How To Troubleshoot An Electric Fence That Will Not Open In The Winter
Electric gates are both a convenient and secure option to make sure that people and vehicles are unable to access your property with ease. The gate will inform burglars that your home is difficult to break into, and it will also keep pets and children away from the road. An electric gate can increase curb appeal as well and raise your property value. While the gate is a good investment for many reasons, you may notice some slight issues with the gate opening and closing during the winter. If this is a problem for you, do not fret. Try the troubleshooting tips below before calling your local gate technician.
Add Different Grease
The cold temperatures during the winter months will cause the metal parts around your gate to contract. All metals contract and expand, but some will change more than others. For example, aluminum will expand and contract much more significantly than steel, and cast iron will shift a smaller amount than both aluminum and steel. This means that cast iron fences are likely to move smoothly regardless of the temperature. However, aluminum gates will probably not and steel ones might give you an issue.
If you have an aluminum or steel electric gate, then start inspecting it by placing the mechanisms in manual mode. You can do this with your manual release key. This key fits into a slot that is labeled manual or manual mode inside the control panel for the electric gate. Place the key in the slot and turn it. You will be able to swing your gate open and closed with your hands at this time.
Once the gate is placed into manual mode, try to open the gate. If it resists, then try to move the swing gate mechanism and pull on the gate near the attached rail. Once you identify the problem, use a small amount of acetone to release any grease that you see around the hinge or joint in the region. While grease is meant to keep metal parts moving even when friction and stress are an issue due to contracting parts, the grease itself can freeze and contribute to the gate movement problems. To fix this issue, replace the grease you have removed with a low temperature lubricant.
Non-freezing grease products made for automotive use are a good choice. Use a clean cloth to place a generous amount of the lubricant around the stuck area of the gate. Start wiggling the gate back and forth so the grease can work around the moving parts. After a few minutes, the gate should start moving smoothly again.
Insulate The Battery
Most electric gates will come with lead acid batteries that power the motor that opens the gate. This is especially true if the gate is far from your home where an electrical source can be found. This battery is similar to the one that is in your vehicle engine, and you may notice an issue that is similar to when your car will not start when temperatures drop well below freezing. Basically, the battery cannot work because electro-chemical reactions are weak when batteries are exposed to extremely cold temperatures. If you hear clicking noises from the control panel as the motor tries to activate, then this is your issue. Continue hitting the open button on your remote. As the battery tries to work, it will warm up and the gate should open eventually. If this does not work, then open the door manually and try the gate again once temperatures elevate during the day.
To stop temperatures from causing battery issues in the future, place foam insulation around the interior of the control panel to keep the battery warm on cold days. Just make sure not to place insulation on top of the battery, since this is a fire risk. For more information, check out an electric fence company like F & W Fence Company, Inc.