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  1. #1
    Christopher Gorton's Avatar
    Christopher Gorton Guest

    Default Garage door sensors needed?

    Short question. On an outswinging carriage style garage door with a motorized operator are there still sensors required on the inside?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Garage door sensors needed?

    Yes.

    From the 2006 IRC.
    - R309.6 Automatic garage door openers.
    Automatic garage door openers, if provided, shall be listed in accordance with UL 325.

    UL 235 is the standard for garage door operators and includes the entrapment protection requirements.

    Here is a CPSC recall for some swinging garage doors which did not reverse and killed at least one young child: Garage Door Openers Recall by Chamberlain Group



    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
    Christopher Gorton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Garage door sensors needed?

    Thanks JP. There are in fact 2 sensors, the first is a built in auto reverse system to open the door if it encounters resistance, as in the case you attached which if disabled or installed incorrectly in that unit could cause death.
    It is the infer red obstruction beam I am referring to that will stop the doors swinging if there is something obstructing the beam. However, the beam is located on the inside of the garage away from the path of the door swing but in the case of a roll down door stops the door coming down on the object.
    An arm or head caught on the outside of a closing swinging door could be 3 feet away from that beam and relying on the auto reverse mechanism to release.
    Would it still read that the infer red sensor is required for an outswinging door?
    I know the usual process is to have someone get hurt before we complicate a system with a new safety feature.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Garage door sensors needed?

    Good question.

    First though, some clarification: ALL the sensors are for one purpose - protection against entrapment.

    There are several layers of protection. I'll list them in order of *what I think* are their intended precedence:
    1) photo cells ... the first and foremost level of protection - reverse the door is something is in the way
    2) auto reverse ... once it strikes an object, reverse and get back off that object
    3) timing 1 ... the auto reverse is supposed to reverse within 2 seconds of "contact" (not "crushing")
    4) timing 2 ... if the door has not closed to bottom within 30 seconds it is to reverse and get back to the open position

    Not sure how the photo cells would be installed for protection on a swinging door. On an overhead door or a sliding door, yeah, they are easy to locate and install, but a swinging door presents location problems.

    I am sure that a complex swivel mount with linkages could be designed to keep the photo cells facing each other as the doors swung through their arc, but maintaining their alignment would be a real problem as they would be subject to bumping and misalignment.

    Sure, you could put the photo cells facing each other at the door opening, but if you fell out where the doors begin to meet, that location for the photo cells would not work.

    Or (thinking this through as I am typing) mounting the photo cells at the door opening and adjusting the opener to start to close one door before the other such that one door is fully closed before the doors begin to meet. That way, anyone laying there in the path of the closing door edges would also be in the path of the photo cell beam. That could probably be made to work for most circumstances (of course, though, it would not protect against some teenager who tried to lay just right to test the doors with his head, with his body facing outside and away from the photo cells, but, then, he would just become a Darwin Award Winner. Right?

    Of course, though, the other protections would need to NOT be set properly or fail to operate properly. Those protections are pretty redundant. One fail-safe layer under another fail-safe layer under another ... at some point they could all fail ... or be out-dumbed (started to say 'outsmarted', but that would not be 'smart' in anyway).

    The final answer would likely lie in the installation instructions for the operator for a swinging door.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  5. #5
    Christopher Gorton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Garage door sensors needed?

    Installation manual that I have does not show outswing doors as an option only various types of lift doors. Manufacturer says that opener model is used for a single outswing door
    (although it is still not listed in the 2007 published manual) and someone has supplied an adapter kit to use it for 2 doors.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Garage door sensors needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Gorton View Post
    Installation manual that I have does not show outswing doors as an option only various types of lift doors. Manufacturer says that opener model is used for a single outswing door
    (although it is still not listed in the 2007 published manual) and someone has supplied an adapter kit to use it for 2 doors.
    Unless the manufacturer can send you some published information for installing that opener on one or two outswing doors, meaning their only published information is overhead doors ... that indicates to me that the operator is only listed and labeled for use with overhead doors.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Garage door sensors needed?

    I'm curious who makes your door opener, as almost every Genie, Liftmaster, Craftsman, Chamberlain, etc. door opener lists install specs (including safety sensors) for one piece doors as well as sectional doors.


  8. #8
    Christopher Gorton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Garage door sensors needed?

    Chamberlain does list specs for sectional and one piece doors in the owners manual but not specs for outswing


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Garage door sensors needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    I'm curious who makes your door opener, as almost every Genie, Liftmaster, Craftsman, Chamberlain, etc. door opener lists install specs (including safety sensors) for one piece doors as well as sectional doors.
    Dom,

    The key here is those are all "overhead" doors. He has a swinging door, side hinged.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Garage door sensors needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Dom,

    The key here is those are all "overhead" doors. He has a swinging door, side hinged.

    Got it now, thanks. Not common around here at all, so I didn't even think of it.


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