A proper automatic gate installation will set the tone for the future reliability of any gate system. Consideration needs to be given to the stability of the soil, the load to be carried by the support columns or posts, the structural integrity needed for the support columns or the posts, the placement of the telephone entry equipment, the shielding of the equipment by protective bollards, and the placement of underground conduit. And always… an installation is never complete without a thorough cleaning of the job site at the end of each project!
Conduit should always be installed underground across the driveway to connect wiring from one device to the other. If conduit is not used or is installed improperly, pulling replacement wiring or additional wiring when needed becomes impossible. This then necessitates cutting the driveway, walkway, and/or disturbing the landscaping. Wiring eventually goes bad, no matter the type used.
Wiring is a critical part of any system. The proper gauge wiring must be used and the installer should ONLY use direct-burial wiring, even in conduit, as water can always penetrate the conduit and saturate the cables. When interior-grade wiring is used, and it frequently is due to a lesser cost, the wiring fails prematurely. The location of the wiring is also critical. Phone wiring is the most common improperly installed wiring. All manufacturers of gate controls boldly print in their instructions that telephone wiring must be run in separate conduit from electrical wiring. If the phone line is run with the electrical wiring, whether in conduit or in the same trench, it causes a hum on the telephone line and data will not be transmitted reliably.
The supporting structure for the gate and for the control systems is extremely critical. Posts for the gates should be anchored at least 48 inches in the ground and the wall thickness and size of the post must be adequate. If the support posts for the gate are incorrectly installed or are out of plumb, the gate will sag, causing stress on the gate opener and triggering premature failure of the motor and all of the moving parts.
Automated vehicular gate systems should be installed in accordance with the UL-325 and ASTM F2200 Safety Standards, whether or not these standards have been adopted by the local regulatory body. These standards deal with entrapment protection (preventing injury to or entrapment of an individual by the gate system) and vehicle protection (minimizing the potential for vehicles to contact the gate when traveling through the gated entry).
Various devices can be installed and utilized in the operation of the gate system to enhance the protection provided to vehicles and pedestrians. Photo cells, gate sensor edges, and vehicle detectors can significantly reduce the chance of injury or damage as well as the gate owner’s exposure to liability.
Before you dig, make sure to call Georgia 811 to find out what is under the ground.