What to Know About Garage Door Sensor Replacements

by | Jun 20, 2023 | Garage Door Installation

Since you purchased a home with a garage, you can’t imagine life without it. You’re in good company, too.

Research shows that 63% of households in the United States have garages or carports.

Unfortunately, sometimes garage door sensors go kaput. If you need a garage door sensor replacement, you might be wondering how to choose the right one. Let’s explore what you need to know about garage door sensor replacements.

What Is a Garage Door Sensor?

A garage door sensor is a device that ensures a garage door doesn’t open or close when it senses that something or somebody is in the way.

A sensor is an excellent safety feature. Some sensors, called photoelectric safety sensors, work by shooting invisible infrared light beams across garage entrances to other sensors. These sensors are typically a few inches off the ground.

If the beam is not interrupted, your garage door will close and open normally. If a bike, your child, or your vehicle interrupts the beam, the door won’t close or open.

Other sensors are called pressure sensors. They work by detecting pressure on garage doors when they are closed.

Both systems can protect you and your family from injuries, especially if your door is made of steel. They can also protect your vehicle from scratches and damage. 

Issues With Garage Door Safety Sensors

If your garage door safety sensor has experienced a major failure, troubleshooting it might help you get it working again. Let’s explore some common garage door safety sensor issues.

Dust and Dirt

Because your garage door safety sensor is located near the ground, it can quickly become dirty. Debris and dust may accumulate on your sensor’s surface, producing a light beam barrier. This means your garage door may not open or close correctly.

You may be able to correct this issue by wiping your sensor with a paper towel or soft cloth and a mild cleaner.

Door Obstructions from Nature

Another common problem with a garage door safety sensor is a door obstruction like a rock or leaf. This type of debris can easily pile up near your sensor.

To prevent this problem, try to keep leaves from entering the garage. In addition, remove any leaves or rocks near your door before activating the door. 

Misalignment Issues

Your sensor system might include a mirror and a sensor or two sensors. Either way, the two components must be aligned to function properly.

Unfortunately, knocking the two components out of alignment is easy. This is especially true if your garage is a workshop or storage area.

Fortunately, if your system has two sensors, you can shift both of them until their power lights are on and are both red or green. You’ll first have to loosen their screws to move them, and then, once they feature the same light color, you may secure them.

Choose Garage Door Sensor Replacements

If you need to replace a malfunctioning garage door sensor, you should look for replacements that meet certain criteria. Let’s examine how to pick the right sensor for your family’s needs.

Sensor Type

As we mentioned earlier, you can choose between pressure sensors and photoelectric sensors. Both have pros and cons.

A photoelectric sensor is more reliable than a pressure sensor. It’s also more like to work properly and not give you a false alarm. However, it may be costlier and demand more maintenance than a pressure sensor.

A pressure sensor is less costly and requires less maintenance. However, it is less reliable. In addition, it may give you a false alarm if pressure isn’t applied evenly.

Sensor Range

Another factor to look for in your replacement garage door sensor is its range. This is how far your sensor can detect a person or object.

This is an important consideration if your garage is large. It’s also important if you usually park your vehicle close to your garage door. Double-check to ensure your new sensor has a sufficient range for you.

Sensor Installation

Yet another important factor to consider when you’re searching for a new garage door sensor is who can install it. Some sensors make professional installation a requirement, while others allow homeowners to install them.

Double-check to make sure your new sensor is one a DIYer can install if this is what you prefer.

Door Opener and Garage Door Compatibility

You should also make sure your new door sensor will work with your door opener and garage door. Some sensors work only with certain door opener models or door brands.

An example of a sensor that works with any door brand is the Digi-Code CR2149 sensor model. Meanwhile, one that works only with certain garage doors (Craftsman, LiftMaster, or Chamberlain) is the Chamberlain G801CB-P.

Check various sensors’ instructions from the manufacturers’ sites or call their customer support teams to see which door openers they work with.

Ability to Adjust the Sensor’s Sensitivity

Some garage door sensors will let you adjust their sensitivity. This may be helpful for pet owners, as a pet could trigger a false alarm. Look for this feature if adjustable sensitivity is important to you.


As we mentioned earlier, a photoelectric sensor is generally costlier than a pressure sensor. If cost is a major factor in your garage door sensor choice, you may want to invest in a pressure sensor. However, investing in a photoelectric sensor might be a wise move if you prefer this type of sensor’s reliability and features. 

How We Can Help with Your Door Sensor

A garage door sensor is a safety device that makes sure your garage door does not close or open if something is in the way. When looking for a garage door sensor replacement, choose one that has an adequate range for your situation. In addition, choose one that is compatible with your door opener and door.

At AG Smart Garage, we take pride in offering top-tier garage door maintenance and repair services. We also offer high-quality garage door openers.

Get in touch with us to learn more about our services, and schedule an appointment today!