The main job of garage door sensors is to stop the door from closing if they see that an object is right under it, meaning that the door would hit the object if it closed all the way. But sometimes they won’t close even when there’s nothing under the door.
And when you look at the sensors, one of them has a yellow light, which makes you wonder what that yellow light means. Is that sensor not working properly? Or maybe it’s the other one and this one is just telling you there was a mistake?
We will think a lot of rational and irrational things when we don’t know. But don’t worry, we have you covered. We’ll explain why the yellow light is on and why your garage door won’t close. We’ll also tell you what to do, so keep reading!
How Do Sensors For Garage Doors Work?
We explained why the garage door won’t close when something is under it. You might already have known that. But do you know how the sensors on your garage door work?
All garage doors have two sensors, one on each side of the door. When one of these sensors, called the sending sensor, sends an infrared beam to the other, called the receiving sensor, they are said to be “talking.”
If this beam isn’t broken, it means that there is nothing or no one between the sensors, or under the door, and the door can be closed safely.
But the door won’t close if the beam doesn’t reach the other side. When this happens, the sending sensor’s yellow LED light will start to blink. To get one, the solid green light is used.
How to Fix the Garage Door Sensor Lights Yellow?
If your garage door sensor shows a yellow light, it means that your safety reverse sensors are not in the right place. Until they are fixed, your garage door won’t close. Start by cleaning the lenses on both sensors. Then, adjust each sensor so that it is perfectly aligned with the other.
Most of the time, your garage door sensors are a few inches off the ground, one on each side of the door.
A system called a “photo-eye” is used by these sensors. Simply put, they send an invisible infrared beam from one side of your garage door to the other.
When you close your garage door by pressing the remote, a signal is sent to these sensors. Their main job is to make sure that your garage door doesn’t close on something or someone.
Your garage door won’t open unless the invisible infrared beam that runs across it doesn’t break. But sometimes these sensors don’t work right.
The yellow sensor light and a garage door that doesn’t close or tries to close but quickly opens back up are the most obvious signs of a broken sensor. After that, a flashing light from your control box is on the ceiling.
If garage door sensors had a slogan, it would probably be “Hiding in plain sight.” Every day, we walk by them, but we rarely, or better yet, never notice them. Because we don’t pay attention to them, we forget that they exist, which means we don’t take care of them.
If sensor eyes aren’t taken care of properly, dust and dirt will start to build up on them, making it impossible for them to send or receive signals. The result of all of this is that you can’t shut the garage door.
The sensors are not only well “hidden,” but they are also just a few inches off the ground, which makes it easy for something like this to happen. Even if you don’t use the garage door that often, wind and sun will have an effect.
As you might have guessed, this is an easy problem to solve. All you have to do is use a damp cloth or napkin to clean the sensor eyes. If this really was the problem, your door should start working normally again.
Most likely, the yellow LED light and the fact that your garage door won’t close are caused by sensors that aren’t lined up right.
Both sensors need to be pointed at each other in the same exact direction and angle.
You can loosen the bracket that holds the sensor in place with a screwdriver. Once it’s free, you can put it exactly where you want.
When the sensor is in the right place, tighten the bracket and lock the sensor in place.
If you don’t have a screwdriver on hand, you might be able to make a small change to the sensor by pushing on it.
On some models, each sensor is just held in place by a wing-nut. Then you can just loosen and tighten this nut with your hands.
Once you think both sensors are lined up perfectly with each other, try closing the garage door.
Wires That Are Broken, Worn Out, or Disconnected
If none of our tips have helped you so far, you should check the wiring connections.
Depending on how the technician put the sensors and wires together, they may have overtightened a wire, which could cause it to break or come loose over time. Another way it could come apart is if you don’t tighten the wire enough.
Of course, it’s possible that the technician is not at all to blame. Another possibility is that the wire is just getting old. No one thinks it will work forever, after all.
If your garage door sensors aren’t working because of a bad wire or wires, you should try to figure out what went wrong before you replace them. This will keep you from making the same mistake again.
If it’s just normal wear and tear, it shouldn’t be a big deal because it doesn’t happen often and, to be honest, there’s nothing you can do about it.
If you think that the wire broke because something sharp or heavy was leaning against it and cutting it, you should be careful about what you put near the sides of the garage door. Lastly, if wires were too tight or too loose, make sure everything is done right the next time.
Get Things Out Of The Way.
Another thing that could be wrong with your garage door sensor is that something is blocking it.
As was said, the garage door will act up if anything gets in the way of the infrared beam that runs between the two sensors.
Sometimes this is easy to see, like when a ball or a bike is in the way.
Sometimes it’s less clear. It could be a bookshelf or a toolbox that is put next to the sensor and looks like it isn’t in the way but is.
If you are still having problems with your sensors, I would move anything and everything that is close to each sensor.
Just move anything that’s within a foot of each sensor and try again to close your garage door. Check to see if that helps.
Change Out Your Old Sensors
If you still see the yellow light on your garage door sensor after cleaning the lenses, realigning them, reconnecting or replacing the sensor wiring, moving things out of the way, and contacting support, it’s time to buy new sensors.
There are a lot of things that could have caused your old sensors to stop working, like time, overuse, bad weather, etc. No matter what the reason, you need to get new sensors.
Start by going online or to a home improvement store near you to buy a new pair. Make sure the new sensors will work with the garage door opener you have.
Once you have your new sensors that work with your garage door, you’ll need to put them in. Follow these steps to set up your new sensors.
Install The Door Track:
- Install the door track by sliding the sensor bracket’s curved arms around the edge of the door track. Snap into place so that the bracket for the sensor is flush with the track.
- Slide the carriage bolt into each sensor’s slot.
- Put the bolt through the hole in the sensor bracket, and then use the wing nut to hold it in place. Both sensors’ lenses should be aimed at each other. Make sure that the sensor bracket does not get in the way of the lens.
Setup without Wiring Ahead Of Time:
- Run the wire to the garage door opener from both sensors. Use the staples to fasten the wire to the wall and ceiling.
- Remove 11 mm of insulation from each set of wires, or 7/16 inches. Split the wires apart. Twist together the white wires. Turn the black and white wires together.
- Put the white wires on the garage door opener into the white terminal. Put the white and black wires into the garage door openers’ grey terminal. To add or remove wires from the terminal, use the tip of a screwdriver to push in the tab.
Setup That Is Already Wired:
- Cut the end of the wire that goes to the safety reverse sensor. Make sure there is enough wire to get from the wall to the wires that are already there.
- Separate the safety reversing sensor wires and remove 11mm of insulation from each end. Choose two of the wires that are already in place and remove 11mm of insulation from each end of those two wires. Make sure that all of the sensors have wires that are the same color.
- Use wire nuts to connect the pre-installed wires to the sensor wires, making sure that the colors for each sensor match up. For instance, the white wire would connect to the yellow wire, and the white/black wire would connect to the purple wire.
- Remove 11mm of insulation from each end of the wires you chose for the safety reversing sensors. Do this with the garage door opener. Twist the wires of the same color together.
- Put the white safety sensor wires into the white terminal on the garage door opener. Plug the safety sensor wires, which are white and black, into the grey terminal on the garage door opener.
This will depend on the brand of garage door opener you have, but if you’ve tried everything and your door is still broken, I would call a professional.
The number to call for help with your opener is almost always written on the control box that hangs from the ceiling. You may have to open it to see the number.
You can also type the brand name of your opener followed by “support” into Google to find the number.
A yellow-blinking garage door sensor is a problem that can be caused by a number of things. Most of the time, sensors aren’t lined up right. The other two are easy to fix: sensors that are dirty or sensors that can’t see each other because something is in the way.
Most of the time, this problem is caused by more serious problems, such as broken wires or old sensors.
But sometimes none of these things are to blame, and you have to call an expert to find out what’s wrong.
You might want to see this:
- How to Recover a Lost Garage Door Opener | Quick How-To Guide
- What to Do when Garage Door Won’t Close and Light Blinks
- How to Change Garage Door Code without Old Code
- Top Smart Garage Door Openers