Troubleshooting: Must Hold Down On Wall Switch To Close Door

The problem could be one of three issues:

  1. The safety sensors could be the problem. Maybe they are dirty, not aligned, being hit by direct sunlight, or mounted on something that shakes as the door rolls down. (Note: You can NOT just disconnect the safety sensors.)
  2. The wiring to the safety sensors may be shorted. Check the voltage.
  3. The circuit board could be bad.

First the theory behind why the wall switch will close the door but not the remotes. There are safety sensors located about 6 inches above each side of the door. These are in place to prevent the door from closing down on something important that might be under the door. They do not prevent the door from opening though. Since the door can be operated remotely via the wireless transmitter by somebody in another part of the house the safety sensors overide the wireless transmitter. However the wired wall switch takes precedence over the safety sensors since by law it must be installed 5 feet or higher in a where the operator can see the door. Hence the reason why you must hold down on the wall switch to override the safety sensors and close the door.

First check the safety sensors by checking the lights on it. Depending on the manufacturer the lights and colors on them vary. If they are working you will be able to put your hand over one side or the other and notice a change in the LED safety sensor indicators. If there is no change you have a problem. Try cleaning, checking the mounting, and aligning them.

Assuming there is no change take both safety sensors off, clean them, and take some spare wires and rewire them directly to the electrical posts at the motor head. If they still do not work check the voltage of these posts. Either the sensors are bad or the circuit board is bad if this is the case. You can buy safety sensors for all old Genie and Liftmaster openers. There are universal safety sensors for openers that have gone out of business. Usually safety sensors, regardless of the brand, go for less than $50. Circuit boards are much more expensive usually, when and if they are even available...

Assuming the sensors worked when hot wired this way you now know what the LED lights should look when working properly. Using new wiring one back on it's mounting bracket and hold the other by hand. They should be working. If not then the sun must be interfering. (Imagine trying to drive into the sunset with a dirty windshield. Easiest way to fix that is to not drive in to the sunset.) Switch the safety sensors so the receiver is not getting the sunlight anylonger. Now try backing the one you are holding to the other side. Adjust angles on the mounted one as needed. If you have trouble doing this you probably have a bad circuit board that is not producing enough electricity or a bad safety sensors. Replace the safety sensors. When you finish this step the safety sensors should be working correctly.

However if the door goes down only partially and then backs up your sensors are vibrating too much. Mount them to something more secure.

Finally there's the chance that in the morning the sun hits the safety sensor on one side and in the evening hits the safety sensor on the other side. Mount them both further back, six inches above the ground, so they are sheltered. If this is not possible mount something to shelter the safety sensors from the sun.

Remember by law you must have working safety sensors properly mounted six inches above the floor on each door operated by an opener.

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