You never know when your garage door will fail you or there’s a power outage in your area that causes it not to work properly.
It’s therefore essential to know how to open your garage door manually when things like this happen so that you don’t end up damaging your garage door to be able to take your car out of the garage.
Luckily, you can easily and safely open your automatic garage door as most of them come with an emergency release kit.
What’s an emergency release kit?
This is a garage door system that’s installed to enable you to open the door manually, from the inside and outside, during an emergency.
But you need to know how to use it. With that in mind, let’s look at how to open your garage door manually. Here are the steps to follow.
- 1 How To Manually Open Garage Door
- 2 When To Call A Repairman
- 3 Related Questions
- 4 Conclusion
How To Manually Open Garage Door
Step One: Put The Door In Its Closed Position
This is a crucial step to follow for your safety. Even though you’re panicked and desperately eager to fix your door, you need to ensure that your garage door is in the down position.
If it’s up and open, this is very dangerous because if it’s spring isn’t working or broken, the door could fall to the ground and hurt you or someone else nearby, causing you much bigger problems that you don’t need.
If your garage door is stuck in the open position, call a repairman who will be able to safely fix it.
Step Two: Pull The Emergency Release Cord
This cord is a red rope and you’ll find it hanging from the trolley of the garage door. When the door is closed, you’ll see it near the front. Now, the trolley is important because it’s connected to the door and will move as the garage door opens and closes.
The trolley is also connected to the opener carriage of the door, otherwise known as the mechanism that moves the door automatically.
When you pull the cord, you’re basically disconnecting the carriage from the trolley so that it’s safe to operate the garage door manually.
Step Three: Manually Operate The Door
Once you’ve pulled the emergency release cord, you will be able to close and open the garage door yourself by hand. Now, there could be problems you face.
For example, you might not be able to lift the door because it’s just too heavy – if this happens, the culprit could be a broken spring that needs to be repaired by a professional.
Step Four: Reconnect The Carriage And Trolley
If you didn’t encounter problems when opening and closing the garage door manually, you can try to reconnect your door so that it can operate automatically again.
First, you’ll have to reconnect the carriage. Pull the release cord towards the door so that the spring lever gets compressed. Then, you also need to reconnect the trolley to the garage opener.
To do this, run the opener all the way to the top and then all the way to the bottom. To be sure that this is working properly, you’ll hear a clicking noise when the carriage and trolley pass each other.
When To Call A Repairman
Earlier, we mentioned that if you battle to lift the garage door after disconnecting its parts, its spring could be broken and that warrants a call to your local repairman because you don’t want to fiddle with a garage door spring.
If not repaired correctly, it could cause the door to become dangerous during its operation.
There are other instances when it’s a good idea to call a repairman, but to find out what the problem is and if you require the help of a garage repairman you should do some tests on your garage door.
Test 1: Is The Opener Plugged In?
Yes, it might seem obvious, but this can happen to anyone and it’s a common cause for why a garage door won’t open.
Check that the power cord is securely attached to the outlet. If it isn’t, then you’ll breathe a sigh of relief that the problem isn’t more serious.
Test 2: Check Your Circuit Breaker
If there was an electrical surge, this could have caused a breaker to trip and that could be why your garage door won’t open automatically.
Check your home’s service panel to be sure that the breaker that powers up your garage is on.
Test 3: Try Using The Garage Door Remote
In some cases, your garage door remote might be the culprit for why it’s not working. Check if the garage door opens when you press a button on the wall-mounted control panel – that should tell you that the problem is with the remote.
You can try to reset the garage remote, but you’ll need to get your hands on the garage door instruction manual.
Test 4: Give The Garage Door A Test Run
Once you have reconnected your garage door, you should lower it to see how it moves. If it’s noisy during operation, try to find where the noise is coming from.
Bear in mind that if your garage doors are very noisy, this could signal a problem with the garage door opener.
If the garage door battles to fully close or open, this is another sign that you could have a problem with the door opener. If you suspect that, you’ll need a repairman.
Test 5: Clean The Photo Eye
This is a sensor a few inches from the ground inside the garage door track. It’s used to detect if there are any objects that are obstructing the garage door’s operation and will stop the door from moving if it does sense something.
But, if the photo eye is dirty it can stop working as it should, causing your garage door not to close properly for no good reason, so you should wipe it with a soft cloth and see if that solves the problem.
Test 6: Check The Tracks
Another test you should do includes looking at the garage door’s metal tracks. Any dents in them could be a simple reason why your garage door isn’t working properly.
You can fix this problem yourself with the use of a wooden block and a hammer, but just be sure not to hit the tracks too hard as that can damage them.
Test 7: Inspect The Rollers
You should also check the rollers of your garage door.
If one has popped off the tracks, such as because the track was hit by a heavy object, you should disconnect the opener and ask someone to lift the garage door while you move the roller back into place on the tracks.
Again, you can use a hammer to carefully nudge it back into place. If the wheels just won’t turn anymore, they will need to be replaced.
This is something for which you should call a professional repairman because it’s all too easy to bend the door track when replacing the wheels, which could cause you bigger problems.
Test 8: Give It Some Grease
If everything else seems to be working all right, you can try a simple test to troubleshoot your garage door: add some grease to the garage door elements, such as its hinges and springs, to see if this helps the garage door work better.
If it doesn’t, you should call a repairman to find out what the problem is and how to solve it.
How much will it cost to get your garage door fixed?
Generally, repairing a garage door will cost around $223, but you can expect to pay between $150 and $340 (via Home Advisor).
Are damaged garage doors covered by homeowner’s insurance?
If your garage doors need to be repaired, you might want to let your homeowner’s insurance cover the cost.
They should be covered by insurance, although there might be some exceptions, such as that the insurance company won’t pay for damage caused by natural disasters, so always check with them.
Coming home to find that your garage door isn’t opening can be a stressful situation, especially after a particularly overwhelming day.
But don’t fret – after reading this article, you now have the steps you need to follow to be able to get your garage door up and running again.
We’ve also featured some ways in which you can test why your garage doors aren’t working. Who knows?
You might be able to fix them yourself and save some money. However, there are times when calling a repairman is the safest and smartest choice.