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Why is my garage door not closing?

Why is my garage door not closing?

Posted by Dave Willmes on 5th May 2020

If your garage door is no longer closing properly, there may be an issue with the safety sensors on your garage door opener. All automatic garage door openers manufactured after 1992 are required to include a safety sensor system. These small sensors (also known as photocells) are located near the ground on both sides of your garage door frame. The purpose of the safety sensors is to prevent the garage door from coming down on someone or something, potentially causing serious damage or injury.

Although safety sensors perform an extremely important function, they can also be the reason why a garage door will mysteriously not close. If something is interfering with the sensors such as a cob web or a broomstick, the garage door opener will reverse and not close the door. In addition, if the safety sensors are damaged or malfunctioning, the garage door opener will not close the door. Therefore, ensuring that your safety sensors are clear and operating correctly is the first step to troubleshooting why a garage door will not close.

There are some common factors that could be responsible for your garage door closing partially or not at all.

  • Check to make sure nothing is blocking the door. Though this problem should be obvious, it shouldn’t be overlooked. Check your garage floor and the area surrounding for any objects or debris that might be causing the problem. You should also check the tracks, and the garage door itself, for anything prohibiting movement.
  • Make sure your safety sensors are working. The most common reason why a garage door opener will not close properly is typically related to the safety sensors. These sensors are required to be positioned no more than 6 inches above the ground on each side of the garage door. They are parallel, facing each other, sending a signal across the length of the doorway to determine whether there is anything in the way of the closing garage door. One or both of these sensors could not be receiving power, or not emitting a signal properly. Either of these problems will stop your door from closing. If your sensors are failing, you can purchase a new set of sensors online at

  • Check to make sure your sensors are aligned. The photo eyes on your sensors could be working properly but are misaligned. This will happen if a sensor is struck and moved out of place. If the sensors are out of alignment, your garage door will start to close and then reverse.
  • Check the LED indicator lights. Safety sensors are equipped with LED lights that will indicate a potential problem. Refer to the Safe T Beam Self Diagnostic Chart listed below for more information.
    • If the LED lights are on and solid, the sensors are aligned and the garage door opener should work properly and close the door.
    • If an LED light is blinking, the photocells are out of alignment. Try to align the safety sensors by gently bending the mounting brackets back in place so that they are pointed directly at each other.
    • If an LED light is off, the sensor is not receiving power. Check the wiring on the sensors and on the garage door opener motor to make sure they are still attached and making solid contact with the terminals.

  • Check for interference. In some cases, direct sunlight can create interference with the safety sensors. In other cases, multiple garage door openers in the same garage can cause the safety sensors to “cross talk”. If either of these situations exists, you can change the position of the safety sensors to eliminate this problem. Refer to the Locating Safe T Beam Pairs chart listed below for more information.

Garage door opener safety sensors are essential for the safe operation of a garage door. Proper maintenance and installation of these sensors is required to avoid potential problems of the garage door not closing. If you’re still having issues with the garage door not closing after referring to the information in this article, the safety sensors may be damaged or malfunctioning. It may be necessary to replace the safety sensors. You can order replacement safety sensors online at