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Old 06-28-2016, 08:25 PM   #1
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Default Tell Me About Electric Gate Openers

I've been asked to run power for a new electric gate opener that has not been installed yet. There are columns on each side of the driveway and I'm to run 120V to each side. Well one side then under the drive to the other.

Customer doesn't know the size of the motor or amp draw so I have no idea if he will have enough power. I say that because he has six outdoor lights that he wants to abandon and use the power to feed the gate. It looks like #12 to the lights. I was looking at the lights but it started raining so I'm not totally sure if it was #12. I just need to know what most openers pull current wise.

So I'm thinking that most openers are DC but must have AC run to it. Also I'm thinking each side has a control box and that's why each side needs the 120V.

That sound right? Anything else I need to know?
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:35 PM   #2
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I've done gates which had a 15 amp 120v feed and gates which had 30amp 208 volt. Same size gates, so the difference in power requirements doesn't make sense.

Usually, the motor is on one side. There will probably be a keypad and photoeye ( or some kind of safety) on the same side.
The other side of the opening will have another keypad and another safety device. All low voltage.
So far, I have yet to see 120 volt devices on the gates.
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:43 PM   #3
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I've done gates which had a 15 amp 120v feed and gates which had 30amp 208 volt. Same size gates, so the difference in power requirements doesn't make sense.

Usually, the motor is on one side. There will probably be a keypad and photoeye ( or some kind of safety) on the same side.
The other side of the opening will have another keypad and another safety device. All low voltage.
So far, I have yet to see 120 volt devices on the gates.
Am I correct about both sides having a control cabinet?
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:47 PM   #4
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Am I correct about both sides having a control cabinet?
There is only one controller, it's where the motor is located under the little doghouse that goes over it.
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:47 PM   #5
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Am I correct about both sides having a control cabinet?
You would if the gate swung open on both sides, such as a residential type install.
I've only connected the type of gates which roll back on one side.
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:13 PM   #6
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If at all possible, get (2) 3/4 conduits under the drive way between the columns!!
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:23 PM   #7
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You also want a 1/2" conduit to the keypad location from the control box. Is there going to be a camera as well?
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Old 06-28-2016, 10:28 PM   #8
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If at all possible, get (2) 3/4 conduits under the drive way between the columns!!
Landscapers told the HO they would bore under the drive.......fine with me!
Two conduits? I'm guessing one for line voltage and one for low voltage?

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You also want a 1/2" conduit to the keypad location from the control box. Is there going to be a camera as well?
No mention of camera.
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Old 06-28-2016, 10:56 PM   #9
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Landscapers told the HO they would bore under the drive.......fine with me!
Two conduits? I'm guessing one for line voltage and one for low voltage?
Yes.
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Old 06-29-2016, 01:35 AM   #10
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Residential or comercial gates? Light duty aluminum or monster steel gates?

I have electric gates at my place and 2 neighbors that have them. All 3 are dual swing gates.

In each of these installs there is a 120 VAC, 15-amp feed to the control box on one side, then low voltage from there to the motors (24VDC, one on each side) and the photo eyes.

I agree, put 2 runs of 3/4 conduit under the driveway to each column. You may only need 1, but its easier to do it now just in case.

The spare conduit could always be used for future stuff like Intercom, camera, keypad, vehicle driveway sensor alert etc.

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Old 06-29-2016, 09:50 PM   #11
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Residential or comercial gates? Light duty aluminum or monster steel gates?

I have electric gates at my place and 2 neighbors that have them. All 3 are dual swing gates.

In each of these installs there is a 120 VAC, 15-amp feed to the control box on one side, then low voltage from there to the motors (24VDC, one on each side) and the photo eyes.

I agree, put 2 runs of 3/4 conduit under the driveway to each column. You may only need 1, but its easier to do it now just in case.

The spare conduit could always be used for future stuff like Intercom, camera, keypad, vehicle driveway sensor alert etc.
Residential gates, and the details I don't have yet. Customer is supposed to be getting me info from gate installer.

Customer wants lights on top of each column so I need 120V on each side regardless of gate's needs. However, the gate installer wants 120V on both sides, that I don't know why unless there is a control box on each side that needs 120V.
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Old 06-30-2016, 09:50 AM   #12
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Most gate openers are nothing more than a glorified garage door opener. other than the control which normally have a keypad and a loop detector.
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Old 06-30-2016, 10:16 AM   #13
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Most gate openers are nothing more than a glorified garage door opener. other than the control which normally have a keypad and a loop detector.
Very true, pretty much a weather resistant door opener.
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:00 AM   #14
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When we have done gates we usually install a panel and then feed the control unit. The gate guys usually handle the rest. Some of them have DC motors and draw next to nothing.

I did one gate that was over 700 feet from the house. We ran a 2" line to the gate had to have hand holes and we had to run 1" conduit for the fiber optic cable. We ran #2 aluminum because we were not sure what size motor they were going to use and I had to assume lights may also be added at a later date.
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Old 06-30-2016, 01:52 PM   #15
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If it's a dual gate system you may well have a controller on each side. Some gates I have come across have the motor and controls in one assembly. The controls being the cheapest part of the system it's Prolly worth it to just buy two whole units and have one on each side. Maybe that's what's going on here.

In any case Get written confirmation on what's needed before you do the work. This way if changes are needed you have ample proof that additional charges are warranted.

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Old 07-01-2016, 02:18 PM   #16
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In any case Get written confirmation on what's needed before you do the work. This way if changes are needed you have ample proof that additional charges are warranted.
Very good advice. Don't go on assumptions and verbal info.
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:01 PM   #17
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If it's a dual gate system you may well have a controller on each side. Some gates I have come across have the motor and controls in one assembly. The controls being the cheapest part of the system it's Prolly worth it to just buy two whole units and have one on each side. Maybe that's what's going on here.

In any case Get written confirmation on what's needed before you do the work. This way if changes are needed you have ample proof that additional charges are warranted.

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Very good advice. Don't go on assumptions and verbal info.
Gate people just said they needed 120V and 12A breaker

Anyway, I put everything they asked for in my estimate with a disclaimer that if additional items are needed it will be extra. Customer accepted the estimate.
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:29 AM   #18
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Most of the slide gate operators I have connected required a 300lb slug of concrete to set the operator on. If not, they will torque themselves out of the ground when they start pulling the gate.
Double leaf gates get 120 volt or what ever power on both side plus a conduit for class 2 circuits.
Also, one conduit out to the driver side for the keypad.

I don't worry so much about getting the exact location perfect, PVC can be moved. Also, carflex can be direct buried .

New UL installs require plenty of safety photo eyes so don't skimp on the underground stub up.
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