How to Open Your Automatic Garage Door Manually

Automatic garage doors are a great convenience – until they stop working for whatever reason. You don’t want to be late to work because you can’t get out of your own garage, after all. Remember, you can’t always just manually lift it open if your garage door is automatic.

That’s why all homeowners should know a few tricks for opening their garage door if it malfunctions. Maybe you misplaced your garage door opener, or a storm knocked out the power. No matter what type of garage door you have, you don’t have to run the risk of being locked out when the automatic option is not available. All automatic and electric garage doors were created with an emergency bypass that allows you to open it manually.

Use Caution

First, you want to make sure your garage door is not stuck in the open position. If it is, when you engage the emergency bypass, the door will come crashing down. This could cause serious damage to the door or to anything in its way. If it is stuck, find something that can support the weight of the door, such as a 2-by-4, and securely prop it up under the door.

Employ the Emergency Bypass

If your door is closed or secured, you can now switch it from automatic to manual. This process works on automatic garage doors with a screw drive carriage, a chain glide carriage, or a chain drive carriage. First, locate the cord hanging from a lever on the operational chain. Usually, these cords are red, but it should be the only cord hanging. Next, position your ladder so you can easily reach the cord. Lastly, grab the knob on the end of the cord and gently pull down on the cord until the lever locks in the down position. Now, you should be able to open your garage door manually.

Remember, the door is free on the track and will not stay in place when you let it go. If you need the door to stay open, use a 2-by-4 to securely prop it up. Be sure to gently lower your garage door when you are ready to close it. If you let it fall on its own, it could cause damage. This is a simple way to open your garage door if you have lost your garage door opener or electrical power.

Re-engage the Automatic System

The power is back on or you have relocated your garage door opener, so you need to re-activate the automatic feature. Turning on the automatic opener is just as effortless as turning it off. Position your ladder underneath the red cord once again. Then, pull the cord toward the motor of your automatic system. Manually lift and close the door until it locks into place. You should now be able to use your remote to automatically open your garage door.

Different kinds of automatic systems will vary slightly in how you engage and dis-engage manual operation. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to refer to your user’s manual. If you’re facing a potential power outage, make sure you check your automatic garage door manual ahead of time so that you know how to open it manually.

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