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Anyone know about automatic electric gates?


I'm ex National Grid with far too many years experience to mention. I love carpentry and outdoor build-related stuff so I've taken my electrical experience and my passion and joined the two together into a landscaping business.

A friend recently suggested I had the right skills for adding gate automation to my bag. 
Has anyone here experience of installing, fixing or maintaining electric swing or sliding gates?
What are the issues and benefits? I'm particularly concerned with all safety aspects.

Thanks for your thoughts.




  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,446

    Are you a qualified electrician?

  • Hi Fidgetbones,

    Yes I've got 17th Edition, Inspection & Testing, 25 years at National Grid, City & Guilds 232 and 200, Tech 2, Nebosh, HSG 47 and loads more qualifications. One of the benefits of working at The NG for years.


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,446

    In that case go for it. My brothers an electrician. he spends a lot of time putting right the mistakes that amateurs make. Electricity mixed with water in the garden has to be handled carefully, as I'm sure you know.

    Lots of people need ponds and greenhouses wiring up.

  • Hi there,

    A mate on the allotment manages a company that installs and maintains gates/shutters etc.  From what he moans about I think the worst part of the job are motors going and engineers having to go out to replace in the middle of the night because the gate won't shut/open (there isn't usually a manual winch).

    I think by law they must have a dead man switch (automatic roller shutters certainly do) to prevent injury and this is usually an IR beam/laser.

  • Hi there!
    Newcomers to the industry are always welcome but there are some really important things you need to know before you start to work on the gates to protect yourself and any gate users.  Any electric or powered gate is technically a machine and there is legislation that covers the safety aspects of automatic gates.  I won't go into too much detail here but quite simply if you work on an unsafe gate and leave it in a dangerous state then you could face prosecution if anyone is hurt,. There  have been a number of accidents and even worse, fatalities as a result of  poor and dangerous installations which were not compliant with current accepted best practice.
    Please get in touch if you want further info or advice. I work for a charity striving to improve the knowledge and standards in the industry, we provide free and impartial guidance and help to anyone. Visit or email  [email protected]

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,367

    A charity?

    Gate safe is a business

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Seems like there's been a recent profile-raising exercise 

    There appears to be an associated charity .

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thanks for all the advice and I'll look at gate-safe. I used to be on call with the National Grid regularly and would get the mid-night call to a permieter alarm. From what I can tell with gates, a manual release should nromally be built in so you can operate them manually if something goes wrong(?)

    I also found this which covers a lot of what I'm concerned about. Is this what people experience?

    Thanks All.


  • There were two possibly three child fatalities with powered gates a few years ago. If you search on you can find references to these a guidance note was issued relating to prevention of similar incidents and this was circulated within the industry and to building control etc.

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