HOW-TOS: AUTOMATED GATES: GATE OPERATOR REPAIR
My automated gate won’t open. How do I fix it?
Contemporary automated gates are complex pieces of machinery, with numerous components that work together for efficiency and dependability. Before you reach out to a gate contractor to fix your automated entry system, try a few at-home tests. These tests are simple and don’t require electrical expertise.
- The first step is to check the automated gate operator for power. When you open the operator’s cover, you’ll find either a light or a series of lights indicating whether power’s reaching your gate’s opener. If the light(s) are off, look for a switch that disconnects power at the operator. This switch needs to be in the “on” position.
- Next, check the gate’s circuit breaker. Each automated gate requires a dedicated circuit that is not tripped.
- Check the “presence” indicator lights on the gate operator’s circuit board and remove any foreign objects blocking the gate’s path of travel. If your property has in-ground magnetic loops, back up any vehicles in close proximity to the loops, as their presence could be preventing the gate from opening.
If you have photoelectric reflection and through beam sensors, check these devices to see if they’re detecting any “presences.” These devices often have visible indicator lights.
Why does my automated gate close partway and then stop or open again?
Some models of automated gate operator are programmed to stop gate movement when a safety device is tripped. Incomplete closure might be caused by the tripping of magnetic loop detectors or photoelectric sensors. Open the operator cabinet while the gate is closing and check both the circuit board and any independent safety devices.
Another possible cause of a gate not being able to close fully is the obstruction sensitivity sensor being tripped. This is sometimes triggered by loose chains and binding when the gate’s trying to close. Check the circuit board once more—this time for signs that obstruction sensitivity is being tripped.
Why is my automated gate operator constantly beeping?
Your gate operator might be in alarm mode, which is triggered by safety devices during gate travel. To turn off alarm mode, reset the gate operator using the reset switch or circuit board.
My automated gate doesn’t stop when vehicles and pedestrians are passing through. Why is this?
A number of factors can cause this. Try the following:
- Verify that your automated gate operator’s safety devices are functioning.
- While the gate’s in motion, cover the photoelectric detector or place a vehicle on the loop. The operator’s circuit board and/or independent safety devices should indicate a presence.
- If no presence is detected and the gate continues to travel, leave the gate in either the fully open or fully closed position.
- Disengage power at the gate operator and dedicated circuit breaker. The circuit breaker should be “locked out” to prevent a considerable safety hazard.
While trying to solve this issue, do not place anyone or anything in the gate’s path of travel.
Why is my automated gate chain dragging, dropping, and/or snapping?
Dragging, dropping, and snapping are likely signs that your automated gate chain is too loose. If so, you can tighten the chain using the chain tension devices at the chains’ end(s). In most cases, automated gates’ tensioners are fully engaged and it may be necessary to remove links from the chain.
A snapping chain might be triggering your gate’s obstruction sensitivity indicator, which puts the gate in alarm mode.
My automated gate operator motor is running, but the gate won’t move. Why is this?
If you can hear the motor of your automated gate operator running, but the gate still does not move, there’s a chance the operator has become disengaged. Open the gate opener cabinet and verify if the operator has a disengagement device.
Disengagement devices typically appear in the form of a lever, which disconnects the drive unit from the output. Before re-engaging the gate opener, check with anyone who might’ve disengaged the gate opener. There’s a possibility someone intentionally disengaged it for safety reasons.
Why is my automated gate opener remote and/or keypad not working?
Open the gate operator circuit board and try engaging your remote device or keypad. If the circuit board is not registering an open command, your remote/keypad might need a new battery. If replacing the battery does not work, the keypad/remote might have become disconnected from your automated gate’s operator. If this is the case, there’s an issue with the wiring connections.
If you have questions about the wiring, contact your automated gate contractor.
My automated gate drops hard halfway through the opening phase. How do I fix this?
A sudden drop partway through the opening phase means the gate rollers need adjustments. In most cases where a sudden drop is involved, the gate’s weight shifts from one set of rollers to the next as it passes through the support posts. Without proper alignment, the gate may drop or even bind.
My automated gate opener makes a squealing sound when in use. Why is this?
Belt drive for gear reduction is used for some gate operators. Over time, these belts become worn out and require replacement. Don’t wait to make replacements once you start hearing these squeaking sounds and the sound is due to the belt drive. If not replaced in a timely manner, the gate may start and stop erratically.
Another cause for the squeaking sounds may be binding against the gate’s rollers or internal tracks. Try disconnecting the power and then disengage the gate operator. Next, manually roll the gate open and closed; as you do so, identify any rough spots. It might become necessary to replace the gate rollers, truck, or track.
Why does my automated gate make binding sounds when opening or closing?
The binding sounds may be caused by the gate binding against its rollers or internal trucks. To fix this, disconnect the power and disengage the gate operator from the gate. Now, manually roll the gate open and close to identify any rough spots. If necessary, replace the gate rollers, trucks, or track.
Contact us for any additional questions or concerns about automated gates.
© 2021 The American Fence Company. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only. Commercial use, copying or distribution is prohibited without express written permission from The American Fence Company.