Why won’t my gate open? Having trouble with your automatic gate? One common problem that gate owners sometimes face is their gate getting stuck in the open position. You may notice your gate struggling to open but not being able to. Or you may notice that your gate won’t move at all. This can be especially frustrating as many choose automatic gates due to their ability to provide increased security. This article will provide an overview of the most common reasons why a gate may not open and how you can diagnose and fix the problem. For more information about gate repair and installation, contact the experts at Jay360 now!
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My Gate Won’t Open: Most Common Problems and How to Fix Them
Remote controller is not working – get it fixed by changing battery or controller
For those sitting in their cars in front of a silent automatic gate, you know the dreaded feeling when your gate simply refuses to move as you stare out in frustration. You keep pressing your remote, hoping the gate would start moving, but nothing happens.
One of the reasons a gate won’t open is that your remote controller isn’t working. If the remote isn’t flashing a red light when you press the open key it means it probably depleted its battery or the controller is out of commission. Gate Openers Review suggests steps and we’ve arranged them here for convenience:
- Try swapping the batteries with a spare and functioning remote. If the controller works then you know its a batter issue – whew!
- If, even after buying or swapping batteries into your remote, the gate won’t open or the flashing command light isn’t appearing, then the controller may simply be beyond its life expectancy. This is common in electronics and may require specialized tools and parts to repair.
- The suggestion is that you can call the supplier or a technical representative to help you replace and program the controller
Not sure how to replace the battery on your remote? See here for a demonstration video.
Ascending driveway issue: redesign and adapt the gate to open
Swing gates are particularly notorious for failing to function when placed in front of an ascending or upward inclining driveway. This is due to programmed sensors in the gates that detect any objects or people that may come into contact with the gate and will either disable or prevent the gate from opening as mentioned by Gate Openers Review.
Try the following steps to fix this issue:
- Try reconfiguring your gate to swing away from the ascending driveway.
- If that doesn’t work, have the gate installed in a higher position so that it can clear without touching the driveway.
- One design featured in a YouTube video uses offset hinges and specialized gate arms to get around the issue.
- Check and reset the sensor so that the gate can operate normally as this is a protective measure to keep the gate from injuring people or objects.
Check out how Jay360 can help you design the same solution as in this video that lets your gate open in an ascending driveway:
Mechanical issues such as wear, tear, and rust may prevent the gate from opening: conduct maintenance on the gate
Because a gate is a set of mechanical components that operate together to control entry to your property, there is a likelihood that after a few years of use certain parts may break down and require repair. The issue could be as simple as debris or a small object blocking the gate’s path – most gates won’t open (swing) if they sense something in the way. The Automatic Gate Resource Center outlines 4 steps to determining a mechanical issue with your gate:
- Check for broken or damaged parts – if you don’t notice anything out of the ordinary, check for obstructions in the gate’s pathway.
- Turn off the power and disconnect either the chain or the gate arm depending on the type of gate you own. Manually move the gate – does it move easily? If so, you know the actual gate is not causing the problem.
- If the problem is something small, like a build up of debris in the way, can you fix it yourself? If so, get working!
- If the problem is more complicated, you should call on gate installation and repair experts to ensure you do not injure yourself or cause even more damage to your gate. (source)
Electrical problems: confirm manual locks and check for faulty battery
After confirming that your gate isn’t suffering from mechanical issues consider looking at any electrical problems. Electrical problems are very common with automatic gates. An electrical problem can cause a gate to remain in the closed position, even if it initially opened without problems. When checking for an electrical problem, take the following steps:
- Ensure your gate does not have the “hold open” command activated – this command can be accidentally activated by you or someone else in your family. It’s an easy solution – just turn the command off and your gate should resume normal function.
- Check the fire department key switch – it’s possible the fire department came by to check your gate and forgot to put your settings back to normal. Check the key switch and ensure everything is normal before moving on to the next step.
- Reset the power on your gate operator – if the problem is not an accidentally activated command or switch, reset the power on your gate operator. Sometimes all your gate needs is a simple reset (source).
- Check the sensors – Check the photocell/photo eye/sensors on your gate. Is there moisture? Debris on the lens? Check these sensors to ensure nothing is blocking them. Sometimes moisture build-up can cause your gate to stop closing as the sensors stop working.
5. Replace the battery on edge transmitters– Check that your edge transmitters are still functioning. Some manufacturers suggest inspecting the transmitter every month to ensure proper operation. If you replace the battery and the transmitter still isn’t functioning then it could be the transmitter’s issue inherently. This means replacing the edge transmitter (source).
6. Call the experts – If you’ve tried all the above and still can’t figure out what’s wrong with your gate, the problem may be more serious. It’s always best to call on the experts to ensure you do not cause more damage to your gate or gate operator, or injure yourself while working with the battery or electrical components.
Gate won’t open unless I’m next to it: ensure clear channel between control and receiver
Sometimes a gate will refuse to open unless you leave the warm confines of your vehicle and stand up right next to it. To resolve the issue our source recommends the following:
- Extend the receive antenna to ensure that it does not make contact with any metal surfaces.
- Remove receiver interferences, be sure to clear any other sources of radio transmissions including culprits like radio stations, CFAF bases, flight paths, or an airport nearby.
Other Common Causes
If you’ve checked everything above and your gate still is causing you problems, it may be another issue. Here are some other problems that can cause your gate to become stuck in the open position.
Weather-related issue: look for frozen batteries
If the snow has just set in or there was a major temperature drop, your gate may become sluggish or completely stop moving. This may cause your gate to not open at all, or if it does, may still cause mechanical parts to contract, requiring more power to be used when operating a gate. Sometimes, patience is all you need. Ensure your gate is properly lubricated, insulate the battery box (ONLY if you know how to safely do this, if not, contact an expert), and use cold resistant grease to help ensure your gate performs its best during the winter. Here are some suggestions from Gate Opener Reviews:
- Try pressing your gate opener switch multiple times as this will allow the chilled chemical reaction to start. Trying to start / open the gate multiple times is similar to trying to start a car engine which gives it the warm up it needs to open (source).
- Inspect the solenoid switch, identify any corrosion, and clear safely with rubber gloves.
- Clean the rollers and bearings with cold resistant grease or lubricant.
- Confirm that the trickle charger is functioning.
- Remove the battery and have it tested at a auto store or use your own battery tester.
- Buy a battery that is “High Cold Cranking Amps.”
Poorly Installed Gate
Though DIY gate installation may seem like a cost-effective solution, installing an automatic gate is a very complicated and precise procedure. An improperly installed gate may work fine at first, but soon you may be faced with serious issues. If you DIY installed a gate or found yourself with an unprofessional installer, it’s a good idea to call on an experienced gate installation company to help fix the problem.
Still standing in front of a closed gate?
At Jay360, we have over 28 years of experience installing and repairing gates. If you need help with a gate that won’t close, you can rely on the knowledge and experience of Jay360 by Jay Fencing. Feel confident that we will recommend only the security products that meet your specific needs and budget. We value top notch customer service, providing the highest quality products and services available, being a name that you can trust, and having experienced and hardworking staff.
Jay360 can help you choose and install the perfect privacy, security, or automatic gate for you, your business, and your family. Over the years, we have supplied and installed a lot of gates! With over 28 years of experience, we know how to install and repair gates of all sizes and shapes.
We can supply and install anything from door, swing, and various versions of slider gates. We carry a wide variety of manufactured gates and create custom designs according to your specifications and dimensions. Call on Jay 360 today!