natural wood gate

Tech Advice – Typical automatic gate issues and common solutions


You come home one day and the gate is wide open and won’t close or perhaps now it won’t open.

 What do you do to fix it?  What issues can the homeowner solve himself?

Issues:  The gate won’t make a sound, try to move or anything at all.

Most Common Solution:  Check the breaker and any switch.  Also check your outlets for a tripped ground fault interrupter.  These will stop all power of any device in the circuit so make sure you look at all outlets.

Issues: Gate won’t stop in the right spot.

Most common solution:  Limit switch nut or cam is not hitting the limit switch at the right time.  Adjust the limit nut or cam to the correct place on the limit shaft.  On slide gates, the nut is held in place by a lever riding inside the slots of the limit nut.  This must be pressed back out of the slot to adjust.

Issues:  The gate will only open when I am right next to it.

Most common solution:  You are getting radio interference from another source or the antenna has been cut or shorted to ground.  Most gate openers have separate receivers.  These usually have the name Multi Code, Liftmaster, Linear and Mega code on the face of the cover.  The remote “clicker” will also have this same name.  Press the remote and listen for a click from the machine.  The click is coming from the receiver.  Check the antenna and make sure it is as high as it can go without touching any metal.  Look around for Ham Radio antennas.  If you are near a flight path, military base or other radio transmitting source, you may need a special receiver and antenna.

Issues:  The gate won’t close:

Most common solution:  The photo eye or other device is holding it open.  Turn off all power using the breaker.  This will cause any call box to release the gate.

Turn the motor back on, then see if it has loop detectors inside.  If these are lit red, then you likely have a loop problem or something is sitting over the loop.

A photo eye will light up a safety LED on most opener control boards.  Check to see if it has a reflector (installed due to poor professionalism in our opinion).  If so, see if it is wet or misaligned.  Wave your hand in front of it.  If it clicks, it is likely okay though not always.

Issues: The gate keeps reversing direction:

Most common issue – Obstruction:  If is is a slide (wheeled) gate the track may have something on it like a rock or plant material.  The wheels might be bad or have string or a shopping bag wrapped around them.  On a swing gate, lube all of the joints then check the level of the gate. Try disconnecting the gate and see if it swings smoothly.

If any of this is confusing or does not work.  Give us a call.  Our rates are average for the industry but out knowledge of gate automation and electronics is at the highest level.  We use diagnostic tools and methods, not guess work.  Do it yourself until you can’t, then call a professional.  Call or e-mail us.

619-443-4283 –



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