How to Manually Open Garage Doors Without Power

How to Manually Open Garage Doors Without Power

Powered gate openers are considered nifty components that prevent homeowners from having to pry their garage doors open in bad weather. Invariably, these devices are inefficient during power cuts. Learn how to manually open garage doors without power the next time the lights go out.

To manually open a garage door when there’s no power, you need to first make sure the garage door is completely closed. Next locate the emergency release handle and pull down firmly until you hear a loud click. You can then grab the garage door handles and manually lift the doors until your garage doors are fully open.

Unfortunately, we’ve all experienced the occasional power outage or an unbudging garage door that has left us vulnerable and stranded while on our way to work or the store, with seemingly no other options but to call the home repair guy.

However, if you believe you can’t do anything, think again – this article teaches you tips and tricks on how to open garage doors without power the next time you find yourself in a pickle.

How to Open a Garage Door Without Power 

If you’ve reached for your remote, only to find that the garage door won’t open, you’re likely to feel frustrated and powerless. You don’t want to leave your car outside and unprotected overnight. 

Out of the possible reasons for a garage door not opening, electricity cuts are most probable. Unless you have backup batteries for emergencies, your garage doors become entirely incapacitated without power. 

Follow these step-by-step DIY tips to open a garage door when the power is out and you can’t reach the repairman.

Locate The Emergency Release Handle 

Are you wondering whether it’s possible to open a garage door without electricity?  The answer is yes. 

The first thing you should know about garages is that it’s possible to open a garage door with no power, but you need to learn how to bypass the system. By bypassing the door, you’re disconnecting it from the electrical carriage while still keeping it on the track. You can reconnect the door once the lights come back on. 

How you set your doors to manual mode depends on where you’re located and whether or not it’s open, closed, halfway open or closed. It’s far easier to recalibrate the system and learn how to open garage doors without power if you are locked inside. Having access to a door that leads to the garage is also helpful. 

You should call for professional help if the door has jammed while opening or closing. If it becomes unstuck and falls suddenly due to faulty springs or a garage door pulley, severe damage could be imposed upon you, the surrounding areas, or the door itself. 

The emergency release is easy to locate; it’s the red handle attached to the trolley. Pull down hard (but not forcefully) on this garage door handle. The handle is hooked to a lever that locks when it’s in position. Pull down until you hear a loud click. The movement releases the said door from the carriage, allowing it to slide freely. 

Ensure That The Door Is Entirely Closed 

A door that doesn’t close correctly may point to an internal issue, such as broken springs or a faulty torsion. Pulling on the emergency release handle can result in permanent damage by causing the door to come crashing down. 

If the door has suddenly stopped working and you’re not experiencing a power outage, call the professionals instead of trying to fix it. 

Grab Both Doors With Both Hands 

Once the doors are loose, gain a firm grip on them and don’t let go. If you can’t hold the weight, seek professional assistance or ask someone, a family member or neighbor, who is more able to perform the task of holding a garage door that won’t open from outside or inside.

If you’re driving out of the garage, you’ll need another pair of hands to hold the doors for you. 

Remain In Manual Mode 

One thing you can say with certainty is those power outages are unpredictable. They can last from a few minutes to a few days in the event of a natural disaster. However, these inconveniences shouldn’t prevent you from coming in and out of your garage.

Remember to lock the handles in place if you open your garage doors manually from inside for a prolonged period for reasons of safety.

Switch the Garage Doors Back to Automatic Mode 

Once the power is restored, you’ll want to go back to making full use of your automatic door, and this can quickly be done. To re-engage the trolley system, pull on the handle, angling it toward the garage this time until it clicks back into automatic mode. 

By using the control panel or your remote, test to see whether the garage door is working correctly despite the interruption in your power supply. 

If you do this and your garage still won’t operate automatically, you might need to reset the system by unplugging it from the outlet and letting it rest before switching it back on. 

Are your doors still not working? You might be experiencing a malfunctioning motorhead resulting from the blackout. 

How to Open the Garage Door Manually From Outside 

If you’ve arrived home from work to find that your neighborhood is in the middle of an electrical surge, there are ways you can open the electric garage doors without power from outside.

The first is to install an emergency release kit ahead of time, designed for these types of worst-case scenarios. Said contraptions are easy to use, affordable, and are compatible with most garage doors in America. Most importantly, they allow homeowners to release the garage door opener manually with a key.

 Open a garage door without power from outside with the kit in four simple steps.

  1. Locate the release kit and insert the right key into the hole.
  2. Turn the key and remove the tumbler from the lock – this will engage the release mechanism of the door opener. 
  3. Lift the garage doors until they stop moving upwards. 
  4. Once you’re inside and the lights are on again, remember to disengage the mechanism by pulling on the lever, as mentioned earlier. Generally, this is positioned quite high, so reach it with a broom handle or by standing on a ladder.  

How to Open the Garage Door From Outside Without Keys 

An emergency release kit, like the one mentioned above, only applies to homeowners who have the device installed. 

So what can you do if you are stuck outside without keys and don’t have access to your home?

If you’re a handy DIY’er, it’s relatively uncomplicated to manually open doors using the right tools and materials. So, if you keep a tool kit in the back of your vehicle for emergencies, you’re in luck. 

All you need to do is thread a hooked piece of metal through the small opening of your garage and feel around for the emergency release handle, once you’ve located it, pull down hard on it. 

Safety Warning With Regards to Using This Method 

It may be disconcerting to learn how easy it is to break into your garage. If you can, then professional thieves are certainly capable too.

Gain peace of mind and keep your family safe from intruders by purchasing a garage locking system. Otherwise, an inexpensive alternative is to fasten the emergency leaver to your garage door with zip ties.

How to Lock a Garage Door During a Power Outage 

When a power outage occurs, not only should you be concerned about how to get in and out, but you should also focus on ways to keep unwanted burglars from entering your home, which is a task made simpler without electricity. 

In areas where crime is a problem, leaving your garage on manual without installing a deadbolt lock might be reckless. Recent statistics have shown that up to 70% of homeowners enter their homes through inter-leading garage doors, making this an accessible entryway for criminals. 

Prevent the worst from happening by learning how to lock garage doors after opening manually.

In today’s world, it’s essential to be vigilant, and people are turning toward automatic and manual locks to protect their valuables and loved ones against a home invasion. 

Are you’re looking to beef up your security? Read our article: How to Lock Your Garage for tips, advice, and recommendations on garage security devices. 

Under What Circumstances, Other Than a Power Outage, Would I Need to Open a Garage Door?

If you’re not a forgetful person or aren’t currently facing an electricity surge, you might wonder how this information might be useful to you. 

The truth of the matter is that an unmoving door is more common than people think, and learning how to open a garage door without power proves useful and in extreme cases, lifesaving.

How To Close The Garage Door Without A Remote 

It’s easy to lose a garage remote if you’re absent-minded or have a lot on your plate because the clicker is so small and can be easily misplaced. 

Despite its size, the remote has a vital function, helping you to gain access to and exit your property at the click of a button. There are fewer things more frustrating than scrambling around looking for a remote when you’re late for work. 

When time is of the essence, learn to operate the gate manually using the steps mentioned above. You can continue to use the garage in manual mode until the remote is found or replaced. 

The Garage Is Broken 

Are you struggling with a garage door that won’t open or close?

Sometimes, a garage door not opening has nothing to do with not having electricity and is more likely an internal issue that needs to be repaired.

Unless you’re a known handyman, you shouldn’t be the one finding a permanent solution to the problem. However, what you can do is put the garage into manual mode by disconnecting the automatic opener until a professional has had a look at it. This way, you can continue to use the garage space. 

The above should be reasonably straightforward but be wary of doors that are impossible to lift or don’t stay in place; these could be signs of problematic springs and shouldn’t be tampered with. 

In The Case Of Emergency 

Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, and heavy snow are some of the natural disasters we Americans have to contend with, where sometimes evacuations become necessary.

More often than not, when these disasters strike, power outages become widespread, which makes leaving home in a rush when you have an automatic garage challenging. 

If you’re experiencing an uncontrolled housefire, your best possible exit might be the garage. The fire could damage other doors, or they may too hot to open. In these situations, knowing how to manually open garage doors could save your life and that of your family. 

Handy Tips For Keeping Your Garage Door In Good Condition 

Unfortunately, the parts that make up your door are susceptible to wear and tear. Eventually, they will need to be replaced. 

Maintenance is critical, and lubricating the moving parts won’t only prevent them from squeaking, but with less friction, they won’t break as easily and will last longer.

Are There Risks Involved in Handling a Garage Door That Won’t Close? 

The process of manually opening or closing a garage door is low-risk, but you should take account of the following before you undertake the task:

Protect Your Muscles

The garage door holds a lot of weight, so be sure you have the strength to lift it. If you have knee, back, or shoulder problems, ask someone else to do it for you. 

Turn Electrical Units Off 

Remember to unplug the entire unit when working with electrical components. If the electricity turns back on unexpectedly, you could be in for a real electric shock. 

Keep Doors Closed 

A door is less likely to fall out of place, causing injury and damaging other parts of your garage if it’s closed. Make sure to keep it that way to prevent collateral damage. 

When In Doubt, Call A Repairman

Save yourself a few hundred dollars by trying to use your garage door manually, at least until the power comes back on. 

If you can’t automate your garage door once you have electricity, you might have a more serious issue on your hands. In these situations, it’s better to call a repairman than reading the manual and trying to fix the problem without any knowledge about repairing garage doors. 

Keep Your Power on During Outages With Backup Batteries 

Using a manual garage door is one way of resolving an inconvenient situation, but it’s only a temporary solution to a bigger problem. 

That said, many people aren’t keen to exit their vehicles due to safety issues or the weather. The last thing you want to do if you arrive home late at night without power is to tinker about outdoors, especially if you don’t live in a particularly safe area. 

At the same time, having to leave your vehicle when there’s a torrential downpour is unpleasant and potentially dangerous if the weather is terrible. On the flip side, you might not have the luxury of time to manually open your garage doors when you need to leave your property in a hurry during an emergency, or worse, be physically incapable of lifting your garage to vacate from danger.

Electricity impacts all areas of our lives and is challenging to live without. When it comes to your garage, consider installing a battery backup system to your door opener. There are various types to suit your lifestyle needs. 

What Is A Battery Backup System?

It’s a small, 12-volt battery pack that an opener uses to power your doors so that you can enter and leave your garage during a blackout.

It’s Fast Becoming The Law 

Following a plethora of destructive fires and devastating consequences back in 2017, Californian law has ruled it impermissible for garage doors to be sold without battery backups. Failure to comply with these new rules will result in hefty fines of up to 1000 dollars per opener.

While these rules don’t apply to older models, if you replace them in the future, you will also have to factor in a battery backup. 

Need-to-knows About Battery Backup and Why These Rules Are Being Enforced

You might be frustrated by these new laws because you feel that the device is a wasted expenditure that you’ll never use. However, they shouldn’t be perceived as luxury items but a necessary convenience with power outages and natural disasters on the rise.

Using a garage door manually requires you to disconnect the opener from the door, which can be tricky or challenging for the elderly or those who are physically impaired, which is when battery backups come in handy. 

Battery backups are ideal to use during electrical outages, but you do need to learn how they work and keep them maintained in the following ways:

Make sure yours works before An Emergency 

Do this by unplugging your opener; if you can’t operate the door, this could either mean that the device isn’t working or is low on battery. 

Perform these tests every six months to ensure that the battery works to full capacity.

Become familiar with its features 

  • A battery backup can be convenient or potentially lifesaving, but only if you keep it charged

Luckily, indicators that light up will let you know when the batteries are running low, or the contraption might emit a warning sound signaling low battery, so you won’t have to worry about consistently checking up on it. 

These batteries take 48 hours to reach full charge. For peace of mind, charge it before its power is completely exhausted.

  • Battery backup has limited power 

You may find that not all the features of your door opener work while using the battery backup, and that’s to preserve energy supplies as long as possible. 

Depending on the model you buy, you’re limited to the number of times you can open and close your garage doors – these are cycles, and they range between 20 – 50 cycles every 24 hours. 

  • The batteries will eventually need replacing 

While they are long-lasting, battery backups will need to be replaced every two years, so upkeep is vital if you don’t want to be left in the dark with ineffective and expired batteries.

If you’re looking to replace your door opener or updating from a manual to an automatic garage door, the Chamberlain, Smartphone-controlled garage door opener with backup replacement battery is available on Amazon.

The appliance assures buyers years of reliability and quiet, smooth performance, and won’t let them down.

Recap: How to Open a Door Manually When There is No Electricity 

We rely on electricity more than we realize, which leaves us vulnerable when we lose our power supply, especially when we can’t even leave our garages when we absolutely have to. In this article, we’ve learned the necessary skills to open garage doors when the unexpected occurs manually. 

  • Equipped with DIY tips, homeowners can manually open their garage doors by bypassing the operating system.
  • We’ve learned that this can be done by pulling down on the unmissable red handle, which can be located on the trolley of the door. This action disconnects the door from the opener, allowing it to move freely up and down without being motorized. 
  • Depending on whether you’re trapped inside your garage or outside of it, there are several methods you can employ to gain entry or make a quick exit. 
  • It’s a good idea to install an emergency release kit on the outside of your garage. Using a key that detaches the opener, you can unlock your garage door without much difficulty. 
  • If you haven’t planned for situations like the above, you can easily gain entry to the home with a long piece of hooked wire and a steady hand. However, consider upping the ante on your garage security because if you can gain entry using crude materials, opportunistic criminals will too. 
  • Blackouts aren’t the only reason for needing to open your garage door manually. Whether you’ve lost your electronic remote or need to escape a house on fire, knowing how to switch your door to manual not only remedies inconveniences but also save lives.  
  • Not only are battery backups popular, but nowadays, it’s unlawful not to have one attached to your garage opening. Save yourself the trouble of having to open your garage when the electricity’s down manually or from incurring an avoidable fine.