Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Create Automatic Fence Gates

Driveway gates are often equipped with automatic openers.

While a wrought-iron fence with a driveway gate adds a prestigious touch to any yard, getting out of the car and pushing the gate every time you want to open it can quickly become inconvenient. Installing an automatic gate opener is a quick fix to this predicament, allowing you to open the gate with the flick of a switch or via remote control. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Hang your gate panels on the fence, if not already installed. Most driveway gates use a bolt-and-barrel hinge system that makes gate installation easy. Bolt the hinge plates to the gatepost and the hinge bolts to the gate itself, then lower the hinge bolts into the barrels on the plates. Do the same with the second gate panel.

2. Mount the gate opener control box to a fence panel next to the gate. Bolt the hinge bracket to the house side of the gatepost and the post bracket to the hinge bracket. Mount the primary opener component and extension tube on the post bracket.

3. Open the gate as wide as you want it to automatically swing and bolt the gate bracket at the end of the tube to the gate panel, using a spirit level to ensure that the extension tube is parallel to the ground. Install the secondary opener and necessary brackets to the other gate panel, the same way as you did the first.

4. Connect 90-degree joints and short PVC pipes to either end of a length of 3/4-inch PVC pipe as long as the distance between your gateposts. Thread a string through the pipes, leaving a little string extending out both ends. Bury this pipe under your driveway, with the short sections sticking up above the ground at the base of each gatepost. Tie the secondary opener's power cable to the end of the string and thread it through the pipe, bringing it out near the control box.

5. Wire the primary and secondary cables to the terminal blocks inside the control box, following the directions in your opener's instruction manual. Insert the batteries and connect them to the battery leads. Adjust your gate's travel limits as described in your instruction manual. Wire a solar panel or external power outlet to your batteries to keep them charged and screw on the control box cover.

Tags: gate panel, Bolt hinge, extension tube, gate opener, hinge bolts, hinge bracket