How to Fix Garage Door Safety Sensors

If your garage door goes down a few feet and reverses right back up the safety eye sensors are likely the problem. Often times the garage door opener will click or flash after reversing. If this happens you will need to know how to fix garage door safety sensors. Here are a few things you can do to fix this type of problem.

Override the Eyes

Until you can figure out the cause of the problem, you can override the photo eyes by holding the wall button down. Pressing and holding the button (constant pressure to close) is a temporary solution to your problem. Alternatively, you can pull the red emergency release cord handle to disengage the opener. You will have to manually lower the garage door to the floor.

Block Sunlight

Most people use their garage door going to and from work. This coincides to morning and evening when the sun is at a sharp angle. If sunlight hits your eye sensor it can block the signal. Check your photo eyes, making sure they aren’t getting blinded by direct sunlight. A cardboard cutout such as a toilet paper roll mounted over the affected photo eye can help block the sunlight.

Check Alignment

In order to work properly the safety sensors must be pointed directly at each other. If the sensors are knocked out of adjustment the garage door won’t close. Garbage cans, children and pets are the most common things that knock the sensors out of alignment. Clean all dirt and spider webs off the photo eyes to make sure the lens is clean.

Circuit Board

The circuit board serves as the computer on your garage door opener. If your operator gets a power surge or short circuit the photo eyes will malfunction. If the operator cannot be fixed any other way consider replacing the circuit board. Lightning strike from storms are likely candidates to knock out the circuit board on your garage door opener.


Always check the wiring that connects the photo eyes to the circuit board. If any staples are fastened to deep, the wiring could short causing the eyes to malfunction. Make sure the eyes are getting power. You should see a red light and green light with a steady glow. If the lights are blinking or off completely, the sensors may not be getting power.

Garage Door Guide Cal
Hello, I’m Cal – owner of Garage Door Guide LLC    

I write tutorials about garage door repair, installation and maintenance. With over a decade of experience in the overhead door industry I’ve learned a lot and I’d like to share my knowledge with you.

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