5 FAQ’s about Automatic Gates for Residences

Posted February 27, 2018 to Before You Buy: Tips, Advice, Checklists.

Tags: Gates and Operators

1. What kind of automatic gates are available?

 
All gates can be automated.
 
The most popular type of gate for private homes are swing gates, however, several other options are available such as sliding/rolling, vertical lift and vertical pivot.
 
Swing gates are the most cost-effective option and range from simple, farm style tube gates to ornamental steel or aluminum. Swing gates can be single or double leaf depending on site conditions and customer’s preference.
 
Sliding/rolling gates come in many options as well, but are usually more expensive than swing gates. They also take up quite a bit of space when in the open position.
 
Vertical lift and vertical pivot gates, although rare in residential applications, are an option for those with a bigger budget and less space to work with. These gates open vertically eliminating the space needed for swing gates or sliding/rolling gates.
 

2. How will I power my gate?

 
    There are 3 options for powering an automatic gate:
 
1. High voltage power run to the gate. An electrician can be hired to run power from an existing source (house, garage or new service provided by your power company). This is the most reliable option, but is often costly if your gate is far from a power source.
2. Low voltage power run to the gate. A battery charger can be plugged into an existing power source and a low voltage line can be run to the gate to keep your gate battery charged. This option is limited to rather short distances from the gate to the power source.
3. Solar power can be used to keep gate batteries charge providing the gate is in an area with full sun. This option is great for gates which are long distances from a power source. You also enjoy the benefit of using a “green” option as well as saving the expense of running power to the gate. The solar option is recommended for gates which open/close less than 20 times per day.
 

3. What happens if the power goes out?

 
Don’t worry! Almost all automatic gates have battery backup and all automatic gates have manual releases so you can’t get stuck in or locked out of your property.
 
Battery backups usually allow for at least 50 cycles (open/close) with no power.
 
All automatic gates have some type of manual release which will allow you to open the gate manually if the gate stops working.
 

4. Are automatic gates safe?

 
Yes! Sierra Structures follows UL325 which are safety guidelines set up by Underwriter’s Laboratory. These guidelines are not yet laws or building codes, but, when followed, help ensure your gate is as safe as possible.
 
Some safety devices come standard with every automatic gate and we will make you aware of other options available.
 

5. How can I control my gate?

 
There are many options available for gate controls. The most common for residences are garage door style clickers. However, a variety of gate control devices are available to meet just about any need, such as key pads, telephone or WIFI entry systems, timers, and vehicle detectors. Sierra Structures can explain the use of each as well as their benefits to help design your ideal access control package.
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