How to Line Up Garage Door Safety Sensors

How to line up your safety eyes

As I mentioned earlier, the signal being sent by your safety eyes is not super precise.  And whatever surface the safety eye brackets are attached to is probably not perfectly level or plumb.  Thus, there is no real scientific way to line them up.  You pretty much have to eyeball it.  Luckily there is an easy procedure to follow that should have you back up and running in no time.

  1. Make sure there is nothing stuck to the safety eyes and, if you can, address any loose or poorly mounted brackets. If it looks like the bracket has gotten bent somehow, you may be able to just bend it back with your hand.
  2. Confirm that the sending eye has power to it. There will be some sort of an indicator light (orangish yellow for Chamberlain/LiftMaster/Craftsman, green for Genie/Overhead door and Linear) that should be pretty obvious.  If that light isn’t on, then the alignment is not the issue and you will need to take a look at the wiring.
  3. Aim the sending eye straight across so that the beam, if you could see it, would be travelling parallel to the garage door and the floor. There are tips on aiming specific types of safety eyes in my more in depth posts about specific brands including LiftMaster, Chamberlain, Craftsman, Genie, Overhead Door and Linear.
  4. Now that the sending eye is on and properly aimed, go to the receiving eye.  Aim it straight across at the sender. There will be an indicator light that will turn on SOLID when there is a connection. It will not change colors. LiftMaster/Chamberlain/Craftsman uses a green light on the receiving eye, while most Genie, Linear, and OverHead Door models have a red light.
  5. If you are working on a LiftMaster/Chamberlain/Craftsman, tighten the wingnut to lock in place.

You should now be able to close your garage door as normal. 

Flex Test the Connection

You can test the quality of the alignment of your safety eyes using the “flex test”: gently wiggle each eye as the door is closing.  If a tiny bit of movement causes the door to reverse you may want to try to aim a little better.

If you have a poor connection that is easily broken when one of the eyes move just a tiny bit, you are much more likely to get unexpected, seemingly random Failure to Close (FTC).  Things like spider webs, dust, and direct sunlight interrupt the connection much more easily when alignment is marginal.

But what if you are sure your safety sensors are lined up well, and they both light up solid, but your door still won’t close?  Well, there are a few other things to look at that could be affecting your garage door and opener system…