Knoxville Garage Door Blog

How to Safely Operate Your Garage Door When the Power Goes Out

You’re trying to leave for work in the morning when the lights go out and your garage door won’t open. The good news is a power outage to your garage door doesn’t have to leave your car stranded. Even without electricity your door can still be manually operated, but you need to take some simple steps first to ensure your safety and to be confident that there aren’t other issues preventing your door from working as it should.

The Door Must Already Be Closed

Underneath your Overhead Door assembly, there will be a dangling red cord, often with a red, T-shaped handle. This is called a carriage release. Don’t go pulling it just yet - you’ll only want to do that if your garage door is closed. Pulling the release disengages the garage door from its drive chain or belt. If any springs are broken or imbalanced, pulling the carriage release on an open garage door could cause the entire door to fall and crash against the ground. Only do this if the door is already closed.

If your garage door is stuck open, contact our repair services, and a trained professional will quickly fix the problem, safely.

Is the Door Unlocked?

Garage doors often have manual locks on one or both sides. If you never lock your garage door, it’s possible someone else in your home did. Inspect the lock and disengage it if needed.

Slowly Open the Door

Using the manual lift handle at the base of your garage door, slowly lift the door. If the door seems heavy or lifts unevenly, stop what you are doing, and gently return the door to the ground. If this happens, it is likely that one or both of the tension springs may be damaged. These springs are under heavy pressure and should be repaired by a professional, as they can be dangerous if not handled properly. 

If all is working well, these springs will support the door’s weight, and you can safely open the door on your own.

Re-engaging the Carriage

With the power back on, you may safely reconnect the garage door to the carriage. To do so, pull the release handle down, while using your door remote to cycle through its open and close phases. As the drive chain or belt moves, it will catch the carriage, and your door should be back to working as it should.

If the drive chain or belt doesn’t automatically catch the carriage, keep the release handle pulled while someone else gently lifts the garage door until it clicks into place.

Still Not Working?

A power outage isn’t the only possible cause for your door not opening properly. Other issues such as a blown fuse might keep the garage door’s opening motor from running. You may have gotten the door to operate manually, but to restore its full functionality, schedule a service call with our trusted pros at 865-573-1950. In an emergency, we offer service 24/7, so don’t worry about being stranded in your garage. We’ve got you covered!

Give Us a Call