How Do Automatic Gates Work When the Power Goes Out?
There’s no denying that automatic gates are convenient and that they offer improved security and add value to a property. However, automated gates need power, and sometimes, during power failures or similar events, they don’t get any.
Here’s how your automatic gates work when the power goes out and what you need to know to make sure you can get in and out without trouble.
Automatic Gates Usually Have Backup Batteries
The first thing you should know about automatic gates is that most gate operators have a backup battery. This battery is automatically charged by the power that comes to your gate and will automatically take over when there is no power.
There are several things you should do to ensure that you can use your automatic gate on battery power when the power goes out:
- Ask your gate automation installer to confirm that your gate operator has a built-in backup battery – not all gate motors have these, and if you don’t have one, this won’t apply
- Hire a gate automation professional to install your gate operator, so that you are sure it’s wired correctly – if your gate motor backup battery is not connected, it can’t charge, and you won’t have backup power if there’s a blackout
- Have your gate operator and backup battery checked regularly – batteries don’t last forever, and you will have to replace your gate motor’s backup battery from time to time
Of course, even with a backup battery, your automatic gate will have limited operating time when the power is out. So, try to avoid using it unless it’s necessary.
Automatic Gates Also Have Manual Override Options
Even if your gate operator does not have a built in battery, it will have a manual override option. Sometimes there’s a switch that controls this, and other times you need to use a special key to switch from automatic to manual mode.
Ask your gate operator installer to show you where your manual override is, and how to use it, so that if the power goes out, you can still use your gate.
Always Choose Quality Gate Automation Equipment
The last thing we want to say on the topic of using automatic gates during a power failure – or in general – is that you should always buy quality gate automation equipment that is made for your climate.
Cheap gate motors and accessories might save you a little money upfront, but they could cost you more in the long run. Many also don’t have basic safety features like backup batteries or override switches, which can be very dangerous.
The simple fact is, when it comes to gate operators, you really do get what you pay for, so spend a little more for a safe, high-quality gate automation system.