Garage Door Safety Sensor Facts You May Not Know
The first modern-day garage door sensor was invented in 1985, and they have significantly evolved since then to become a must in garage doors. Garage door safety sensors have come a long way in recent years. Sensors today are more powerful than they were in the past, and they have become more efficient, affordable, and easier to install than ever. The following facts about garage door safety sensors will help you understand why they are so important.
What are garage door safety sensors?
The garage door safety sensors (also called electric eyes and photo eyes) are made up of two units that are mounted on the garage door’s two sides. The two devices are linked together by an infrared (IR) beam that is unnoticeable to the naked eye. The garage door opener will close the door as long as the IR beam is intact and the two sensors are connected. The infrared beam can be disrupted by anything solid, such as a child, a pet, a car tire, or a ball. The garage door will stop closing and reverse to its open position the moment the infrared beam is obstructed.
The U.S. Federal Law requires all garage doors to include safety sensors
To decrease the number of children who die from being entrapped by garage doors that have automatic openers, garage door sensors are legally required safety systems for garage doors in the United States. Garage door installation of doors manufactured after January 1, 1993, must comply with the United States Federal Law UL 325, which mandates the inclusion of safety systems such as garage door sensors. Sensors remain the most popular safety tool, although there are many other safety mechanisms available in the market.
Garage door sensors must be installed at a proper height
The garage door sensors should be installed on both sides of the garage door, one on each side. The infrared beam is sent by one unit and received by the other. The receiving unit “sees” the sending unit when the two units are properly aligned and there is no blocking. The distance between the garage door sensors and the garage floor is critical. The sensors are usually placed 6 inches above the ground. If the sensors are set higher, they may not be able to detect a small pet or a tool beneath the beam. Conversely, an adult could straddle the infrared beam without breaking it if the sensors are fixed at a lower height.
Sunlight can compromise garage door sensors
As mentioned above, garage door sensors use infrared waves, similar to the infrared rays emitted by the sun. The sun’s infrared rays are far more powerful than the infrared beam released by the garage door sensors’ transmitting unit. If sunlight shines directly on the receiving sensor, the sensor may mistake it for the transmitted beam and stop working. You can shield the receiving sensor’s lens from the sun with a safety sensor sun blocker kit.
Garage door sensors are not universal
Some sensors are advertised as universal, claiming they will work with garage door openers of different brands. A useful rule of thumb is to purchase sensors with the same brand as your opener. Most often, only garage door openers from the same brand can communicate with safety sensors. In addition, a few garage door opener manufacturers produce special safety sensors with capabilities that are only compatible with their products.
If you require garage door safety sensor replacement, you have come to the right place! Titan Garage Doors NE is your local garage door expert in Omaha, Nebraska and we offer a full range of residential garage door repair services, including garage door safety sensor repair. Browse our website or call us at (402) 513-0255 so we can assist you with your garage door needs.