The first solution is using the “emergency release latch” which all automatic openers provide. The latch allows you to manually open the garage door by hand.
To do this:
- Locate the release mechanism. Somewhere along the track between the motor and the door should be the drive carriage and a release mechanism with a cord hanging down. Usually it will be closer to the door assuming it is closed. If the power is out and your garage is dark, you may need to use a flashlight to help you see.
- Pull the handle to release the carriage. It may take a little force especially on an older opener that might be stuck. Pull all the way until it stops to be sure it is completely released. If not fully released, attempting to manually open the door could damage the opener.
- Manually open the garage door. Now the garage door should be able to freely open and close. Be aware that anyone will be able to open the door from outside. You might want to use a latch if this is not a temporary solution.
- Re-engage the automatic door opener. Once the power has been restored or the opener has been repaired, pull the release cord again to make sure it is fully open. Manually raise or lower the door until the carriage locks into place. Verify that the opener works as expected.
Lifting up a garage door is a trivial action for the majority of us; nonetheless, utilizing the emergency release latch can turn out to be a daunting task for the elderly or the young. There is an alternative. A battery-operated power backup is a proven and effective solution; although, it does come at a price. Essentially, the battery backup is powered by the mains when not in use and kicks in automatically when required. Due to the fact that it is battery operated, it has a limited number of uses before recharging is required – an important note for those prolonged power outages.