How to Open Your Garage During a Power Outage
Even in our modern day and age, our homes aren’t infallible to power failures, and it doesn’t necessarily have to take an earth-shattering storm to cause one. A power outage can happen when the grid system is overloaded, undergoing an update, or for any number of reasons. For us, that could mean our entire house goes dark and falls quiet. But it doesn’t have to mean that you can’t get into your garage.
Emergency or not, you should know how to manually access your garage, but if any situation is appropriate, it’s certainly an emergency. You might need your car to evacuate, drive a family member somewhere, or make a run for supplies. Fortunately, accessing your garage during a power outage is something garage door companies have planned for, and they made it easy to do so.
Step One: Down Position
Keep in mind that manually opening your garage door can be dangerous if you neglect to follow the safety guidelines. The most important one is ensuring that the door is in the down position. The reasons are fairly obvious, but the fact of the matter is that garage doors are extraordinarily heavy, which is something that people greatly underestimate. Imagine that door crashing down on you when you’re trying to disengage the opener mechanism!
If a power outage happens and your door is stuck in the open position, you’ll want to contact a garage door company right away to resolve this problem. You shouldn’t try to disengage the emergency release cord while the door is up, so bring in some professionals to help you out instead.
Step Two: Pull the Cord
To manually open the garage door, you’ll first make sure the door is down (in its closed position), then you’ll search for the emergency release cord. This is something that garage doors have near the garage door chain or belt and is usually a red rope. When the door is closed, you’ll find this cord near the front of the door.
A trolley is connected to the door and moves with it as the door operates from open to close. There’s also the attachment point that connects the trolley and the garage door carriage. The carriage is what moves the door along the track, so when you pull the emergency release cord, you’re disconnecting the trolley from the carriage. The end result is that you can now open the garage door manually.
Step Three: Open the Garage Door
You’ve done the hard work already, so now it’s time to actually open the garage door. The door won’t be too heavy because the springs will assist you in lifting it, and in most cases, it should move to its open position with relative ease.
If that’s not the case, then you may have a broken spring on your hands. This is why it’s important to inspect, repair, or replace the parts of your garage door before there’s an emergency. If you do have broken spring, this is a job for a professional, as working with garage door springs can be extremely dangerous.
Step Four: Re-Engage the Garage Door
When the power is back on and you no longer need to access your garage door manually, you can re-engage it in a similar fashion. Once more, you’ll be utilizing the release cord, and this time, you’ll be pulling the cord towards the door. This action compresses the spring lever and reconnects the two mechanisms.
Next, you’ll be reconnecting the trolley to the opener. With the power back on, you’ll run the garage door opener for one complete cycle. This will bring the garage door all the way to its open position and all the way back down so its closed. The trolley and the carriage will pass one another, and when they do, they’ll click in place. When you hear this sound, you can confirm that the trolley and the carriage are connected. This means that you can once again open and close your garage door normally—with power—again.
Locks or Latches
Your garage door may be outfitted with a lock or a latch that will need to be unlocked before manually opening it. These handles or locks are usually near the outside of the garage door and if they aren’t unlocked, they could interfere with you trying to manually open it.
Unplugging the Opener
Another safety tip that garage door professionals often recommend you adhere to is to unplug the opener. This will ensure that there are no electrical problems while you’re working to open the door manually. Yes, the power is out, but you never know what could happen. It’s like they always say: better safe than sorry.
Opening from the Outside
If you can’t access your garage door from the inside at all, there still may be a way to open it from the outside. There’s an emergency release kit on some garage door models, usually centered near the top of the door. It will look like a lock. Be sure you keep the key in an accessible place in case of a power outage. Unlocking it will release the emergency release cable.
Always Go With Professionals for Garage Door Installation
Whatever your garage needs, always come to the professionals. Danley’s Garages offers custom garage packages to suit your needs. Our garage doors come in a variety of styles and colors. Danley’s has been around since 1959. We’ve built over 100,000 garages and have been the #1 choice for Chicagoland homeowners. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote today!