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12 volt DC Gate Operators
Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to install 110 or 220 volt electric to the gate operator?

No. The unit is operated by a 12 volt battery located inside the control box. The batteries are trickle-charged by a transformer that plugs into a standard 110 volt outlet. The wire from that transformer to the control box is a low voltage wire that can be up to 1000' long. For longer distances, the 110 volt electric would have to be installed closer to the gate or solar panels can be purchased to recharge the battery. The operators must have a minimum of 10' of low voltage wire between the outlet and the control box. This rule applies even if the outlet is right next to the control box. Using less than 10' of low voltage wire will overpower the control circuit which can damage the control board.

Is everything I need included with the PRO2000XLS?

Mostly, but not everything. The low voltage wire from the outlet to the control box is not included. If the gate is to push-to-open, adapters are required, available here. The operator should be mounted near the center of the height of the gate. If there is no place to mount the arm, a horizontal angle iron or rail may need to be installed. Brackets for mounting to that rail are included.

Is everything I need included with the PRO3000XLS?

Mostly, but not everything. The low voltage wire from the outlet to the control box is not included. The operator should be mounted near the center of the height of the gate. If there is no place to mount the arm, a horizontal angle iron or rail may need to be installed. Brackets for mounting to that rail are included. Push-to-open brackets available here.

Is everything I need included with the PRO4000XLS?

Mostly, but not everything. The low voltage wire from the outlet to the control box is not included. The operator should be mounted near the center of the height of the gate. If there is no place to mount the arm, a horizontal angle iron or rail may need to be installed. Brackets for mounting to that rail are included. Push-to-open brackets available here.

Is it realistic for the average homeowner or business owner to install the unit(s)?

Yes. The operators do not require an electrician to wire them assuming an outlet is within 1000 feet. The system is low voltage. Only basic common hand tools are required. The operators come with complete, illustrated installation instructions. We also have installation manuals online at this address: http://www.hooverfence.com/gtopro/manual/index.htm . Our toll free number is available for support.

How long does it take to install an operator?

It is safe to assume the average homeowner can install one complete single gate operator in less than 4 hours at a leisurely pace. That is assuming the gate is installed and in good working order. Low voltage wire may require burying, which may take extra time. A second operator installed for a double gate will take about another 2 hours plus the time it might take to install the control cable from the control box to the other operator. That line needs to be buried under the driveway.

What is the difference between the GTO/PRO gate operators?

The PRO2000XLS, PRO3000XLS, PRO4000XLS, SL2000B are all 12 volt systems. The PRO2000XLS is for gates up to 16' wide and 500 lbs. The PRO3000XLS is made for swing gates up to 16' wide and 650 lbs. The PRO4000XLS is made for swing gates up to 20' wide and 1000 lbs. Double the gate widths for double swing gates using a slave operator. The PRO2000XLS is available in a package called the PRO2002XLS, includes the master and slave operators. The PRO3000XLS and PRO4000XLS slave operators are sold as add-ons. The GP-SW050 is an AC powered operator rated for gates up to 16' wide and 650 lbs. The SL2000B is a DC powered slide gate operator rated for up to a 20' opening and 1000 lbs. The SL2000B operator has a motor brake that acts like a lock when the operator stops.

Will the GTO PRO swing gate operators work on a gate mounted in the center of a column?

The new UL325 safety codes restrict the centering of gates on columns for swing gates. It is our understanding that this is not permitted due to the pinch point created between the column and the gate when it is fully opened. If you are a professional installer, advise your customer against it. The gate should be hung near the rear corner of the column. Each operator has it's own requirements for mounting to a column. Read the manuals for information concerning column mounting.

I have 36'' square columns. Will the GTO swing gate operators work?

No. See our Linear/OSCO line of operators that will work. They are high voltage and a little more expensive and difficult to install, but they allow for 24" offsets from the hinge swivel point.

My gate is difficult to open and close. Will the operator help?

No. The operators will only work on plumb posts and a level gate that swings or slides freely. The operator will not work or will fail prematurely on poorly constructed gates. Gates with supporting ground wheels will not work with operators, except the V-groove type of sliding gates.

What kind of wire is needed for the accessories?

The wire is a low voltage wire the same as the wire that is used between the operator and the transformer. It is used for all accessories, electric locks, exit wand, etc. and for power to the control box. It is a 16 gauge, 2-lead, stranded, direct burial low voltage wire. It can be purchased from us in cut sizes or by a discounted price per 1000' roll.

Is the low voltage wire the only type of wire required?

No. The operators use a 'control cable' (included). That wire is to be installed between the control box and the operator arm. The operators are equipped with a control cable. The control box must be located adjacent to the control arm on a post or fence. The slave unit, which operates the second leaf of a double swing gate, comes with a control cable that plugs into the control box and is normally buried slightly underground under the driveway to the slave operator. The cable is normally 1/4" in diameter and the plugs at each end are 1" in diameter. Operators after March of 2000 have only one end with a plug, making it easier to snake through conduit.

What do I do if I want to locate the control box further from the operator arm?

Longer control cables are available for most operators. See the accessories pages for cables available for each particular operator.

How far away can the hard-wired accessories be installed?

All accessories can not use more than 1000' of low voltage wire to each one. The same requirement as the low voltage wire from the transformer to the control box.

How does the basic system work as far as opening and closing?

All units include one remote transmitter. The gate is operated by depressing a button on the remote to open and close the gate, like a garage door operator. The gate operators are equipped with an automatic timer close feature, with an adjustable delay. The gate closes automatically. The timer can be turned off so the gate requires a transmitter to close the gate.

Can I use more than one transmitter on one gate?

Yes. You can purchase as many extras as you need. One for each car and maybe one for the house, if it is close enough to the gate to work.

What is the range of the transmitters?

About 100', if unobstructed. We have seen distances of up to 300'. Mount the antenna as high as possible on non-metallic posts.

What if the meter reader or delivery person needs to use the gate?

For people who need access, other than regulars, an optional keypad is available that requires a code be typed into the numbered keypad (F310). You can change the code whenever you like and provide that code to authorized users.

What safety features would prevent someone from getting caught in the gate?

The gate is equipped with an obstruction sensitive control that is adjustable so even the slightest obstacle pressure will stop the gate. A warning sign is also included to warn pedestrians that the gate is automatic electric powered.

Can I install the low voltage wire in conduit?

Yes, but it is not necessary.

Can I install the control cable in conduit?

Yes, the most common use of conduit is under the driveway from the control box to the slave operator on double swing gates.

Can the control cable be cut or spliced?

No. Never cut or splice the control cable. It will void the warranty. Excess cable should be left on during installation.

If I order an operator and can't make it work, can I return it?

Yes. Call us on our toll free number and we can walk you through a successful installation. If not, you can return the operator for a full refund before the expiration of 30 days from ordering. All of the parts must be in original new condition in the original boxes and return shipping must be paid by you. Returns must be approved in advance. After receiving the operators and accessories back and inspection of their condition, we will gladly refund your money (not including shipping charges from you to us).

How long will the batteries in the control box last?

Battery life is dependent on many conditions. Three to five years is the expected life span of the batteries.

What normal maintenance is required?

Besides making sure the gate is in good repair and swings or slides easily, minor programming adjustments may be necessary from time to time. The operator is programmable for opening and closing distances. If the gate should not close or open completely, the controls may need reset. This is a simple process that is performed at the control box with directions in your owner's manual. Always grease hinges or rollers as required to assure easy movement of the gate. Most operators fail because the gates or gate posts have failed.

IMPORTANT: Spray a silicone or Teflon spray (these are the only ones GTO recommends) on the push/pull tube while it is fully extended and retract the arm while spraying it down. Do this once or twice a month. Do not use WD-40.

Will the operator work on any type of gate?

No. See the chart at the bottom of the GTO start page for weight and gate width limits for each operator. Solid wood or other solid gates should use the PRO4000XLS for the extra power needed during windy conditions. The slide gate operator is not recommended for the type of slide gate that uses a leading roller wheel on the ground and doesn't have a counter-balance to hook the back side of the chain to the gate in order to close the gate completely. Cantilever type gates are OK and even overhead track type gates will work, within the weight and width limits. Gates with ground tracks are usable, providing the track is kept unobstructed.

How long does it take the gate to open?

The weight of the gate and width will influence opening times. Most operators take between 18 and 25 seconds to open or close the gate.

Can the swing gate operator push to open?

Yes. An extra piece of hardware is needed for most operators. The gate operator(s) can be reprogrammed upon installation for 'push to open' applications. The operator arm is normally installed on the inside of the gate and pulls inward. If it is installed on the inside of the gate and needs to swing the gates out or away from the operator arm, that is a 'push to open' application.

Can the slide gate be left-hand or right hand slide?

Yes. The slide gate operators are programmable for either direction without extra accessories.

How many solar panels are necessary for these operators?

The PRO3000XLS and PRO4000XLS require at least two panels. More may be necessary depending on geographical location and the weight of the gate. For dual gates, more panels may be needed. Requirements will vary with accessories used. See the solar panel guide.

How many different codes can be used with a keypad?

The F310 can contain up to 25 different Pin's (Personal Identification Numbers) and is face programmable.

I live in the Richmond, Va area and would like to know how many solar panels would be needed for the SL-2000B. The planned area is open to most of the daily sunshine.

The requirements for the SL2000B are a minimum of one solar panel. I wouldn't recommend more than 8 cycles per solar panel per day in any area of the United States, South America on the other hand is different (you can pretty much double it.) On the SL2000B if multiple panels are to be used they will have to be hooked up in parallel. See the solar panel guide.

My 14' wide gate closes too fast . It strikes the post stop plate too hard on a "push to open application". How can I slow the gate down?

There is no way to slow the gate speed. The problem could be in the adjustments. You need to adjust the operator to stop just a moment before it strikes it's limit. This problem is only with the earlier operators. The PRO2000XLS, PRO3000XLS and PRO4000XL have a soft start and stop capability that eliminates this problem and prolongs the life of the operator.

How long is the control cable that comes with the GTO/PRO  swing gate operator slave units?

It varies with each operator. The PRO2002XLS slave operator has a 32' cable, the PRO3200XLS has a 40' cable, and the PRO4200XL has a 50' cable. These cables cannot be cut or spliced.

Do I need any special adapters for mounting my GTO/PRO on a round or square post?

The PRO2000XLS gate operator can be mounted on round or square posts without adapters. The PRO3000XLS and PRO4000XLS may require additional hardware, see the installation manuals for further details.

I have checked everything on my transmitter and it appears to be faulty.

Make sure the dip switches match on the receiver and transmitter. Check the owner's manual for how to change frequency settings. If the frequency is set properly and the battery is good, make sure you are using the transmitter properly. Some people hold the button down too long or push it too many times in succession. This will send mixed signals to the receiver. Push firmly once and let go immediately.

Is the transformer that plugs into the outlet water-proof?

No it is not. If it plugs in outdoors, you need to cover it with a rain-proof cover. We do not sell these covers but they are readily available from electrical supply or hardware stores.

I installed my operator, it worked great for a week, then it stopped working? Is this a warranty issue?

Although the GTO operators are warranted for two years, chances are your problem is minor. The gate operator comes with a fully charged battery. After you installed it, it worked until the battery ran down. The GTO has a "low-voltage lockout" feature. It will stop working prior to complete discharge of the battery. Turn the rocker switch off on the bottom of the control box. Wait a while and turn it back on. Try to operate the gate. If it operates one time and not a second, it is due to "low-voltage lockout". Chances are that your wiring for the power is faulty. Check the outlet for power. Maybe someone turned off the circuit. Check the low voltage wire. It could be cut or never properly installed in the first place. Is the transformer plugged in? Check the fuses. If the gate is out of adjustment and slams the stops to hard, it could blow fuses. Replace the fuse and adjust the limits on the open or close side so the operator stops running just prior to hitting the stops. The stops are only intended to position the gate firmly open or shut. They are not meant to literally stop the gate.

My dog or kids pulled the cable loose. My dog ate the power cable. What can I do to prevent that?

Normal installation of the GTO gate operators does not require conduit, but if you feel it is necessary to protect the cables and wiring, you can put them in conduit. The control cable from the control box to the operator arm must have slack because it moves with the gate. After testing how much slack is required, portions of the cable could be in conduit. It depends on how far away you place the control box. Tying that cable up against the fence or post out of the reach of toddlers and dogs is ok as long as you allow enough slack. Test it by operating the gate while you hold the cable up where you want it. The slave cable can be in conduit from the ground up to the height of the operator arm.

How hard is it to push the gate without an electric lock?

The electric lock is an option to secure the gate in the open or closed position. It works automatically with your transmitter. It is not required because the operator will hold the gate firmly shut. Someone could force the gate open, if they push hard enough. A car could push it open easily, breaking the operator arm and/or mounting hardware. It's not likely a child could force the gate open and squeeze through. If that is critical, get the lock. We have never heard of a dog escaping, but some are very smart.

Can I use a master operator and 3 slave operators to control two double swing gates?

The idea of using multiple slave gate operators and one master operator is not a new one. We have had many customers propose this scenario, however there are problems with that idea such as:  *The slave operator is less expensive because it uses the control board, battery, receiver and transformer of the master operator. When you purchase the slave unit you will receive an actuator arm and control cable (for wiring to the control box of the master operator). The control cable of the slave operator is only 32' (PRO2000XLS), 40' (PRO3200XLS), or 50' (PRO4200XLS) and is usually snaked, preferably in conduit, under the driveway. Although you may purchase longer control cables (up to 40' non-spliceable), the idea of using a slave operator independently on a separate gate is a poor idea.  When you use the remote transmitter or any other device used to open or close the gate, the slave operator will also open/ close.  In other ideas, all actuator arms functioning off the master operator will open/close together. This is usually unsafe, unnecessary, and impractical.  *You may not connect more than one slave operator to a master operator; the control box only accepts one input for a slave operator cable.  *You will set the control board of the master operator as either 'push-to-open' or 'pull-to-open'. One cannot set the master as a 'pull-to-open' and the slave as a 'push-to-open'.  They both must be the same.  *There are probably more problems to this scenario than listed above. Feel free to read over the complete installation manual, frequently asked questions, and installation tips we feature online for your convenience. Once one understands the basic principles of how these operate and are installed, the problems are more apparent.

How do I hold the gate open for visitors?

Whenever customers have several visitors coming into the property they may wish to hold the gate open to accommodate the high traffic. There are several ways to accomplish this. 1) If there is no free entry/exit device such as an exit wand, photo eye, or loop detector, simply open the gate up with the remote or push button and stop it just before it reaches the open position. If the operator arm is not at the limit switch in the open position, the autoclose feature will not close the gate. The gate must receive a signal from a remote, push button, or keypad in order to close. 2) If there is a free entry/close device such as an exit wand, photo eye, or loop detector, open the gate and turn the #3 dip switch in the block of seven switches off to disable the autoclose feature. The free entry/exit devices with not close the gate. The gate must receive a signal from a remote, push button, or keypad to close. 3) If you need to be absolutely sure that the gate will not close at all, open the gate and turn the power on the control box off. Be sure to unplug the red wires from the positive battery post inside the main control box and also unplug or disconnect the transformer or solar panel. It is possible that if you turn the power off and leave the battery and transformer or solar panel connected that the battery will not stay charged and run down. 4) If there is a frequent need to hold the gate open, you can use up to 1000' of 16 awg, stranded, low voltage wire to connect a single pole single throw switch (like the light switch in your home) to the Exit Open and Com terminals on the main control board. Just keep in mind that you always want to have a line of sight between the switch and the gate so the person operating the switch can see the gate and recognize potential dangers. Whenever the switch is turned on, the gate will open and remain open until the switch is turned off. Then the gate opener will time out and automatically close the gate.