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How to Disengage Garage Door Openers for Manual Operation

Emergency Release Cord

There are circumstances where you have to dis-engage your garage door opener from your door. The most common is when your opener is either without power or it’s failing to perform its’ normal operations.*

VERY IMPORTANT: The door MUST be closed to do this. If you cannot close the door, DO NOT attempt. The garage door could drop hard and fast, and either hurt someone or damage the garage door or structure of your garage.

Trolley

First, locate the “release cord” that is hanging off the opener rail close to your door. This is usually a red cord with a pull handle (somewhat like a lawn mower). Pull cord down and back (towards motor) with a small amount of force. You will feel it disengage, as well as, visually see the small spring on the lever open up. You can now open and close your door manually. If you cannot lift the door once the door is dis-engaged from the opener, stop immediately and call a professional- you likely have a broken spring.

To re-engage opener, push the wall console button to start the motor, and allow it to travel until you can see mechanism on the bottom of the rail (known as the “Inner Trolley”). Now locate the piece that slides along the bottom of the opener rail as the opener chain, belt, or screw is turning. This is the part that needs to be re-engaged to the carriage, trolley, or other mechanism that attaches the black elbow looking tow arm to the opener rail to raise the garage door. On some models, the door should reconnect automatically when motor stops its cycle. You will hear it “click” in place- this is usually for a belt-driven opener. For most other garage door openers, you will have to either pull down on the red emergency release cord, or down and towards the lights on the motor unit until you hear a click- or see a tab flip towards the motor lights on the opener unit on the ceiling. Then, you can either manually raise or lower the garage door until the outer trolley meets the inner trolley, or you can press the wall button and allow the opener to re-engage itself. Note that doing it manually is much safer, is less likely to cause damage, and is more likely to solve the issue. Please note that there are limit and force settings that may need to be re-adjusted before normal operation can continue.

If you cannot get the trolley and/or carriage to engage, or if your opener isn’t working properly, allow one of our professional technicians to come out and take care of your door or opener repairs or needs. As a fully staffed, family owned business since 1977, our company technicians use stocked trucks, we offer same-day service and provide FREE estimates. We have A+ ratings with Angie’s List AND Better Business Bureau (the only company in Plano with this recognition and rating).

*The directions mentioned are in laymen terms for most LiftMaster brand openers. For more specific instructions please refer to the opener manual. For other brands than LiftMaster (ie: Genie, Overhead, etc.), please contact the manufacturer of your opener for more specific instructions.

 

By Nick McGregor, General Manager of Plano Overhead Garage Door

Power Outages in Plano, TX

garage-locks-21

We have all felt the pains of experiencing the harsh inconveniences that non-automatic garage doors give us. Especially in bad weather, wishing that all we would need is a simple click of a button to open up our garage door. On the other hand, automatic garage doors will likely never go back to a manually opening door. It makes us appreciate the conveniences that an automatic garage door offers, when on the flip-side when we may lose power, it’s highly important to understand some simple tips on how to open a garage door manually in case you need to get out for work or some other emergency.

emergency release

Going into manual mode

Essentially, all garage door openers have what’s called a bypass switch for certain situations such as power outages, or even if a remote opener dies. On almost every door there will be a long rope that hangs that has a red handle on the end. This is called the emergency release cord. This manual release cord disengages the trolley from the attachment point to the rail. Pulling this will now put the garage into manual mode so if the door is up, it might come crashing down. For safety precautions, always disengage to trigger the handle when the door is closed.

Staying in manual mode

The emergency release cord controls the spring attachment in the trolley. If the opener motor is malfunctioning or the power will be out for a long period of time, then you may have to stay in manual mode. Then you want to continually open the garage door in the manual state, it’s always important to pull the red rope down and towards the back of the garage so you can avoid it getting caught in the tracks.

Going back to automatic mode

You will likely want to take full advantage of the conveniences of an automatic door after the power restores in your home. To re-engage the trolley attachment, pull down on the cord towards the garage opening to keep the lever from engaging. This time you will have to pull up on the door until it snaps into place and you’re back in the automatic mode.

Taking precautions

If you find that there may be damage to a cable or the door opens unevenly, make sure to contact us here at Plano Overhead Garage Door to have one of our Garage Door Experts out to your area in no time. Springs and other garage features can be dangerous to work with and doing a DIY project could result in irreversible damage. Our Technicians have the tools and experience at their disposal to repair your garage door opener safely and efficiently.

 

 

By Nick McGregor, General Manager of Plano Overhead Garage Door

Plano Overhead Garage Door

1100 N. Central Expy Suite #A
Plano, Texas 75074

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972-422-1695

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