4 Tips For Taking Care Of Your Security Gate Operator This Winter

Posted on: 14 December 2016

Outdoor electrical systems like your security gate operator can use some extra TLC during the winter. Countless days of near or below-freezing temperatures can quickly do a number on this equipment, even when it's designed and rated to survive a wide range of weather conditions. If you want your security gate operator to function flawlessly throughout the winter, you'll need to consider these 4 care tips.

Check the Belts

It's always a good idea to check the belts that help power your security gate operator. Dry winter air can rob belts of their moisture and accelerate ongoing cracks and fraying. Be on the lookout for these issues, along with uneven wear that indicates failing pulleys or a poor alignment. You should also check the belts carefully for signs of glazing, which also indicates poor alignment or pulley failure.

Some security gate operators rely on chains instead of belts. If this applies to your unit, then here's what you'll want to do instead:

  • Be on the lookout for wear and tear along the entirety of the chain; if you see excessive wear, replace the chain as soon as possible.
  • Keep an eye out for any rust or corrosion; rust can not only cause friction, but also lead to premature chain failure.
  • If you see any signs of sagging in the chain, try adjusting the chain tensioner until most of the sag has been taken out.
  • If the chain continues to sag severely after adjusting the chain tension, consider replacing the chain with a new one.

Inspect the Gears

It's also a good idea to inspect the gears driving the security gate operator. What you'll want to look out for are signs of wear and tear, including worn or missing teeth. You should also carefully inspect the gears for stress cracks, as these can grow and eventually cause the gear to fall apart under operation.

Also look for signs of rust or corrosion. Depending on the amount of rust you encounter, you may be able to clean up the affected gear instead of replacing it. Surface rust can be taken care of with a piece of fine-grit sandpaper and a little elbow grease. However, deeper pockets of rust may require replacement of the affected gear before it fails.

Keep It Well Lubricated

Lubrication is essential for keeping the internal components within your security gate operator functioning reliably. In addition to lubricating the hinges and grease fittings on the security gate itself, you should also lubricate the gears, chains and other components within the operator.

When it comes to choosing your lubricant, it's usually best to go with the gate operator manufacturer's recommendation. If the manufacturer doesn't suggest a particular type of lubricant, durable greases like graphite- or molybdenum-based lubricants work best to keep internal components working smoothly while resisting moisture under extreme temperatures.

Use Your Gate Frequently

All of the hard work you've put into keeping your security gate operator working flawlessly can be all for naught if you don't actually use your gate enough. Sporadic gate usage is a major reason for security gate failures, mainly due to components that either freeze or rust into place. These issues can cause additional wear and tear and result in expensive repairs.

If you have a security gate that isn't seeing much use, make it a point to open and close it at least once a week. This way, the lubricant has a chance to circulate among the gears and other internal components, which could prevent these components from freezing or sticking together. It's a minor workout that can save you major headaches when it comes to caring for your security gate system. Contact a company like Western Door and Gate for more tips.