10 Things You Need To Ask Before Buying An Electric Or Solar Gate

10 Things You Need To Ask Before Buying An Electric Or Solar Gate

Actually there are usually much more than 10 questions to ask before you spend any money. But lets start with the main 10 Questions

No1 Do I need solar or electric?

Yes that is the first question and the answer is easy. The best solution is Electric with Battery backup.. That means if the power goes off, then the controller will automatically switch over to run on batteries until the power comes on again, then switches back to power.. And the batteries are always in a state of charge while the mains power is normally on.     Solar runs on batteries so it needs the sun to shine most of the time to keep the batteries charged up while you use it... Also batteries only last a few years so need replacing.

No2  Should I buy a swing gate kit or sliding gate kit?

That depends. A swing gate kit is good and easy to install, but if the gate is longer than say 4.5m or maybe only 3m long but 1.5m tall and covered with colorbond. That is a problem. It is not so much the weight of the gate, it is the length (like a giant lever) or if it is covered in, it is like a sail on a boat and pushed or pulled in the wind against the motor that is even harder to overcome.  A sliding gate does not have any of these problems but a slide gate needs a concrete footing with a track on the top and somewhere for the sliding gate to slide to...So it needs more room in a straight line with the gate..

No3 How many clickers, remotes, fobs etc can I use on my gate? 

Every gate kit is a little different but most built in receivers will accept up to 30-50 remotes. But just remember the extra remotes must be the same brand as the gate kit or they will not work.  Now if you want to connect your garage door remote with a spare button to open your gate you can install a universal receiver in the control box and that receiver will accept anything..ling your old remotes or your garage remote.

No4 How much does it cost to install ?

With a swing gate kit, most people install themselves because they are basic and easy to do. You just need to be a little handy and have some basic tools. It is different for a sliding kit if you have to install the gate too, but if the gate is already there then quite simple, actually easier than a swing gate. Also basic tools and handyman skills.  To install a swing gate kit or install motor on a slide gate then usually 3 hours is about right.

No5 Can I have a keypad on entry for friends or the meter man.?

Yes two ways to do this. You can install a wired keypad on a post and run the wires to the control box. Or you can get a wireless keypad or keypad kit and do the same, but no wires needed as they are battery powered and usually last a couple of years on one set of AA batteries.  Or you can install a keypad /intercom setup so it does the keypad and talks and looks, These come in wired and wireless. 

No6 Can I install a lock for security reasons?

Yes that is a great idea. so there are two types of locks, an electric lock or a magnetic lock. So an electric lock has a mechanical locking system and electric operation to open it when you click the remote.  A magnetic lock is easier but it needs to have power all the time to keep it closed  and that only changes when you click the remote, that turns off the power to it so the gate can open.  I like the Magnetic lock the best because they are so easy to install and line up where the electric lock can take work to line everything up.  BUT a magnetic lock cannot be used on a solar system because it will drain the batteries.

No7 If my guests use the keypad to get in, how do they get out if I am not home?

Good question, Most people like to be secure so they put another keypad on the inside so guests can get out, and the gate is always secure.  You can also use an exit button on the inside for them to push to get out... but that is not secure as someone could jump over your gate or fence and just press the exit button and open the gate..

No8 Can I use my Phone to open the gate when I am at work?

Yes easy. That is called a GSM unit. It goes inside your control box and 4 basic wires to connect. You install a $10 sim card and download an app on your phone then you can be anywhere in the world and open your gate if someone rings you.

No9 Do I need to pay for someone to maintain my automatic gate system?

The answer is No. For a sliding gate, just make sure no small stone or gravel on the sliding gate track, just keep it clean, and for swing gate kits,  check nuts, bolts brackets,  that may have come loose over time and make sure the gate post has not moved so the gate is level and does not drag on the ground on in sand.

No10 What should I look out for when buying.?

If you are looking at a gate kit online or go to a store, ask if you can send or show them a picture of your gates so there is no issues with gate post size, location, condition etc. If you cannot do this you take responsibility for things if it won't work. and it is quite common for installations to be tricky if you don't know beforehand.

Cheers Graeme


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