First, let’s rule out any non-electrical issues. Shut the power off, disconnect the gate arm (if it’s a swing gate), or disconnect the chain (if it’s a slide gate). Try to move the gate open by hand. If the gate opens easily, then the gate itself is not the culprit.
- Swing gates – look for a physical obstruction. If it is not that, check on possible damage to the gate arm or problems with the hinges.
- Slide gates – look for issues with the wheel bearings, track, or chain.
Common “fixes” for non-electrical problems are:
- Lubricating swing gate hinges.
- Replacing wheels on a slide gate.
If the problem is a physical issue that you don’t feel comfortable tackling yourself, take some pictures and give us a call. Pictures and a good description could eliminate multiple service trips.
Checklist for electrical problems
1. Check the board for any indicator lights. If none, reset the power on the gate operator. Disconnect, unplug or switch off your breaker, transformer, backup power, or battery (it depends on the type of system you have). Bottom line, disconnect all power to do a full reset of the equipment. This is how I “fix” most of my computer issues! Honestly, the fix is often this simple and there is no need to spend your money on a repair call.
2. Even if you have solar panels, power could still be the problem.
- Check the battery connected to your solar panels with a voltmeter (which can be purchased at many stores like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc.). The voltage reading should be at or above the voltage required. This will be on the manufacturer’s sticker in operator. It is usually 12V or more.
- If your battery is over 2-years old, it is highly likely it needs to be replaced.
- Has there been a recent storm in your area? Storms can cause a power surge and destroy your board and/or wiring system. Look and smell for anything that appears burned.
NOTE: For battery replacements, we use Batteries Plus in Weatherford, Texas. Be sure to let them know we sent you because they can direct you to the kind of batteries we would recommend for your system.
3. If you have power after the reset, and the gate just won’t open/close, check the following:
- Check the photo eyes (if your system has them). Do you see light on inside the device? That will indicate if it is getting power. If so, are they clean? Do you see any obstructions like leaves, plants, etc.? This is a very common yet fixable issue we are called to come repair.
- Make sure that a “hold open” command has not been entered into the keypad.
- If the problem is the exit probe, the remote and keypad may still open the gate. Or, the system will just hold itself open. The exit probe is underground and must be dug up and replaced. Unless you want to get dirty, give us a call to replace this.
These are the basics, and many issues depend on who or how the system was installed. Sometimes we just need to set up a repair call to come look at the problem. But, you can call and schedule a time to talk to one of our technicians. They can often walk you through the issue over the phone. We do not charge for phone consultations.
Or, shoot us your questions below. We’d love to help here if we can.