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Do it Yourself Sliding Gate Opener

By John Landers
An automatic sliding gate opener provides users a convenient method for operating driveway gates.

Many property owners install sliding gates at their driveways. These gates require less space than a swing gate system. The method of installation differs according to the device manufacturer. Some installers mount the drive mechanism on a gate post. Others secure the drive to a concrete pad.

Ensure the sliding gate opener is the proper model for the size and weight of the gate. Find out from local building code inspectors the codes for installing the mechanism. Follow the instructions for installing the automatic gate latch. Post warning signs on both sides of the gate.

Build a 24-inch-by-24-inch concrete pad between the gate's two roller posts. These are the two posts with wheels on them. Install the drive mechanism on the pad. This component powers the system. Excavate the ground below the frost line. Check the local building codes to find out the frost line for the region. Apply a level of gravel. Compact the material with a tamper, which prevents settling. Use 2-inch-by-6-inch boards to frame the pad. Mix quickset concrete and fill the form with concrete. Allow the concrete to cure.

Secure the drive frame to the concrete pad with five-eighths diameter 4 1/2-inch long expansion bolts. Place the frame on the pad and mark the openings. Drill the holes for the concrete anchors with a hammer drill. Tap the anchors in place and bolt the drive frame to the pad. Adjust the drive as necessary to facilitate the attachment of the rack bar.

Connect the the rack bar to the drive's cog. Weld the rack to the angle bar and to the gate according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Install the chain to the latch side of the gate. Install the brackets for the closing-opening stops on the racks, and adjust the “limit-switch” accordingly.

Shut off power at the main fuse box or electrical distribution panel. Follow the local codes for electrical installations. Some regulations require a licensed electrician to make all electrical connections.

Run the electrical conduit to the drive mechanism. Pull three wires through the conduit -- black for positive, white for neutral and green for the ground wire. Follow the manufacturer's electrical diagram and local building codes to properly wire the drive unit.

Connect the standby battery, which automatically activates during a loss of power. Install two 12-volt batteries. Following the wiring diagram to connect the batteries in “series.” Series wiring combines the power of both batteries to provide the necessary 24 volts to operate the gate.

Position the switch for the gate movement direction. Adjust the obstruction setting from the minimum factory setting. The position depends on the size and weight of the sliding gate. Increase the default setting incrementally by turning the setting clockwise. Ensure the gate opens and closes without interference from the weight.


Things You Will Need

  • Gravel
  • Tamper
  • 2-by-6-inch boards
  • Concrete mix
  • Gate opener kit
  • 5/8 diameter 4 1/2-inch long expansion bolts
  • Warning Signs
  • Welder
  • Three wires — green, white and black
  • Two 12-volt batteries

About the Author


John Landers has a bachelor's degree in business administration. He worked several years as a senior manager in the housing industry before pursuing his passion to become a writer. He has researched and written articles on a wide variety of interesting subjects for an array of clients. He loves penning pieces on subjects related to business, health, law and technology.