Electric Gate Openers

Getting The Right One For You

By: - Home Improvement - July 8, 2011
electric gate openers getting the right one for you

The electric gate opener has become a huge hit from when they were introduced years ago as a means to save yourself the trouble of getting out of your vehicle to open a gate, and then getting back out again to close it once you’re in or out of your property.  Especially in adverse weather conditions such as rain or extreme cold, electric gate openers are as essential to getting home effectively as the car you drive.

After having been in the industry of gate control and door openers for two decades, I have seen many brands of gate openers come and go.  Many of the old models and newer models alike have gears and parts that are largely comprised of plastic.  For a gate opener that is utilized year round and in varying conditions, plastic is the absolute worst material to have as part of the components of your gear box ever!   The advancements in technology within gate openers today is requires much more savvy for the consumer than is first conceived.

The first crucial point to remember about the mechanics of a gate opener is the wear and tear involved.  The length and weight of the gate exert a lot of torque on the components within the gear box of the device.  This can create a lot of wear and tear in addition to the weather conditions’ influence on the lifespan of gate openers.  Over a period of time, plastic becomes more brittle in colder temperatures and as well it dry rots and cannot withstand the amount of torque or pressure that your gate’s movements will exert.  Therefore, and I cannot emphasize this enough, plastic is an absolutely substandard material in gate openers.

Of course it is difficult to just ‘open boxes’ of electric gate openers to peer inside, therefore, an excellent means of determining whether or not it contains plastic or a metal component is the weight value of the unit under consideration.  If the unit under consideration has a weight value of about 15 pounds or less, its parts are probably all constructed of plastic material and shouldn’t be considered for purchase.  The perfect, durable material for gear box components is either that of steel or stainless steel and will last throughout weather conditions and torque for a very long time compared to plastic.  Naturally these result in a higher cost per unit however, an electric gate opener that is comprised of steel parts lasts far longer than those that are made of cheap, simple plastic.  Therefore, the weight of your gate opener should weight about 25 pounds.

Another factor to consider prior to making your gate opener purchase is the amount of time required for the unit to actually open and close you gate. If the selling features state that a 16 inch gate can be opened within 28 seconds, then more than likely it is because the plastic gears are smaller and using a lower turn ratio to open a bigger gate.  Recommended gate openers have the capacity to open a sixteen foot gate weighing about 650 pounds to an angle of about 90 degrees within a time span of about 13 to 14 seconds.

Finally, the installation of gate openers is a precise undertaking.  Improper installation can result in serious injuries and in some cases they have caused unnecessary deaths.  Unless you are qualified to do so, it is recommended that you employ the services of a professional installer to ensure not only a quality product with quality mechanics but the safety of you and your family as well.

Research your electric gate opener product well before making the purchase and you can be assured not to have to return to that same store with a defective product or in search of a new one owing to accelerated wear and tear.  Electric gate openers are really very affordable and easy to use!

Photo – gate – copyright 2008, Ildar Sagdejev – reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License 3.0 Unported, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2008-11-20_North_Pointe_Commons_front_gate.jpg

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