We have a garage door not closing in Sparta, NJ with a photo-eye problem. When I arrived our customer was describing your typical photo-eye issue. The door would open without any issues but the garage door was not closing and they were getting a clicking noise from the motorhead. That clicking sound almost always means there is an issue with the photo eyes. I inspected the eyes and noticed that they were not lighting up. (Here is a quick video on how to align your photo-eye.) I quickly noticed some issues with the wiring right away, and after cleaning it up I still did not have a light on the photo eyes. Next, I tried wiring in a new photo-eye. I still had no light after that I followed the wiring back to the motorhead and noticed at the terminal into the Motorhead the wires had corroded and broke at one of the terminals. After cleaning up the wires going into the terminals we had lights on the photo eyes again and the machine began working properly.
Photo-eye issues can sometimes be a little tricky, usually, it’s just as simple as adjusting the photo eyes and making sure they are properly aligned but sometimes like in this case it requires some more digging to diagnose exactly what the problem is.
Many times problems with your photo eyes can be solved relatively easily by adjusting the eyes and making sure they are facing each other 100%. Remember to avoid keeping things in the garage right next to the eyes. They are susceptible to being kicked or bumped because of where we legally have to place them during the installation.
• Be aware of garbage cans placed too close to the eyes
• Watch out for kid’s toys like bikes and scooters
• I have removed countless broom-blocking photo eyes that are placed in front of the sensors after cleaning the garage
• Check for cobwebs leaves and debris collecting on the eyes and hanging from the door.
Problem With Garage Door Closing in Sparta, NJ
If you’ve ever experienced a garage door that opens without a hitch but refuses to close, accompanied by an ominous clicking noise from the motorhead, you’re not alone. This common issue, which we recently encountered in Sparta, NJ, often points to one culprit: malfunctioning photo eyes. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the diagnostic process and offer some valuable tips to prevent future mishaps.
Photo-Eye Issues: Not Always a Simple Fix
When we arrived at the customer’s location, they were narrating the familiar tale of a garage door that wouldn’t close, despite functioning flawlessly when opening. The persistent clicking sound emanating from the motorhead left no room for doubt – this was a photo-eye problem. Photo eyes are sensors placed on either side of the garage door, ensuring safe closure by detecting obstructions in their path.
The first step in resolving this issue was to inspect the photo eyes. The technician immediately knew that wasn’t a light bulb they were turning on and off — the system was faulty. Here’s a quick video to give you some background just to help you understand what goes into this. In the example above, however, lining up the photocells did not fix the problem. It is here that more technical know-how and troubleshooting skills are applied by the tech noting these problems with the wiring.
Closer inspection revealed that some of the photo eyes were not working due to wiring problems. Despite carefully cleaning the wires the sensors were showing signs of light. Our tech had no choice but to wire in a new photo-eye.
After changing to these, the picture eyes were still not working. This raised a suspicion that there was something more with what we were doing. The tech ran the wire out to the motorhead and found something very important — the wires were corroded and frayed right where one of the connections was.
The Corrosion Culprit
Many forget the silent killer of garage door hardware — corrosion — which could leave your photo eyes broken and your operation generally compromised. In these instances, the rusted cables were causing the photo eyes to not have any power and couldn’t send the signal to communicate with the motorhead.
This fixed the rust problem, along with cleaning the contacts for the wires on the inside of the terminals, and suddenly the photo eyes were alive again! As a result, the garage door machine started to work correctly and tranquilized our client from Sparta who also had comfort back.
Often an issue with photo-eye is all that’s required to fix is an easy alignment of the sensor/lens, (as you can see from our video tutorial), however, when this doesn’t solve the problem, further inspection may be needed. It illustrates the fact that garage door problems can sometimes be complex and they need to be handled professionally with the patience involved.
To minimize the likelihood of future photo-eye problems, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:
- Maintain Clear Surroundings:
Don’t forget about garbage cans located right near the photo eyes, this blocks the vision.
- Watch Out for Obstacles:
Check with kids’ toys such as bikes and scooters because their photo eyes can easily be blocked due to this.
- Clear the Path:
Move away from anything from in front of the photo eye sensors; brooms, tools, etc. They may cause bogus obstacle detections.
- Regular Maintenance:
Check regularly for spider webs caked on the photo eyes and bits of leaves and debris caught around the bottom edge of the garage door. If necessary, inspect and clean them before use.
And by adhering to these easy principles and keeping an eye on things you could nearly eliminate the possibility of dealing with annoying garage door photo-eye problems.