How Does a Power Outage Affect an Automatic Garage Door?

Power Outage

During a power outage, homeowners are unable to use many of their home appliances and systems designed to make their daily routines more convenient, including their automatic garage door opener. While some automatic openers include a generator or battery-powered backup in the event of a power outage, these secondary power sources can fail as well. What should homeowners do when their garage doors have no power?

Place the Automatic Opener in Bypass Mode

As an advance planning measure, all automatic garage door openers have a manual or bypass mode operation option. In many models, the bypass mode can be engaged by pulling the hanging cord with the T-shaped handle. This release switch disconnects the door from the motor’s drive belt. If the garage door is open at the time the switch is pulled, make sure another person is available to guide the door steadily down the tracks until it comes to a resting closed position. Otherwise, the door may quickly fall, crashing onto the pavement or concrete, possibly damaging the parts or causing injury.

Understand Security Risks

Once the door is in emergency bypass mode, it can be opened and closed manually, without the need for a powered automatic opener, but risks are involved with keeping the door in manual mode for a lengthy period of time. Automatic garage door openers lock and secure the doors against intruders. The door can only be opened using a remote or keypad. Manual mode provides no such protection.

Check to see if bolts are installed on the interior side of the garage door tracks. In some cases, the original garage doors may not have utilized an automatic opening system, so metal locks may already be present. They would allow you to physically lock the doors from the inside. Otherwise, you must exercise caution in securing your home at night. Ensure the connecting door between the garage and the home has a deadbolt and it is engaged. Keep garage doors closed at all times to keep valuable tools and belongings out of sight of potential criminals. Most importantly, work with the utility company to restore power to your property as soon as possible so the automatic locking system can return to its job of protecting your home.

Reconnect the Locking System

Once the power is restored, close the garage doors. Click the close button on the remote. Modern systems will automatically reconnect the drive chain to the door trolley. If the opener does not automatically reconnect, you may have to pull the release cord toward the garage opening until the system reengages with the door. Follow the instructions in the operating manual when in doubt.

Contact Accent Garage Doors for professional guidance on how to handle a power outage when it affects the operation and security of your home’s garage door system.