How to Align Garage Door Sensors: 2 Ways

Misaligned garage door sensors are a common problem that can be easily fixed on your own.

Before you call an expensive repairman, use the steps below to fix your problem.

How to Know If Your Garage Door Sensors are Misaligned

The biggest sign your garage door sensors aren’t aligned is that your garage door won’t close properly. You

When your safety sensors are misaligned, you’ll see one or both of the sensor lights off, dim or flickering. Depending on the make and model, they might also be red indicating they aren’t aligned. A solid green light means that the infrared beam is making a connection.

If you can’t fix realign them by adjusting, you’re going to need to follow the steps below.

How to Align Your Garage Door Sensors

Before you do any adjustments, make sure that you aren’t standing directly underneath the garage door. Take extra precautions when working on your garage door.

Step 1: Clean Any Debris/Dust

The first step you’ll want to do is clean away any debris that is obstructing the path. Any toy, tool, or object in the will prevent the safety sensors from operating correctly.

Inspect the wires of each of your garage door sensors. If you notice any frayed or broken wiring, then you’ve found your issue. Turn off the electricity before touching the sensors.

Dust off the lens cap to ensure the safety sensor can create a connection with the other safety sensor. If your sensor’s LED light is solid after cleaning, you won’t need to do the rest of the steps.

Step 2: Loosen the Wing Nut and Adjust the Safety Sensors

Loosen the wing nut that’s holding the safety sensor in place. Move the sensor around until the light isn’t flickering any longer.

Step 3: Tighten the Wing Nut and Repeat 

Once you’ve made a connection with the receiver safety sensor, you can tighten the wing nut.

If you’re having difficulty getting the sensors aligned, you can utilize the string method below.

What to Do If You Can’t Align Your Sensors

You can try switching the safety sensors around and that could fix the problem outright. If that doesn’t work, you can try the steps below.

The string method is a last resort method to realign your sensors. If this doesn’t work, it’s best to call a certified garage door repair technician to get a proper look at the issue.

Step 1: Loosen the Screws Holding the Sensors

Loosen the screws that hold your sensors in place. You don’t want to fully unscrew them, but enough to where you can make adjustments. Depending on the model, you may be able to move them up and down.

Slide the sensor as low to the ground as you possibly can without unscrewing the mounting bracket completely.

Step 2: Tie a piece of String to One Sensor

Tie one piece of string to one sensor so that the center of the string runs across the photo-eye lens. You’re doing this so you can visually see the connection beam and realign your sensors.

Step 3: Tie the String to the Other Sensor

Tie the string to the opposite sensor so that the string is visualizing the infrared beam. Make sure the string is level by putting a level along the bottom.

If the string isn’t level, adjust each sensor until they’re level with each other.

Step 4: Remove String and Tighten the Screws

Once you’ve confirmed that the sensors are level and making a connection, you can tighten the screws.

Step 5: Test the Sensors

If the lights are now solid, then you can test to see if your garage door is working properly again.

If nothing has worked so far, then you’re going to need to replace your garage door sensors. You can bypass your garage door sensors in the meantime so you can close your garage door.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve tried everything and can’t get your garage door sensors aligned, click the button below to get a free quote from our vetted garage door technicians.

About Roy Cohen

I'm Roy, founder of Hack My Garage. I started out like most not knowing how to hammer a nail, but now I know more than most people about home improvement and DIY. I want to spread my wealth of knowledge with the world and hope to make it a better place.