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Old 08-10-2006, 02:36 PM   #1
DaveL.
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Default Eliminate Garage door sensors?

I've have 2 Sears chain drive door openers. I've had an intermitent problem with the light sensors on the one door almost since they were installed. I have a short that comes and goes in the wiring on the one side. Of course this causes the door to either stay up or down. Is there anyway to by-pass those goofy light sensors or do I have to rewire this whole thing. The thought of digging through attic insulation and tearing into finished and painted drywall doesn't thrill me.

Thanks..
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Old 08-10-2006, 02:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

I always found myself ducking under the door as it was going down and also stepping over the beam. You know, hit the wall button, run out through the door and jump in the car... What I did was remount the two electric eye things up high out of the way about 1 inch apart.
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Old 08-10-2006, 03:42 PM   #3
Bradley Miller
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

I'm going to vote to fix your problem, and certainly not bypass the system. If you need to, run a new wire, but don't make your garage door a potential hazzard to someone not "in the know". Jeez. What's next -- disconnecting your air bag in the car?
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Old 08-10-2006, 03:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

To fix your problem there Ironcrow, you just need to mount a keypad outside your door(s). Go outside, hit the keypad and shut the door, or carry the openers in your car. My car has the Homelink setup so I set it up to run my doors. I shudder at the thought of my door trapping a child or animal (I've got a cat that basks in my AC a lot). They don't put those sensors on there just to be a pain! I had a door come down and hit a rake on the way down -- it didn't get into the sensor and the door reversing sensor didn't trip. Instead the rake got hung up and broke in multiple peices. Nearest I can figure is it caught it just right and had enough momentum to break the rake. Please don't take chances!!!
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Old 08-10-2006, 03:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

here's what you do. mount them on the ceiling facing each other with fresh wire and you'll only need about a foot of wire total. not safe, but will eliminate them with less initial headache and the potential for a much much larger one in the future.
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Old 08-11-2006, 07:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

I have to say that I'm with Bradley on this one. Somehow, a lot of us likely grew up before the seeing-eyes on the doors - but with the way everything turns into a lawsuit these days, if there were ever a problem and you disabled a safety feature you'd be pretty much screwed.
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Old 08-12-2006, 06:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

NO!!

I saw a door with the sensors disconnected, crush a steel Radio Flyer wagon - bent it right in half, and mashed the sides down flat. If that had been a kid or an animal - --- --- !!!!!!! Without the sensors, the door won't stop until it comes up against something tough enough to stop it or break the drive, or the limit switches are activated.

Rewire the sensors; surface mount the wire if you must, but please, don't try to defeat the safety - it's there for a real reason.

Last edited by Rrumbler; 08-12-2006 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 08-12-2006, 10:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradley Miller
I'm going to vote to fix your problem, and certainly not bypass the system. If you need to, run a new wire, but don't make your garage door a potential hazzard to someone not "in the know". Jeez. What's next -- disconnecting your air bag in the car?
Yes, as a matter of fact...I HAVE disconnected and removed the airbags from all of my cars that came with them.

It's not that I'm a Hollywood stunt man or anything. I use safety glasses, work gloves, welding helmet, have a fire extinguisher in my shop, etc...For the garage door, I am at least a 1/2 mile from my closest neighbor and have never had those kids within sight of my garage. No wagons or other toys. No kids of my own. No pets. With 5 cars and two doors, getting an opener that works either door in every car is not practical. I don't like the exterior control panels where I have to lift a little lid and punch 5 buttons....rather hit the door bell and run (well, walk quickly). Frankly, I wish the safety was a pressure switch on the bottom edge of the door...but until I get around to improving the system, I'll just do it my way.

Last edited by Ironcrow; 08-12-2006 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

Correct me if I am wrong, but didnt the feds MANDATE the light beam on all garage doors? Therefore if you sell the house and someone gets killed you might be liable.

Also, if I were looking at buying a house and I saw that someone ghetto rigged part of their house like that....I'd wonder what else they did that I can't see. I've passed on buying houses that looked perfectly good except for a couple little "handyman" things that made me wonder about the previous owner.

Seriously, if its a wire problem, are you that cheap? The wire for the light beam can't be much more than $0.03 per foot.
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Old 08-13-2006, 06:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

Bottom sensors or not you should ALLWAYS CHECK THE REVERSE SENSOR and make sure it is working properly. No door should be able to splinter a rake handle or chrush a red wagon!!!! Use an empty plastic 2 liter soda bottle with the lid on to set the sensitivity. one last note make sure the beam sensors are clean. Mine get dusty from time to time and act up till I wipe off the lenes.
I have done the duck and jump many a times.
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Old 08-13-2006, 09:39 AM   #11
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

When selling, the house inspection would probably catch the missing sensors and the buyer would request they be repaired if they were concerned. The last house I had, I put the sensors back in before I put it on the market. It did, however, have a completely custom setup with the regular Chamberlain operators relocated and driving the spring shaft (I pitched the belt drive and track into the trash). The professional garage door guy said it couldn't be done. I ran it for 5 years that way and sold it with the house.

No garage door should crush a wagon (if parked directly under the door, the existence of the sensors would make no difference). The weight of the door and torsion spring tension are not balanced. Either wrong springs, door was changed, or the thing is poorly adjusted. Nothing in my house is "ghetto rigged" like this.
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Old 08-13-2006, 11:22 AM   #12
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

Dave, as much as "by-passing" is a quick and dirty solution; as the others have said, NOT a good idea.

I was experiencing the same problem as you are. My final solution was to use a small (diam. and gauge) multi conductor cable from the operator to the sensors (photo cells actually) accross the finished ceiling using neat litle cable clamps; and re-wired them. If done carefully, it doesn't look out of place. (you could even put a touch of paint on the wire to make it "blend in")

One thing I find curious in this thread is, those who have experienced items (rakes and wagons) being destroyed by the door comming down on them.
My overhead door operator (Mac Lift) has a secondary safety feature that will reverse the door if it encounters something in it's path. (some kind of pressure sensor built into the operator)

When my operator was installed, the fellow doing the installation demonstrated (and adjusted for) this feature with a small cardboard box set in the path of the door but out of range of the photo cells. Coming down, the door just started to crush the box and then reversed.

His final check was to stand in the doorway stradling the photo cell beam and had the door come down on his shoulder; worked perfectly!
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:53 PM   #13
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DIGGER_DAVE
One thing I find curious in this thread is, those who have experienced items (rakes and wagons) being destroyed by the door comming down on them.
My overhead door operator (Mac Lift) has a secondary safety feature that will reverse the door if it encounters something in it's path. (some kind of pressure sensor built into the operator)
I calibrate my door at least once a year, adjusting the travel as well as the resistance. I want to make sure I get a good tight seal against the cement, as well as make sure it does it safely. Lots of kids in my neighborhood, I'd hate to be responsible for killing one of them.
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Old 08-13-2006, 02:12 PM   #14
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DIGGER_DAVE
One thing I find curious in this thread is, those who have experienced items (rakes and wagons) being destroyed by the door comming down on them.
My overhead door operator (Mac Lift) has a secondary safety feature that will reverse the door if it encounters something in it's path. (some kind of pressure sensor built into the operator)
Ditto.

And I'm gonna start a flame war, but the airbag example is the stupidest parallel I've heard.

Anyhow, lots of items won't trigger the beam, and I'd argue it's more important to have the pressure sensor working than the photo eye. The wagon was a perfect example as that will straddle the beam. Even the nose of a truck could easily clear the beam but still get hit by the door. The door should figure it out and reverse or stall.
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Old 08-13-2006, 03:05 PM   #15
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

Yep you can flame me all you want, I have mine installed above the door..

I will say the same thing I tell everyone that asks.

I own my own home, I pay the taxes.. Only full grown adults live in my home and both of us are fully aware of what is acceptable in the garage. We treat the garage will much respect, it is not a play place for Children or pets. The garage door is the least of the dangerous things that can be found in a garage. We do not leave things in the path of the door, let alone in the path were a 4,000 pound vehicle will be driving.. So you will not find a little red wagon, garden tools or small babies left in the path of our garage door. It is treated like it is a street. Now you will say.. what is a dog or cat wanders in to your garage? Well the owner of the said animal should have control of the animal so that it doesn't get in to situations like this. If you can not control or don't have enough responsibility to keep this from happening this is not really my problem. Also when the garage door is closing is it not quiet, most animals would be frightened but the sound and scamper away.
Now almost the same with children, I do not have children nor do I ever plan on having children. If I did have I would have enough responsibility to keep them out of the garage and to put all safety precautions in place to keep them safe in and on my property. Now if for some reason a 1 year old would for some reason stumble in to my garage and decide to take a nap on my garage floor right under where the door closes the door will come down with enough force to push on the child/red wagon or other human or earthy debris it will sense the resistance and go back up. Again it would seem to me that it is not my problem that someone else's child that they are 100% responsible for is my problem when they invade my private property. If you don't know where you little children and pets and red wagons are that is not for me to watch out for.

When I was little Dad taught me that if you slam a door on your finger it will hurt, or do anything else that could be taught to teach common sense that is not common today. When I was a kid we never had to IDIOT proof everything like we do today.. That is why it is so hard to find some people with common sense now.. Everything is Idiot proof and nothing teaches people right from wrong and we wonder why we are stuck with a pile of idiots..



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Old 08-13-2006, 05:41 PM   #16
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

Truthfully, I agree with you, Red. Wholeheartedly. I think what this country needs is a lot more common sense and a lot more personal responsibility and a lot less lawsuits at the drop of a hat.

That said, lawsuits seem to be a way of life anymore. You and yours may take responsibility and respect the garage. But as soon as something happens to someone else the lawyers are going to be knocking at your door.
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Old 08-13-2006, 08:33 PM   #17
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

When did they start requiring these sensors?

I've seen them on other garage doors but I never really paid any attention to them. The house I'm in was built in 1989 and that's also when the garage door openers were installed. There are no sensors, the door will reverse though if it comes into contact with something. The Allister garage door openers are still the same ones from 1989.
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Old 08-13-2006, 09:41 PM   #18
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

I worked for a guy who lost his son to a garage door. If he had these sensors his son would be alive today. He was a wreck after this event.

So even if you don't have children or pets, the chance exists that a neighbor kid or pet will get caught and your door could injure or kill him. In that case an investigation will show that you disabled a Federal mandated safety system and you will loose most everything you own today.

So setting it to work is no big inconvenience. Be smart and fix it.
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:39 AM   #19
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

I know this is almost two years old but I was researching on how to disable these sensors.

To those of you preaching safety this and that... and calling those of us who want to disable them... basically stupid. Look in the mirror.

These same garage door openers have adjustments for opening and closing force. Thus.... in my opinion almost eliminating the need for those stupid sensors.

My previous garage door opener made it 18 years without sensors (it didn't come with them) and I can't recall having any incidents with it.

Just answer the question instead of questioning the motive. K?
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:57 AM   #20
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Default Re: Eliminate Garage door sensors?

This is an ancient thread, but I'll take the opportunity to throw in my $0.02:

My biggest concern would be closing the door on a vehicle that I didn't have fully into the garage because I was working on it/unloading it or whatever and forgot. The optical sensors are too low to the ground and will shoot under most vehicles.

The optical sensors are a cheap safety solution to a problem that never existed. While the manufacturer might include them to protect them from liability, I would be comfortable accepting the risk to disable them. That being said, I've never done it.
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