Consultant Corner

Ask the Experts About Our Premium Flex II Gate Arm for Sale

Advice About Barrier Arms

Parking barrier gates that are properly installed give years of reliable service with regular maintenance. The problem gate with the nagging, reoccurring, and intermittent problems more often than not starts with sloppy and careless installation. In most cases, the installer did not use the correct wiring and/or mixed power with data cables.

The picture to the left is a properly constructed island. The electrician and technical support were in constant communication. Extra PVC conduits stub-ups were installed with proper labeling and in the right places. Sufficient pull strings were provided and the installation went beautifully. This layout included entry and exit gates, telephone entry units and a card reader system.

We always recommend extra stub ups. PVC is inexpensive, labor is not. If wiring gets nicked or damaged in some way, even years down the road, it's a simple matter to pull another wire through the conduit provided. Recutting concrete to lay pipe later is an entirely different matter.

Also, make sure there are pull boxes installed for long wire runs; but that's a subject for another corner.

Thanks for visiting. Email me one of your unusual problems and its solution, and we'll post them here!

- "Flex"

Troubleshooting Tips

Grounding Your System

When your barrier gate is intermittently behaving strangely, it is not haunted. Make sure the gate is properly grounded and there is sufficient power. The gate should have its own source of power, as well and not sharing a shutoff with an overhead door or slide gate, etc... We once found (at a power company no less) a gate that was opening extremely slowly, or partially, or opening then closing without a corresponding pulse to close. It turned out, the voltage was insufficient to run the gate due to the long distance from the source, even though the wire gage seemed sufficient.
Another notorious problem is insufficient grounding. Many installers bypass the need to install a proper earth ground. G89e gates often have problems with blown power boards in an area of high lightning activity. Proper grounding can help.

Finding the Source of the Problem

When troubleshooting a barrier gate, disconnect all devices including loops, photo eyes, card readers, digital keypads, telephone entry units, and relays. Jumper the open and close terminals and if they open and close properly then the trouble is not with the gate, but an added device.

Reporting Lot Maintenance Problems

Many times the only point of contact between the service technician and your lot is someone at the booth or a receptionist. The lot manager gets the work order receipt with the action taken and the hours, but have no idea which gate. The Lot may get dozens of bills, all for the same gate operator, for the same problem and have no idea what is being spent on which problem.
Parking lot managers can help themselves by creating a diagram of their lot and labeling each entry and exit point. Put the symptom on the order with gate number, entry or exit, and date, and number each event. Keep this in a logbook. You can even use it as a purchase order. Believe me; even the company servicing your gates has a hard enough time keeping track of his own loose cannons out in the field.

Diagnosing Gate Problems

Just like a doctor, a barrier gate symptom usually points to the problem. Accurate information is critical to cut down on time taken for the field tech to find the solution. Is the problem the gate won't open, won't close, or both. Does it only happen with a card operation, ticket operation, or only the loop? For example:

Intermittently, the entry gate won't close after a car pulls through using a card reader to open the gate and a safety/reset loop to close. It just so happens that this problem occurs after it rains.

The solution, the pavement is badly cracked asphalt and the rainwater gets into the loop causing the fault. Problem goes away once everything dries out. Repair the pavement and recut the loop.

Download our Lane Guide Diagram for more detailed information on proper installation and maintenance.