What are the top 9 reasons automatic gate operators stop working?

Who can fix it? Mid-Atlantic Entry Systems of course!

Mid-Atlantic Entry prides itself in its service of gate operators. The company has been in business for over 30 years and many of our techs have decades of experience. They are trained on  ASTM  F2200 & UL325 safety standards, constantly training on new products, safety, and install a wide array of projects every week.  Our people and our service after the install is what has set us apart from other companies since the beginning. A knowledgeable experienced team is critical to your success. Before you hire a company to do your gate install or repair, ask if they have 24-hour service and how many of their service techs specialize in gate operators. This is why Mid-Atlantic Entry System shines.  We caught up with some of our gate operator service technicians and put together a list of things we see as common problems in the field. 

1. Safety – UL325 & ASTM

  • Safety is our top concern & should be yours. Our technicians have had training for UL325 requirements and ASTM F2200 standards. This can be critical for residential and commercial applications. The first question to ask is, “Is your installer UL325 & ASTM F2200 knowledgeable?” No one wants an unsafe job.
  • Safety issues and higher maintenance cost could be avoided if a comprehensive plan is developed and implemented early.

2. Gate Designs Not Matching Standards

  • We see gate designs all the time that do not meet these important standards and can put users at a higher risk of a lawsuit, injury, or worse death. Talk to MAES before you invest in a gate to make sure they meet ASTM & UL325 standards.

3. Reflective Photo Eyes or Send/Receive Photo Eyes

  • One type of photo eye is reflective. It sends a signal across the opening to a small reflector which sends the signal back. It works just fine until rain, mud or contaminants impair the reflector signal. Causing the photo eye to not get the signal, thus preventing the gate from opening and closing. Some people even remove the photo eyes which creates a significant safety issue. MAES always recommends the send and receive photo eyes. This type has a laser that is sent across the opening to a receiving unit which eliminates most environmental interference. They are easily adaptable to the environment. We do not recommend removing the photo eyes as this can cause a significant safety issue.

4Wiring, Electricity and Exposed Cabling-No Conduit

  • Getting Electricity to your Gate Operator is a critical component of success. To bring power to a gate you need to run electrical lines to power the gate. We often see people who do not use conduit to run the line. This can cause premature failure of the line or a shock hazard. (Risk of being shocked)
  • Often, we see installs with no dedicated breaker or dedicated ground rod. Most manufacturers require this for safe operation of your system.

5. No Grease Fittings For The Hinges:

  • There are many types of hinges. Many are ok for manual operation but are not reliable for the rigors of an automatic gate that opens frequently. The best hinges  for automatic gates are usually those that have grease fittings enabling frequent greasing.

6. Damaged Gates:

  • Gate operators are moving mechanical parts so a gate that has been damaged can cause a lack of alignment and stress on the operator or even failure. A smooth opening gate with correct alignment, is a beautiful thing.

7. Welds Breaking

  • Welding is a craft that looks easy but takes years of work and training. The Mid-Atlantic Entry Systems team works hard to make sure, if we are required to weld, to not only make them look good, but perform under the demands of the environment. Quality is our number one goal.

 8. Operators

  • We all gravitate to a lower price of anything, but we learn over time there is a difference between cost and value. We get service calls frequently and we find the operator is not properly matched to the job. In addition, it may not handle the demands of the environment that it is operating in. This is where years of experience can help match the equipment needed for your specific environment.

9. Environmental Conditions

    1. At the end of the day, the environment in which your gate operator works in is very important. A gate operator may be specified for operating within a certain power and cycle level in a clean testing environment. Put that same operator near chemicals, salt water or a muddy gritty environment and it will likely not perform. Also, your specific environment may need different access controls because of the lack of electricity, internet signal, phone signal, and even the availability of the sun.

Mid-Atlantic Entry Systems prides itself on servicing gate operators. We have been doing it for decades and constantly train our employees to keep them up to date. Technology is impacting access controls as well and requires years of training. So, when you need someone to help you fix your gate operator, give Mid-Atlantic Entry Systems a call!