Talking About Garage Doors

What to Do If the Photo Eye on Your Garage Door Is Off

On the sides of your garage door, located a few inches from the ground, there should be a photo eye on both sides of your garage door. The photo eye is responsible for detecting movement and stopping the movement of your garage door if something is in its path. All modern garage doors are equipped with this safety technology. 

Signs Something Is Up with the Photo Eye

The biggest sign that something is up with the photo eye on your garage door is that your garage door opens but doesn't close when you push the button. 

Cleanliness of the Photo Eye

The first thing you should do is clean the photo eye. When the photo eyes get dirty, the beam of light that the eyes read to ensure that it is safe for your garage door to close doesn't get through the lens, and this prevents your garage door from closing.

Be careful when cleaning the lens on both photo eyes; they are delicate and made of glass just like the lens on a camera. Spray some window cleaner on a very soft cloth and use that to wipe away the dirt from each photo eye. 

It is a good idea to clean the photo-eye lens every couple of months to prevent this issue from occurring. Even though the photo lens is small, it is located near the ground and can easily get dirty. 


The second thing you want to do is check and make sure that both photo eyes on either side of your garage door are lined up with one another. They are designed to work only when they are both pointing at each other at the same height and angle. If one of the eyes gets bumped and the alignment is compromised, the photo eyes will prevent your garage door from closing because they can't tell whether something is in the way of your garage door.

To fix this issue, use a measuring stick to see whether the eyes are at the same height. If one is taller or lower, adjust it. Then, check to see whether the eyes are lined up at the same angle. If one of the photo eyes were bumped, you may need to tighten up the screws holding the eye in place to get it back in alignment with the other eye.

If that doesn't work, try using a laser level to get each photo eye lined up with one another. The laser level will allow you to see which eye is off and will help guide your adjustments. 

After you fix your alignment, try your remote-control garage-door opener again and see whether your garage door opens and closes properly now. If it doesn't, you may want to call a residential garage-door repair professional to further examine your garage door to figure out why it is not functioning properly.