Tips for Taking Care of the Control Box for Your Electric Gate

Posted on: 29 July 2016

Electric gates can be a great security addition to the home. The control box is the one of the most important parts of the system that keeps everything working and secure, so make sure to take care of it. Keep reading to learn about a few tips to do so.

Make Sure Pests Cannot Get into the Box

The control box looks like a small, sealed metal box that sits very close to the electric gate. The box may sit close to the ground and close to the main gate mechanism. Most control boxes are not aesthetically pleasing, and this is why they are often covered by bushes. If you cover the box, then you may be inviting pests into it, especially if it not secured. Two types of pests, snails and spiders, can be particularly bothersome, so ensure you do what it takes to get them away from the control box.

Snails and spiders can both destroy the electronic circuit boards that help to control the electric gate. The slime trail that is left behind by a snail can conduct electricity and cause a short in the boards. This can also happen if a spiderweb becomes damp and attaches to the circuit board. Spiders and snails are both drawn to damp and dark places, so eliminating the water from around the control panel and opening up the space to light can reduce pest and moisture issues.

Another way to deter pests is to cut away bushes, tree branches, and plants from around the control box. Make sure enough of the greenery so the area is exposed to the sun. Once the trimming is completed, make sure there are no openings or holes around the box where pests can get in. Place some adhesive vinyl foam tape around the edge of the control panel door to make sure there are no openings around the door seam. Add electrical tape to wires that feed through the tops and sides of the box to close these spaces.

Add Insulation to the Box

Most electric gates will have a power inverter that directs electrical power from a battery backup in the event that the power goes out in your home. The battery powers the receiver and the gate motor until electricity is restored. The backups run on powerful batteries that store more than enough energy to open and close your gate for some time. However, if the battery is exposed to extremely cold temperatures, then it may not power the gate properly.

Most batteries are dependent on warm or mild temperatures to operate. The cold weather slows down the chemical reactions within the battery that allow it to produce a current. If a battery is used in cold weather, it may keep up with the needs of the gate for a short period of time. However, current levels will drop if you continue to use the battery and the gate may fail to open or close. 

You can make sure that your battery backup functions the way it should by adding insulation material around the inside of the control box. Purchase some polystyrene foam insulation board from your local home store and slip it around the insides of the control box. If you are concerned about the board sitting directly against electrical wires and components in the box, then add calcium silicate insulation instead since this material is fire resistant. Add a piece of your desired insulation to the door to complete the job. 

If you have more questions or need further assistance, contact local electric gate contractors like F & W Fence Company, Inc.