Why Install a Sliding Gate Opener? Because Automatic Gate Openers are great;
Firstly, they address any security concerns that you may have at your property. No longer will you be forgetting to lock the gate, having to leave it open, or having an unsecured driveway or entrance to your property. The Automatic Gate Opener will open only on instruction, and close and lock behind you. Ensuring that no one can access your property without your permission.
Secondly, they make getting in and out of your property simple – as long as you have the code or access key, security first! You can approach in your car, activate the gate and drive straight in. For anyone with restricted parking in their location, this is perfect. No need to find street parking nearby, get out of the car to open the gate, get back in, drive through, park again, get back out and secure it behind. It is as simple as click and drive.
This article looks at sliding gate openers because they need less space to operate. A gate which opens from a hinged post needs a radius the length of the gate to open within – if that is inwards then you have to be able to park your car some distance from the gate – outwards and you can face all sorts of obstruction or traffic issues.
A sliding gate will operate without swinging out or inwards. As long as your boundary has sufficient length to accommodate the width of the gate at least twice plus around 600mm then you can have a sliding gate in very compact properties, and in busy areas.
Starting Points when Installing an Automatic Sliding Gate Opener
Do you already have a sliding gate?
This is, admittedly, a pretty basic starting point, but it is clearly the starting point for the project. The Gate Opener necessary will be dependent upon the weight, and size, of the gate that it has to operate to a certain extent. Consequently, the opening that you wish to install the gate to, or the size and weight of your existing gates, is your starting point for the project.
If you are starting from scratch, and are looking installing gates as well then make sure that you have sufficient space either side for the gates to retract fully.
Take a look at the driveway opening, and consider what fencing or barrier you will run up to the gates, and how you will be fixing the gates to the boundary barrier.
Decide at this point if your automatic gate opener will be solar, or mains powered.
What do I need to Install an Automatic Sliding Gate Opener?
Make sure that you have sufficient time – this is a weekend job, not an after-work one. The average, reasonably competent DIY’er can fit one over a weekend without any problems at all.
Clearly, if you are fitting the gate as well then it is a bigger job – and you need to allow time for the post-fixing concrete to go off.
You will need:
- A power drill that is suitable for concrete.
- Concrete and metal screws
- Coach screws (to fix the brackets to the timber posts)
- An angle grinder (If cutting the track for brackets)
You need a flat, stable surface underneath the gate. A concrete surface suitably curved to ensure water run-off is perfect. If you don’t have a concrete or solid driveway extending underneath the gate, then give some thought to improving the current surface- you need to attach the track to it. The gate will not work well if nearby loose stones or gravel get in the way whilst it is moving.
How to Install your Automatic Sliding Gate Opener
- Ensure that your fence posts are well installed. Incorrectly installed gate posts will cause you untold issues later on. Use adequate posts to support the gate you have chosen, and dig a good foundation, concreting them in carefully. Work at this stage will save you a lot of work later.
- Calculate the positioning of the catcher post by measuring from the face of the current fence. Go in a line across the opening to ensure accurate positioning. Make sure that the post lines up with the opening, and again, concrete carefully and deeply into position.
- Do not fix the gate track down until you are certain of the positioning. The track center point must be around 90mm from the face of the gate posts you have fitted. Lay it out, and measure twice before fixing anything down. This is where your even surface is vital, to ensure that the track lays flat. If you do have any dips or humps then level those out before attaching the track. The track MUST be flat.
- Fix the track down – be sure to drill the holes into the concrete first, and use the correct screws for the jobs. Test as you go, perhaps by only securing a few screws and ensuring that the gate runs in the track correctly before fixing all points.
- Affix the wheels around 25% from the end of your gate. Make sure that you pre-drill the holes to ensure that they are correctly positioned and then secure the wheels with metal screws. This will be easier if the gate is not hung before this is undertaken.
- Install the Guide Bracket above the gate. This goes on the post at the rear of the motor and prevents the gate from falling over as it moves. This bracket can be adjusted, but as with all parts of this process, it is imperative that you measure and fix to the right place.
- Fix the gate catcher. This makes sure that the gate is not lifted off the track and guides the gate when its closing. Attach this to the receiving post.
- Install the gate stopper at the other end, to stop the gate as it opens. This can be attached to either the ground or a post erected for this purpose. If this fails the gate will sail off of your wheel track, so make sure that it is installed correctly.
- The gate should now roll along the track, and an open and a closed position, and be functional
- If you are going to power your automatic sliding gate opener by mains power, then you need to have a supply close to where you will be positioning the motor.
- The motor has to sit on the concrete, below the guide bracket.
- Where the gate sits on the motor gear fix the gear rack to the gate. Be careful at this point that you get the correct height and that the gate continues to transit smoothly backward and forwards.
- Attach the rack both ends, and continue with the additional lengths until it is all fixed.
- It is recommended that unless you have the specialist knowledge you use an electrician to wire in the motor.
Hopefully, you can see how easy it is to install a sliding gate opener, and this has given you the confidence to attempt to install it yourself.