Learning Center

        Check out our Tips, Videos, and Docu-
ments.
Through our WDB Learning Center, you will have access to a rich library of science content resources developed and delivered to meet the needs of busy science teachers. Or, subscribe to our news feeds by clicking here:
Select the store name from the drop down to view their tips, videos, or documents:
Store Name:
How to Find the Best Gate Opener
There are a large variety of automated gate openers available on the market today, and for the average consumer, finding the right one can seem like a daunting task. There are, however, a few key points to consider that will make finding an electric gate opener less of an undertaking. Gear system, motor size, housing construction, speed, outputs (for accessories), and sleep draw are all important features to consider when purchasing a driveway gate opener.

Gear system is integral to the longevity of the automatic gate opener. A gear system with an advanced design will ensure that the gears undergo less stress making the whole system more reliable and durable. Two advanced gear systems found in gate closers are planetary and worm systems. A planetary system is designed with one central gear surrounded by multiple smaller gears; when these smaller gears turn, they turn the center gear. This distribution of force means the whole system has a longer life for a more reliable electric gate opener. A worm system features perpendicular gears. This distributes the force in more than one direction (as opposed to traditional gears, the force of which is constantly grinding against one another). Like the planetary design, the worm system offers a more durable design for an automatic gate opener.

Motor size is another important aspect to consider when purchasing an automatic gate closer. A larger motor means more operating power, which can not only handle larger gates easier, but can also offer quicker opening and closing cycles. 24 Volt motors, like those found on the Estate Swing Classic line, are some of the most powerful driveway gate opener motors available.

It is important to investigate the construction of the motor housing. Housing constructed of plastic is not as durable as metal housing, and this is a serious flaw because the housing includes the pivot point for the electric gate opener. This pivot point is the weakest point of the gate closer, so it is essential to have stronger material at that point. For this reason, metal housings are a sign of better quality gate operators.

For convenience, speed is a key consideration, one that many homeowners overlook (and later regret). One way to quickly determine if a gate opener will have shorter cycles is to check if it meets UL325 standards. UL325 standards ensure a higher quality because they measure safety precautions; if there are better safety precautions, then the automatic gate opener is allowed to have shorter opening and closing cycles, which is convenient for homeowners and their guests.

Also significant for convenience is output for accessories. Without this feature, the electric gate opener cannot supply power to the accessories, and more wires must be run to the driveway gate to power the accessories that make the system more convenient and fully automatic.

Finally, the continuous operation of the electric gate closer needs to be considered. Sleep draw refers to the power used by the automatic gate opener when it is "idling", and it is important to ensure that the selected electric gate opener has a low sleep draw. Because the driveway gate opener will likely be idling for most of the day, it is important that this mode does not use an excessive amount of energy.