How Do You Manually Open A Garage Door?

Knowing how to manually open your garage door is vitally important, yet it’s surprising how many homeowners are not aware of how to do it.  That’s OK… the good news is that it’s really not complicated! It’s kind of like a riddle where once you know the answer, you look back and think, “Wow! That’s really simple!”

Why is it so vitally important to know this basic information?  Well, what happens if you have a power outage and you need to leave the house but your car is in the garage?  With no electricity, and without knowing how to manually open the garage, you’re stuck and you won’t be going anywhere until the power comes back on.  Not a good situation!

Another reason is that you want to know how to do this is so that, in the even your garage won’t open but you do have power, you can get a sense of whether you are having a problem with the garage door opener or with the door itself (most likely a broken garage door spring).

A basic understanding of the difference between these two critical components of a properly operating garage door is important.

You see, many people imagine that the electric motor – your ‘garage door opener’ – is responsible for ‘muscling’ the garage door open.  This is actually not the case. It is the springs on the door that act as the muscle to pull the door open and control it when it goes down (a garage door can weigh several hundred pounds, so you can imagine it takes a fair amount of ‘muscle’ to accomplish this day in and day out).

On a door that has the proper springs on it, the motor barely has to put out any effort at all.  But if a spring is broken, the motor will try to open it, and it might be successful if your door was set up with 2 springs and only one is broken, but this puts a tremendous strain on the opener and eventually it will wear out and break completely.  Your second spring will also eventually break.

So, why are we sharing all this info?  Because it’s important to know if your door has the proper springs on it if you want to get the most life out of your opener.  And to check if you have the proper springs – or to determine if one is broken (especially in a ‘hidden spring’ torsion tube system where you can’t see the springs) – you’ll need to manually open your door to see if it balances in the half-way open, half-way closed position.  If it does not, you need to call a garage door repair company to have your springs repaired.

So – whatever your reason is to manually open your garage door, all you need to do is pull the release cord to disengage the door from the trolley on the opener track.

Something like this is easier seen than read, so have a look at the following video.  If you have further questions, or something just isn’t working right, just remember that AJ’s is always ready and willing to have a look at what’s going on for you. Just give us a call!

Video Transcript

Hi this is Scot with everyday home repairs and if you’re watching this video something tells me you’re in a little bit of a hurry or maybe in a pinch so we’ll get right to it maybe your power’s out or something’s wrong with your garage door opener and you need to get the car out of the garage you need to get to work get the kids to school it’s not that big of a deal we’ll show you how to to disengage the door and re-engage the door and it’ll all start with this little red handle behind me let’s jump in so do two things we’re gonna want to check here before we can lift up the door one you’re gonna want to check these two springs here they’re called torsion springs that actually when your door closes those coil up and they they store potential energy so they store all the energy then when you lift the door up that is actually what’s doing most of the work your garage door opener is just doing a small amount of work to lift it out if there is a break in one and especially both of these your garage door opener is going to be a beast to lift up and unless you’ve been doing a heck of a lot of working out that might not you might not be able to lift it up if those are intact all you need to do is to pull down and disengage this pin here to the carriage now your door can be manually opened and I’ll show you how to do that all right now it’s disengaged you can take the handle either in the middle on the side and just easily lift the door open and take the car out then once everything’s out come back and manually lower back down take your time to not slam the door against ground one safety tip I would use the safety lock and make sure it goes through the track now when the powers back on use your remote or the wall controller and start to open the door and the trolley there will start to retract come over and then you’re going to re-engage now you can go back to your controller or the wall button and press it and you’ll see it grabs ahold of it now you’re you’re back in business and good to go


If it turns out you do need some kind of repair to your door (garage door springs or a new opener), you may want to read our article on How Much Should It Cost To Repair A Garage Door?

More information about what AJ’s offers as far as garage door repair services can be found here.  And don’t forget, we offer service to the entire greater Tucson area including Oro Valley and Vail, AZ.