How to Open Your Garage Door During a Power Outage
The modern convenience of the automatic garage door opener is so often taken for granted. Usually, all we have to do is press a button and watch the door go up and down as if by magic. For the most part, we don’t really think about how this technology works — electricity. If your power goes out, whether from a storm or nearby power line maintenance, your garage door opener might not work at the touch of a button like you normally expect.
If the power goes out, you may need to disconnect the opener and open your garage door by hand to park your car or get to work. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with how to do this before you need it. Doing so now will help you avoid searching in the dark for your overhead door’s user manual.
Steps to Open Your Garage Door When the Power Is Out
Even when a power outage stops your garage door opener from working, you can still use your garage. All you have to do is disengage the opener motor and manually open and close the door until the power comes back on.
1. Follow Safety Precautions
First, while the door is closed, unplug or disconnect your automatic opener. This step is crucial to keep you safe while you’re working near the overhead door. It ensures nothing will cause it to operate while you’re opening it by hand.
It’s also vital to start from the closed position. Even when the power is out, your garage door opener helps keep the door up. Disconnecting it from the unit during an outage may cause the door to slam downward. If your power goes out while the door is open, we recommend you give us a call at (661) 397-2744 to request our 24-hour emergency services.
You might also consider propping the door open with a ladder or using C-clamps along the side tracks. This precaution can keep the door in place temporarily while you wait for help to arrive.
2. Locate and Pull the Red Emergency Release Cord
Next, pull the emergency release cord down and away from the door to disconnect the opener. To find the emergency cord, look for a rope with a red handle hanging down from the garage door opener’s track, centered along the ceiling. Once you’ve released the door from the automatic opener track, you should hear a click.
If you’re locked outside the garage, you can locate the emergency release kit from the outside of the door. You should find a lock tumbler on one of the top panels. Unlocking it will reveal a thin cable. Pulling it will disengage your automatic opener from the outside. If opening your garage door from the outside, you’ll also want to unlock it from the bottom and pull the handle to the vertical position.
3. Manually Lift the Door up and Down
Once you’ve pulled the emergency release cord, it is safe to open the garage door manually. To do this, grab the overhead door’s bottom and handle and raise it straight up until it is open all the way. Before letting go of the handle, check that the door will stay open on its own. If the springs are intact and properly balanced, you should be able to lift the door easily and have it stay in place.
If you feel significant resistance as you’re opening it, leave it closed and call the professionals at King Door Company, Inc. to inspect the door. We offer 24/7 emergency services and can replace your springs promptly to avoid further damage or safety risks.
If you can safely open your door, feel free to move your car in or out as needed. To keep your home and belongings protected, make sure to close the garage door when you’re done using it. Pull the door down by its handle, and lock it from the inside by sliding the lock bar by hand.
If your garage door system didn’t come with a lock bar, consider using a padlock or a C-clamp just above the rollers on one of the side tracks. Locking the door through any of these means will prevent someone from opening your garage door from the outside until power returns to your automatic opener.
4. Reconnect the Garage Door After the Power Returns
Whenever you manually open the door, you must physically disengage the trolley, which is the part of the garage door that connects to the opener track. You’ll have to reengage the opener to use it with the touch of a button again. First, make sure to unlock the lock bar before reconnecting the garage door. Opening the door with the lock bar in place can cause damage.
Next, pull the red rope hanging off the trolley down and toward the door. If you’ve reengaged the trolley properly, you should notice that the spring is now compressed. When it is disengaged, the spring is stretched.
If the power is back on and your opener is working correctly, reconnecting it is as simple as pressing the button on your remote. The motor will whir to life and keep moving until it connects with the trolley on its own — just wait until you hear a click. If this step doesn’t work or the power hasn’t returned yet, manually slide the door along the track until you hear the click.
You can test if it worked by operating the garage door once the power returns. If these steps don’t reconnect the automatic opener as expected, give us a call.
Garage Door Maintenance After a Storm
If your power went out from a storm, it’s crucial to examine your garage door for storm damage before reconnecting your automatic opener. If your door sustained significant damage, you could create safety concerns or worsen the door’s condition by opening it before it’s fixed.
Make sure the track mounts on either side of the door haven’t pulled away from the wall. Look for damaged or bent sections on the door itself and any loose hardware. If you have a wood door with signs of water damage, have it repaired quickly so the door doesn’t warp or rot.
Get a Garage Door Opener With a Battery Backup From King Door Company, Inc.
If you’d like to save yourself from ever manually opening the garage, you can invest in a motorized garage door opener that includes a battery backup feature. Battery backups allow your garage door to open a certain number of times while the power is out. Instead of using the emergency release and lifting the door by hand, you can use the entry keypad or remote as you usually would. All the safety sensors will work as intended, making you even safer during a storm.
Prepare for the next power outage with King Door Company, Inc. We offer a wide selection of advanced LiftMaster garage door openers with battery backup capabilities. We’re happy to advise you on your options and install your new opener with a battery backup.
Contact King Door, your local garage door company, if you ever experience damage or have any questions about the safety of your garage door during a storm or power outage. Call us at (661) 397-2744 or fill out our contact form for more information.