Perhaps the most significant advantage of automatic garage door openers is that an automatic opener makes it safer for everyone to operate the garage door. Automatic garage door openers also come with advanced safety features, which a large number of homeowners may not be familiar with. This article discusses two of these safety features.

The Photo Eye

Also known as a photoelectric sensor, this safety device is designed to reduce the likelihood of someone/something getting entrapped under the garage door. Photo eyes are installed on either side of a garage door. The sensors in this device use a beam of light to detect the presence of obstacles along the path of the garage door as the door rolls down to a close.

Once installed, homeowners are advised to test the operation of photoelectric sensors so as to guarantee the safety of those who will operate the garage door. Doing this requires the homeowner to stand a comfortable distance away from an open garage door before he or she closes it using the wall push button or a remote control. Before the door closes down completely, the light beam given off by the sensors should be broken using a stick or a similar object. Breaking the light beam should stop the closing garage door and make it reverse back up.

The second test requires the homeowner to have the door open before he or she places an obstruction (e.g. a plank of wood) under the beam of light. The door should then be instructed to close by pushing the wall button. In the ideal situation, the door should not close because the sensors should have detected the presence of an obstacle. In a number of cases, the garage door might start closing momentarily before it halts to an immediate stop.

The Automatic Reversal System

Once it has been determined that the photoelectric sensors are working as they should, homeowners should test the functioning of the automatic reversal system on the garage door.

Automatic reversal systems will spring into action whenever a garage door is exposed to resistance from whichever direction. To test this feature, homeowners need to place the plank of wood used in the above test under an open garage door without breaking the light beam given off by photoelectric sensors. Once placed, the garage door should be closed.

Under normal circumstances, the door's automatic reversal system should be triggered immediately the door encounters the wooden plank, thereby making the garage door reverse back up.

For more information and help with testing or repairing your garage door, talk with professionals that work with garage door motors in your area.