How to Open Your Garage Door When the Power’s Out

How to Open Your Garage Door When the Power’s Out

People who live in Markham are very lucky. We rarely have to worry about power outages. And if the power does go out, it’s usually back on in a matter of minutes.

But, if there is a downside, if the power does go out for more than a few minutes, it often means it will be out for an extended amount of time. And occasionally, like during the ice storm we suffered at the end of 2013, it can be out for days.

Despite our absolute dependence on electricity, most of us made it through the ice storm relatively unscathed, even though some in the GTA were without power for more than three days.

That doesn’t mean there weren’t trials and tribulations. From spoiled food to frozen water pipes, just about everyone has a story of one or more issues they suffered.

One problem that homeowners with garage door openers might not have been prepared for during the ice storm is that, without power, they had no way to get their cars out of their garages because they couldn’t open the doors. And if their cars were not already in the garage, they had to be left outside where they might have been damaged by ice or falling limbs and trees.

Actually, if we suffered more extended power outages, more of those homeowners would probably have known that there is a way to open and close garage doors when the power is out, and it’s not difficult to learn it.

Opening Garage Doors during Power Outages

The reason that, unless you follow the steps below, you can’t open your garage door unless you have power is that it is directly connected to the opener. In other words, you can’t open it manually because the connection to the opener stops you.

Opening the door in the absence of power begins with getting around that connection. Before you begin to work on opening or closing your garage door manually, make sure it is clear of people, pets or objects that might be in the way of its travel. Especially when trying to close an open door, it could close quickly and unexpectedly.

1. Wait Until You Must Go To Manual Mode

With the vast majority of outages being relatively short, you shouldn’t rush out to disengage your garage door opener too soon. If you have no pressing reason to do so, it’s best to leave the opener connected to avoid any mishaps or extra work when the power comes on just as you finish disconnecting the opener.

2. Look for the Bypass Handle

Your opener has a function to disengage the opener so you can open the door manually. Look along the rail that runs from the opener to the door. There will be a short length of rope hanging down with a handle on the end of it. That’s the garage door opener bypass release handle.

3. Please Use Caution Before You Use the Handle

If you’re trying to close an open door, pulling on the bypass handle could cause it to crash down. If possible, it’s best to leave an open door in that position during a power outage to avoid damage to the door and/or its accessories.

4. If You’re Opening a Closed Door

Pull on the handle. It will disengage the door from the opener and allow the door to be opened and closed manually.

5. Pull the Rope Back Close to the Opener

To keep the rope out of the way while you operate it manually, pull it back as close to the opener as possible.

6. Open and Close the Door Manually

You remember the old days, don’t you? It’s not that difficult and it can give you a bit of an upper body work out.

7. After the Power Comes Back On

You’ll need to re-engage the door and the opener. With the door closed, pull down on the bypass handle again. Afterward, start manually lifting the door until you feel and hear it snap back into place. You can also start the door opener so that the spring attachment automatically reconnects.

Now that you know how to open your garage door during a power outage, we hope you never need to do so. If you find that your garage door is still having problems once these issues have been resolved, contact Markham Garage Doors for professional service and repair.





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