Tips & Tricks

Owning and using a garage door and opener can be a wonderful experience. We want to help make sure you continue to enjoy it as long as possible with some helpful information to keep everything running smoothly.

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Routine MaintenanceTroubleshoot Your Photo Eyes

Routine Maintenance

Like any mechanical parts, your garage door does require some basic preventative maintenance to keep running at its best. Here are the recommended maintenance tasks and how often they should be run.

Not feeling very handy? Give us a call and we’ll be happy to schedule a preventative maintenance visit.

Remember: regular maintenance can help prevent costly repairs, extend the life of your door and operator, and is even required by most manufacturers’ warranties!

Note: This is a very general guideline; your door and/or operator came with specific instructions on regular maintenance and should always be your first stop for this information.

Contact Reverse Test
  • Performed monthly
  • With the door open, place a small object (a section of 2×4 laying flat works well) in the center of the door, below the path of the safety sensors.
  • Try to close the door using wither the wall button or remote (tap the button once, don’t hold it down)
  • The door should hit the object and start to reverse in just a few seconds.
    • If not, then door limits or force need to be adjusted – see your operator’s manual for more information
  • Remove the object and run the door open and closed one more time to clear any warning signals from the operator.
Door Balance Test
  • Performed monthly
  • With the door closed, disengage the carriage/trolley from the operator by gently pulling the emergency release handle down (may also need to be pulled toward door or toward center of garage, depending on your particular door and operator).
  • Raise and lower the door manually – it should move smoothly through the whole cycle.
  • Raise the door manually about 3-4 feet and let go.
  • Close the door manually.
  • Re-engage the carriage by pulling the emergency release handle again (may need pulled toward door or center of garage rather than straight down).
  • Run the door through a complete open/close cycle using the remote or wall button to clear any warnings and re-engage the carriage fully.

Photo Eye / Safety Sensor Test
  • Performed monthly
  • Start running the door using the remote or wall button.
  • Pass an object between the safety sensors.
  • Run the door through a complete open/close cycle to clear any warning signals.

Lubricate Hardware
  • Depending on your garage humidity levels, the following parts need lubricated at least 1-2 times per year:
    • Rollers
    • Hinges
    • Bearings
    • Springs
  • When lubricating these parts, also check the tracks for any built up grit or debris and clean them out.
  • Every 2-3 years:
    • Clean existing grease out of opener rail and reapply a thin coat to the top and bottom, where the carriage slides.

Troubleshooting Your Photo Eyes

If the door tries to close, but stops and reverses for no apparent reason, but will close fully if you hold down the button on the wall station, you may have an issue with your photo eyes (also known as safety sensors).

There a few steps you can try for common issues before having to call for service:

  • Make sure both units have a solid light on. Depending on your operator, these lights can be red, amber, or green, or a combination of those. All that matters here is that the light is solid.
    • Note: If you have a newer operator, the lights may shut off between uses to conserve power. Check that both lights are on (solid, not blinking) when you try to run the door.
  • If it’s blinking, that means it senses an obstruction and won’t allow your door to close.
    • Make sure there are no objects blocking the path between the sensors and remove any obstructions.
    • Check to make sure the lenses are clean – use a fine cloth (glasses or phone/tablet screen cleaning cloths work best) to gently wipe the lens.
  • If the light is off, it’s likely one of two issues.
    • Try to move the one with no light so that it faces the other unit directly. The light will come on when they are lined up.
      • Tip for lining them up: Affix (use painters tape or something else easily removed) a piece of scrap paper or cardboard behind one sensor (the one you aren’t moving around) so it sticks out above or to the side. Affix a laser pointer to the other sensor (on the same side you left the paper sticking out on the other sensor) to help provide a line of sight to get them pointing straight at each other.
    • Check if it is connected to its power source. Photo eyes get their power from the operator through a set of small wires. Check the wires for signs of damage.

Still having trouble with the sensors? It might be time for a Service Request.