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How to open your garage door manually

Garage One - Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Like many devices you have at home, your garage door is powered by electricity. So what happens if there’s a power outage? Or what if your opener simply fails to function? Thankfully, any garage door can be opened manually. Here’s how to do it.

House with garage door half open

Pull the red cord

If you look up at the mechanism that opens your garage door you should see a red cord, or sometimes a single black cord with a red knob at the end of it. This is the manual release and it controls the spring attachment in the trolley. You’ll need to climb a ladder and pull the cord towards the back of the garage. When you do, the trolley will be released from the attachment point. If your garage door is open, the door will come crashing down so it’s best to use the manual mode only when your garage door is closed. However, if you must close your garage door and there’s no power, the safest way to do it is to use two-by-fours to prop up the door first.

Open the garage door

Once the garage door is in manual mode, opening it is usually as simple as lifting it towards the ceiling. It should just roll right up. However, some doors need to be pushed outward and then lifted. In order to drive your car out you’ll need to either use two-by-fours to hold the door in position or ask someone to prop it up for you. Afterwards, carefully ease it back into place.

Switching your garage door back into automatic mode

Once the power’s back on (or the opener has been fixed), you’ll want to go back to opening your garage door with a single push of a button. You simply need to climb back on your ladder and pull the cord again, only this time towards the front of the garage. You’ll hear a click when it’s in place and can watch as the bracket slides back into the attachment point. You should be back in business now. Activate the opener to ensure the door opens and closes smoothly.

If your garage door requires repair work

Knowing how to operate your garage door manually can be useful during a power outage, as well as during a malfunction. While in the first scenario proper function can easily be restored once the power comes back on, in the second, you’ll need to call for garage door repair service. In Toronto—and surrounding GTA neighbourhoods like HamiltonGarage One is available 24/7 to provide you the repair service you require. Contact us today if you need our services, or simply keep our number handy should you require our expertise in the future.


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