When making the decision whether or not to use electric gate openers, there are some common fears and misconceptions that arise. This is totally understandable and we can help you to overturn the concerns and ease your mind about your potential purchase!
Can I install an electric gate opener myself?
You may be a very competent DIY person or have previously dabbled in some electrical work, but, electric gate opener installation needs to be entrusted to a professional pair of hands.
Just as you wouldn’t get a greengrocer to sort out your bathroom plumbing, you wouldn’t use a normal electrician to install your electric gate openers. or attempt to complete the work yourself for that matter. It is a specialist profession that requires certain legislation knowledge and training.
Don’t be daunted by this though… It’s easy to find a gate engineer and they will consult with you to ensure that all of the correct safety legislation’s are adhered to and that your equipment is installed correctly.
To find a professional installer is simple. The DHF website has a directory of approved and registered engineers and you can search by postcode. Voila!
Do electric gate openers cost a fortune?
There is no denying that it is a one-off expense, but one that holds great value over the course of the operators lifetime and adds value to your property. Depending on what type of gate you have will determine what specification of motor you will require. The best thing you can do is give us a call and we can go over getting the right kit to suit your needs at the lowest possible cost. We will make sure the electric gate openers we recommend will be more than adequate for the type of installation and usage requirements you have.
A word of warning… do not ‘under spec’ the electric gate kit to cut cost. The manufacturers provide operation parameters for each of their electric gate opener kits and motors and they cannot operate outside of these. If you try to use a electric gate kit that is not fit for purpose, they are likely to fail, break and the warranty will be invalid (as well as being dangerous). In addition to engineer charges and parts, this is a very costly mistake to make. Trying to save a few pounds on the initial purchase is always a false economy.
Is there a lot of maintenance with electric gates?
Not really! There are a few practical maintenance points that you will need to take care of yourself that we have listed below, in addition, we recommend an annual service by a professional installer.
- Wiping off photocell covers – cobwebs and dirt can stop these working
- Greasing gate hinges to keep the gate running freely
- Clearing debris and leaves from sliding gate tracks
- Changing batteries in wireless devices if needed (such as safety edge transmitters and photocells)
What if my power goes off, will I be stuck in?
Power cuts happen. When they do, they are mightily inconvenient but you will not be held a prisoner on your driveway.
When the power to your gates fail, every single automatic gate kit comes with a manual override. This takes the form of a key that disengages the gate from the motor so they can just be pushed open by hand.
There are more technical workarounds such as battery back up systems which we can discuss with you.
What are the safety considerations?
This brings us back to the first question….the most important aspect of gate safety is getting a professional gate installer to handle the installation for you!
Safety is the primary focus when installing electric gate openers. There have been high profile deaths and injuries as a result of poorly installed electric gate kits. As a result, regulations have tightened and they must be adhered to. Each site is different and needs its own risk assessment.
When using a DHF registered installer, you can have total peace of mind that all of the compliance work has been done for you correctly.
How easy to use are the electric gate systems?
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!
Your installer will go through everything with you before they leave your site, this will include how to manually release your automatic gate openers in the event of a power failure. You should also be provided with all the manuals for your equipment.
Most electric gate kits work off a simple remote control system. More remote controls can be programmed in if required and this process is straight forward. We can talk you through remote cloning over the phone if you want to add more at a later date.
Some automatic gate kits will have ‘add ons’ such as ground loops, timers or GSM modules – these are all simple to use and set up. Again, when you installer completes the handover with you, full training on any of these accessories will be given. We are always on the phone as back up if you need us!
If you want to discuss anything regarding electric gates, please give us a call on 01282 677300 and we can help you with any technical matter.