How to Open a Garage Door Without Power

How to Open a Garage Door Without Power

Losing power to your garage can leave your home vulnerable or make it difficult to move your car. Knowing how to safely open and close your garage door when you don’t have power and what to do when your power comes back on is essential.

Opening the Door Manually

Take the following steps to manually open your garage door when your unit loses power due to wiring issues or a power outage.

1. Unlock Your Door

The first step you should take is ensuring your garage door is unlocked. If the door is down, locate the latches or lock on the outside. You will be unable to manually open the garage door without power if it is locked.

2. Start With the Door Down

It’s best for your garage door system if you start moving the door from a closed position. It’s dangerous to disengage your garage door opener when the door is still halfway or fully up. If the door’s spring is bent or broken when you release the opener, the garage door could slam down on anyone or anything underneath it. 

If the door is open, you can move it manually by carefully pushing on it until it begins to slide down. Try to get the door to touch the ground. If it’s being stubborn, lower it as close to the ground as possible. 

If you can’t move the door low enough, hiring a technician is best. Pulling on a stuck garage door could damage the unit and the door might be stuck because its sensitive components require repairs.

3. Unplug the Automatic Opener

Disconnect the power to your automatic door opener before you continue to avoid damaging the electric component. Unplugging the opener allows you to work on the door without any surprises. If the power comes back on suddenly, the door could start moving on its own.

4. Pull the Emergency Release Cord

Pull the Emergency Release Cord

Once you have closed the door and found the release, you’ll want to pull on the emergency release cord. The cord is designed for this type of situation, allowing you to manually move your garage door.

The release cord is attached to the center rail of the door’s track and has a red handle to make it easier to identify. It will hang down from the door trolley at the front of the door. 

If you are having trouble finding the emergency release cord, start by locating the trolley, the power device that opens and closes the garage door. The trolley connects to the carriage of your garage door power opener, which automatically moves the door when you have power. Pulling the release cord will disconnect the door’s trolley from its carriage. 

5. Manually Move the Door

Once you free the garage door, you can manually move it to an open position and return it to the down position. Move the garage door using these techniques:

  • Opening the door: Pull from the bottom of the door instead of the middle or any other position. Lift the door until it stops moving. Make sure the door stays in place before you let go completely.
  • Closing the door: You can pull on the door from the outside until it closes. If your garage door has a lock, remember to lock the door manually before you leave.

If you feel significant resistance when you try to open the garage door manually, you might have a broken spring. The spring is the component that allows the opener to lift the door — if the spring is broken, it will be difficult or impossible to push the door up.

Be cautious if you’re trying to open the garage door manually from inside. A broken garage door is a safety hazard that should be handled by a professional, and you will want to avoid an accident or mishap. If you can’t move the door manually and suspect that the issue is a broken spring, you should call a professional garage door technician to look at the unit.

Reconnecting the Automatic Opener

Once your power returns, you’ll want to reconnect your automatic garage door opener. Follow these steps to do so safely.

1. Pull the Emergency Release Cord

To re-engage the door’s carriage, slowly pull the cord toward the door. As you pull the cord, the spring will compress so the door mechanisms can connect. You will be able to use your garage door’s electronic components after this.

2. Reconnect the Trolley

Next, you’ll need to connect your trolley to the carriage so you can use the garage door’s automatic operations again. Run your garage door opener through a complete cycle to ensure the trolley connects.

Have the door move up and down to complete the entire cycle. You should hear a click when the carriage and trolley connect. You should be able to start using the automatic functions after this. 

What if the Garage Door Fails to Raise or Lower?

If you can’t raise or lower the door manually, it might have other issues than the loss of power. The problem could be related to:

  • The age of the door: If your older door has wear and tear that keeps it from opening, it may be time to replace it with a new one.
  • The size or weight of the door: A heavier or wider door is more challenging to work with. Try to find someone who can help you move it.
  • The spring mechanism: If the spring is damaged, the door will be difficult to lift. You should seek repairs if any component of your garage door is failing.

Safety Concerns for Garage Doors Without Power

Suddenly losing power can damage your garage door. If the springs are worn or damaged, the door becomes a hazard to anyone attempting to use it manually. Here are some safety tips for engaging a door that has lost power:

  • Only use the garage door if you have to: Keep it closed until you regain power if possible.
  • Be careful with raising the door: When your door loses its automatic function, the mechanisms that ordinarily hold it up can’t turn on. Without those mechanisms, it may be prone to falling unexpectedly. 
  • If the door has a locking mechanism, remember to use it: When the door loses power, so does its electronic lock. The door will lack security until you regain power, so be sure to lock it manually.

Get Your Garage Door Repaired With American Overhead Doors

Get Your Garage Door Repaired With American Overhead Doors

Do you need a reliable, knowledgeable technician to repair a garage door? We provide services for commercial and residential owners. Please request an estimate if you have questions about our services and contact us if you would like assistance with your garage door!