Troubleshooting Reversing Sensors For Your Garage Door Opener

Your garage door reversing sensors protect people and property from being struck by a closing door. If an obstruction blocks the sensors’ pathway, the door automatically lifts back up. Hundreds of lives have been saved over the years with this technology. However, these sensors can malfunction over time. Troubleshooting your own system helps you save money on repair costs while giving you a better understanding of the electronics and mechanisms in use.


Start Simple

Your sensors, or light-emitting diodes, use simple alignment to create a pathway across your garage door. If one of the LED sensors does not point at the other one, the door senses this as an obstruction, effectively forcing the door open perpetually. Align the sensors to fix your reversing problem, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


A family member may have placed an obstruction at the garage door accidentally, such as a small box in the corner, or even a bicycle tire. Walk around the garage to pinpoint any obvious obstructions. Even a slight change to the LED’s pathway causes sensor activation.

Wiring Wear And Connection Points

If you have no obstructions, and the alignment is good, inspect your sensors’ wiring. Any wires that are worn or pinched may cause a malfunction. Wires may even be disconnecting from the connectors. Reattach any wires that are loose at both the sensor end and opener side. Wires that are obviously damaged need to be replaced.

A Short In The Wiring

Wires can have damage that is not obvious to the eye. Test the sensors’ operation without the main wiring. Cut the sensors from the wires, allowing about 12-inches of wiring left on each sensor. Match and twist the sensors’ white wires together, while repeating this matching process with the gray wires. Your sensors should be effectively connected at this point.

At the opener, remove the white and gray wires from their connection points. Attach your twisted sensor wires to each corresponding color on the opener. If the opener works normally when you point the sensors at each other, your main wiring has a short. Replace the main wiring, and reattach your sensors to the door, to have an operational opener again.

Your garage door reversing sensors give you peace of mind when using this heavy doorway. Keep the sensors and wiring in good shape by avoiding any damage. No staples or pinched wires should be apparent on your system. A quality installation keeps your sensors working for many years.