What Can Go Wrong!
The last thing one feels like in the middle of winter is to walk down the drive to one’s gate motor to replace a gate motor battery that has become unresponsive to open your gate. Have you noticed too that this seems to only happen in winter? It starts to feel like a curse! During the colder months, more and more home owners find themselves facing a driveway gate that is sluggish or simply will not open.
Many gate motors use battery as the main source of power. The AC power that is run to a 12 volt battery is present to help keep the battery or batteries charged. This includes the Centurion range of gate automation.
When a connection is made between a battery’s positive and negative terminals an electric current is produced. This involves a chemical reaction that generates electrons to supply the current of the battery. The chemical reaction occurs more slowly in cooler ambient temperature. Therefore a battery produces less current at cooler temperature than at a hotter temperature.
Therefore when cold batteries run down they reach the point quicker where they cannot deliver enough current to keep up with the demand. The good news is it will operate normally again if the battery is warms.
Gate Repair Services technicians were called out to assist in finding a fault on an electric fence which, due to repeated shorting, had to be switched off. Prior to calling us, the home owners had requested the services of other companies, however, all had failed to identify the problem. Gate Repair Services identified that the reason that this fence was shorting was that there was a cable running through one of the insulators.
Most electric fence technicians start off by checking the energizer. This is usually done by using a voltmeter which will indicate if there is sufficient voltage. If there is insufficient voltage the problem may be the energizer or the circuit board.
If the energizer is in working condition the next step in the electric fence fault finding process is to check the power supply. The energizer will be unplugged and/or the battery will be disconnected before the power supply is tested. There must be sufficient voltage to power the energizer and the voltage can vary depending on the energizer.
This is perhaps the most time consuming step in the electric fence fault finding process as it involves a lot of leg work but the technician can check the voltage to get an idea of where the problem lies before doing a visual inspection. One of the primary things to look out for is branches and shrubbery which have overgrown and are touching the fence. Voltage loss is only amplified during rain. In this case this may be casing a low voltage and may be hindering the proper operation of the fence. In such a case the power supply must be turned off and the branches and shrubbery must be trimmed away.
The second culprit may be rusted wires which will cause insulation and reduce voltage. Rusted wires may have to be replaced. While doing the inspection particular attention must be put on connectors, insulators and posts.
An Improperly Earthed Electric Fence
Additionally if the electric fence has not been earthed properly this may be causing the fence to be inefficient. If all the wires are live – a criminal would easily be able to bypass the fence since there would be no voltage loss to cause the fence alarm to trigger. When a live wire makes contact with an earth wire, voltage is lost and this triggers the alarm.
If you’re having trouble shooting your electric fence, contact Gate Repair Services and we will gladly assist you in the efficient and professional manner we’ve become so well known for.
Fault on an electric fence
Power surge damage can cause havoc with your electrical appliances in your home, particularly fridges, TVs and computers. Unfortunately your driveway and garage door gate motor is not spared. Your gate/garage door motor is particularly vulnerable due to the nature of it being a motor, switching on and off when used.
A power surge occurs when the electricity flow is interrupted and then started again, at a higher voltage. A power surge can also happen when something sends electricity flowing back into the system, creating higher voltage such as power surge energy. All electrical appliances are designed for very specific voltage, to make them functional. Any increase in voltage potentially puts this appliance at risk of being damaged.
Most power surges happen within the house’s electrical wiring system due to “electronic rust”. Small voltage surges over an extended period of time are capable of causing damage due to the build up of “electronic rust”. Electronic rust occurs when the electrical wires heat up and cool down over a period of time.
Yet we are particularly vulnerable to another form of power surge living in Johannesburg - lightning strikes. A lightening strike can shed thousands of volts, hitting the gate motor’s circuit board directly or power cables in the vicinity. This causes your motor charger or circuit board to literally melt, resulting in repair work or replacement.
So when you do see that ominous storm brewing, it is wise to unplug your sensitive appliances in your home such as computers, sound systems and TVs to avoid lightening power surges from damaging them.
Cable theft, which has become rife in Johannesburg in the last few years, is the third cause of power surges in your home. This sudden interruption from the power lines potentially causes extensive damage to your house appliances.
The fourth cause of a power surge is when power is re-instated after a shut down, as we experienced during load shedding in Gauteng. The power grid is flooded with a sudden increase in voltage. The inrush of electrical current puts electrical appliances at risk.
Preventing power surges damaging your gate/door motor, it is advisable that you have some form of surge protection, which Gate Repair Services do have in the motors that they install. Gate Repair Services also earth the motors on installation which reduces the risks of damage to the motor if affected by a surge. Unfortunately nothing stops heavy lightening! If you live in an area in Gauteng that experiences heavy lightening, further surge protection for your house is recommended.
For emergency repair of your gate/door motor due to a power surge contact us on our 24 hr help line 0834522015 or during office hours on 0114633025 (including 8 - 12 on a Saturday).
Power surge damage to the battery charger of a Centurion gate motor
Power surge damage to a garage door motor, causing a fire.