Garage Doors, Lasers, and Safety

Estimated read time: 4 minutes.

Garage doors have come a long ways in terms of the safety measures and the amount of convenience that they provide home owners. Garage doors have everything from radio controls and lasers to keep you safe and pleased with how they are working. One of the problems that comes with all of these technological advances is that often times as consumers we don't know exactly what we are dealing with so if anything at all goes wrong we are immediately out of our depth. The average home owner doesn't know a huge amount about how all of the different technologies at work in their garage door system truly operate. They will most likely understand what is supposed to happen when everything is working correctly but won't be able to pinpoint a problem or troubleshoot a rather small hiccup because the pieces of the puzzle are simply far too complex. One of these "pieces" is the laser beam safety system that goes along with many of the garage doors that are installed today. Often they are a bit finicky and so if you are having problems with yours this article is here to help. You may not be going on to install and fix your whole neighborhood's garage door problems, but you will hopefully have a better idea of what is happening to your garage door. You will then be able to tell a garage door professional what you think might be the problem if need be which means an easier phone call and hopefully will result in you getting a more definitive estimate.

Like I said, the laser beam at the bottom of your garage door is a safety feature, one that has saved numerous bicycles, children's toys, pets, people, and even garage doors from damage or injury. The thinking behind the thing is as long as there is an unbroken beam along the bottom of where the garage door will close that the path to close is free. If for a second this path is broken the garage door will stop and reverse to an open position until the path is clear again. This way the garage door is far less likely to close on something that it isn't supposed to. With that all said this little mechanism can also cause a fair bit of trouble because it is so finicky. This can result in not being able to close your garage door when you might have nothing at all in danger of being hit by the path of the garage door.

If your garage door is broken or not closing and you think it may be the work of this safety measure there are a few questions you should ask yourself. Id your garage door simply not opening at around the same time every day but working other times? Does the laser safety mechanism have a light that shows you when the path is broken that is now never on? And lastly did something hit the bottom of either side of the garage door around the time that problems with your garage door started to arise? If the answer to any of these questions is yes than you may in fact be right. You can call a garage door professional now and have them come out and see if they can fix the problem, or you can investigate further.

If your garage door is not closing at a certain period of the day it is most likely because of the angle of the sun hitting the receiving end of the beam. This could be because of something that is reflecting or focusing the sun's light or simply the natural sunlight confusing the receiver. The best thing to do is to have someone move the safety system to a new place that is better protected from the sunlight so that the mechanism isn't getting confused by the sun anymore.

If you answered yes to either of the other questions then you might simply need to line up the beam again so that the mechanisms on either side of your garage door are mounted correctly. This may take another person to help you but should be a relatively simple process of gently maneuvering the receiver or the projector of the beam so that they are parallel from each other. If you are having trouble you of course then could call a garage door professional to help do the job. If this happens continually you may want to think about moving the mounts for this mechanism to a less vulnerable spot so that you aren't constantly having to deal with an out of sync garage door system.

While these problems may seem like hassles it is important to remember that they serve a purpose. This safety system prevents your garage door from damaging itself or anything else by closing on it. Oftentimes we aren't able to check or don't deliberately think to check the path of our garage door which can mean that we put our possessions and our garage door in harm's way accidentally. While people may feel that these devices cause a hassle what they might not realize is that without them they may have had to pay to repair damages to their car, their bike, their garage door or even their children (those repairs cost tons too). So while it is all fine and good to grumble about spending a few minutes to check out why your garage door won't close in the morning don't forget that a simple fix remedies that, but wouldn't be able to mend a bent bike frame so easily. On top of all of that, just think that 50 years ago if someone had told you that your garage door ran with the help of laser beam guidance you would have laughed in their face, but now it's an everyday reality.

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