Installing an electric gate yourself can be done relatively quickly. It’s not difficult – As long as you’re comfortable with using your hands, you can get it done without having to shell out several hundred dollars for an electrician. The whole process takes about two to three hours. It would often take you longer to find, hire and wait for an electrician than to do it yourself.
Before the Installation: Getting the Right Gate
Before you install your gate system, make sure that the gate you order is the right gate for the area you’re working with.
Figure out whether you’re working with a single or double gate system. If your driveway is at an incline, you’ll need to accommodate for it by eliminating certain gates from the equation. Determine which direction you want the gate to open. Measure your gate area carefully and make sure the dimensions work out with the gate you’re planning to order.
Before you place your order, it’s often a good idea to call the distributor or retailer to ask about your specific installation. Verify that the gate will work out for your specific situation.
Begin by reading your manual carefully. Study the diagrams. Each gate system is slightly different, so understanding the nuances of the installation is crucial.
Here are a few of the main components that you’ll have to install during the process:
- The electric cabling. You’ll need to wire your gate so that both sides of the gate have power, without a power strip being exposed to the weather or to car tires.
- Transformer and surge protector. These depend on the specific gate setup you’re using. Some setups will require a transformer for either the gate or the remote control system. As with all high-end electronics, it’s a good idea to use a surge protector to shield your property from electrical damage, should there be a power surge.
- The underground exit loop. If you want your gate to automatically open when someone from the inside of the building drives up, you’ll need to install an underground exit loop.
- The gate itself. While it’s possible to install the gate single-handedly, we recommend it being done by at least two people. The gates can be quite heavy and it’s possible to injure yourself if you’re not careful.
- The gate motor. This is what opens and closes the gate. Make sure the motor is operating soundly before completing your installation.
- The gate post. You’ll have to secure the post to the ground using concrete material.
- Control box. This is what receives signals from a remote control, then opens the gate. The control box may come with the remote control system rather than with the gate system, if you’re purchasing them separately.
- Intercom. If you have a gate system, you’ll often also want an intercom system. This will enable visitors to buzz into your home and let you know they’re outside. It’ll also allow you to open the gate from the outside.
Tips on Doing the Installation
If you don’t have all the expertise you need, don’t fret. You can have a professional electrician come and help out for just part of the installation. For example, if you know how to set up the gate and lay the concrete but don’t know how to wire an intercom, it’s very easy to contract someone to just do that one task for you.
When you’re buying electric gate systems, there’s a lot of room for creativity. You can apply your own designs and apply your own creative ideas. There are many different kinds of gates and options for you to choose from.
Whatever gate you decide to buy, make sure you check the warranty. This can make a big difference over the lifetime of your gate. Many gates today come with fantastic warranties that can make maintaining your gates much easier in the long run.
Installing an electric gate isn’t difficult. All you need to do is follow the instructions in your instruction booklet. If you’re not comfortable handling any aspect of the installation, you can just get help for that one part. Once your gate is finished installing, you’ll get to feel the pride and satisfaction of knowing that you set it up – At a fraction of what it would have cost you to have a contractor.