How to Override Garage Door Safety Sensors

How to Override Your Garage Door Opener’s IR Safety Sensors

If your garage door won’t close, chances are it is a problem with the safety sensors.  If you are in a rush to get your door closed, you may need to perform an override rather than taking the time to troubleshoot and fix.  This procedure will also confirm that you do in fact have a problem with the safety sensors and not some other problem.

Do not do this if there is reason to believe that the problem is with the door itself.  If your door has gone crooked or has an obvious broken part, that needs to be taken care of before you can close the door. 

Never pull the manual release with your door in the open position unless you are 100% sure it does not have a broken spring — it will crash down incredibly hard which is extremely dangerous and can destroy your door.  

That being said, by far the most common cause of Failure to Close (FTC) is an interruption in the signal between the safety sensors, for which there are many possible causes.

Before you start to override your safety sensors, get ready to pay close attention as the door closes. Be prepared  to take your finger off the button right away if your door starts to go crooked or becomes jammed.

  1. Make sure there is nothing underneath the door, leaning against the track, or overhanging shelves where it can come in contact with the top of the door when it is open.
  2. Press and hold the wall control button which will override the safety eyes. Only do this if you are confident that there is nothing wrong with your garage door itself and it is still sitting level the way it normally does.  Hold the button down until your door reaches the ground.
  3. When the door reaches the normal closed position the operator should turn off.
  4. Your door is now closed and secure. If this procedure successfully closed your garage door, you can be sure there is a problem with the safety sensor.  Read through the rest of this guide to find out how to fix it.

Here are links to the most common residential garage door openers and the safety sensors that go with them.  Each has its own quirks so it is best to start by reading about your specific situation.

You can also return to the IR Safety Sensors Overview to find out everything you ever wanted to know about proper installation, wiring, unusual mounting options, etc.

Thanks for reading!