You’re in a hurry and pull out of your garage.  As you push the button to close your garage door it stops half way down and goes right back up.  You hit the button again and get the same result.  In order to get the thing shut you have to get out hold the garage door button down and leave out of your front door.

Home made garage door sensor sheildSound familiar?  This has been happening for years in our home.  At first I thought it was a malfunction in the garage but it only occurred sometimes and not every time.  I knew it had something to do with the garage light sensor, the device needed in every garage door to protect it from crushing a child or small animal.    The more it occurred I noticed that it would only occur in the afternoons.  It was summer time and I thought that perhaps it was the heat waves rising up from the concrete and interrupting the light signal.  However, when the weather started to cool I noticed  it would also occur but always in the afternoon and when the sun was casting is light on the sensor.

It became clear that the sunlight was blinding the sensor or inundating it with enough light to the degree that it would trigger the garage door to not close.  I wasn’t sure how these sensors worked, if perhaps I could swap the sensor to the other end of the garage where it was shaded, but then I stumbled upon a product online that shielded the light.  It was very basic, just a tube that went around the lens of the sensor.  Then someone online was able to use a toilet paper role to do the same thing.

After seeing the solution I sprung to my feet to find an empty toilet paper role.  I attached it to the sensor to make sure it would fit and stay on.  Then came the test.  Opening the garage door then hitting the button to close it, the garage door descended down with no interruption.  Finally a solution to this problem that has annoyed us for years.

Santa Clara Real Estate Guy
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