Gate Operator Questions Answered

© 2002 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Winter 2002
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 52

Technical Tips
Gate Operator Questions Answered

With the 2002 adoption of ASTM F2200-02 and the 2000 edition of UL 325, dealers are asking more questions about proper installation of gate operators.

In a previous issue (Spring 2002), we listed the "Top Ten Frequently Asked Questions" about gate operators. Here are ten other popular questions, with answers provided by DASMA's Operator & Electronics Division Technical Committee.

1. Do I need to install both photoelectric cells and reversing edges as secondary devices to comply with the standards?
No. You do not need to put both on the gate. A non-contact sensor, a contact sensor, or a combination thereof can be used as secondary devices.

2. Will an operator function if a photoelectric cell or reversing edge is not connected?
This depends on the operator design. Contact the operator manufacturer for more information.

3. How far away from the gate should an access device (push button, card reader, etc.) be installed?
Controls must be far enough from the gate so that the user does not contact the gate while operating the controls.

4. If a reset switch is to be installed, where do I install it?
Controls that reset an operator after two sequential activations of the entrapment protection device(s) must be located in the line-of-sight of the gate.

5. Do I need to install a separate pedestrian gate?
If the operator is for a vehicular gate, pedestrians must use a separate entrance.

6. Do ASTM F2200-02 requirements apply to both new and existing gates?
They apply to new gates and existing gates that are intended to be motorized. Older non-motorized gates, if they are going to be automated, may need to be altered to meet the new requirements.

7. Do I need to install guarding or screening on a gate?
Yes, but this applies only to horizontal sliding gates. However, if a horizontal gate system is not guarded or screened according to the manufacturer's instructions, it does not comply with ASTM F2200, and the installation is not in compliance with UL 325.

8. Does the 2-1/4 inch sphere test start at the bottom of the gate or is it measured from the ground up to 4 feet?
All openings of a horizontal slide gate are guarded or screened from the bottom of the gate up to 48-inches above ground level.

9. If a slide gate is on wheels and there is a 4-inch gap between the ground and the bottom of the gate, is this OK?
This situation is governed by the requirements of UL 325. Appropriate entrapment protection devices should be specified and installed according to that standard.

10. Do swing gates need to be guarded or screened so that a 2 1/4 inch sphere will not pass through it?

For more information on UL 325 and ASTM F2200-02, contact UL at 847-272-8800, ASTM at 610-832-9585. For more questions and answers about gate operators, ask for DASMA Technical Data Sheet (TDS) 356. To obtain a free copy of TDS 356, call DASMA at 216-241-7333 or go to