What is an Emergency Release on a Garage Door?

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Ever wondered what that red rope that hangs from the garage door trolley is for? This red rope is called the “emergency release cord”. As the name suggests, it lets you manually open and close the garage door during a power outage or a mechanical failure. This feature protects your garage door system against damage in the case of a malfunction. Let us review how the garage door emergency release works and see whether your door requires professional emergency garage door repair.

How does it work

When the rope is pulled, the emergency release cord disconnects the trolley from the opener carriage, allowing the door to slide along the track manually whenever needed. The emergency release cord can be used when the automatic garage door opener is stuck and will not work. It comes in handy, especially during emergencies when you cannot get to the remote or keypad.

Depending on your garage setup and your height, it may be within reach of a stretched arm, or you may need a stool to stand on. Be careful when pulling the emergency release. Even the lightest garage door is still a heavy beast for manual handling, so make sure you are physically able to raise and lower a door before you begin or ask a family member or neighbor for help.

How to operate the garage door emergency release

First, always make sure the garage door is in the correct position before disengaging it. If you disengage a raised door, it can fall and cause severe injury. Your garage door is heavy and can cause damage if you try to force it up or down. If your garage door is stuck in an open position, never attempt to lift it by yourself. Call a professional right away.

Once your garage door is closed, lift the emergency release cord and pull it down. To put the spring lever in the disconnected position, you have to pull the release cord downwards, away from the door, and towards the garage door motor. To put the spring lever in the connected position, pull the release cord downwards, toward the door, and away from the motor.

Once released, you will notice that the garage door unlocks itself from the carriage. Test your door by walking over to it and lifting it with your hands. If all is well, close the garage door and reset the emergency release cord by plugging it back in.

How to re-engage the trolley to the opener carriage

The emergency release can be reconnected by hand after using it to free the door from its jammed state. Newer garage door models come with spring-loaded safety systems that automatically re-engage after an emergency release cord is pulled. 

One way to reconnect the trolley to the opener carriage is by running the door along the track until the attachment point is re-engaged. Another way is by doing this using the door’s remote control. When the trolley and carriage pass one another and reconnect, you will hear a loud click. The emergency release cord has been reset and ready to be used if you need to move your garage door manually.

Garage door still not opening properly?

If your garage door still does not open and close smoothly, even if you have tested the emergency release, Fixxed Garage Doors can fix the issue for you. We are a provider of residential garage door services in Los Angeles. Call us today.

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