Buying an automatic gate opener is an excellent investment. It’s the best way to open and close a heavy gate in a short time, without having to get out of your car or get your hands dirty. Also, it doesn’t need too much maintenance to stay operational.
However, before buying any model, you should know some important things to avoid mistakes. Here are 10 things you should know before buy automatic gate opener.
Why need an Automatic Gate Opener for A Home?
Depending on the dimensions and manufacturing material, some gates may be heavier than others. Any to be the case, you always have to strive to move them.
When you’re in a hurry, leaving your car to open and close a gate will steal some of your valuable time. During the process, you could get your hands and clothes dirty. Can you imagine something like this happening to you before a job interview? What a disaster!
The heavier the gate, the harder it will be to open and close. Over time, you may harm yourself and then need to invest money in medicines and therapy.
Things like this happen every day to people who don’t have automatic gate openers in their homes. Certainly, having one is a great advantage.
Here are some reasons why you need automatic gate openers:
- You can open and close a gate from a safe distance.
- They consume little energy and can operate independently from the electrical service.
- They continue to work in case of rain and electric blackout.
- They don’t need too much maintenance.
- They’re easy to install.
10 Things You Should Know
Today, there are many gate openers of different brands, sizes and models. Obviously, not all work the same or have the same performance in different conditions.
Next, you’ll know 10 basic things you should know before making the final decision.
01. Know How Your Gate Moves
First of all, you must know how your gate moves. Does it swing or does it slide? That way you’ll know if you’ll need a swing gate opener or a slide gate opener.
02. Determine the Length
Use a measuring tape to determine the length between the left and right end of your gate. Swing openers can move gates with 12-18 feet maximum length. Slide openers can move up to 30 feet in length.
03. Determine the Weight
You must also determine the approximate weight of your gate. If the gate is made with commercial iron or steel profiles, you should only measure the total lengths in feet and multiply by the linear weight (lb /ft).
You can find the linear weight of commercial profiles in construction manuals and the Internet. If some elements of the gate are handmade, you must multiply their approximate volume by the density of the material to determine the weight.
If these calculations are too complicated for you, ask an engineer friend to help you do it.
Swing openers can move maximum weights between 300-850 pounds. In contrast, slide openers can move up to 1000 pounds.
04. Single or Dual?
Gates can be single or dual. If your configuration is dual, you’ll need to buy 2 gate openers. However, most recognized brands offer installation kits for dual configurations at a lower price than 2 single kits.
05. Check If there’s A Power Source Nearby
Most automatic gate openers need 12V to operate. Check if there’s an outlet near the gate. If so, you would need to buy a 110-240V to 12V transformer, which are very common. Some installation kits already contain this device.
If the outlet is too far away, you may need to use an extension. In any case, you’ll need electrical tubes, fittings and spray foam to protect cables from external agents.
If there’s no power source nearby, you’ll have to buy a new car battery.
06. Choose Models of Known Brands
If you want a product of high quality, durability and performance, always choose models from the most recognized brands. If you buy a too cheap model, you’ll regret it later.
If you don’t know too much about automatic gate openers, you can search for the best models on the Internet.
07. Choose the Right Solar Panel
The most recent automatic gate openers use solar panels as an additional power source to power the car battery. Usually a 5-watt or 10-watt solar panel is sufficient for this purpose.
Before buying any model, investigate its power requirements to not make mistakes.
08. Check Which Items You’ll have to Buy Separately
In the basic installation kit aren’t included some elements necessary for your automatic gate opener to function. This is a list of the additional things you’ll need to buy separately:
- Car battery
- Solar panel
- Remote control
Some more complicated configurations could include:
- Keypad/Wireless Intercom with post
- Automatic gate lock
- Wireless driveway alarm
- Wireless sensor
Make sure you have enough money after buying your automatic gate opener to buy the rest of the things.
09. Get the Tools You Need
Before starting the installation, you’ll need the right tools. Usually, in the user guide you’ll find a detailed list. If you’re missing a tool, ask a friend to lend it to you so you don’t spend money on a new one.
10. If You Need A Battery, You’ll Need A Case
In case you need a car battery, you’ll need to store it in a safe place, where it remains protected from external agents. Some people build a case with galvanized iron sheet resting on a concrete base.
To make the right decisions, you have to ask yourself the right questions. Identify very well the features you need from your automatic gate opener for a successful purchase.
Remember that a too complex system could be too expensive. If you have a restricted budget, you better choose the simplest possible configuration.