Most homeowners will never have to open their garage door manually. The electric garage door opener was invented in 1926 by C.G. Johnson and since WWII they have become universal. The only time you will ever need to open your garage door manually is in the event of a power outage. While unlikely, it’s still a good idea to know how to do it. Read the steps to open a garage door without power below.
Only attempt the following steps if your garage is in the down position. If your power goes out with the door in the up position, contact a garage door repair company for assistance. Attempting these steps with the door open is extremely dangerous.
1) Locate the emergency release cord hanging from the center rail of your garage door mechanism. The cord is usually red or has a red plastic handle.
2) Pull the cord down and back towards the motor until the lever locks into the down position. You may need a step ladder to reach it depending on your height and the length of the cord.
3) Lift the garage door with caution using both hands. If the garage door won’t budge, check the cord again and make sure it’s locked in the down position. If the door is too heavy, you may need someone to assist.
4) Once the door is off the ground, do not let it go. Securely prop the door open with 2x4s or have someone hold it until you are able to back your car out.
5) Carefully ease the door back down.
6) To re-engage the door when the power is back, simply pull the cord again but this time towards the door. Then, push the button on your remote to activate the motor and the door will reattach to the automatic opener.