How to Open an Overhead Door Manually

Automatic garage doors that open when you press a button also have a manual option that allows you to open the door when your power goes out. Any overhead door in Battle Creek can be opened manually using this bypass option.

To get started, you will need a ladder and your garage door owner’s manual.

1. Check Owner’s Manual.

While the following steps to opening your garage door manually should work on any overhead door, there may be specific steps you should follow for your particular door.

2. Start with Door in Down Position.

It is important that you do not bypass the electronic mechanism while the door is in the up or open position. If you do so, the door will come crashing down and will cause damage or injury to anything or anyone in the way.

3. Find the Cord.

There should be a red cord attached to a bracket that is on the chain that operates the door. If there is no red cord, consult the owner’s manual, but there should be only one cord hanging down from the chain regardless of the color. This cord will have a plastic knob at the end of it. You will usually find it close to the door itself.

4. Disconnect the Automatic Opener.

When you pull on the cord, it moves a lever. You want to pull the cord hard enough to lock the lever down. It is a spring-loaded lever and you may need to pull fairly hard on the cord to get it locked into place. If you attempt to open the door and it does not open, you have not pulled the cord hard enough.

5. Open the Door by Hand.

Once you have the lever locked into the open position, climb down from your ladder and use both hands to lift up on the door. You may need someone to help you lift the door as they can be heavy.

Warning: Now that the door has been disconnected from the automatic function, it is free-moving on the track and will fall if you let go. Use caution and do not let go of the door while anyone or anything is underneath.

6. Secure the Door.

While you have the door in the up position, you will need to have it secured safely to prevent it from crashing down before you are ready to lower it. Your easy options are to have someone hold the door up or use a 2-by-4 to prop the door securely up.  Once you are finished with the door open, carefully lower the door. Allowing it to crash down may damage the door.

7. Re-Engage the Automatic Function.

To re-engage the automatic function of your garage door so that your remote will work again, you need to pull on the same cord again. The lever is spring-loaded and pulling the cord again should allow it to close, locking the chain back into place. If the remote does not work but you can still move the door manually, pull the cord again to ensure that it is locked into place. Consult your owner’s manual for further assistance if needed.


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