Electrical Observations

Adequate Wire Size

Ample supply of electrical current is critical to the operator's performance and the longevity of its electrical components. Since gate operators are frequently located in remote locations, it is important to consider voltage drop when sizing wire for the operator load. Be certain that voltage drop does not fall below limits specified in the National Electrical Code. 

Failure to adequately size wire can cause low voltage control components to chatter or in some cases not function at all. The chattering of relays can cause arcing of contacts and the shortening of their life. Additionally low voltage causes electrical motor to draw more amperage than designed shortening their life. 

Questions to Ask

  • How many individual conduits will be required?
  • What size must the conduits be?
  • Where will the conduits go - to and from operators and accessories?
  • How many wires should be pulled into each conduit?
  • What voltage and phase does the primary power have to be?
  • How many circuits will be required?
  • Location to stub up conduits so that concrete pads may be poured?
  • If you must cross the roadway with conduit, the best location is under the gate line, when in the closed position. This keeps the electrical clear of the magnetic loop detector system.
  • Always run primary wiring in its own conduit. Do not run control wiring in the same conduit as primary wiring. This includes D.C. intercom wiring and video CCTV cabling.
  • Use 18 gauge wire on any accessories to be wired to gate operator, such as card readers, keypads, etc.
  • Always use the highest voltage source available. Three phase power is more efficient and will provide the longest life for the equipment.
  • Any control device in excess of 250 feet from the operator must utilize a long range interface control.
  • Most intercom systems are limited to 1,600 feet in distance when hard wired. Other devices are available for greater distances, such as phone entry systems.
  • Is the gate operator to be linked to any other systems; fire alarm / perimeter monitoring system / intrusion alarm / other?
  • Are open closed indicator lights required at control stations.
© Innovations Controlled Access Systems, LLC., 2013Innovations Gate Operator Automatic Gate Access Control