Automatic garage door openers should have an auto-reverse feature that is designed to stop and reverse the direction of the door if it detects an object in the path of the door or it hits an object while the door is closing. This system is activated by a pressure sensor or by a pair of photocells on each side of the door.
Test the pressure sensor by placing a scrap 2×4 board flat on the ground in the path of the door. When the door comes down and touches the board, it should reverse direction and go back up again. To test the photoelectric system that has eye sensors on each side, start your door downward in a closing direction, then just pass your leg in the door’s path. The door should reverse direction and head upward.
Consult your garage door opener instruction manual for directions on how to adjust the auto-reverse function. Older garage door openers that lack this basic feature, which is now mandated by building code in many areas, should be replaced.
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