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How To Manually Open A Garage Door

Updated: May 15, 2023

Best Way To Manually Open Garage Doors When You Don't Have Power


Imagine being in a big rush and your garage door refusing to move. Maybe there is a power outage, and you are going to be late to work.


You may have a better situation where there are two different ways to enter and exit your garage. In this scenario, you should enter your garage from the inside of the house. It will be easier to deal with the problem that way.


Once you are indoors, go up to the garage door and locate the mechanism that operates the door. It is usually attached in the middle part of the ceiling somewhere. It will sometimes hang down from the ceiling, or it may be on the ceiling itself when it is low. It will then stretch from the start of the garage door all the way to the back of the garage.


It resembles a long rail, and a red rope or chain hangs off a lever overhead. You just need to pull on the rope so that it goes into the down position, which will allow you to use its manual mechanism.


Pull Down On The Cord


Usually, the cord is red. However, it isn't always. Either way, you can easily find it since the right cable is quite unique.

Pull Down On The Red Cord

Emergency release cord is another name for this red rope. Although it may have a few different names, it has the same purpose. So if you read that in your garage door manual, you can be assured that it is the same part.


The emergency release cord disengages the trolly from the carriage mechanism of the garage door. That allows the door to work when there is no power, so you can manually move it.


Whenever the garage door is in the open position, the emergency release cord and trolly are further into the garage. Similarly, whenever the garage door is in the closed position, its rope will be on top.


After you have pulled the cord, the trolley will be disconnected from the door's carriage mechanism. You will then be able to open and close the garage door quickly.


Be Careful

It is always a very good idea to be extra careful whenever you are manually operating the door since you need to ensure that the door is open at maximum. Otherwise, it may slide back, which could result in you getting injured.


Fortunately, you can manually use the door for as long as needed. Whenever you want the automatic mode to be engaged again, the mechanism will need to be reconnected. This is a very simple procedure, so you don't need to worry about it.


After the mechanism has been reconnected, pull on the emergency release cord in the direction of the garage door. That will almost immediately reconnect it.


Second Way Your Garage Door Can Be Manually Opened When There Is No Power


If your garage does not have a back door, the only way to enter and exit your garage is through your garage door. In this situation, an outside approach will need to be used on the problem.


It has the same mechanism, but the door is completely shut with you on the outside. The only solution available in this case is to pick the lock.


Prepare A Wire


The first thing you need to do is take a long wire and then bend it into shape so it has a hook on the end. To break into the garage, you are also going to need a ladder. As discussed in the previous option, you will need to access the red rope to disconnect the trolley from the garage door's carriage mechanism. However, this time you will be doing it from the outside.


The ladder should be placed in the center outside of the garage door. The door will have a small crack on the frame. It is large enough for your long wire shaped like a hook to go through. It is critical to aim the wire towards the red rope located inside of your garage.


After the wire is inside the garage, hook it to the trolley's handle. It is a small handle that the emergency release rope is hanging from. Once the long wire has been hooked to the handle on the trolley, pull it back.


That will cause the automatic mechanism to disconnect so you can use it manually. It is the same principle, but you will have to be more patience since instead of using your eyes, you will be using your memory.


Make This Process Easier


There are some models of garage doors that have one or several windows on the top part of the door. That will allow you to see the cord and handle and quickly open the mechanism when that is the case.


The principle behind manually opening your garage is to have a ladder outside the garage as well as a long wire.


Be very careful to avoid getting injured during this process. If you don't believe you can do the job, contact a garage door expert to assist you.


Third Way To Manually Open Your Garage Door Without Any Power


Some garage doors come with an Emergency Door Kit. These kits are placed in the doors. They can be used in situations such as electric mechanism malfunctions and power outages and when you would like to switch over to manually opening your garage.


If you would like to have a new garage door installed, I recommend that you buy a model with this feature since it can help you if a problem arises. It is probably the most effective way to get out of a difficult situation that is available to you.


Use Your Emergency Door Kit


You just need to find the door kit if you have one. Insert the key inside the keyhole and then turn it. It has a metal rod that can be pulled out of the keyhole.


The cord connected to the trolley lever will disengage, and the automatic mechanism will be bypassed so it can be used manually. You can disconnect the trolley quickly from the carriage, so you operate the garage door manually.


You can only use this method if your garage door has this emergency key feature. So before you do anything, you need to make sure your door has that feature.


Safety Measures


There are different reasons why your garage door may not be working properly. No matter what the situation is, you need to be careful since it could slam down powerfully and quickly, which could cause you to become injured.

Safety Measures

Close the garage door - The very first thing that needs to be checked is if your garage door is completely closed. It must be all the way down, without any half-ways or openings to prevent it from potentially falling, injuring you, and breaking as you are switching over to manual mode.


Be careful with the mechanism. The mechanisms and rails which open and close the door may sometimes be broken. To avoid it falling down on your head, try to first shut the garage door all the way to the ground. If you are unable to do that, you will need to contact a garage door expert to assist you with solving your problem.


Grease the door chains - It can be helpful to grease the door and chains regularly for quieter and longer use. Follow the instructions in your manual. Be sure to hold onto your guide since you might need it if an emergency occurs.


Turn the electricity off - Like most electric doors that operate on power, it is recommended that you turn the electricity off before you start to work on it—in this way, a potential electrical hazard can be avoided.


If your door does not work properly after the electricity is normal once again, the door should be unplugged from the electricity. Then wait for around 30 seconds before rebooting and plugging it in again. That should fix this problem.

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