How to Open Your Garage Door Manually

hand opening garage doorIf your home has experienced a power failure or you have lost your remote, you may need to open your garage door manually. The process is simple but requires careful manuvering to ensure your safety, as well as that of the door.

Luckily, all garage doors include a bypass that allows you to open it without electrical or automatic access. This bypass keeps the door on track while disconnecting it from the powered carriage. When you find your remote or gain power again, you should be able to lock the bypass and use the door again.

But how do you access the bypass, and what is the proper way to lift a garage door that cannot operate electrically? The answer lies in the following steps:

Find the Red Cord

Locate the chain that operates the garage door and place a sturdy ladder beneath. You should see a red cord hanging from a bracket on the chain. The cord should be located close to the door and have a red plastic knob on the end.

Pull the Cord

Using the knob, pull on the cord, activating a small, attached lever. This lever may be tilted at a 15-degree angle or point downward. Pull this spring-loaded lever until it locks into a lowered position. Step down and remove ladder.

Lift Door

Making sure that there are no people or debris nearby that could be injured or damaged by a falling garage door, grab the door with both hands and lift. In the event of a resistant door, pull the cord harder and lock it open. Door too heavy? Don’t strain yourself and risk injury. Ask a friend to help you.

Prop the Door

Once opened,  the door is still free on the track and will fall if you release it. Use a piece of wood to prop open the door or ask an assistant to hold open the door for you while you drive the car in or out. When finished, slowly ease the door down manually so as to avoid a crash the could damage the door.

Lock Cord Again

Once you are finished, you will need to lock the door in place again so it will once again work electrically. Pull the cord down hard and observe the bracket slipping back into the chain bracket, which locks the door into the power carriage.

If you try the remote and the door won’t open but the chain still moves, pull on the chain once again to lock the bracket.

Manually opening your garage door may be necessary in a pinch. Be sure to complete this project with a spotter nearby to help you lift the door if necessary.