The Power is Out: How to Open Your garage Door Manually

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The Power is Out: How to Open Your garage Door Manually

 

The blurry halo of light from your headlights finally falls on your house number as you turn the corner into your driveway and park in front of the garage door. What a day. The rain is still coming down, not in drops but in buckets, pounding on your windshield in sheets that are only momentarily subdued by the “whip-whap” of your car’s windshield wipers. The night is suddenly lit up by a bluish white light, followed by a loud “crack” that shakes the car and threatens to wake up the kids sleeping in the back seat. The storm is getting worse. You press the button on the garage door opener remote and wait expectantly for the door to rise…but it doesn’t. You press the button again with no luck and then realize that none of your yard lights are on either. The power is out.
Rather than soak all of your packages and children as you try to usher everyone into the house through the front door, you remember you installed the garage door opener Emergency Release Kit just under the eave on the garage door. You find the key, put your jacket hood up, and jump out into the cold rain. It only takes a second or two to turn the key and release the emergency release lever on the garage door opener. You slide the garage door up and dash back to the car. Once you pull inside, you slide the garage door back down and re-engage the release lever. Thanks to your forethought and the installation of the Emergency Release Kit, you can now unload in the safety and relative peace of your garage.

No Power, No Problem
We have all experienced the inconvenience of a major power outage. Whether you are returning home to a dark house or happen to be inside when the outage occurs, the lack of power can wreak havoc on your daily life. Not being able to get the garage door to open or close may seem insignificant now, but it will seem pretty important when you are late for work and need out or come home in a rainstorm and need in. Every homeowner should understand how to manually operate your garage door, from inside or outside of your garage. The process is relatively straightforward.


From Inside:
If you are caught inside of your garage and the power is out or the garage door opener is not working for some reason, follow the steps below to open the door manually:
  1. Inspect the garage door hardware to ensure the springs are intact and no damage has occurred to the garage door system.
  2. Pull the red emergency cord to disengage the release lever on the garage door opener carriage.
  3. Lift the garage door until it is all the way open and stops moving.
  4. Drive your vehicle out and close the garage door.
  5. Before leaving the garage, make sure that you have another access point to your home.
  6. When you are back inside the garage and ready to re-engage the release mechanism, push upward on the lever with a broom handle, or climb up on a ladder and press upward on it by hand. You can also re-engage the mechanism by pulling the release cord upward and toward the motor until you hear a click.
 
Second method of disengaging the door from the opener:

In some instances, simply pulling the emergency release cord will not allow the garage door to be opened. Perhaps a spring’s tension is too loose, or the door arm bracket has been damaged in some way that puts the garage door “in a bind” and will not allow it to move. In these instances, there are still options for opening the garage door.

In extreme emergencies when the red emergency release cord method is not available, you can open the door manually by removing the clevis and cotter pins. Read below and visit this webpage for detailed instructions.
Remove the clevis and cotter pin from the door opener carriage assembly. This frees the door from all connection with the garage door opener mechanism and allows the door to be lifted manually. Or remove the clevis and cotter pin from the door arm bracket attached to the door. Again, this releases the door from all connection with the garage door opener mechanism and allows the door to be lifted manually. When using this method, be sure to gently lower the door arm to prevent damage to the garage door.


From Outside:
If you do not have a man door to your garage, you should have the Emergency Release Kit installed in order to open your garage door manually from the outside. If you have the kit installed and find yourself outside of the garage during a power outage, follow the steps below:
  1. Locate the Emergency Release Kit and insert the appropriate key into the lock socket.
  2. Turn the key and pull the lock tumbler out of the lock to engage the release mechanism on the garage door opener carriage.
  3. Lift the garage door open until it stops moving.
  4. Drive the car inside the garage and put the garage door down.
  5. Re-engage the release mechanism by pushing upward on the lever with a broom handle or by climbing up on a ladder and pressing upward on it by hand. You can also re-engage the mechanism by pulling the release cord upward and toward the motor or door until you hear a click.
  6. Before leaving the garage, make sure that you have another access point to your home.
Resetting the Garage Door Opener
Following the power outage or once the garage door opener has been disengaged to be opened manually, the reset process is fairly simple. Push on the release lever with a broom handle or similar item, and the garage door opener should be ready to function as normal. Some models will also require aligning the carriage with the bullet/turnbuckle on the belt or chain. If the opener will not operate upon the power coming back on, it may be necessary to unplug the garage door opener and wait up to 30 seconds before plugging it back in. This should allow the system to reset, and you can then ensure the carriage is re-engaged. If the unit still will not function, it is possible that the motorhead could have been damaged due to a major power surge. Contact your garage door opener supplier for assistance in these instances.

Safety Precautions
Manually opening the garage door is a relatively safe undertaking but does require a few general safety precautions.
Keep the Door Closed – We recommend that the release cord only be pulled when the door is in the closed position. The system is under the least amount of pressure in this position, and the door cannot move (preventing pinch hazards or fall hazards).
Avoid Electrical Shock – Unplug the unit if you are going to work on the motorhead or carriage assembly. If the power were to suddenly come back on while you were working, you could get shocked or incur injury from the moving carriage.
Minimize Strains – If the garage door is too heavy for manual lifting or you need assistance lifting the door, avoid opening the door manually, and contact a professional.
Contact us today for further information on Genie® products or technical support for existing installations.
 

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  • Danielle Anderson
Comments 2
  • Heather
    Heather

    Hi Karen! You can locate a dealer by entering your zip code into the Where to buy on this page, http://www.geniecompany.com/.

  • KAren
    KAren

    How can I find a local genie dealer

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