Installing Gates and Operators
If you are considering installing a 120 volt gate operator, it will be presumed that you are confident with what you are doing and have 1) either done the homework on the subject and fully understand the details involved or 2) have performed this kind of project before, with success. With that being said, there are a few things one should know before this type of project ever gets underway, especially if this is your first attempt with installing a gate operator.
This presentation of information will cover basic instructions as well as some important general information. Because some welding might be involved for the arms, that needs to be taken into consideration. And no, one does not have to be a certified electrician to install this type of gate operator but that is assuming an electric outlet is within 1000 feet. Additionally the system is low voltage and everything wires to the control boards, which is nice.
If you have some basic tools you’ll be good to go; and aside from fairly easy-to-understand instructions included with the kit, online tutors are available that are worth watching before the project begins. You’ll feel primed and ready to go after you watch a tutorial or two!
The Battery Pack:
Gate operators of the 12 and 24-volt type operate via a—you guessed it—12 or 24-volt battery pack that you will find inside the control box. Batteries can last up to 5 years, depending on how often the operators are being used. The battery gets charged either periodically or continuously by the electric line. A transformer that plugs into a standard 110 volt outlet allows the batteries to be trickle-charged. What this means is that the battery is charged slowly and can remain at a fully charged level.
A low-voltage wire from the transformer to the control box can be as long as 1000 feet, but for longer distances, the 110 volt electric would require installation in closer proximity to the gate. Some operators work with solar panels but solar panels operate predominately only with low-voltage DC operators.
When you purchase an operator kit, don’t assume that everything you need will be included. There are two items you should expect to buy separately: transmitters and low-voltage wire that runs from the outlet to the control box. And the control box, by the way, is the brains of the entire system. All the wires are connected to this box and is mounted near the gate hinge post and connected to the battery.
Brackets for mounting the operator are included in the kits; and it’s important to make sure the operator is attached to a heavy-duty portion of the gate. If you find that there is no good place to mount the arm, a horizontal angle iron should be purchased and utilized. The automatic gate opener is the automatic arm which is designed to open and close the gate.
Some Basics of the System:
It’s as easy as pressing a button on the remote to operate the gage—the exact same concept as a garage door opener. Gate operators come outfitted with an automatic timer-close feature, with a regulating delay. And though the programmed gate closes robotically and on its own, the timer can be simply turned off so the gate will open only via the transmitter. Most transmitters, by the way, have an operational range of 100 feet and a transmitter for each member of the family can be used without a problem. Additionally, one can opt to have keypads installed that prove to be very handy especially if a business or household has any number of delivery people to accommodate on a regular basis. Codes can be typed in for others to use yet those same people won’t necessarily have access to entering through the gate a second time, for instance, since the code can be easily changed at any time.
An on-board circuit instructs the gate to open, close or reverse once a signal is received from an access control. Access controls can be remote, manual keypads, exit sensors and intercoms. Even though all these types are of their own design, they perform the same job; and this is to control the automatic gate opener.
The Actual Installation:
Expect to devote several hours to this project. Initially, you’ll need to dig holes to mount the posts and trenches. Mark the area with spray paint and be sure to consult with your local utility company, first, so it can designate the underground utilities before any digging begins.
1: If no gate has been previously installed, drill the hole for the gate post and hang the gate.
2: Drill holes for placement of the gate-opener control box.
3: Carefully mount the control board, and ‘cautiously’ is the operative word. The last thing you need is to compromise the functionality of the gate!
4: When installing the sensor, be sure to bury the sensor on the property-side of the gate at about 1 foot in depth and about 50 feet away from the gate. The exit sensor must be buried in the trench and the wire connected to the gate opener control box.
5: Assuming you are using a keypad, connect its wires as well as the wires of the exit sensor and the power source to the control box. The control arm is directly attached and connected to the control box.
6: Install a keypad post.
Assuming all went well, you’ll be good to go!