Using electric power to open your garage door is convenient, especially if you live alone or come home late. You do not have to step out to open it manually every time you need to use it. However, the release mechanism can be fickle and may stick when the power is out.
We usually take it for granted that the door should open; we often do not consider the event of a power outage. And when that happens, we become stuck and may need to spend some money calling a service agent to open it if there is no battery backup.
You may also try opening the door yourself. But in such a situation, it can become frustrating to operate it if you are unsure how the mechanism works. So, we have created a guide to help you determine how to open your garage door manually without power.
Open a Garage Door Without Power Supply
There is usually a bypass switch or lever that you can pull to disconnect the door from the electricity. You will have to locate the switch or lever and pull it before attempting to open the door manually.
You can attempt to open the door from the outside or the inside of the garage. There are different methods for manually opening the garage door. The following are the required steps for each method and how to do it safely.
Opening the Garage Door from the Outside Without Power
Here are the steps to try opening the door from the outside:
Step1: Locate the Release Kit
Every electric-powered garage has an emergency release kit that allows you to operate the door in an emergency. The lock at the center top of the door. It looks like a lock that houses a cable, which is the release cable. However, that also means you must have a key that matches the lock.
If you have the key on your ring, it makes the job easy. You must open the lock and determine how to maneuver the cable to operate the garage door. But if you do not have the key and the only entrance into the house is through the garage, it poses a problem.
You may need a professional garage door technician to access your home in such a situation. That is if you cannot access the key or enter the house.
Step2: Open the Lock
If you find the key, insert it into the lock and open it to find the emergency release cord. Once you hear the lock click and open, the emergency cord triggers the release device or mechanism, so the door disconnects from the electric power and goes into manual mode.
This process should be easy, but if you are unsure, do not touch the cable so you do not lock the mechanism. And if that is the case, find someone to help determine how to operate the release kit or find a professional for further assistance.
Step3: Open the Garage Door
If you successfully put the door in manual mode, you must locate the lever with which to open it. Move a little down from the emergency release kit to find a lock next to a handle. The lock secures the handle and only works when the door is in manual mode.
So, you must open the lock before moving the handle. The key you used for the emergency release kit at the top of the door also works for this lock. Insert the key into the lock and open it to release the handle. Once done, move the handle to a vertical position.
Now, you can open the door by lifting it up. You must ensure the door is fully open and locked in place before moving your car or going into the garage. Doing this ensures the door does not drop when you are halfway into the garage. You can close it securely once inside the garage.
Step4: Reconnect the Door Opener
You must reconnect the door to the electric power after manually opening and using it. You will need to open it by hand whenever you need to access the garage, which is stressful. Pull the release cable to reconnect the door to the electric opener. You may have to do that from the inside, but this depends on the type of garage door you use.
Opening the Garage Door from the Inside Without Power
The following are the steps to open the door from the inside when there is no power:
Step1: Ensure the Door Is Securely Closed
The first step in this method is to ensure the door is in a closed position. In other words, it must not be stuck partially open. Doing this ensures you are safe while trying to open the door. It may forcefully come down and cause extreme injuries if it is in a partially open position.
Step2: Remove Obstacles
You may have to go around the house to check for obstacles on the outside of the garage door. Locks or levers may keep the door from opening from the inside. It makes the job easier if you easily lift a lever or open a lock from the outside to enable you to operate it from the inside.
Step3: Find and Disconnect the Door Opener
Some garage doors have a plugged opener that connects them to the electric power. If your door has this opener, you can access it from the inside. Check around the door and find the opener; when you do, disconnect it from the electric power.
The automatic door opener enables the door to operate on electricity so that you can easily open and close it with a remote or button. However, disconnecting the electric door opener from the electric moves the door to manual mode so you can open it without power.
Step4: Engage the Emergency Release Cable
The next step is to find the emergency release cable, which is usually a small cord fixed to a red handle. It may also be a lever hanging on the opener rail that is connected to the trolley. Whatever it is, pull on the cable to disconnect the door from the electricity and put it in manual mode.
You must note that each electric garage door works differently. So the method of disconnecting the door opener from electricity will depend on the trolley mechanism. For some, you only need to pull the release cable straight down, while for others, you must pull the cable at a slight angle.
Step5: Manually Open the Door
Now, you can try lifting the door by hand. If it is too heavy, you should get someone to help you avoid dropping it down while lifting it. The good part is that you can easily lift the door without worrying that there is no electricity to operate it.
To open the door, grab the handle and firmly pull the door upwards. It should smoothly roll up in most cases, even if you do not have a helper. However, there may be a counterbalance spring problem if the door does not open smoothly, especially if someone helps you.
As with the other method, get professional assistance if the door has difficulty opening. It may have wrongly engaged when the power went out, causing a malfunction in the power mechanism. Do not try to force the door open.
Step6: Reconnect the Door Opener
After getting the door open from the inside and ensuring it rolls smoothly, the final step is to reconnect the automatic garage door opener. Doing this ensures you can use the remote control or button to operate the door.
Pull the release cable toward the door; it reconnects the carriage and automatic opener. You can also reengage the trolley attachment by pulling the cable until the bracket settles, locking the door into the powered carriage.
Test the door with the remote control or button to ensure its automatic function works well with electric power when the opener carriage locks.
Keeping Safe While Manually Opening the Garage Door
While manually opening the garage looks simple, you must ensure to keep yourself and others safe while doing it. Therefore, observe the following safety precautions to prevent injury:
- Ensure you disconnect the automatic door opener. You may forget to take this step because of the power outage. But disconnecting it before opening the door is crucial because the power may return while you are at it. Besides, the opener may try to open it while disengaged, making your job difficult.
- Use only the required hands to operate the door. In other words, do not have more people than you need around the door. Children and pets running around a partially open garage door are dangerous since the power can return anytime.
- Do not pull the emergency release cable with the door open. If the door is already open, you cannot use the release cable because the door can suddenly drop down. One option is to wait until power returns, and the door closes automatically. Another option is to use professional services to close it.
There are several ways to open a garage door without power. If you are a DIYer, you may also have tricks that help you open it, especially when nothing else seems to work. However, using the switch and lever on the door is the safest method.
You will find easy steps to follow if you lock yourself from the inside or the outside. Ensure you follow the steps to keep your loved ones safe while opening the door. Use professional garage door repair services if you cannot open the door and the power does not return soon.