How to open a broken garage door from the outside

Living in the Pacific Northwest, we are at the whim of Mother Nature nine months out of the year. An enjoyable Spring picnic can be ruined with just a few drops of rain. The threat of snow can close down schools for days. Ice will snarl freeways for hours.

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Even for hardy Pacific Northwesterners, a downpour can really ruin an evening – especially when the garage door won’t open after the workday. If the garage door opener isn’t working, the torsion spring is broken, or there’s any other reason the door won’t open, getting out in the rain to try to open it isn’t any fun.

Opening a Broken Garage Door

There is any number of reasons why the garage door opener isn’t working. Maybe the remote has a dead battery, the power is out at your home, or there is some other malfunction with the opener. If the power is still on, and the opener from inside the garage still isn’t working, there may be an issue with the opener itself.

From inside the garage, opening the door is a pretty simple task. Look for the rope with a red handle hanging from the trolley of the garage door system. This is an emergency release that will disconnect the door from the opener. 

The rope is attached to a release lever and once pulled, the door should move freely. In this example, the door is in the down position. If the opener goes on the fritz when the door is up, use the same method to disengage the opener.

Before closing or lifting the door, inspect the system entirely first. If there is something wrong with the door itself, such as the torsion or extension springs are broken, the garage door will be extremely difficult to open OR the garage door could come crashing down.

Some doors can weigh up to 400 pounds and the springs help with that weight. If the door needs to be opened or closed before a garage door specialist can replace the springs, use extreme caution. Once the car is out of/in the garage, carefully lower the door and re-engage the release lever.

Opening the door from the outside

If for some reason you are unable to get inside the garage (perhaps you use the garage door opener as your house key) the job becomes a little more difficult. In the past, you may have had to damage a door panel or window to gain access and disengage the opener.

If your current door doesn’t have one, consider installing an emergency release kit. This kit essentially provides a second emergency release cable to the front of the garage door. Accessible by lock and key, you will be able to pull the cable from the outside of the door, releasing the garage door.

You will then be able to open the door unless there is an issue with the door springs. In this case, the door will be heavier than usual, so please use caution when lifting the door. We recommend getting help opening, holding it in place while you move the car in, and then lowering the door.

Call The Professionals

If there is an issue with the door, contact Ponderosa Garage Door and Repairs. We have been replacing springs, installing new openers, and replacing garage doors in Clark County for more than 17 years. We understand the importance of having a working garage door and provide fast, friendly, and safe service. Give us a call to see how we can help with your garage door problems.