How to Manually Open Your Garage Door When the Power Is Out

At some point, every homeowner with an automatic overhead garage door will need to know how to get the garage door open when the power is out. While some overhead garage doors come with backup power sources, most still require manual operation in the event of power loss. Learning how to properly open or close a garage door without power is critical for your safety and the structural integrity of your garage door, especially during the winter.

If you ever find yourself in that dreaded situation where the power is out but you need your garage door to open, follow these steps to safely opening your garage door without the help of the trolley system.

How to Manually Open Your Garage Door When the Power Is Out

Opening a Garage Door Without Power

More often than not, when the power goes out, your garage door is already in the closed position. Here are the general steps to manually open a closed garage door from the inside when there’s no power:

  1. After you make sure that the garage door is closed completely, find the overhead door opener (trolley) and locate the emergency cord.
  2. Once you’ve found the emergency cord, which should include a red handle, pull it down to disconnect the door from the door opener. Now the door is free to be moved manually.
  3. Find the handle at the bottom of the garage door and lift the door until it’s opened all the way. If you have trouble opening it due to the problems with the hinges, don’t push it — it’s time to call a garage door technician instead.
  4. If the garage door is running smoothly along its tracks, keep lifting it straight up until it is completely open. Make sure the garage door is fully open before leaving it unattended. 
  5. Once you’re ready, close the garage door manually by slowly lowering it down to the ground. Keep in mind that the garage door may be heavy.
  6. Lock the garage door to guarantee that it is completely closed. It’s also important to make sure you manually unlock your garage door before reattaching the garage door motor when the power comes back on. Never leave the garage door locked when using the automatic function, as this will cause major damage.

Important Tip: If your garage door is stuck along its track or completely open when the power goes out, use extra caution when disconnecting the door from its opener. If your door is a long way from the ground when the power shuts down, it’s best to have another person help you close it properly so it doesn’t crash to the ground.

If you have difficulty getting any of the above steps to work, it’s time to call a garage door professional. Having a functional overhead garage door is essential to your home’s security and energy efficiency, so make sure you take advantage of expert help when you need it.

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