How to Troubleshoot A Swing Arm Gate Operator in 6 Steps

When they work properly, automatic swing gates are convenient, secure, and reliable. However, like anything with complex moving parts, automatic gates can sometimes break down or require repairs. In some cases, these repairs may require only simple fixes you can complete yourself. In other cases, you may require a professional.

One of the most common problems you may experience with your automatic gate is the swing arm operator failing to open or close the gate. If this happens, here are six troubleshooting steps you can take to get to the root of the problem.

man cleaning swing gate area with powerwasher

1. Check for physical damage

If your automatic gate won’t open, the first thing you should do is determine if the swing arm is loose or damaged. You should also ensure that the gate’s hinges aren’t stuck or broken. If you notice that the swing arm or hinges on your gate are rusted, sagging, bent, or damaged, these parts will need to be repaired or replaced by a professional.

2. Clear away any debris

If you’ve determined that your gate’s swing arm and hinges aren’t to blame, check to make sure there isn’t any debris blocking the gate’s path. Most gates won’t open if they sense something is in the way. Simply removing obstructions from around your swing gate may be all it takes to get it back up and running.

3. Verify the photo eyes

If you don’t see any visible obstructions, you may have an issue with your gate’s photo eyes. First, ensure your photo-eyes aren’t dirty, smudged, or covered in cobwebs. Sometimes, if the lenses are dirty, your gate’s swing arm may become unresponsive.

Furthermore, your photo-eyes may have become misaligned. If there isn’t a clear path between the sensors, they can’t detect each other and will stop working. If this happens, simply realign them, and make sure they’re facing each other.

swing gate arm operator

4. Determine if it’s a mechanical issue

If your photo eyes are clean and aligned, the next thing you can do is cut the power supply to your gate, disconnect the swing arm, and try to manually open or close it. If you can’t move your gate at all, there’s likely a deeper structural issue that needs to be investigated by a professional.

5. Check to see if the “hold on” command is engaged

If your automatic gate swings freely when disconnected from the power source, you may have an electrical problem on your hands. To determine if this is the case, first find out if the “hold open” command was accidentally left on. If the command is engaged, simply turn it off to get your gate working again.

6. Reset the swing arm operator

If the “hold on” command isn’t the problem, you can try resetting the operator. Power outages and fluctuations can cause your swing arm operator to malfunction. Therefore, resetting it might get the electrical components back in working order.

If you’ve tried all the above and still can’t figure out what’s wrong with your swing gate, call the professionals at Creative Door ServicesTM to help!. It’s always best to call an expert to ensure you don’t cause more damage to your gate operator or injure yourself while working with electrical components.

ornamental automatic driveway gate

Comprehensive Planned Maintenance For Automatic Gates

At Creative Door ServicesTM, we want your automatic swing gate system work reliably for years to come. That’s why we offer a planned maintenance program for all commercial and residential products. Once you sign up, our expert technicians will periodically come to your home and inspect your gate system to ensure it’s working properly. This means we’ll catch minor problems before they become major issues, thereby saving you time and money.

Driveway Gate Maintenance And Repair In Western Canada

If you need help determining why your swing arm gate operator isn’t working, you can turn to the knowledgeable team at Creative Door Services™. We install, repair, and maintain all types of residential gates, and our licensed technicians have the knowledge, tools, and equipment to get the job done right. We also carry the parts and accessories you need to repair or update your automatic gate.

If you would like a free quote for one of our products or services, or if you have any questions about them, contact us at one of our eight branches in Western Canada. We have locations in Kelowna, British Columbia; Vancouver, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta; Edmonton, Alberta; Fort McMurray, Alberta; Regina, Saskatchewan; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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