Automatic gates are a great boost to your business, allowing quicker, more secure entrance and exit to your property. But that’s only when they’re working right – which, if you install a reputable brand and schedule regular maintenance, is more likely to happen. To stay on top of maintenance, it pays to be familiar with typical automatic gate problems, such as these:

  • Gate closes or opens slower than it should.
  • Gate stops opening or closing.
  • Gate’s movement is delayed.
  • Gate opens the wrong way.
  • Gate fails to open or stop where it should.
  • Gate opens or closes when no signal has been given.
  • Gate locks get jammed.
  • Gate beeps.
  • Gate fails to work unless someone stands in front of it.
  • Some typical causes for the above problems are these:
  • Limit switches are malfunctioning.
  • Power supply problem.
  • Circuit board damage.
  • Damaged/broken chain.
  • Cold weather-affected battery or metal components.
  • Animal damage.
  • Debris or moisture in the unit.

Here is a more in-depth look at some of the most common automated gate problems.

1. Sliding gate stops where it shouldn’t.

This can happen when the racking comes loose and isn’t connecting with the motor’s output gear. Inspect where the rack meets the output gear, watching the gap as the gate opens. The roots of large nearby trees may also push up concrete and move the track up so it makes contact with the gate.

2. Moisture.

Control boxes and sliding gate operators with electronic circuit boards should be sealed, as condensation can build up and damage the electronics. Electronics should also be kept above running or spraying water.

3. Underpowered motor.

If the motor isn’t powerful enough to move the gate, it will break down frequently and end up costing more than a suitably-sized motor would have. Also, if the gate is likely to encounter wind resistance, the motor should be powerful enough to overcome it.

4. Wrong kind of or improperly installed cable.

Buried cable should be installed in a conduit, and should be rated for direct burial. It should also be flexible when it runs to a device that moves like an automatic gate actuator or electric lock or swing gate. Never bury flex cable directly in the ground (it will rot). Run flex cable to a waterproof junction box, then join it to a cable suitable for burying. Do not join cable in the ground unless the electrical pit is well drained. Always use gel-filled connectors, and take measures to protect the connections from the elements.

5. Insects, ants.

Seal control box tightly with silicone to keep all creatures – especially ants – out. You may need to place moth balls or ant bait in the control box to deter insects and ants. Use moth balls sparingly, as they can be corrosive.

6. Moving gate posts.

Gate posts can move due to underground moisture and tree roots. Also a post not buried deeply enough can move and cause the gate to drag. Hinges and post should be strong enough to support the gate. Gate posts may also move from the ground settling. Another problem caused by moving gate posts is the electric strike lock may jam. Posts may need to be taken out and new ones installed that won’t move so much. For strike lock problems, a magnetic clamp may need to replace the strike lock.
You may be able to solve some of these problems easily by eliminating the causes and testing the gate till it works properly. But if you don’t get quick results, you’re better off calling your automatic gate system repair company.