How to Open a Garage Door During a Power Outage

You are driving home from work after a really bad day. The rain is heavy. Thunder and lightning is all around and when you drive up to your home, you hit your garage door remote, but nothing happens. Your windshield wipers just manage to cope with the downpour and you notice there are no lights on anywhere in your house. All electrical power is off. Yet another power outage due to the weather.

Your garage door is probably the largest opening in your home and as such will more than likely be used more often than your front or back doors. Having the convenience of an automatic garage door opener is a great feeling especially in bad weather. No need to get out of your car to lift the door open, or pull it down to close it. Just hit a button and the opener does all the hard work for you. An automatic garage door opener is particularly beneficial in a storm, opening the door and keeping you and your belongings dry.

That being said, a storm brings with it power outages and then your garage door is out of action and you are left without a way to get your vehicle into the garage. Similarly, you need to get to work, but you are stuck inside with no way of getting your vehicle out. All is not lost. You can still open the door, but you need to know how to open garage door without power.

How to Open the Garage Door Manually

Every homeowner should make themselves familiar with how to manually open their garage door. When your garage door was installed, a garage door emergency release was connected to the track, usually with an emergency cord and red handle. This acts as a bypass to the motor for situations like loss of power. This manual release cord will disengage the trolley from the rail and will put the door into manual mode. In the interest of your safety, it is always wise to only pull the cord when the door is closed. If the door is in the open position and the manual release is pulled, the door may come crashing down. To operate the release, grab the red handle and pull down hard.

An Alternative Method to Releasing the Door Mechanism

Garage door manufacturers and installers can supply you with an Emergency Release Kit, which will allow you to open the garage door from the outside in the event of a power outage or if your remote stops working. The kit comes complete with a keyed lock assembly and is generally installed in the top door panel in line with the door opener carriage release mechanism. Once connected to the manual release mechanism, turning the key and pulling out the lock assembly along with the cable will disengage the carriage release and allow you to open the door manually. It may take a bit of force to disengage the mechanism so be prepared to pull hard until it releases.

Follow these Safety Procedures when You Manually Open a Garage Door

The type of garage door you have installed will play a big part in how easy or difficult it will be to manually open or close the door. Single doors are obviously lighter than double garage doors, and reinforced doors are much heavier than those without reinforcing braces. A double garage door measuring 16ft x 8ft weighs in at approximately 185 lbs. With reinforced braces, a must if you live in a hurricane-prone area like Texas or Florida, each brace or strut will add an additional 16 lbs to the overall weight. So, a double garage door with four panels, braced to code minimum will weigh around 250 lbs,

Make sure there is nobody standing near the door as you attempt to raise it. In fact, you may need help in getting the door raised up to the open position. Once in the open position, use a sturdy piece of wood, like a 2 x 4, to prop it open. Do not drive your car in or out of the garage unless the door is secured. Once your car is moved, then gently lower the door, with help to take some of the weight.

Security is Important During a Power Outage

Whether you disconnect the emergency release by pulling the cord from inside the garage or if you utilize the Emergency Release Kit from the outside, it is important to note that once you have managed to open the door, moved your vehicle, and closed the door again, you must re-engage the release mechanism even if the power has not been restored. This will prevent unwanted guests from taking advantage of the fact that your garage door is now to all intents and purposes, unlocked.

Contact the Most Reliable Garage Door Company in the Hill Country

If you think there is any damage to the door while operating it manually, then call a professional for advice and repairs. Here at Hill Country Overhead Door, we’re dedicated and ensure our customers are happy with our services. Contact us today for our 24/7 emergency services and quick and efficient repair of your garage door!