Electric gates run on exactly that…electric! It stands to reason then that you may have concerns over how you would operate your automatic gates in the event of a power failure.
Unfortunately, as we all know, power cuts tend to happen at the most inconvenient times like when you’re getting ready for the school run or just getting home from a busy day at work! The last thing you want is to be trapped on either side of your automatic gates, waiting in the lap of the Gods for the power to come back on.
Luckily, this is a situation you’ll never need to worry about!
Manual Release Mechanisms
Every single electric gate motor comes with a manual release mechanism of some sort. Regardless of whether it is an underground, gate arm or sliding gate motor, they all come with a key to disengage the gates from the motor. Once this has been done, your gates become manual and can be freely opened and closed without power.
There are many different type of manual release key and locking mechanism. Some of the keys are like large allen keys, others resemble front door keys; they vary from motor type and manufacturer and will always be specific to your motor.
Automatic Gate Handover After Installation
Once your installer has completed your automatic gate installation, they should give you a full handover of the system. This will include all of the manuals and full training on the use of your system.
This training will include how to manually release your gates in a power cut. Pay close attention and try it for yourself (especially with underground motors) just to make sure you are confident with how the mechanism works; both for disengaging and re-engaging the motors again.
Your installer should inform you never to force the gates whilst in manual, they can still have some resistance against them and you do not want to cause any damage to the linkage arms.
Testing & Servicing
If you are having your automatic gates serviced, part of this will be to lubricate and clean the mechanisms. It is advisable to periodically test the manual release yourself to ensure that it is fully functional, should you ever need it. If there are any problems when trying to disengage the motors, get an engineer to come and make the necessary repairs.
Manual Release Keys
There are a few things to bear in mind with your keys:
- Regular keys – each kit will come with at least one included and with the standard keys, you can always buy more if needed.
- Personalised keys – if your kit has these, go to a locksmith and get spares cut. You will not be able to buy spares if you lose your original keys, you would have to replace the entire locking mechanism which is an expensive job!
- Keep in a safe place! Label them properly and make sure that you have convenient access to them when needed!
Battery Back Up
Some of our 24V automatic gate kits come with the option for a battery back up system to be added. These back up systems are enough to be able to perform a few operations of your gates in a power cut.
We would advise that you would use these systems to open your gates and latch in open until the power comes back on rather that relying on them to continually open and close. These units remove the need to manually release the gates from the motors.
We are often asked about solar powered systems instead of battery back ups, but with the Great British climate being as it is, we wouldn’t recommend them as they require a consistent level of sunlight to remain charged!!
If you have ay questions about manual release systems, please give us a call on 01282 677300.