Hopefully, back in the day, we all got to fog up some windows!

I have blogged about this “defect” several other times, but I always find it interesting nonetheless.

Most of my readers, who have teenagers, can relate to the worry associated with them fogging up the windows on Lovers Lane on date night–when they were supposed to be home!

But lets ignore the teenagers for just a moment.

If you have garages, with overhead doors and automatic openers newer than 1982, you may know about the sensor beams/eyes located near the floor at both sides of the door.  These sensors are designed to reverse the door when a child, cat, dog or giant squirrel walks through the beam.

Surprisingly, I find this defect as many as 2 to 3 times a year.

Teenagers can be problematic more than 2 to 3 times a year.

These sensor beams are one of several reversing mechanisms required on modern automatic door openers and something your home inspector should be testing for proper function during the inspection.

It is a well know fact that teenagers apparently have no such reversing mechanisms.

One can only imagine the liability involved by installing the sensors other than where they belong–between 4” and 6” above the floor.

It is perhaps as dangerous as the teenagers in the back seat of the car—with their eyes stuck together.


Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

Not seeing things eye-to-eye

It is totally normal that people at times are NOT going to see eye-to-eye on politics, religion, food, sex—-and any number of other things.  Sometimes, even when they do see eye-to-eye they might simply be “enabling” each other.  Just because two people agree with each other, following each other over a cliff might not be the healthiest thing.  On the other hand, being on the same page when it comes to sex usually produces better results.

Take these sensor beams for example.  They are DESIGNED to see “eye-to-eye” and yet when installed in this location they are pretty much useless if not dangerous.

Seeing things eye to eye

Seeing things eye-to-eye

I am always amazed when I come across this installation.  I find different versions of it, probably a couple of times a year.  Since I am only one inspector, there are likely hundreds of people around the world that have a different idea of what seeing eye to eye means.

Whatever “political” statement they are making by installing them this way, it does not alter the fact that they are “disabled” from doing their intended job of keeping the garage door from killing something.


By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle


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