The greatest menace is having a dysfunctional garage door sensor that stops the door from fully closing. Since you are already reading this, let’s assume you have already lost some sleep over your open garage door and what it means for the safety of your house or property.
This problem can occur due to many reasons and the only way around it is by bypassing garage door sensors. Unless of course, you are getting the doors fixed. You can try disabling the sensors until the fix is done but that may pose a risk when there is actually a physical obstacle in the door’s way.
Sometimes there actually might be something blocking the door which you cannot see at one glance and sometimes the sensor is just acting up. In which case, let us go through some ways in which you can trick garage door sensors into closing all the way down.
11 Ways to Bypass Garage Door Sensors
Here is a comprehensive list of methods you can try on your own, or with minimal assistance to bypass the garage door sensors.
Keep in mind basic precautions such as dealing carefully with any electric wires, keeping little kids or pets away while you handle the sensor and finally not standing directly beneath the garage door. So, keep reading
Press and hold the garage door button
This is a temporary solution to the problem. Usually, remote control is used to operate the garage door, and using this always triggers the sensors on the door.
To bypass safety sensors on garage door you have to press and hold the button that is fitted on the wall of the garage. The doors start to go down and you can release the button when it is completely shut.
However, there is a catch to this. As you may already know, garage door buttons are always located on the inside of the garage so you can do this only when you are putting your car back in or when you are already on the inside. Closing the door from the outside becomes a problem, since the button can be used only when you are located inside the garage.
Clean the sensors
Very small dust particles might be blocking the lens of the garage door sensors and triggering the malfunction. Or maybe the clutter near the sensors is getting caught in its radius of operation. So start by clearing the clutter inside your garage and make sure there is absolutely nothing that may stop the doors from closing.
If the sensors are still keeping the doors half open then try cleaning the lens of the sensors with a microfiber cloth to remove any dust settlement on it. Do so very delicately so as to not damage the sensor in any way. This may fix your issue but if that’s not the case then don’t worry! Move on to the next one.
See if the sun is blocking the sensor
Yes, you read that right. Sunlight may be causing the sensors to go off and making your garage door reverse before it fully closes.
To check if this is indeed the issue, position yourself between the path of sunlight and the sensor and close your garage door. If it closes completely then you may need to repeat this process to bypass garage door sensors until you get a professional opinion on the matter.
Check the alignment and wiring
Due to various reasons, the sensor may have bumped against something causing misalignment and loss of coordination with the sensor on the other side. If both the sensor lights are not going off at the same time without flickering or blinking, then there is a problem with the alignment. This can be easily fixed by bending the sensor back into its place.
Another reason why the garage door sensors may be acting up is due to bad wiring. Rats, pests, etc, love chewing on wires thus damaging them. If however it is simply disconnected, then you can put it back.
Damaged wires can be replaced. Call a professional if you cannot do it yourself.
Reset the Garage door opener
You can give this method a try as a last resort before you try the next ones on the list. Reprogram your garage door opener and entry keypad completely, as in reset the system by which it operates. The keypad can be used as an alternative to the garage door remote and the passcode can be reset. You have to erase the previous code and add a new one. Every door opener unit will have a “Learn” which when pressed for a few seconds will lead to a LED flash and reset the system after which you can enter a new code.
If the reason why the sensors were acting up was a glitch in the programming of the opener unit then resetting it will definitely fix the problem.
Cut the wire and tape the sensors together
To avoid electrocuting yourself, you need to turn off the power supply first. Then use a wire cutter to disconnect it from the power supply and seal off the open ends of the wire with electrical tape.
After this, gently bend the sensors on both sides in such a way so that the eyes face each other and tape them properly.
Rewire the sensors
Another way to override garage door sensors is to rewire them into a new connection to the door opener. Firstly get up on a stool or a ladder to reach the door opener unit. The opener should have four different holes to allow wire connections. You should be able to recognize them right away by the colored blocks on which the holes will be situated.
There should be three colors, namely red, two consecutive whites, and one black or gray. The ones on the leftmost, that is the red one and the first white one have no necessity so ignore them. You have to rewire the connection into the second white hole and the black/gray hole.
Now your sensors should also have two wires each of black and white color respectively. Wire the two white wires from the sensors and connect them to the white block on the door opener. Similarly, wire the black wires from the sensors and connect them to the black/ gray block on the door opener.
This should give your garage door sensors a new connection to function with.
Store the sensors safely
If the previous method in this guide has worked for you then you have been able to secure a new connection for the garage door sensors. Now they are dangling from the ceiling and swaying even making the whole situation potentially dangerous.
Don’t risk it and simply prop up the sensors on the top of the door opener unit. There should be enough room for a 3-6 inch sensor on the top of the unit. This way the wires will stay in place and you will have a permanent garage door sensor bypass.
Manually operate the garage doors
If none of the above work, then it is time to try a different approach. Manual operation is not the easiest method out there but still, it is the most reliable and assures complete surety.
Just pull the chain or cord that hangs from the motor that is fitted on the ceiling. This will release your garage from a motor-based operation and change it to a manual operation and disable garage door sensors– which basically means you have to open and close the garage using your strength.
When you are pulling at the cord though, make sure you have someone holding the door or it will fall down with a bang and damage the surface.
Also as a cautionary measure, keep children and animals away when you’re manually operating the garage as there is no sensor to stop the door from falling on someone and injuring them.
Remove the sensors
Manually operating the heavy door sounds too much? Don’t worry and try this method instead. This will stop the sensors from being operational and you will practically have a garage door without a sensor. But this is still better than a door that keeps opening halfway up.
Start by unscrewing the wingnuts that hold the sensors in their place and then cutting the wires around them. Then gently remove the device from the metallic pole that holds it.
This is the best way to eliminate garage door sensors if nothing else works. Store the sensors in a safe place until the mechanic comes. They may repair the sensor or ask you to buy a new one.
Replace the sensors
Strictly speaking, replacing the sensor doesn’t count as overriding it but you probably will find manually operating the garage door a bit of a hassle.
Imagine getting back from the office after a tiring day and having to use your fast declining strength to prop the heavy garage door open and again closing it. Even the sound of it is exhausting, right? So, don’t try to bypass your garage door sensor for long, and definitely don’t procrastinate calling a repairing company to either fix the sensor or fit a brand new one.
The Bottom Line
Ideally, you should not be trying to bypass a garage door sensor if it is acting up and get it fixed immediately. The very point of a sensor is to prevent accidents that can happen if the heavy door falls on a living object. That said, we understand that immediately fixing the device may not always be a viable option for everyone.
If you are one of those people who for various reasons, such as lack of time, etc, are unable to fix their garage door sensor, then we hope that you found this guide helpful.
The methods have been listed in an increasing order of effectiveness which is to say that you should try one method only if the one or ones above it have yielded no results.
Disabling and disconnecting the sensor is only a temporary way to override garage door sensors and should not be treated as a permanent solution to the problem.
Defective garage door sensors almost always need replacement, so try these methods only if you are familiar with electric circuits while you wait for professional help to arrive.