Troubleshooting Sliding Electric Gate Motors

A sliding electric gate in a driveway in front of a large home with palm trees.

Sliding electric gates are extremely convenient. However, if your gates are not working properly, it can be very expensive to get them repaired. Fortunately, if you know enough about your sliding gates, you can repair it on your own and spare yourself the unnecessary expense.

Electric Gate Motors

Electric gate motors control the operation of your electric sliding gate. They are usually located above ground, near the gates. They can also be placed underground. These motors are used for both steel and wooden gates. The motor of a sliding electric gate is much like any other door motor. There is a simple circuit that makes the gate work.

Your vehicle is usually fitted with a transmitter that sends a radio signal to a receiver box mounted close to the gate. The receiver is in turn wired to a control box. As soon as the radio receives the signal, the circuit is activated by the control box and the opener arm of the gate slides back to give you access. If you push the transmitter button again, the control box receives another signal and closes the gate behind you. The role of the motor comes into play when the circuit is activated. As soon as the circuit is complete, an electric current passes through the motor, which activates and begins to roll the opening arm of the gate in or out.

Underground Motors

Underground motors are a more popular choice for a sliding gate; however, repairing this type of motor can be quite difficult. They are typically used where the owners of the property do not want to see any electrical equipment along with their gate motor. Also, these motors are quite durable since they have to operate in damp conditions. There are many different models and makes of these motors, and electric gate repair will depend on what kind of motor you have installed.

The type of motor will determine the speed of the gate and its mode of operation. Ideally, the motors should also come with a manual override, so that the gates can be opened manually if there is any malfunction in the motor or electrical supply.

Repairing an Electric Gate Motor

If the electric gate is not working, any number of things could have gone wrong. First, the transmitter may not be sending the radio signal, so checking that should be step one. The second step is to look at the wiring and make sure that the circuit is being activated. If the transmitter is working and the current is passing through the circuit, then the problem is with the motor.

Open the box in which the motor is. Turn off the electrical supply before attempting any repairs. If the motor is turning, but the sprocket is not, it is possible that the sprocket may have come loose or the keyway may have become sheared. If the motor is buzzing, but not running, it is most likely that the capacitor of the starter has burned out and needs to be replaced. The motor may have also absorbed some moisture. Cleaning the motor using a wire brush should get it started. However, if the motor is running, but still the gate is not moving, a part inside the motor may have broken or failed and you may have to replace it.