An automatic garage door opener can provide you with a high level of security and convenience.
However, in certain instances, you might find yourself with a malfunctioning automatic opener.
In such cases, you should know how to manually close and open the door.
Luckily, you can easily learn and apply this process in a few simple steps. In this post, I’ll guide you on how to manually close your garage door or open it.
When Shouldn’t You Manually Close or Open the Garage Door?
Before diving into the actionable steps, I’ll provide you with quick safety tips first.
You need to avoid manually shutting down or opening the garage door in some cases.
If the door is broken or has damaged springs, you shouldn’t manually handle it. The same goes when the cables are misaligned, or the door is crooked.
When having these issues, the door might get off its tracks and crash down. This can impose a high risk on you or your family members.
In these instances, I recommend you contact a professional to help you fix the door instead of dealing with it yourself.
How to Close Your Garage Door Manually? 4 Simple Steps
To shut down the garage door manually during a power outage or for any other reason, here are the steps to follow:
1. Inspect the Door for Severe Malfunctioning Reasons
You need to check if there are any damaged cables or a failure in the spring before you try to close the door manually.
As we said above, if the door has one of these defects, it can be dangerous to handle it manually yourself.
If the reason isn’t a defect in the door or the spring, proceed to the next step.
2. Pull the Emergency Release Cord
All garage doors have an emergency release cord you can use to close or open them manually. Homeowners usually use the cord when there’s a power outage or any problems with the automatic mechanism.
You can disengage the garage door from the automatic opener using the cord. That way, you’ll be able to control the door manually.
This release cord is a red rope with an attached handle. Look for it on the opener rail very close to the door.
Once you find the cord, hold the handle and pull it firmly down, slightly away from the door, until the release lever moves.
When you do so, the opener will be detached from the garage door, and you’ll hear a click sound.
3. Manually Lower the Garage Door
Lower the garage door with both hands. If you face any issues while trying to close the door, you should check that you’ve successfully detached the lever.
Avoid forcing the door to close, as this may damage the door or even cause you an injury.
That said, if you still can’t close the door despite ensuring the lever is detached, I highly recommend you contact a professional for help.
3. Lock the Door Using a Manual Lock
When you close the door manually, the automatic lock won’t work. So, you need to lock the door in a manual way. This is especially crucial if you’re leaving the house for some time.
A manual lock will secure the garage door and prevent any attempt to open it while you’re away.
Nonetheless, remember to unlock the door before trying to reopen it when you’re back.
How to Manually Open a Garage Door?
You may experience issues when opening the garage door automatically. So, you’ll need to open it manually. To do this, follow these steps:
1. Pull Down the Emergency Release Cord
Like the manual closing process, manual opening requires you to disengage the garage door from the automatic opener.
To do so, pull the emergency cord straight down until the lever moves and release a click sound.
2. Lift the Door
After detaching the opener, you need to lift the garage door using both hands. You may even ask others for help opening the door if it’s too heavy.
If you experience great resistance when opening the door, you need to recheck that the lever is completely detached.
3. Secure the Door
When you raise the door, don’t let go of it until you ensure it’s secure. The springs of the door should hold it in place. However, if the springs are defective, the door might go down on its own.
That way, it’s not a good idea to keep using the door while having defective springs. This can lead to the door dropping suddenly or, even worse, causing you or one of your family an injury.
What to Consider When Closing or Opening the Door Manually?
Opening and closing the garage door manually is a straightforward process you can complete within a few minutes.
Nonetheless, there are a couple of considerations you need to keep in mind to avoid any accidents while engaging in this process. Here they are:
- If the door doesn’t stay up after raising it, prop it with a sturdy object until you finish your work in the garage.
- When manually closing or opening the door, clear the area underneath and right next to it. This is to prevent any damage that might occur due to the door dropping suddenly.
How to Re-Engage Your Automatic Garage Opener After Detaching It?
After using the release cord to detach your automatic opener from the door, you’ll need to reattach it again. This is to be able to use the door automatically.
To do so, follow these steps:
1. Start the Process with the Door Closed
You need to ensure the door is closed before trying to configure it for automatic use. Having the door open might lead to it crashing down.
This can be highly risky for you and your family members. This crash might also cause severe damage to the door itself or the structures nearby.
If the door is stuck in the opening position and you can’t identify the cause, you’ll have to reach out to a professional to assist you.
Avoid forcing the door to close, as this can be highly hazardous.
2. Pull Back the Emergency Cord
To reconnect the automatic operator to the garage door, you’ll need to bring the spring lever back to its original location.
To do so, hold the emergency cord and pull it back toward the door.
However, ensure you don’t pull aggressively, as this may cause damage to the cord or even the entire opener’s mechanism.
3. Reconnect the Opener to the Garage Door
By pulling back the emergency cord, you’re now one step away from reconnecting the automatic opener completely.
To complete this step, press the open button on the door’s remote and then push the close button.
When you do this, the door should reattach itself to the automatic opener. If this happens, you’ll hear a loud click sound.
However, in some instances, this automatic method might not work. If so, you’ll need to reattach the opener manually. To achieve this, move to the next step.
4. Manually Open the Door
Slide the garage door up along its track to completely reconnect it with the automatic opener. Once the door is completely open, the opener will be re-engaged.
At this point, you should hear a loud click sound.
When you hear this click, you have successfully reset your automatic opener. You can start using the garage remote control.
5. Test the Automatic Opener
Test the automatic opener using the remote control.to ensure it works properly. Open and close it and examine the sensors a few times to ensure no problems throughout the process.
If you face any issues while testing, you need to check that the release cord and the lever are correctly connected to the opener.
Nevertheless, I recommend contacting a professional for help if you can’t spot the problem.
What If the Emergency Release Cord Is Broken?
One of the issues you might experience trying to open or close the door manually is having a broken emergency cord.
In this case, you won’t be able to move the lever to disconnect the automatic opener from the door.
There are multiple issues that can leave the emergency cord useless. These defects include a broken handle, rotted release cord, or corrosion on the spring.
If the problem with the emergency cord is related to the spring or the mechanism, it’s not a good idea to solve it yourself.
Repairing these parts yourself can be highly dangerous, even for regular DIYers. So, you have to contact a professional to fix such issues.
Nonetheless, if the problem is related solely to the release cord itself, you can replace it entirely yourself.
Having read this guide, you now know how to manually close your garage door.
First, you need to inspect the door for any severe damage and ensure it doesn’t contain any. This is because handling a damaged door can be highly dangerous.
Then, pull the emergency release cord to detach the automatic opener from the garage door.
Afterward, lower the garage door manually until it’s completely closed. Finally, lock the door manually if you’re going to leave the home to ensure the garage is secured.