Thursday, November 29, 2012

Craftsman Garage Door Photo Eye/Cell Sensor Problems

   This post pertains to anyone having issues with their Craftsman, Chamberlain, Liftmaster, or Sears automatic garage door openers due to apparent photo sensor problems.  I myself have a Craftsman automatic opener with sensors that look very much like the ones in the photo below.  However, one noticeable difference is where the wires connect to the sensor casing. (circled in red)
 
   On my original sensors, there is a white rectangular connector that slides onto 2 pins that stick out of the back of each sensor. Aside from that, everything else appears to be identical to the replacement Liftmaster Sensors Part # 41A4373A

   I had gone through 3 or so years where my garage door would work perfectly fine all summer right up until the weather turned cold.  EVERY year I would spend an enormous amount of time adjusting these sensors in an attempt to align them "better".  At the end of the day they simply would not work, which meant I would have to walk back into the house and hold the garage door button until the door closed completely

   This year I was determined to win this battle.  No more ridiculous button pushing from the warm interior of my vehicle in hopes that the sensors would give in and just let the obnoxious door close. I had taken a little different approach this year and did my research.  Here I come to find that this is a very common problem when dealing with these sensors and in most cases the cause is simply that the sensors are going bad and not because the became misaligned.  So, I figured I would bite the bullet and purchase some new sensors.  

From what I understand, if your current sensors have a green light on both the sending unit and receiving unit, then you would want to replace them with the same (41A4373A) part number I had listed above. If your sensors have a green light on one and amber/red light on the other, then you would want to purchase part # 41A5034 In either case, please do your research to make certain that these will work with your unit before purchasing.
  
   In the end I was able to purchase my set of sensors from Amazon.com for approx. $22.00 shipped.  The installation took about 5-10 minutes and only required some wire cutters and a pair of pliers.  After the installation was complete, I found that the new sensors were extremely easy to line up and I also noticed the light on the receiver sensor was much brighter than I had ever noticed before with the old set.  This gave me some faith that it was getting a good signal and would work without a hitch.  I put my hand in front of the receiver sensor and confirmed that the light turned off to verify it was functioning properly in case the door encountered an obstruction. I then tested out the garage door with the button in the house to make sure it went down without me having to stir up any 4-letter words.

   Finally, I tapped the garage door button in the house then ran into the garage and tossed a box under the door and voila, the door auto reversed as the design intended. If I would have know that some $20 dollar sensors and 10 minutes of my time is all it would have taken to get my door working properly in the winter months, I would have spent the money the first year I noticed the problem.  

   I hope this post gives you insight on how to fix this problem and maybe I can save you the frustration of having to jump out of your car while nearing the end of your driveway because your door is not operating correctly.

You live and you learn!  ;)
 

-TanthT 

 
 




1 comment:

  1. Thanks, this confirms and will solve my issue as well. I found the receiver led to work intermittently, and went off completely. If I made and broke the connection, the light would flicker. Hooked up a meter and the voltage coming to the sensor is constant, so must be the sensor. Cool trick I found on line. To see if the receptor eye is working, you can point a tv remote at it and hit a button. The infrared signal will activate the light on the side if it is working.

    Tanks again, Brian K.

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