An acquaintance at yesterday's neighborhood picnic asked me if I could
help him with a problem. He said his opener (make unknown right now
until he calls me to tell me) has stopped working. He bought a pair
of new Genie sensors at HD, but they didn't help. He said one lights
red okay, but the other does not light green. He called Genie and
they said you cannot use Genie sensors with other makes.
Is this true? Or, in other words, are sensors interchangeable, or can
you only use sensors on an opener of the same make? I really didn't
know, but thought I'd ask here.
Of course, GE is not going to tell you that their sensors can be used
on other systems. How do you know it's the sensors? There is so much
that can go wrong, you have to systematically troubleshoot (maybe
you've done that) before you start replacing sensors.
Sometimes you can jump the sensor connections to test if that's the
problem. I'd check the schematics first.
You echo my feelings. Actually, I have not even seen his doors yet. I
expect him to call this AM - I told him to. Then I'll take a
look-see, and of course put a test meter on the wires from the opener
to/from the sensors. I am just going on what he told me yesterday -
even down to the fact that he says the red light comes on but not the
green. For all I know, he has the sensors pointing awry.
Within a type, they will interchange, but there are significant
differences that prohibit interchange between brands and even
generations of brands. 2 or 3 companies are making them all under
different names, so LiftMaster, Chamberlain and Sears would
Genie would not. This is not speculation, I've been there done that &
have a spare set of Liftmaster eyes to prove it.
Unless his opener was also made by Genie, it's true because the each
manufacturer's sensor system uses somewhat elaborate pulsating optical
and electrical signals for its sensors, both to prevent false
triggering and to keep people from bypassing the safety system easily,
and the industry never agreed on a single standard for each.. Also
some openers have the sensors and wall button tied to the same wiring
and therefore are particular about DC voltage levels as well (this has
caused problems for Chamberlain/Liftmaster/Sears systems -- sometimes
the door could be closed even when the optical beam was blocked).
Hard to say; maybe. You'd have to know whether they're normally open,
normally closed at the housing, voltage/feed requirements, etc., to be
certain. I had a genie opener once that was so genie-customized nothing but
a genie or a gerry-rigged part would work with it. Nothing was standard on
When you get the model/make, try to research it at the mfg site; if they
give specs you might be able to tell.
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