How To Safely Open Your Automatic Garage Door When The Electricity Is Out

There is nothing better than being able to hop into your vehicle during a snow storm and not have to worry about cleaning the snow off or scraping the ice from the windshield. But that same storm can bring power outages that are nothing but headaches for homeowners. If you experienced a bad snow storm and have lost power, but you need to get your car out of the garage, don't worry about breaking your garage door to get it out. Even though automatic garage doors have been around since 1926, the only way to operate a garage door when the electricity is out is to use good old man-power. Keep reading to learn how you can safely open your automatic garage door when there is a power outage.

Put The Automatic Garage Door Opener Into Manual Mode

Automatic garage door openers have a bypass switch, which is usually in the form of a rope hanging from the motor with a red handle at the end. Simply pull on the red handle to disengage the trolley from the track. This will also put your automatic garage door into manual mode. Never pull the handle when the garage door is open, or it could come crashing down on you. Only do this when the garage door is closed.

If the electricity is expected to be out for a long period of time, you'll want the garage door to stay in manual mode. To keep the rope from getting tangled on the tracks, pull it down and towards the motor or the back of the garage.

Disengage Manual Mode And Go Back To Automatic Mode

Once power has been restored, you probably want to take advantage of an automatic garage door again. To do this, you need to put the trolley back onto the garage door track. You have 2 options to do this:

1. With the garage door closed, pull down on the cord with the red handle, but this time pull the cord towards the opening in the garage. Keep pulling until the trolley snaps into place. Now use your automatic garage door as usual.

2. With the garage door closed, push the garage door opener remote, and the trolley will force the spring attachment back into place and the door gears will snap into place on the track.

Additional Information

If the power goes out and your garage door is stuck in the open position, use 2x4 pieces of wood to brace the door while you engage the manual mode. This will prevent the door from crashing down on you, your pet, or someone else. It will also prevent damage to your garage door.

It can take some force to disengage the lever when releasing the trolley from the track. If you are having trouble when pulling on the red handle, don't hang from it to try and pull it down. This can cause damage to the lever or the rope. Instead, call a professional garage door repairman to complete this task.

When manually operating your garage door, make sure the area around the door is free of people and objects. This includes the area inside the garage by the door, and the area outside the garage by the door. A manually-operated door can be a little unpredictable and could unexpectedly and quickly close.

If any damage occurred when the garage door was placed into manual mode, or if you are having trouble with the garage door once you put it back into automatic mode, contact your local residential garage door repair service. They will be happy to come to your home and make the necessary repairs to get your garage door working perfectly once again.