Frequently Asked Questions
- Why do my gates get stuck open?
- What are safety photocells/sensors?
- What are loops?
- My transmitter/Remote is not working?
- How do i know if my gates are safe?
- How do we open the gates in the event of a failure?
Why do my gates get stuck open?
Often the usual reason a gate gets stuck in the open position is one of the safety devices has been activated. The two most common safety devices used are photocells and induction loops.
The first thing to check is to see if the safety photocells are obstructed by any plants/bushes that may have grown in front of the lens. By blocking the beam, the gate thinks there is an obstruction in the way and it will not move. Also check for any damage to the photocells.
Other devices such as induction loops and start commands can hold the gates open. The only way you may remedy this is to turn the power off to the gate system for at least one minute and then turn it back on.
Once you have done this, operate the gate using the remote or keypad code and wait to see if the gates close, which could take up to two minutes.
If the above fails, you will need to contact your Gate Company for assistance.
What are safety photocells – sensors?
These are devices that shine an infa-red beam between the units, which are usually installed between the gate posts across the opening. Sometimes they are installed inside of the gates at the end of the leaf travel.
These usually are black plastic units, mounted around two feet above the ground.
When the infa-red beam (ie; when something/someone is in front of any of the photocells) is broken, a relay is activated within the photocell, which in turn sends a command to the gate control system.
This will either keep the gates open, cause the gates to stop closing and re-open or stop them completely.
What are loops?
Also known as Induction loops and vehicle sensors, these are coils of a specific specification of cable that are buried within the road surface, either cut in and sealed with a sealer or buried under the surface within a conduit.
These are operated by an electronic control unit that creates a magnetic field around the coils of cable, similar to a metal detector. When a vehicle passes over the loop, the control unit detects a change in the magnetic field and sends a command to the gate control unit.
Loops are normally set up to either work like a photocell and keep the gates open, or they can act as a vehicle free exit.
A faulty loop could cause the gates to be stuck open or closed. The only possible temporary repair is to turn the gate system power off for at least one minute and then switch it back on.
A loop should only be tested with a calibrated item of test equipment by a qualified engineer.
My Transmitter – Remote is not working?
These are also known as bippers/zappers/controllers.
If your gate is not opening by your remote, it may not be that your remote is faulty.
If possible test the opening of your gates using any of the following:-
Keypad code; intercom system; induction loop – if the gate operates, you will know that the gate system is ok.
To test your remote, firstly check to see that the light is coming on when the button is pressed. If it does not this is usually down to a flat battery, which should be changed.
If the light still does not come on once you have fitted a new battery, then it is likely that the unit is faulty (always check the battery is tight within its terminals though).
All transmitters send a signal to an aerial, which is connected to a receiver unit within the gate controls. If the aerial is damaged, the remote may not work. If the receiver unit fails, the remote will not work.
A qualified gate engineer would be required to determine a receiver/aerial fault.
How do I know if my gates are safe?
Gate safety is paramount in ensuring peace of mind that your system complies with the current health and safety recommendations.
Any individual trained to understand the latest safety recommendations is the only true way to have your gate system assessed. This requires a site visit from a qualified person.
We can offer initial remote advice and information regarding the safety compliance of your gates when supported by pictures of your system.
How do we open the gates in the event of a failure?
All gate/barrier systems are equipped with a means of opening them manually should the need arise.
You will either have release keys or tools for putting the motors into manual operation.
These should always be kept in a location easily accessible when required as without these, certain systems cannot be safely opened and an engineer or responsible person with tools would be required.
On certain hydraulic systems, you need only to turn the power off to allow the gates to be pushed opened manually.
At Pearly Gates we offer an innovative system to ease your manual release process in the event of a failure.