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How to Manually Open a Garage Door if it Breaks Down


Garage doors can break down for a number of different reasons, and this will make it so that the door won't open automatically. This issue will also occur if the power ever goes out as the opener relies on electricity to move the door up and down. The good news is that opening your garage door manually is quite easy and only requires a few simple steps.

Use the Emergency Release Cord

The first thing you'll want to do is locate the emergency release cord. The cord should have a red handle and will be located close to the door when it is closed.

Grab the handle and pull the cord forward towards the door. This will disconnect the door from the trolley so that it can now be opened and closed manually.

It is essential that you only ever use the emergency release cord when the door is fully closed. If you pull the cord when the garage is open, it could cause the door to come slamming down. Not only does this pose an injury risk, but it can also cause more damage to the door. If your garage door is stuck in the open position, it is essential that you contact a professional so that they can safely close it for you.

Pull Up on the Door Until It is Fully Open

Once the cord is released, grab ahold of the door and pull upwards until it is fully open. Make sure to open it all the way or else the door could potentially come back down when you're trying to back your car out.

Once your car is out of the garage, you can then grab the door and pull down on it until it is closed. Most garage doors will have a rope connected to them that you can use to close the door if you can't reach it.

Concerns With Manually Opening and Closing a Garage Door

A challenge with opening and closing your garage door manually is that it no longer locks in place. This means that anyone can open and close your garage door while the emergency release cord has been pulled. If you’re concerned about people taking your things, you may want to avoid manually opening the garage. Or, at least, reengage the garage door onto the chain trolly after closing it so that the garage door motor can prevent unwanted opening and closing of the garage door.

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There isn’t a way to tell when looking at a garage door if the emergency release has been used so it is unlikely that a passerby would even try to open or close your garage door. However, if someone observes you manually opening and closing your garage door, then they will know that it is unlocked. Because of this, it's ideal to ensure that the door to your home from inside your garage door is locked while you are using the manual process.

What to Do If the Door Won't Open Manually

If the door won't open manually or there is a lot of resistance when you try to pull it up, you will need to contact an expert to have it repaired. This issue usually means that one of the garage door springs is damaged, which means you won't be able to open the door until you have it repaired.

Another possibility is that you don’t have a way of getting into your garage to access the emergency release. For example, if you don’t have keys to your house and the garage door isn’t working. In this case, you’ll likely have to contact an emergency garage door repair company to take care of it for you. In some cases, they’ll be able to evaluate the best way to fix your garage door. This can also be a great solution if you aren’t comfortable with leaving the garage door unlocked via the emergency release function. Sometimes the solution is as simple as realigning the sensors but the issue may also be motor or track related, at which point you would need a professional to care for it correctly.

Opening a garage door manually is easy, but it can also be dangerous if you're not careful. For this reason, it is always best to contact a professional if you have any issues.

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