Buying a gate opener not only makes your arrival home more pleasant and convenient, but it also adds value to your home. Despite these advantages, not all gate openers are created equal. Take a look below at four things you should consider before buying a gate opener to ensure that the one you purchase is the best one for your home.
Dimensions and Type
The first step in determining which type of opener is best suited for your gate is to measure and weigh the gate itself. Measuring the length of the gate is easy enough to do with a simple tape measure, and determining the weight is as easy as looking in the owner's manual or the manufacturer's website. Swing openers usually (but not always) handle lighter, smaller gates while hydraulic openers can operate gates that weigh a ton or more. The type of gate is also critical to figuring out which opener will work best with it. Top and bottom swing openers work best with single gates, while linear openers are usually seen operating dual gates. If your gate slides open rather than swings, special sliding operators may need to be ordered.
After determining the dimensions and type of gate you have at home, you'll want to locate the closest electrical source and determine exactly what kind--and how powerful--it is. For example, many top swing gate openers will only function with alternate current sources ranging from 115 to 460 volts. That said, other motors work only on a direct current, and still others are charged with solar power.
Many people forget to perform regular maintenance to ensure that their gate continues to perform accordingly. Before purchasing a gate opener, think about any maintenance that will be required in the future that is specific to your type of operator. For instance, you'll have to grease the door arm and remove any debris and insects regardless of what opener you purchase. But bottom swing arm operators in particular require occasional maintenance on the nuts above the clutch adjustment, as well as fixing any possible loosening of (or cracks in) the motor belt.
Loop detectors and wires are an integral part of any opener system. Determine before purchasing an opener exactly what type of wire needs to be laid and connected. While a self contained probe wire can be laid beside a driveway, preformed loops must be placed below asphalt or concrete.
If you need more advice on choosing the gate opener that's right for your home, talk to a contractor who specializes in gates, like those at Rut Fencing.