Learning, Concepts of Electricity,

How to Open Electric Gates Manually?

You might think an electric gate can only be opened electronically, but it is usually possible to open them manually too.

If you have an electric gate, but there is a power outage or blackout, or your remote control is out of batteries, or you otherwise need to open it manually, there is usually a manual override to do that. You should learn how to open it manually for times when you may have to. Since there are different types of gates, the process may differ a little, but generally, electric gates do allow a way to operate them manually as well.

You might have an electric gate that can take a key that releases its hinge, or it might have a handle or lever instead to open it manually.

I will describe the few different methods that electric gates can utilize for you to open them manually below.

Why an Electric Gate May Fail to Work

An electric gate may fail to work for a number of reasons:

  • Power outage – It will not work if there is a power outage, in which case you will have to open it manually.
  • Batteries/Cells – If your remote control has run out of batteries, then you will need to replace the batteries, but meanwhile, if you don’t have any on hand, you may have to open the gate manually.
  • Dirt – If dirt accumulates on the gate’s sensors, it may not respond to your remote control. You will need to clear whatever is obstructing the path to the sensors.

In either case, if you cannot deal with the situation on the spot when trying to enter through an electric gate, you will have to open it manually.


Manual Opening Options for Electric Gates

Electric gates usually provide one of the following options to open them manually:

  • Using a key
  • Using an Allen key
  • Using a handle
  • Using a lever

Before using any of them, first, ensure the power to the gate is switched off in case it suddenly comes on while operating it manually.


Manually Opening an Electric Gate

The keyhole of an electric gate is usually situated near the gate’s motor, so you should know where the motor is located. You will normally find it covered, near the wall end of the gate.

Using a Normal Key

Insert the key into the lock. Look for the round valve, and turn the handle to release the gate’s hydraulics. The gate can now be pushed to open it. If it’s a double gate and there’s a lock on both sides, you will need to repeat this process for the other side.

If it’s a sliding gate, it will probably have a large motor, and it will normally be on the gate’s lower right side. With the key inserted and turned, turn the knob to free the gate, which you should now be able to open easily.

sliding electric gate

In simpler models of electric gates, you may only need to open a small door to reach the motor and keyhole.

Using an Allen Key

The process for using an Allen key will be similar to using a normal key, except that you use an Allen key instead after removing the cap on the motor and inserting the clutch release. You will have to keep one with you in your car, and anyone with an Allen key will be able to open the gate. However, it usually takes more time to open such gates.

Remember to remove the clutch release and place the cap back on when done.

Pulling a Handle or Lever

You may find the handle or lever is encased in a screwed enclosure. In this case, you will need to unscrew the enclosure first before getting access to the handle or lever. You should keep a screwdriver with you in your car. Rarely, will you see a handle or lever exposed, otherwise anyone would be able to open the gate.

Pulling on the handle or lever should release the pressure in the shaft, allowing you to open the gate easily.


Other Things to Know and Do

Once the gate is opened, there are a number of things to remember. If the gate was not opening due to:

  • Lost key – Make a new key (or replace the key mechanism for added security).
  • Drained batteries in the remote control – replace them.
  • Dirt accumulated on the gate’s sensors – clear them.
  • The manual override works stiffly – Use WD40 to ease it.

Also, don’t forget to close the gate and lock the motor back in place, so that your electric gate can operate normally again when there is power, and not remain stuck in manual mode. If you turned the power switch off, remember to turn it back on.


Wrapping Up

Electric gates usually allow for a way to open them manually in case you need to do that.

Some can be opened by a key or an Allen key, and others might have a handle or lever. You should know where the gate’s motor is located and what mechanism is in place to operate it manually. If you are still having difficulty, consult your electric gate’s manual or manufacturer. Also, remember to close the gate properly and lock the motor back in place.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.




Video Reference

AJ Electric Gates and Automation LTD

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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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