Like other modern garage door openers, Genie has a sensor mechanism for safety. The pair of sensors sit near the ground on either side of the garage door to help detect the presence of an object within the doorway.
Any object in the doorway will break the beam emitted by these sensors, prompting the garage door to reverse if you attempt to close it.
Problems can often arise, causing the sensors not to work. For example, Genie garage door sensor blinking red 3 times typically symbolizes a problem.
Read along to learn about these problems, causes, and possible fixes.
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What causes Genie garage door sensor to blink red?
Garage door opener systems are programmed with self-diagnostic capabilities designed to indicate a problem or malfunction. For the sensors, blinking three times before pausing and repeating the cycle is usually an indication of sensor malfunction.
When the sensors are working correctly, they typically have a steady green light on. Older Genie models may not have this green light, so you will see a steady red light instead.
However, if this light is off, the sensors on your Genie garage door opener are not receiving electric power. So a quick fix would be to check the wires connecting each sensor to confirm if they have come loose or been damaged.
Rodents can always be a primary culprit for such cable damages. Or, someone might normally damage the connections by tagging them repeatedly with a broom during general cleaning.
The wires that connect the garage door sensors system can also wear out over time due to regular use, noise, or unfavorable weather conditions. You can always detect any of these problems by looking for chew marks, loose connections, or any signs of tampering.
If the light is blinking, often in a three-to-four times pattern—pausing and repeating after each cycle—you could be looking at malfunctioning sensors due to any of these reasons.
In other words, the sensors are indicating they are unable to do their job properly despite having an electrical current.
Genie garage door sensor blinking red three times (Causes and Fixes
Sensors out of alignment
The sensors are designed to work properly by both of them pointing a beam at exactly the same angle.
However, constant vibrations from the door during its operation can usually shift the angle of one or both sensors. Once the sensors do not point at the same place, they will register this as a potential problem and start blinking.
Eyeballing the two sensors might always help you see if one or both sensors are out of alignment.
But just because they are mounted the same distance off the ground, or the wall does not always mean they are properly aligned. Besides, the beams are invisible to the naked eye since they are infrared.
Still, begin the diagnosis by inspecting each sensor to see if it is bent or noticeably misaligned. If you cannot tell the alignment by this approach, measure the height of each sensor’s front-facing end from the ground.
You want to ensure the figures are exactly the same. Any variation in these measurements could be the reason for your Genie garage door sensor problem.
We recommend using a level to reset your sensors that have fallen out of alignment. The aim is to make them point at the same angle. Once you are done, check to see if the blinking light is gone. Further, consider testing the door to confirm that the problem is gone.
Blocked or dirty sensors
You may also see the red blinking light if something is blocking the sensor’s eyes. Blocking one or both the sensors will break the beam. Once that happens, it affects the sensors’ ability to work properly, leading to the blinking issue.
The garage door sensors mounted on the tracks on both sides of the door are designed to work by each sensor sending out a signal across the doorway.
The first thing you may want to do is check for any physical objects sitting directly in front of either sensor. Removing such an object should restore normal functioning unless there is another malfunction.
If there are no obvious obstructions, a dirty lens might be the culprit. Thankfully, this problem is one of the easiest to fix.
Use a clean, lint-free cloth to wipe the sensors to remove any accumulated dirt blocking them. It is important to be careful while cleaning the sensors because the eyes have a glass that could break if handled with little care.
Other than accumulated dirt, excessive moisture can cause a blockage too. We have seen cases where people who live in rainy areas have their garage door sensors failing to work due to excessive humidity.
The moisture builds up in front of the sensors, causing a blockage. This blockage affects the sensors just the same way as dirt, keeping the eyes from reading the doorway properly.
Given that interference, the red light on the sensor will blink even while the green one remains on.
The green light on the sensor indicates that the photo-eye located approximately 15 centimeters (6 inches) off the ground is emitting a beam. A steady red light indicates that the sensor eye is receiving the infrared signal from the other sensor.
If moisture builds up in the glass covering the sensor eye, it will interfere with the beam transmission, causing the red light to blink.
Usually, tiny water droplets can penetrate the sensor and block it if the place is rainy. Lawn sprinklers can also throw water into the sensor’s lens.
Often, you can just wait for the sensors to dry on their own. However, if you prefer a quicker solution, unscrew the component’s metal holders and check for wetness inside.
If the glass has moisture built upon it, use a clean, dry lint-free cloth to wipe it. Then return it and test if the problem is solved.
If all of these efforts do not bear fruit, you might be looking at faulty sensors. This is the one problem you may not be able to fix on your own. It might be time to call a technician.
Like any electronic device, garage door sensors can have a fault. It can be a manufacturing fault or a problem resulting from physical impact or adverse weather elements such as lightning.
For a manufacturing defect, your manufacturer should be able to replace the sensors or the malfunctioning component free of charge as long as the issue falls within their warranty policy.
If the defect is associated with any other cause, your warranty will likely not cover it. Your options, in this case, may be limited to hiring a garage door service technician to diagnose the fault and help resolve the problem.
At times, a sensor replacement may be an option depending on the kind of fault the current sensors have sustained.
Wire damage can also cause a garage door sensor malfunction. Garage door openers are complex, and one of their many sophisticated components is a system of wires leading from the sensors to the garage door and the opener motor.
In any case, some garage door models will have an orange flashing sensor light instead of red when sensor wires are the problem.
So if your model is the type that flashes orange, you should instantly know the problem is related to the wiring on the sensors.
You could resolve this problem on your own or hire a technician. If you elect a DIY approach, carefully inspect all the wires leading to the terminal from the sensor mechanism. Check for any tangled wires, loose or damaged ones.
Unweave any twisted cables and check if any is twisted or broken. Nails and other piercing objects can also often damage these cables, so check if any of them has pierced the insulation.
In any case, check to see if you can fix the problem yourself or require an electrician. Do not attempt any fixes where you are not sure how to handle them. Attempting a wrong solution could cause significant and potentially costly malfunctions.
How to replace your garage door sensors
If you attempt all the solutions and none of them seems to bear fruit, it may become necessary to replace your Genie garage door sensors.
Replacing the sensors is the solution if your current pair turns out faulty.
In most cases, you can always leave the work to a professional. However, if you wish to save on the cost of hiring a technician, you may go the work on your own by following a few straightforward steps.
However, we recommend troubleshooting and double-checking the sensors before resorting to a replacement. Ensure you first clean them thoroughly and double-check the wiring for anything you might have missed.
If the problem persists, installing new sensors may be the solution. You can complete the entire process in less than 20minutes if you know how to do it.
The supplies you will need
Here are the main items you will need to replace faulty garage door sensors.
- Work gloves
- Protective glasses
- Blue wing-nut wire connectors
The procedure to follow
Step 1: Disconnect the power.
Disconnecting the power is crucial to avoid the risk of electric shock. Climb a stepladder to reach the remote control power cord on the garage door and unplug it.
Once that is done, unscrew the wing-nut connectors from each sensor and remove the sensors from the brackets. Simply pull the sensors out of their braces to remove them.
Step 2: Connect the replacement sensors
Start by cutting the wires near the sensors to allow you to connect the replacement ones. Cut the wire attached to each sensor to about an inch long.
This allowance is necessary as you will use it to attach the new sensor. Therefore, you need to leave enough slack for that purpose.
The cables are color-coded, so it should be easy to note where each wire goes. Use the blue wing-nut wire connectors to carefully connect the white and black control wires from the new sensor to the old white and black wires.
Once done, repeat this process with the other sensor.
It is also likely that your model will have white and grey terminals. In that case, carefully attach the white wires on your new sensor to those on the white terminal. Then, connect the black cables to the gray terminal.
Your work should be further simplified if your model has gray cables going to the grey terminal instead. All in all, use the colors to guide you, ensuring the white wires go to the white terminal and black or grey to the black or grey terminals, respectively.
Step 3: Return the sensors to the brackets
After attaching all the wires, slide back each sensor into its corresponding metal bracket and screw it to secure it in place. Ensure the two sensors are properly aligned before proceeding to the next step.
It is best to use a level to check the alignment of the sensors to be sure they are pointing at the exact same angle.
Step 4: Power the sensors and test them
Plug back the garage door opener to power it up. Check to ensure that one sensor is green and the other one red. Neither sensor should be blinking if they are aligned correctly.
Next, test your new sensors by placing an object in the doorway to block the beam, then attempt to shut the garage door using the remote control.
If the sensors work well, the garage door should reverse after starting to close. At the same time, the motor lights should flash to recognize the obstruction.
You can always use cardboard boxes at least six inches tall for this test. If you did everything correctly, the door would stop before hitting your boxes and reverse.
That confirmation should mean the garage door is safe to use. Also, you will have solved the existing problem of the Genie garage door sensor blinking red three times.
The video below shows how to trouble shoot a garage door sensor that blinks
Frequently Asked Questions-FAQs
Why is my Genie garage door sensor blinking red?
Your genie garage door sensor will blink red if something is wrong with the sensor alignment, dirty or faulty sensors, or when under high humidity. The patterns of blinking are the primary considerations. For instance, if the lights flash two times and pause, it can be due to obstruction or misaligned sensors.
How do you fix a blinking garage door sensor?
A blinking door sensor can be a warning of a malfunctioning garage door. The malfunctioning can be due to misaligned photo eyes or even dirty lenses. If your garage door flashes, you need first to determine the position of the two photo eyes attached to the garage door. Using a clean, soft microfiber, clean the lens of the photo eyes. Once you have cleaned them, locate the wing nut holding the photo eyes and loosen them. Adjust the nuts until the two sensors are correctly aligned. The sensors will stop blinking once you have appropriately aligned them and are clean.
Can you bypass the sensors on a Genie garage door opener?
The chances of bypassing the Genie garage door opener sensors are limited. However, if you are to bypass the sensors, an ideal way is to put the sensors facing each other and mount them on the wall. You may also want to set the motor force to maximum
The photoelectric sensors modern garage door openers are a critically important safety feature.
However, they can always malfunction due to various issues or problems. Thankfully, they have built-in indicators to show when there is a malfunction. A blinking red light on the sensor is one such indicator.
Once you see such indications of a problem, ensure you address it as promptly as possible to restore safe usage. We hope this tutorial helps you solve your Genie garage door problem.