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Most people who install automatic gates are keen to ensure they're prepared for every eventuality.
That includes gates failing to operate due to some kind of system failure, leaving a homeowner unable to access or exit their property.
In reality, well-maintained and regularly-serviced automatic gates rarely completely break down. It's more likely a part may stop working, or need replacing, but the risk of this should be minimised by regular servicing that checks how everything is functioning.
If your gates are serviced regularly by a qualified professional, there isn't much need to keep lots of different parts as spares.
Replacing them yourself isn't always the wisest course of action either unless you have a certain degree of technical knowledge.
For most people, it's far better to leave repairs to a qualified technician.
The experienced individual who services your gates will have access to most of the parts your gates need.
What's more important is that the 'fail-safe' aspects of the gates, such as manual release, are working properly and you know how to use them.
That said, there are some components it can be useful to have.
If you find that the range at which your gate remote works has reduced, there could be an issue with the transmitter.
Uncontrollable gates pose a safety risk, so it's important to resolve the issue as speedily as possible.
The most obvious reason why your transmitter isn't working effectively is that it needs a new battery.
You should ensure you always have spares available that fit your transmitter.
If you change your batteries and discover there's still a problem, you should investigate if there's any electrical interference that's affecting the transmission.
You will need to try and locate the source of the interference, which can be a lengthy process but needs to be done before moving on to other possible causes.
You do this by turning off all the electrical appliances in your home and then testing the transmitter again.
If the gate remote works, then you can conclude it is electrical interference and you need to find the source.
You do this by turning each electrical appliance back on one by one, pausing to check whether the remote works each time.
If it stops working after a particular appliance has been turned on, you will have found the likely source of the interference.
If you've turned off all your appliances and the gate remote is still not working properly, it's likely that the transmitter itself is faulty.
Transmitters can, and do, develop faults over time so it can be prudent to always ensure that you have a replacement transmitter on hand.
If your transmitters are old, it might be that the specific model has been discontinued.
Your supplier should be able to advise you about the most suitable replacement models.
If you try a replacement transmitter and it still doesn't work, it's probable that there's an issue with the receiver.
If that is the case, you will need the services of a qualified installer.
There are times when, due to mechanical failures or power cuts, gates won't open automatically.
It shouldn't be a regular occurrence, and in fact, many gate owners will never encounter the problem.
The good news is that automated gate systems are usually provided with a manual release facility for such an eventuality.
These don't always come as standard however, so it's important to check with your gate supplier to find out if your preferred model does.
It is perhaps more important to ensure that your manual release is working, and you know how to use it properly, than it is keep a variety of spare parts handy.
Most repair and maintenance jobs are best left to qualified installers, so your main priority should be ensuring you're still able to open and close gates manually until an installer can reach you.
A built-in manual release mechanism is operated with the use of a manual release key.
The key is usually inserted into the appropriate lock on the motor housing.
After that, the motor drive is disconnected from the gate opening arms, gears and shafts by operating a lever.
Most manual release systems don't always allow the gate system to be moved completely freely without the motors.
Parts of the gate drive mechanism will still move when the gate is moved by hand rather than the motor.
It's likely you will encounter some resistance, so it's important to take it as slowly and steadily.
Hydraulic operators will still have oil in the system that has to be pushed back through the valves. Meanwhile, some manual release systems will refuse to operate under pressure.
However, trying to force a manual release system is never advisable and could end up causing damage.
As manual release systems are key-operated, one spare part you should always have handy is a manual release system key which you should be able to obtain from your gate supplier.
As manual release systems are rarely used, they can be become stiff and difficult to operate and keys can get misplaced. Therefore, it's important to ensure that your system is checked at least every three months and you know where the keys are.
There is no need to keep a range of spare parts for your automated gates beyond a spare transmitter and manual release keys.
Much more important is ensuring your gates are serviced regularly in line with the recommended schedule based on how often that they're used.
Regularly serviced and maintained gates rarely break down, and many owners never encounter any problems during decades of use.