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How to manually open your garage when the power is out

When there’s a power outage or there’s an issue with the electronics in your garage that keep the door from opening with the magic of modern technology you aren’t just trapped until the power returns. Though your garage door runs on electricity, your car is most likely gas operated and shouldn’t be constrained to the grid. It shouldn’t be trapped in your garage just because you can’t open the door without electricity. If something is keeping your garage door from opening in the way it’s supposed to, there’s a handy work-around.

Here’s how to manually open a typical garage door that has been rendered inoperable by a lack of electricity:

  • First ensure the garage door is completely closed. Push on the handle to make sure it’s at the end of it’s line and touching the floor of the garage.
  • Next you need to disconnect the door from the opener system. There should be an emergency cord with a red handle that hangs down from the middle of the mechanism. Give that a tug and disconnect the door so you can open it yourself.
  • Now you can lift the door. It will be fairly heavy, between 100 and 400 pounds, so you may want to grab a friend. Hopefully the springs are working properly and the weight won’t be a factor in the strength you need to lift the door. A properly hung door should be fairly easy to lift manually.
  • Once fully raised, the door should be safely in place, so you can pull your car out.
  • Remember to close the door once you’ve exited the garage, pull slowly to avoid damaging the panels of the door.
  • Since the electrical system has been disconnected, the door is not locked in place and can easily be opened. Make sure to lock the door with the crossbar on the inside before leaving your home.


Hopefully the power will come back soon so you can reattach the electrical system and get back to enjoying the amenities of a modern home. If your garage door has stopped working but the power hasn’t stopped in the rest of your home, it’s a good idea to call a trained technician to take a look at it. Performance Building Products is your trusted Garage Door Installer and Repairman. Contact us today so you can get back to using your garage door with the click of a button!

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