How to Manually Open Your Garage Door During a Power Outage

Several times in the past month, thousands of Seattle homes have been without power due to high winds. If you find yourself without power, your automatic garage door will not open on its own.

You may not want to go out…but you certainly do not want to be locked in.

Here’s how to open your garage door manually:


NOTE for Step 1: Disconnect the garage door opener when the garage door is in the closed position, not when it’s open.

1. Pull the emergency cord to disconnect the door from the garage door opener. The cord usually has a red handle and will hang down from the center rail of the garage door mechanism.

2. Lift the garage door straight up until the door is fully open. Make sure the door will remain fully open, before leaving it unattended.

3. If the springs are properly balanced, the door will open easily with the lift handles and stay in place. If it is difficult to open, call DistribuDoors to check the door as soon as possible to avoid further damage or safety risks.

4. Close the door manually until it reaches the floor.

5. Lock the door. When the automatic opener is disconnected, the door is not securely shut until you manually slide the lock bar.

6. Reconnect the opener when the power comes back on. Make sure the door is unlocked when the opener is reconnected. Electrically opening the garage door with the lock bar in place can cause major damage.

One way to avoid the inconvenience of manually operating your garage door is to invest in an automatic garage door opener that includes a battery backup feature. That way, when the power goes out, the garage door will still function using the opener, as will the entry keypad and the safety sensors, and the garage door will be locked and secured. The LiftMaster® 8550 and 8360 are popular models. Contact us for details and be safe out there!