How to Manually Open an Electric Garage Door

Posted: March 3, 2022

How to Manually Open an Electric Garage Door

Electric garage doors usually mean that you get the luxury of never having to struggle or strain to open your garage again, but what about the rare occasion when it won’t open? 

Investing in a quality electric garage door and professional installation will pre-empt a lot of your issues, something we here at Garage Door People specialise in. However, power cuts can’t be predicted and, over time, it’s only natural for some things to sustain damage if not well maintained.

One thing you can’t afford is to have your car stuck in your garage – or to be unable to reach your washing machine if you use the space as a utility room. So whatever the reason it won’t open, let’s take a look at how to manually open an electric garage door.

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Can you manually open an electric garage door?

Starting with a question many people ask as they hammer the “open” button on the remote in frustration: can you open an electric garage door manually? The answer is yes, but you need to first consider why it won’t open before you try to do so.

There could be any number of reasons it won’t open, so try and eliminate some of the common causes before you attempt anything more serious. 

  • Is the remote in the battery dead? – Try changing the battery in your remote to see if this is the reason it won’t open
  • Is there something blocking the door? – Some garage doors may not open if they are being blocked in some way, so check for any potential obstructions 
  • Has there been a power cut? – We’ll tackle this shortly…

If these issues have been ruled out, then there could be an issue with the motor itself. If this is the case, you can follow the same steps as in the next section about power cuts to disengage the motor for manual operation. If, on the other hand, you can hear the motor working but without the door opening, then this could point to an issue related to the springs in your garage door.

If you’re unsure about what the cause of the issue is, we always recommend calling in the experts. By attempting to fix the door yourself or force it without knowing the true cause, you risk injury to yourself and further damage to the door. We provide garage door repairs to help you if you’re ever stuck with this predicament!

What to do in a power cut

If you experience a power cut and still need to open the door, there is often an emergency release cord inside the garage. You can pull this cord to unlock and disconnect the device connecting the door to the arm. From here, you should be able to lift your garage door manually – just be sure to lower the door and reconnect it once the power has come back on.

Note: If you manually disconnect your garage door for any reason and you don’t have a manual locking mechanism, your door could then be opened by anyone at any time. Always ensure your door is secured before leaving it unattended.


What to do if your electric garage door won’t open

If your garage door won’t open and there is no other way to access it – such as through your house or a door to the rear or side – then you may feel like you’re stuck. This could be due to a power cut or damage to components internally, but either way, it’s inconvenient if you have things inside that you desperately need to access.

Since you won’t be able to get inside to use the emergency cord, we recommend getting professional assistance from an experienced company so that you can access the garage.


How to manually close an electric door

Manually closing an electric door is something you shouldn’t attempt unless you have already used the remote to lower the door and you’ve then disconnected it via the emergency cord. This is because pulling on a garage door that is still connected to the motor can damage it. Different models and styles will vary, but our advice is to call in the experts if you’re ever unsure how to safely close the door when it won’t do so using the remote.

If you pull the release cord while the door is still in the open position, you are putting your safety and that of others at risk, as the door itself could come crashing down if the springs have failed. This depends a lot on the reasons why it has become stuck in the first place and where the emergency release cord is positioned.

Once the release cord is pulled in the closed position, you can open and close the door manually as much as you need to – just don’t forget about reconnecting it!


Are you experiencing issues with your electric garage door? It can be confusing, with lots of conflicting advice out there – usually because of the differences in models of doors and motors. But here at Garage Door People, we can help. We provide garage door repairs in an emergency, getting you back into your garage, or, if the door is beyond repair, we can provide a quote for a new electric garage door. We operate across Spalding, Horncastle and Boston, providing a level of service focused on you as a human being, not just as a customer.

Call today and talk to our friendly team about your electric garage door issues.

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To arrange a home visit for a free survey and quote call us on 08081 967 162 or fill in the form below.


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