How to Align Garage Door Sensors A Proven Step-by-Step Guide


Having issues with your garage door not closing properly? The culprit may be misaligned sensors. Fortunately, realigning garage door sensors is a straightforward DIY project that can get your door working again in no time.In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about realigning sensors, from an overview of how they work to a step-by-step tutorial.

Having issues getting your garage door to close properly lately? The problem likely lies with your safety sensors. These sensors work together to detect objects blocking the door’s path, signaling it to stop and reverse direction if anything interrupts the infrared beam between them. However, if the sensors become misaligned, the beam can be disrupted and prevent normal operation. Fortunately, realigning garage door sensors is a pretty straightforward DIY fix. With some simple tools and the steps in this guide, you’ll have them working again in no time.

Key Takeaways

  • Garage door sensors prevent doors from closing if there’s an obstruction. If misaligned, doors won’t close properly.
  • Realigning sensors involves loosening mounting screws, sliding the sensors, using a level, and tightening everything back into place.
  • Safety first – disconnect power and use insulated gloves before getting started.
  • After realigning, test sensors before reconnecting power.

Let’s get into the details!

What Are Garage Door Sensors and How Do They Work?

Garage door sensors are a vital safety component. There is one sensor on each side of the garage door track. One sensor emits an infrared beam, while the other receives it.

How Do Garage Door Sensors Operate?

When the beam between the two sensors is unbroken, the garage door can close automatically. But if something blocks the sensors and breaks the beam, the door will stop closing and reverse to open again. This prevents accidents.

If the sensors become misaligned, the beam between them is interrupted and the door won’t properly close.

Signs Your Sensors Need Realignment

There are a few key indicators that your garage door sensors need realignment:

  • Door opens but won’t close
  • Sensors lack indicator lights
  • Door reverses immediately when trying to close
  • Flashing light on motor

If you notice these issues, a sensor alignment adjustment should help resolve them.

Signs Your Sensors Need Realignment

Step-by-Step: How to Align Garage Door Sensors

Realigning your sensors is straightforward. Here is a step-by-step walkthrough:

Safety First

Before getting started, switch off power to the garage door opener to avoid electric shocks. Trip the fuse at the breaker box or unplug the motor. It’s also wise to don insulated rubber gloves rated for AC voltage as an extra precaution.

Loosen Sensor Screws

The sensors mount to your garage walls or ceiling with screws. Loosen these screws enough that you can slide the mounting brackets up and down.

Slide Sensors Down

Gently slide both sensors as far down in their mounting brackets as possible by hand. Do not use tools which could damage the sensors.

Tie String Between Sensors for Alignment

Now comes the alignment process. Take a length of string and tie one end to the mounting bracket of one sensor. Stretch the string across to the other sensor and wrap it around the bracket.

The goal here is to use the string as a guide to align both sensors.

Use Level to Align String

Place a level tool right underneath the string. Adjust the height of each sensor by sliding the brackets up or down until the string is perfectly level.

Tighten Screws

With the sensors now aligned based on the level string, tighten down the mounting bracket screws on both sensors. This secures them into proper alignment.

Final Safety Checks

Verify alignment with the level tool. Remove the string and restore power. Test operation by blocking the sensors to ensure the door reverses when obstructed.

How to Test Garage Door Sensors

To test realigned sensors:

  1. Open garage door
  2. Place wood block between sensors
  3. Attempt to close door

If door stops and reverses, your safety sensors are working properly!

And that’s it! By following this process you can realign your sensors in under an hour, without any special tools.


Keeping your garage door sensors properly aligned is crucial for safety and correct operation. But fixing misalignments is a quick and straightforward DIY job.

By following this guide you now have the key steps for realigning sensors in under an hour with common household tools. If issues persist after checking sensor alignment, then professional garage door service in PhoenixScottsdale, or Gilbert may be needed. Stay safe! 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you align garage door sensors easily?

The easiest way is to use a taught string between sensors as an alignment guide before securing them in place with screws. This allows you to quickly adjust them to be perfectly parallel.

Should both garage door sensors be the same color?

The emitter and receiver sensors can be different colors. Typically one is orange and one gray, but color does not affect functionality.

Why is one of my garage door sensors orange?

An orange sensor is usually the emitter, meaning it sends out the safety beam. The gray sensor is usually the receiver. But again – color does not impact operation.

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