automatic gate on house

If you’ve invested in electric gate automation, then it can be incredibly frustrating to find your gates are stuck in an open position. After all, this could provide intruders with access to your property, or make it unsafe for pets to run in the garden. However, before you call one of our engineers, it’s worth checking whether the problem is simple to fix. If your gate is stuck in the open position because of one of these five reasons, you may even be able fix the problem yourself in only a couple of minutes.

1. Your photocells are blocked

Photocells are important safety devices that are fitted to all automated gates. They come in pairs, with an infrared beam establishing a connection between the two.

If the connection between the pair is broken, your gates will remain open. This is because the photocells send a message to the gates to tell them an obstacle is in the way. After a 10-second pause, the photocells will try to re-establish a connection. If a connection still cannot be established, the gate will stay open and the process will repeat.

On a windy day, it’s easy for leaves, twigs and pieces of debris to obstruct the cells and force the gate to stay open. So, check each photocell carefully and remove any debris either on the cell itself or in the path of the two cells. If you’ve solved the problem, a connection will be established again and the gates will close within 10 seconds.

2.  The gate’s path is blocked

Similarly to how debris can block your gate’s photocells, it can also block the path of your gates, forcing them to stay open.

It’s easy for small pieces of debris to fall into your rails. So, if you don’t check your rails regularly, then the wheels of your gates can run over the debris and clog up the mechanism.

Before you give our experts a call, inspect the area and give it a wipe with a damp cloth to remove any debris and ensure the mechanism isn’t clogged.

3. Batteries in the system have died

If you’ve already established that your photocells and rails aren’t blocked, then your next step should be to check the batteries. Start with your system’s remote. If the little red light at the top of the remote doesn’t go off, then it may be out of power. The great news is that taking the back off and replacing the battery should solve the problem immediately.

electric gate remote

If the remote isn’t the issue, check the batteries at other points in your system. Even if your automated gates don’t run on batteries, wireless photocells and safety edge transmitters can both be powered by batteries and their failure can stop the gate moving. You should receive a warning before they fail, but it’s best to double check just in case you didn’t hear it.

4. Your safety edges are in contact with something

Like your system’s photocells, the safety edges on your gates are designed to prevent an accident. These edges are incredibly sensitive and they’ll cause the gates to reverse and stay open if they come into contact with something as small as a twig or a leaf.

If the safety edges are causing the issue, check the length of your gates and ensure that obstacles are removed. This will allow the gates to close and function as usual.

5. The gate is in manual mode

If the above steps don’t work, check the manual that came with your electric gates. Many come with a manual mode in case of emergency. If you’ve accidentally pressed a button on your remote or there’s a slight issue, your gates may revert to a manual mode and you’ll need to override this by following the instructions.

How to resolve your issues

If you cannot close your gate after following this advice, then speak to one of our qualified engineers. You should never manually force your gate closed, or interfere with the electronics in your gate. A specialist technician will be able to tell you exactly what the issue is with your gate and safely carry out any repair work required. That’s where we can help here at Gate Auto.

We have over 30 years in supplying and fitting high-quality gate automation. We provide a wide range of electric gate kits and garage door openers alongside an array of accessories to ensure you get the most out of your investment. Feel free to browse them right here on our site, or give us a call on 01282 677300!