How to Manually Open Your Garage Door

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Garage doors have come a long way in the last several decades. Most garage doors these days run with the assistance of an electrical opener.  The openers are very convenient and can make your daily life much easier, but what are you supposed to do if the motor fails on you or if a power outage occurs?

1. Locate the Emergency Release Cord

Inside the garage attached to the operator, you should see a red cord hanging freely from the trolley. Make sure the door is closed before attempting to pull this cord down. The cord is connected to a small lever which is positioned at a slight angle. (Not unlike a large light switch.)  You’ll be able to feel and see the lever lock into a downward facing position. This unlocks the door from the opener and makes it possible to manually move it up and down without the motor activated.  Make sure to avoid pulling down on the emergency release cord while the door is open. If you do tug on the cord while the door is open and a spring is broken, the door could drop down, which can cause further damage to the door or even injury to yourself.  These doors typically weigh 400+ pounds without the assistance of a properly torqued spring.

2. Lift the Door

Position yourself at the base of the garage door and slide your hands under the bottom. Usually a properly working garage door will roll open easily due to the torque in the springs but it is important to lift with your back straight up. Bending over and attempting to put your weight into the door may result in lower back injuries. Instead you want to lift with your lower body, as if you are picking up a heavy box. Lift the garage door open and push it up along the track. If the garage door opener does not slide open easily there could be a bigger repair issue at hand. If you feel resistance when attempting to lift the door, call a professional garage repair company for further assistance.

3. Re-engaging the opener

When you are ready to re-engage the opener, ensure the door is closed. Once the door is down you need to activate the lever back into position. Pull the lever back up all the way. This is easiest done by pulling the cord at a 90 degree angle, parallel with the ground, back towards the opener.  Run the door to ensure it connected properly.


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