Garage Door Openers in a Power Outage

garage door openers

If you have an electric garage door opener it’s important to read the instructions. If there’s a power outage you may have to lift the garage door manually. Most systems have a pull cord to disconnect the door from the opener. Make sure you know where it is and how use it. I learned the hard way one day when there was an outage and it was my turn to drive the soccer carpool. When I went to get the car I couldn’t open the garage door. Another mom came to my rescue, but I wish I’d known about the pull cord. It’s a good idea to try it before you need it. After you disconnect the door make sure you’re physically able to lift it. Garage doors can weigh 600 pounds or more!

If the opener doesn’t have battery backup consider replacing it.

Many of the new electronic garage door openers come with backup batteries. A new California law, effective July 1, 2019, requires homeowners installing new electronically operated garage doors to have openers with battery backup technology. Whether it’s the law or not, openers with battery backup are a good idea. Make sure all the adults in your household know how to use the system and how to check and change the batteries.

In addition to having backup batteries, newer systems may be quieter, integrate with “smart home” devices and offer remotes with better range and more security. The remote I used years ago apparently had the same code as another device in the neighborhood. The garage door would occasionally open mysteriously (and dangerously!) in the middle of the night.

If you’re considering a new system, from what I’ve read, it’s better to have it installed by a professional than do it yourself.

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  1. Candy Mac says:

    Hello, I have a couple of suggestions for readers regarding GARAGE DOOR OPENERS and other things relevant to evacuation:
    1. If your garage door does NOT have a back up battery: Do a practice run. Can you lift all the way? Does it stay up when you let go? If not/if it rolls down: measure the groove where the door wheels would roll back down. Purchase a piece of plastic piping or a wood dowel to place in the the groove. The pipe, placed in the groove, will secure the door in the up position should you need to leave the garage. Paint it RED and store it next to the door opening. Should you need to leave the garage in case of evacuation: pull the Unlock handle, pull the garage door up, put the RED pipe in the groove, and depart the garage.
    2. Remember in case of evacuation: Turn off your gas where it enters your home and at your water heater. In both cases: Paint the lever RED, and if necessary post instructions with photographs or drawings.
    3. Paint any other things that are important to your evacuation RED. This will help you identify the items when you are hurried and perhaps frightened.
    4. Add these notes to your “In Case of Emergency” list.

    1. Jackie says:

      These are great ideas! Especially the one about using a piece of plastic pipe or a wooden dowel to prop the garage door open if it won’t stay up. Let’s hope none of us need to evacuate in a hurry, but if we do this tip could save a life!