If you’re like most of us, you don’t think twice about clicking the garage door button to open the garage. When the power goes out, opening garage doors isn’t quite so simple. All of a sudden, you can’t get your car into or out of the garage!
Power outages are a fact of modern day life. Storms are the most common cause, but tree trimmers or falling trees, vehicle collisions, short circuits caused by wild animals, and lightning strikes to transformers are just some of the reasons your power can go out. You might decide to wait out the outage and open the garage door once power is restored. Sometimes repairs only take a little while. In other cases, you could be waiting for hours or days. It all depends on the location and extent of the problem and how many homes were impacted.
Another option is to call the power company. Often, you will receive recordings of current power outages and the time they are expected to be fixed. You could take some time to follow other tips to keep your home safe until the power is restored. If you’re in a hurry, you can open the door manually. Manual operation isn’t really a far-fetched concept. It’s what everyone did before garage doors became automated. Even the most sophisticated garage doors made today offer you the option to go manual. It really isn’t that complicated if you learn how to do it before you need to know. Just take some time to learn where everything is located now so you’ll know what to do when you need to.
Opening Garage Doors: Where to Start
Most modern garage doors are made with a bypass function that switches it from automatic to manual. Look to see if there is a rope hanging down from the garage door with a handle on it. This rope disengages the trolley from the rail. Once you find it, pull down to disengage the automatic system.
Ideally, you should only need to use the bypass trigger while the door is in down position. The idea is to get the door open so you can get your car into or out of the garage. Doing so while the door is open could cause the door to slam down quickly, putting you, other people, and the garage door at risk.
If the door is up when the outage occurs, you don’t want to leave it open. If you have no choice but to disengage the door while it is up, take the time to use 2 x 4s to prop it up. Clear the area of people and objects to prevent damage or injuries when the door comes crashing down.
Pull the rope as near to the garage door opener motor as you can get it. This is to prevent it from getting caught in the tracks while you operate the door. If you see or hear anything unusual from the garage door, give us a call. If the door has a broken spring, you’ll find it a lot heavier to lift. Safety should always be your first priority when handling a heavy garage door.
Opening the Garage Door from Outside
If you come home to a power outage and the garage door is your only way inside, you may still be able to open the door. This is another reason it’s a good idea to know how your garage door works before you run into problems. Use a bent coat hanger to push through the weather stripping at the top of the door. Slide it across the top in the area of the lever. If you have a security shield on your door, this option won’t work. If it doesn’t, your success depends on your ability to flip the lever. It also depends on whether you have access to an old-fashioned wire hanger. You may want to keep one from the dry cleaners in your car “just in case.”
Once the Power Comes Back On
Once the power returns, you need to reconnect the garage door opener.
- – Start by closing the garage door. You can only reconnect the opener in the closed position.
- – If you have separate buttons that operate the opening and closing, press the ‘close’ button.
- – This will activate the chain to move the trolley.
- – Allow the opener to continue until the trolley connects with the arm on the garage door.
- – If you have a garage door that doesn’t automatically connect, you may have to reconnect it by pulling the emergency release cord toward the garage door.
Everyone isn’t comfortable with the idea of operating their garage door manually. Also, you may find issues with your garage door that you weren’t aware of previously. If you have problems with disengaging or re-engaging your automatic garage door opener, contact your local garage door repair service. Although manual operation lacks the convenience of the electric garage door opener, it should be a simple, straightforward task.
We all take our automatic garage door openers for granted. They are a big convenience, especially during inclement weather. Don’t let a small inconvenience put your safety at risk. If your garage door isn’t working or you can’t get it going after a power outage, let the experts at garage door repair and installation give you a hand. Any time you experience a problem with your garage door, you need to have the problem diagnosed. Your garage door is more than a convenience. It goes a long way toward keeping you and your valuables safe and secure. A broken door can cause damage to you or your belongings.
Coastal Garage Doors offers same day service when you need it. Contact us today and let us know what kind of problems you’re having. Our team of experienced technicians will diagnose the problems with your door right away. We’ll make recommendations on the best approach to get your door working and acting properly. Then, you can tell us which services you want to use. Don’t wait until you get caught out in the rain to get your garage door restored to like-new condition.