When you rely on your garage door opener each day, you may get a little thrown when the power goes out and you can't open it with the press of a button. When the garage door needs to be manually opened, you'll need to follow a few easy steps. Here, you'll find out how to handle this situation.

Refer to the Owner's Manual

Do you have the owner's manual to your garage door opener? If so, you can use it as a reference to find diagrams of how to proceed. You'll find the exact instructions for the model that is in your garage. If not, you can use the basic instructions below.

Disengage the Trolley

Look at the garage door opener – you see that rope or chain that hangs from the motor? This is the door's emergency release. When the power goes out, you simply have to pull on the rope or chain and the trolley will be disengaged from the rail and the door will open and close freely.

Tip: If the garage door is suspended half-way open, you will need to support the door before you pull the cord. If you were to pull the cord without supporting the door, it could crash to the ground and become damaged. If you don't have a person to hold the door for you, you can use lumber or whatever else you have around that will support the weight of the door while you pull the cord.

Reengage the Trolley

After the power is restored, you will have to reengage the trolley in order for the garage door opener to work again. This step varies by garage door opener type, but in most cases, you'll just need to close the door entirely and then pull the rope or chain that you pulled to disengage the trolley.

If that doesn't work for you, you may need to have someone open the garage door fully while you hold the rope or chain. After the door has been lifted so far, the trolley will reengage and you'll hear a snap.

Note: Some garage door openers make it easy for you to reengage the trolley – you just have to pull the rope or chain and press the button on the garage door opener.

After you do this once, you won't have any problems doing it in the future – it just seems intimidating messing around with things that you aren't accustomed to working with. Talk with your local garage door repair expert to learn about the battery back-up options that will make your garage door usable even when the power is out.