When Your Garage Door Won’t Close

Electric Eye

You slide into the driver’s seat, start your car and back out of your garage. As soon as you clear the door, you involuntarily hit the button on your wireless remote as you do every day. Your garage door is inches from its landing point on the pavement when it pauses and goes back up as if it has changed its mind. You hit the button again and the same thing happens. You hit it again for good measure with hope in your heart that the third time will be the charm, fingers crossed. No luck. There you are with places to go and your garage sitting as wide open as the mouth of your yawning Golden Retriever. Don’t panic. Don’t cry. Don’t call Jim’s Garage Door Service, not just yet, anyway, although we’re always up for a little chat.

Instead, exit your car and mosey back into your garage like the confident door wrangler you’re about to be. Find the track for your garage door and look down at the bottom near the opening of your garage. There you should see a little black box with a tiny green or amber-colored light. If that light is off, flickering or flashing, that’s your ticket. It’s about to be a shootout with you and the electric safety eyes.

These little buggers are fantastic at making sure nothing gets hit by your descending garage door. However, given obstruction, the angle of the sun or a little dust, they can keep your door from closing and you from making it to work on time. Luckily, here’s a couple quick things you can do to put those eyes back in their rightful place. 

Fixing the Electric Eyes

  1. Check to make sure there is nothing blocking them. The two eyes on either side of your door need to align with each other. Like figure skaters in a choreographed dance, they need to be in sync. They talk to each other with a beam of light and if something blocks that beam, they won’t close. Look for stray cardboard boxes or little league bats, anything in the way. Move the item and voila, back on the road for you.
  2. If the path between the eyes is clear, go ahead and give the little lights a wipe with a damp rag. Dust, dirt or grime can cloud the eyes and intercept the love message they’re trying to send to each other. Make sure to give both eyes a good wipe, don’t be shy.
  3. If your stubborn door is still not closing, the eyes may need to be realigned. Check to see if both lights of the eyes are on. One should be green and the other should be amber-colored. If a light is off or blinking, then gently move the eye back to a place where the lights are on and steady. This may require unscrewing the wingnut, adjusting the eye, and retightening it. Good job, you are now an official garage door maven.
  4. If the eyes are clean, look up to the sky and see if the angle of the sun happens to be shining its glory right into one of the eyes. If so, grab your remote from your car, stand outside your door and position your body so your shadow falls over the eye. Hit the button and stand there until the door has closed completely.
  5. Lastly, the wires of the eyes may have been compromised. You may have snagged it while practicing your nunchucks or rehanging your rake. A animal could’ve chewed it. Find the wires that connect to the eyes and make sure they’re intact all the way up to the opener. If you find they’re not, this is when you call us and we swoop in and get your door back up and running properly.

Of course, if none of these seem to be the problem and your door still won’t close, give us a call. We will always come help you. Check back here for more quick tips and interesting garage door info!

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