Archive for FAQ

Photo Eyes | Sensors | ISB’s

What are Photo Eyes, Sensors, or ISB’s?

These are all terms used with a Garage Door Opener.  Every Residential Garage Door Opener should have a set of photo eyes, sensors or Infrared Safety Beams (ISB’s).  If you don’t your garage door opener was manufactured prior to 1993 when it was put into law. All residential garage door openers will have infrared safety beams on every new garage door opener installed. It does not matter who the manufacturer is. Periodically you may have heard the stories on the news about a person being killed by a garage door opener or children getting stuck underneath the garage door because it didn’t go back up.  These are all real stories that happen to everyday people like you and I.

Garage door photo eyes sensors ISBs

They are small rectangular or box shaped sensors located at the bottom of your garage door either located on your track or attached to the wall.  By law, they are required to be no higher than 6” from the ground to follow UL325 code.

What is the purpose of the photo eye’s, sensors or ISB’s?

One word, “Safety”.   The ISB’s are there to prevent the garage door from coming down on someone or something and damaging whatever may be in its path.

There are several different manufacturers of garage door openers. Listed below are a few of the manufacturers and the kind of photo eyes, senors or ISB’s they have with that particular name brand.

LiftMaster/ Chamberlain/ Sears Craftsman

The old version of photo eyes was green on both sides.  The newer version has green on one side and yellow/amber on the other side.  If the ISB’s are out of alignment the light on the motor will flash 10 times.


The lights on Genie/Legacy ISB are green and red.  If the ISB’s are out of alignment, the red light will be flashing.


The lights on a Linear ISB’s on one side it has one green light and on the opposite side it has two lights one green and one red.


If the ISB’s on a Marantec are out of alignment the opener will/flash and beep until a new cycle has been complete


 The ISB’s are a yellow box with red lights that flashe when the sensors are out of alignment.

Sometimes the lights are flickering and all you have to do is adjust the ISB slightly until you see a solid light.

Five tips to check if the garage door is not closing

  1. Make sure no grass, leaves, spider webs or debris is lying on the ground, bottom panel or on the ISB’s.
  2. If your ISB’s are attached to the wall, make sure they are tight to the wall
  3. If your ISB’s are attached to the track, make sure the track is tight to the wall. The vibration can move them out of alignment.
  4. Don’t put anything in the alignment of the beam.
  5. Never spray your garage out with water, you may hit the ISB’s and short them out.

If all else fails, try cleaning the lens off with a paper towel or soft cloth as a speck of dirt or water spot can also make the door go back up. The lenses are just like glasses that get dirty, they need to be wiped off especially after it rains as dirt will attach to the lens.

If your door still isn’t going down….Call a A1 Affordable Garage Door Services 972-877-5774. Schedule an on-time appointment with one of our garage door specialists today! We service Plano, Allen, McKinney and the surrounding areas or if you want to replace your own photo eyes, sensors or ISB’s we carry them in our Plano showroom. Our showroom is located here.

How to open the garage door when the power is out?

Repair garage doors - Emergency Release CordDon’t get trapped… pull the emergency release cord… and open the garage door.

Here’s How:

  1. Find the RED cord (see picture on right) that is hanging down from the opener rail.
  2. Pull down on the handle. If the handle is not there pull down with the RED cord.
  3. A loud noise may be heard.
  4. The garage door should lift easily by pushing/pulling up on the bottom garage door panel.
  5. Keep your fingers away from in between the panels.
  6. If the garage door doesn’t lift easily or will not stay open, call a professional and get a Garage Door Tune-up.

Learn more about the LiftMaster 8550W Beltdrive Garage Door Opener that has a battery back-up in it so you won’t have to lift the garage door manually.  Just by pushing the remote button the garage door will open and close.

Come see this Garage Door Opener in action at our Plano Showroom!

Updated March 20, 2018

Why does my garage door close all the way then open?

My garage door goes all the way to the floor and comes back up…

Garage Door won't close because of sagging chain
Sagging chain on garage door opener
Black powder on garage door opener

If the chain is sagging on the garage door opener there could be several reasons why.

  1. Check on top of the garage door opener, the bushing is going bad if you see a black powder residue. If black powder is present, it’s time to replace the gear and sprocket assembly.
  2. Check on top of the garage door opener to see if the sprocket (the part the chain is wrapped around) may be leaning or bent. The garage door is very heavy and putting a lot of pressure on the sprocket and eventually that part will break off.  Time to replace the gear and sprocket assembly.

If you are seeing this issue it is time to have your garage door opener serviced by a garage door technician.

Why should I tune-up my garage door?

I know we are suppose to have a tune-up on our vehicles, why would I need to tune-up my garage door and garage door opener?

The garage door and garage door opener have many moving parts.    Overtime, just like your car parts, garage doors and garage door openers begin to show wear and tear.  If the garage door isn’t tuned-up on an annual basis, the garage door and/or opener can become loud, won’t roll up and down very well or can stop working all together.

What do I do after I back into my garage door?


When I was backing out of my garage, I hit my door…

When a garage door has been hit with your car there are many things that happen. If you are not a trained garage door service professional and try to put it back by yourself, you could potentially damage your garage door even more and end up buying a new one.

My garage door is crooked?

Broken garage door
When I was closing the garage door, a broom was in the way…now my garage door is crooked…

When your garage door goes off track trying to fix it yourself can be very dangerous. The cables and torsion springs will need to be recalibrated. Unless you are a trained technician, call a professional. This will save you a lot of time and money.

Why does my garage door not close all the way?

Garage Door won't close because of sagging chain

A minor adjustment may be needed on the garage door openers motor. Call a professional for a tune-up.

Why is my garage door opener loud?

Is it making a humming noise?

You may have a chain drive opener. Check the gears inside the case. They may be worn and need replacing. Call a professional.

Is it noisier than usual?

You may have a screw drive opener, which may need to be lubricated, and have a few minor adjustments made. Call a professional for a tune-up.

Does your door go 1/2 way down or almost closed and goes back up?

Your motor may need a minor adjustment. Call a professional for a Tune-up. The service technician will thoroughly check all moving parts to make sure your garage door and garage door opener is in top working order.

Why does my garage door not open all the way?

A minor adjustment may be needed on the garage door opener motor. Call a professional for a tune-up.

Why are the cables loose on my garage door?

We would recommend that you call a professional. This is a symptom that there is more going on than what you might see. Give us a call to come out and give you a free estimate.

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