spiderwebs and dust from the lenses to see if dirt is the cause of your sensor malfunctioning. If you’re in an area with a lot of dust or your garage gets cluttered or dirty often, you should clean your sensors often.
  • Damaged wires: The wires of your sensor system can develop wear and tear from frequent use, pests and adverse weather conditions. Pest infestations, wind and rain can affect your wires and make it challenging for your garage door to close properly. You’ll want to perform a visual check of these wires for chew marks, water damage or other signs of damage and have a professional replace them to get your sensors working again.

Once you’ve checked these three signs, you’ll want to check your garage door sensors again with another object. You’ll be able to determine if you’ve fixed the problem yourself or if you’ll need to call a garage door expert. Other reasons your garage door sensors might not work include issues with the power supply, objects obstructing the path or too much moisture exposure. 

Schedule An Appointment With The Experts

How Do You Test a Garage Door Sensor? 

Testing your garage door sensor is essential to prevent injuries or property damage. A faulty sensor can prevent the door from stopping and reversing its direction when something is in the way. Once you’ve figured out the problem with your sensor, you can take the next steps to have it fixed.

You can determine if your garage door sensor works by using an ordinary object, such as a box. You’ll want to place your object in line with your sensors and attempt to close your garage door. If your garage door reverses with the obstruction in the way, you can assume that it’s working correctly. If your garage door closes on the object or seems to stutter before reversing, either identify the issue and follow the steps to fix it or contact a professional to help solve the problem. 

Garage Door Safety Sensor Still Not Working? Contact An Expert Today

If you experience persistent problems with your garage door sensors, call the team of experts at RCS Garage Doors for residential and commercial garage door services. We put our clients first to ensure you are 100% satisfied with our services. With over 20 years of experience, we are your local garage door professional in Charlotte, NC. We have extensive training and the latest tools to service your misaligned or damaged garage door sensors.

Contact us today to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment!


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