You are returning home from work when a storm whips up and lightning cracks through the sky. After you pull into the driveway, you press the button on the garage door remote opener and wait for the door to rise, but nothing happens. You press the button again with no luck and then realize that all of the lights are out in the neighborhood. The power is out, and you are stranded in your car. We have all experienced the inconvenience of a power outage. Every homeowner should understand how to manually operate your garage door, from inside or outside of your garage.
Opening a Garage Door Without Power from the inside
It’s always a good idea to know how to manually open your garage door without the help of your automatic opener. Automatic garage doors have a bypass that enables you to open it manually. The bypass disconnects the door from the powered carriage, but it stays on the track. Once you disconnect it, you can then lift it manually. When the power comes back on, you can lock the bypass and use the door normally again.
Warning: Don’t ever pull the bypass cord if the door is stuck in the open position. The door will come crashing down.
Open Your Garage Door without power from the Outside
It’s important to get familiar with the layout of the garage door opener spring mechanism in non-emergency situations. If you’re locked out when the power is out, and the garage is your primary method to access the home, you may be able to spring the lever from the outside. Place a shim in the weather stripping near the top of the garage and slide a bent clothes hanger in to spring the lever so the door can be opened manually.
Reattach the Door When the Power Returns
After power has been restored in your house, you’ll likely want to take full advantage of the conveniences of an automatic door again. To reengage the trolley attachment, pull the cord down towards the garage opening and keep the lever from engaging. Pull up on the door until it locks into place and you’re back in automatic mode. If that’s too confusing, hit the button on the remote opener and the track will force the spring attachment back into place.
In an emergency, you can always call a locksmith as most are very familiar with garage door mechanisms and can quickly and easily get you in or out of your garage.
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