Most homes today have not only a garage with an overhead door but one with an automatic opener.  Often during my inspections I find that home buyers often don’t realize that they may need to know how to operate the garage door manually in case of a power outage.  To do this you must disengage and re-engage the opener from the door. 

This following post will give a simple description of how to disengage and re-engage your automatic door opener to allow you to operate it manually.

    Close the garage door and locate the main power unit for your opener and follow the track towards the door.  Near the door you should see a mechanism similar to the one in this picture with a rope or string attached and hanging down.

    With the door still closed pull firmly on the rope to disengage the carrier from the track.  You should feel it disengage.  You can now open and close the door manually. 

    When power is restored or you no longer are in need of operating the door manually the carrier needs to be re-engaged.   

    Depending on the type of automatic opener either the lever will spring back and re-engage automatically or you must manually pull the rope up towards the ceiling to put the lever back in place.  Once the lever is in place you can operate the control to open the door with the automatic opener and the carrier will re-engage and open the door.  

    I recommend you try this sometime before you actually need it, especially if you will have to do it during a power outage with a flashlight.