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Installation Instructions for Automatic Gate Opener

Fences and the gates that allow us to pass to and fro are day-to-day necessities for many farmers and other property and business owners. Gates serve the useful twofold purpose of allowing those whom we give permission to enter our property and keeping out others who are neither invited nor welcome. Gates generally perform well, but a continuously open gate ignored by the property owner is a useless gate. Too often we are in a hurry and just forget to shut the gate "before the cows get out." Thankfully, for those of us in this category, automatic gates are available to furnish gate-shutting diligence.

Electric gate openers can certainly add convenience.
  1. Review the available automatic gate opener systems to decide which one will work best for your particular application. Choose whether a remote, keypad or intercom is most appropriate, and look over the installation procedures for your choice.
  2. Marking for utilities avoids potentially dangerous digging.
  3. Call the utility company to make sure it is safe to dig where you wish to install the gate opener. Mark your area, using spray paint, and await utility approval before digging.
  4. Dig the hole for the post upon which the gate opener will be mounted. Use post-hole diggers or a motorized auger to dig the hole 24 to 36 inches deep. Set and level the post, making sure to keep it straight.
  5. Use a level to keep the post straight as you fill the hole around the post with quick-set concrete product. Do not wet the product, since ground moisture will set the concrete. Spray the hole lightly with a hose if it is extremely dry when you dig the hole, but do not leave water standing in the hole when you pour in the quick-set mix.
  6. Give the post time to set and cure in the hole. Allow at least 24 hours before mounting the control panel onto the post. Follow manufacturer instructions precisely so as not to compromise the gate opener's full functionality.
  7. Use a trencher, garden tiller or pick and shovel to dig the trench that will contain the line and sensor to the corresponding sensor/signal monitor on the post. Review the maker's installation instructions before digging the trench, which is usually about a foot deep and 40 to 50 feet onto the property from the pad on the post.
  8. Check the wiring instructions for your unit. Consider using PVC piping to run the wire through that will be in the trench to protect it. Connect the wires to the control panel on the post and the buried sensor on the property.
  9. Dig another trench, if necessary, for the sensor wires to be run to the main power source panel in the house. Run and connect the wires from the sensor to the main power source according to the instructions that accompany the unit. Test the gate opener repeatedly to make sure it is working correctly.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Spray paint
  • Hole diggers or pick and shovel
  • Trencher
  • Quick-set concrete
  • Gate opener assembly/kit

Tip

  • Have an electrician wire in the unit if you have never done this before.

Warning

  • Change the entry/exit codes frequently to enhance security.

About the Author

Chuck Brown is a freelance writer and former teacher and athletic coach. He has held professional stints as a business owner, personal fitness trainer, curriculum designer, website designer, market trader and real estate investor. Brown holds a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in Christian counseling.

Photo Credits

  • Open Gate image by Natalie Smith from Fotolia.com
  • flag image by dinostock from Fotolia.com