Automatic gate openers can run without interruption for years. However, over time, their moving parts begin to accumulate dust, affecting their performance. If you don’t have money to pay for maintenance, this information will be useful for you.
For optimal operation, your automatic gate opener requires preventive maintenance. Today you’ll know how to do it for yourself.
Why Need Maintenance of an Automatic Gate Opener?
Most automatic gate openers remain exposed to external agents all the time. Rainwater, high and low temperatures, wind, dust, small insects and more. Over time, these agents could affect their operation.
Today there are several companies specialized in the maintenance of these devices. However, these kinds of services are usually too expensive.
Why paying too much money for something you can do by yourself? If electronic elements of the opener remain intact, a deep cleaning of the moving parts is all that’s needed to keep it in perfect condition.
You don’t need too many tools to disassemble a gate opener for maintenance purposes. You just need to know some useful tips to get the job done and not to fail in the attempt.
5 Tips on Automatic Gate Opener Maintenance
If money is your main concern, you can learn to maintain your automatic gate opener in simple and understandable steps. Pay close attention to this.
01. Change the Battery If It’s Sulphated
If you use a car battery as the main power source, constantly check its status. These batteries need to connect to a power source to keep working and prolong their useful life. Something like a car alternator.
Most car batteries use lead peroxide plates submerged in sulfuric acid. When the battery loses its ability to recharge, it tends to form lead sulfate.
Lead sulfate manifests as a blue spongy mass around the terminals. This happens for two reasons:
- The battery is dead and you must change it.
- The battery isn’t receiving charge.
Connect the battery terminals to a 13-14V source and wait. If the sulfate around the terminals disappears, the battery still works. In this case, something bad could be happening with the solar panel.
02. Verify the Operation of the Solar Panel
Sunrays, water and dust can affect the operation of a solar panel. Always try to keep the panel surface as clean as possible. To do this, you can use a damp cloth to remove the dirty.
You can buy a cleaning kit for solar panels, which includes a liquid detergent specially formulated for these cases.
If the car battery still works but its terminals remain sulfated almost all the time, you should check the output voltage of the solar panel. On a clear day, a 5-watt solar panel would have a voltage close to 10 V.
If the generated voltage is much less than that (<5V), it’s convenient to repair the panel or buying a new one.
03. Lubricates the Moving Parts
Over time, your automatic gate opener may become slow to open and close. This happens when the screw of the piston loses lubrication.
To recover the normal movement of the device, you must open the case containing the piston, remove the piston, clean and apply spray lubricant on the screw.
04. Be Careful with the Bugs
Being outdoors, gate openers are exposed to attack from insects. When they reach the electronic components they can cause short circuits. Make sure that doesn’t happen by carefully sealing any possible entry with foam spray.
05. Hire an Expert
Sometimes your gate opener may stop working even if the electrical and mechanical components are in perfect condition. In that case, it’s possible that something happened with the electronic system.
If the sensors don’t work or there’s no response after pressing the remote control, it’s better to call an expert if you don’t know about electronics.
Before doing any maintenance, you should be aware of what you can do and what you can’t. If you believe that lack of knowledge and experience could lead to damage your gate opener, better contact an expert.
However, keeping solar panels clean and checking battery sulphating is something anyone could do. Small things like these are also important.