Choosing a system to suit your needs can be very complicated if you have not done this before.
To help you find your way we have created our "Frequently Asked Questions" section that should deal with most of the issues that arise.
How much does an automatic gate cost?
The cost of a system can range dramatically. Factors that alter this are the amount of work needed to complete the whole project and the quality of all the components used. Often, the less systems cost to install, the more expensive they can be to maintain.
Please see our Buyers Guide section of this site for more detail.
Do I have to buy everything at once?
Do I have to buy new gates?
|Not always, some existing gates maybe automated quite successfully, however most were not made with automation in mind, and will require some form of modification.|
Automatic gates are built to work with the operator and will be stable throughout use. Gates that have not been made with automation in mind may sway, or swing less stabley in operation. This can affect the performance and life expectancy of the system.
Can I or my contacts do some of the work ourselves?
We often work with others on a project, however a clear understanding of what is needed and who is responsible for what can be an issue worth avoiding.
This is highlighted during a maintenance or after sales response and could involve double charging for an otherwise straight forward repair.
How quickly can I have a system?
Some Items are ex-stock and maybe installed within days. However no two systems are exactly the same and manufacturing time for gates or other such items, need to be allowed for.
Also the amount of work will have a bearing on how long the job takes to complete.
Does Gate-A-Mation do other things?
Yes, we are involved with all aspects of an installation from design to aftersales, e.g.
Please call us if you require further or alternative assistance.
What power supply is required for the system?
There are a number of different systems on the market today. Some are three phase Heavy industrial. Some are 240v mains and some are 12/24v Low volt. Supply for the automation alone is often too little for supplementary equipment, such as communications, lighting or maintenance tools i.e. welding, drilling etc.
Therefore at least a suitable 240V, 13amp constant & dedicated supply is always recommended.
Do I need a builder?
Can I only have the gates offered?
No, Gate-A-Mation is happy to automate existing gates or gates from another supplier if required.
We will make gates to almost any design requested in metal or timber etc. However we will always recommend metal over timber as it is a more stable material in an external environment
What sort of gate is right for me?
The type of gate is usually determined by the site's location and working tolerances, together with the appearance the customer is trying to achieve. Experience has taught us that this maybe the most cosmetic issue regarded when designing a system, but it can also be the most critical for long term success. i.e. A solid timber gate may offer privacy, but is most affected by wind resistance and could fail in high wind.
Many more examples can be given across the whole spectrum of choice and as so, it is very important to gain the correct advice, when deciding upon the gate.
Are my existing support posts/piers suitable?
|More often than not, existing support structures were not constructed with automation in mind. Therefore some form of modification is usually required and replacement or strengthening necessary for any degree of longterm reliability.|
How secure are the gates when closed?
Most gates are reasonably secure when closed. However the word secure has different levels and so the locking security of a gate may vary dramatically. The level of security is directly relevant to the cost of the installation and the amount of going maintenance.
There are two main methods of securing gates in the closed position Operator locking or Supplementary locking Either maybe used or both together. The type of installation, its method of use and its environment have a bearing on that which is recommended.
How far from the gates will the radio controls work?
|The answer to this depends upon the local environmental conditions and as a result, we can offer solutions to suit each location. However a range of 30-80m can be expected.|
Will the gates close on an obstruction or user?
It is always possible for a gate or barrier to close onto or more often, into the path of a user. This can be avoided by the use of safety controls (see Safety controls under our products section) It is also a feature of most operators to have a clutch/pressure adjustment facility, that even during impact may assert variable force.
However, most damage is caused by the movement of a vehicle than the moving gate itself. Therefore the safety controls need to be positioned to give maximum coverage in each location.
What happens when visitors or deliveries come?
Systems can be designed to allow free access to all or impose restricted entry according to client needs.
During restricted entry, different command devices maybe used such as Timed Tradesman button Codes Cards or the visitor may request entry via a communications system, such as an Audio or Video entry link etc.
How do my visitors leave?
|There are a number of ways in which to let users leave. Each location dictates what form of exit command device we would recommend and whether more than one is advised.|
What happens during a power cut?
Operators are manufactured with a manual release, for override during system or power failure. Some systems Fail secure locked and need the manual release. Other systems Fail release unlocked and can be used manually straight away. Supplementary locks (M2) can also fail either unlocked or may need a release key, for access.
We can offer low voltage systems with battery back up or even mains (UPS) systems. However, the length of time that the system will continue to operate is relative to the size of the batteries and needs to be carefully considered. Our experience has shown that solar or wind powered systems are unreliable.
What causes the gates to stay open?
Most of the time if the power supply is in order and there is nothing obstructing the gate, a fault on the Safety side of the controller is likely.
This maybe as simple as dirt on the photo switches (S1 safety beams) or a car parked across the safety loop (S2 induction loop).
There are other ways the gates maybe left open such as the setting of the Stay open switch (M7) or on some systems a constant command may be at fault.
Why does the gate not open?
|Assuming the power supply is alright and once again there is nothing obstructing the gate, a fault on the Command side of the controller is likely.|
Do automatic gates need maintenance?
|All gate, door and barrier systems need maintenance of some form with the life expectancy of a system benefiting accordingly. Every system is unique and needs to be assessed independently.|
Who will look after my system?
|We have our own Service Department dedicated in after sales care. Our full time service engineers are equipped with all the tools and technical support they need, to affect a speedy repair or general service. We can also repair and offer maintenance on systems that have not been installed by us.|
Do I need a maintenance contract?
|It is not essential, however good maintenance is certain to improve the performance, reliability and life of any system and gives agreement customers priority over others.|
What maintenance agreements are on offer?
We have three main agreements to offer:
Are solid gates affected by wind?
|Yes. However it is company policy to undertake a full System report on each system visited for the first time. This, together with any recommendations, is forwarded to the customer for consideration.|
Why do the gates blow half closed?
How reliable can a system be?
We expect our systems to last a minimum of 15 to 20 years subject to the levels of use and abuse.
Reliability is relative to system design, type of products used, quality of build, environmental conditions and local influences.
With the right experienced design and installation with routine maintenance, any system should be reliable for many years. And any repairs may be undertaken with greater efficiency.
Do we need planning permission?
It is often worth a call to your local council to establish whether planning or highway permission is needed. Gate-A-Mation will not accept responsibility for any issue arising as a result of planning or highways permission problems or disputes. However, if required, we can provide our C.A.D. (Drawing) services and consultation upon request and subject to agreement.
NB Subject to local authority, the following points are often considered:
How do my gates close?
|Gates may close automatically behind users, once they have cleared the safety devices, or alternatively be left open until given the command to close by the user.|
How do we get in or out if there is a fault?
|All systems have a manual override to enable access when required. Some systems are designed to revert automatically to manual operation during a fault (power cut) and some require an override manual release key or device to enable manual operation.|
Why does the gate only open part way?
If a system only opens part way, it could be physically obstructed, or the operator settings may require adjustment.
The first check should be to see if anything is in the way of the gate hindering the movement.
Can I risk assess the safety of my existing installation?
|The safety of existing systems has to be evaluated to make sure that current levels of protection are installed and most importantly that devices are properly adjusted and working to ensure the maximum level of safety and protection possible.|
In this connection, we have produced a comprehensive electric gate Safety Review Document to enable owners of automated gate systems to quickly evaluate the safety of their system and to allow us to prioritise our response according to the score applied to each question.