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How do I put my gate on manual? A quick reference guide to manual override on sliding gate motors.

My sliding gate won’t work, how do I put my sliding gate motor onto manual operation? Lets explore how to put your sliding gate with motor into manual override.

Your driveway gate can stop working for a variety of reasons, I am not going to dive into them all in this post because the reason you are here is to find out how to put the gate onto manual so you can move it by hand and get into or out of your property while you wait for the specialists to arrive.

Putting a sliding gate motor onto manual operation.

There are two primary manufacturers of sliding gate motors in South Africa; ET NICE and Centurion Systems. There is a very good chance your motor is one of these. Both makes have fairly easy manual override systems.

Centurion Sliding Gate Motor - Manual Operation

The Centurion range of sliding gate operators require a small key to unlock either the lever or the door hiding the wheel in order to release the manual override.

Gate Motor Manual Release Key

Use the key to unlock the door or lever and then either pull the lever or turn the wheel in the direction of the unlocked padlock picture to release the gate motor and then move by hand.

Click on the image below to open a page with the manual override instructions for your Centurion sliding gate motor.

ET NICE Sliding Gate Motor - Manual Operation

The ET NICE range of sliding gate operators require a small key to unlock the door/lever or the flap hiding the lever in order to release the manual override.

Gate Motor Manual Release Key

Use the key to unlock the door / lever and then either pull the door / lever upwards or towards you in order to release the gate motor and then move by hand.

Click on the image below to open a page with the manual override instructions for your ET NICE sliding gate motor.

My gate motor manual override is not working!

Even with the instructions there is a possibility that this isn’t a smooth process. The gate motor lives outside and is exposed to the elements so there is an element of wear and tear which could hamper the ease of manual operation on a sliding gate. Let’s look at a couple of common problems and the easiest solution for them.

The key doesn't turn in the lock!

The lock is outside and exposed to the elements, it is also not used daily so it could have some build up causing it to bind. Spray into the slot with some lubricant (WD40, Q20) then put the key in and wiggle with some force and it should turn loose. If this doesn’t work then you might need to force and replace the lock.

I cannot find the manual override key...

I actually had to go and check where my manual override key was while typing this article. It isn’t something we use every day so chances are it is in the back of a cupboard or in the spare change bowl by the front door?

If you cannot find the key and you are stuck inside waiting on the service provider then you can take a large flat screwdriver, insert it in the keyhole and turn with some force. The entire mechanism should turn loose and you can access the override. You will likely need to replace the lock after this.

ProTip – I recommend having your service provider force and replace the camlock as they will carry spares and your security won’t be compromised. (You can then put a key onto your keychain to avoid this in the future) 

The manual release doesn't go all the way and the gate isn't on manual!

Your gearbox could be under pressure due to the gate exerting force while closing. This pressure is preventing the manual release from working properly and disengaging the gearbox. The pressure needs to be released in order to disengage the gearbox. Depending on your gate setup this can be as simple as lifting the gate to disengage the rack from the pinion. However, many gates have anti-lift features which make this very difficult and then require the motor to be directly powered bypassing the safety circuitry.

WARNING – LIFTING GATES CAN BE DANGEROUS AND SHOULD NOT BE ATTEMPTED BY THE END USER OR IF YOU ARE ALONE. AN UNSECURED GATE CAN CAUSE INJURY.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BYPASS MOTOR YOURSELF AS YOU CAN CAUSE DAMAGE. RATHER WAIT FOR YOUR SERVICE PROVIDER!

How can I prevent these issues with my manual override?

Maintain the installation and test the manual override at regular intervals to ensure it is all working. If the gate is running badly or differently to usual then have it checked. However even with preparation there are still some external influences (Eskom) which can cause problems and will require the rapid attention of a professional service provider.

Considering putting a service provider on retainer ensuring a guaranteed turnaround time to give you peace of mind in the event of a non-preventable failure.

At Glow Innovations, we took a deep breath and decided to do the homework which will enable our potential customer to have control of the design for their own driveway gate. Because information is power, we want the customer to know more before purchasing. To this end we have curated our most popular designs into an online store – https://shop.glowinn.co.za – which allows immediate pricing. Also we are embarking on a campaign to educate the market to allow customers to do more research and know more before making this large decision.

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