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How to Maintain Your Driveway Gate Hinges or Opener Chain

Driveway Gate Hinges or Opener Chain Maintenance
While driveway gates don't need much in the way of maintenance, they do require occasional care to keep them operating at their best. If driveway gates and their operating gear are neglected, then operational problems are likely to occur and could cause the need for expensive repairs.
Maintenance requirements will vary depending on the type of gate you are using, as well as the operating mechanism. However, there is usually a high degree of commonality when it comes to driveway gates, as most gates use either hinges or chain openers. Below is more information on how to maintain these two components.

Gate Hinges

Gate hinges are fairly simple, but a failure to keep them maintained can have negative consequences. There are two types of gate hinges in widespread use, and both of them will need lubrication.
The first type of gate hinge is the sealed bearing gate hinge, consisting of a top-mounted hinge assembly that surrounds the gate's upper hinge pin. The hinge assembly uses a flange bearing to provide support and permit ease of gate movement. The bearing is sealed, so it usually doesn't need much attention.
However, the joint between the pin and bearing will need to be lubricated annually to prevent corrosion and problems with operation. To lubricate a sealed bearing hinge, you will need a grease gun and a highquality, all-purpose grease designed for heavy duty applications.
Begin by locating the Zerk fitting, which is a small nipple that attaches to the end of a grease gun, and squirt grease into the opening until it flows from the bearing. Wipe away any excess grease with a paper towel or shop rag.
The other type of gate hinge, the barrel hinge, consists of a simple housing attached to the adjacent post and a gate-mounted pin that slips into the housing. If the joint between the pin and housing becomes dry and loses its lubricant, then excessive wear can occur to both the housing and pin. The end result is excessive wear that can cause difficulty with opening the gate and may also result in the gate sagging.
As with the sealed bearing gate hinge, you will need to lubricate the joint with heavy duty grease. Attach the grease gun to the fitting on the hinge and fill the reservoir until it overflows. Remove the excess grease with a rag or towel once you are finished. Repeat this process of lubrication once a year, as the more open barrel hinges need lubrication more frequently.

Opener Chains

If you own a sliding gate that protects your driveway, it will likely use a chain to move the gate back and forth. The chain functions in the same way a garage door opener does by using a sprocket to engage in each individual link. As the motor turns the sprocket, the chain is also pulled and the gate slides across the driveway.
Opener chains need lubrication on a yearly basis in order to prevent problems with operation. Lubricants prevent the chain links from rubbing against each other and causing wear that will eventually lead to breaks.
To lubricate the opener chain, apply heavy duty grease using an old paint brush, then wipe away the excess grease. You will need to operate the opener to move the chain a few times to ensure all areas of the chain are well lubricated.
Another maintenance task for opener chains is to adjust the link tensioner annually. Chains will stretch over time as the metal fatigues and links become looser, which is why you will need to tighten the tensioner mechanism from time-to-time to make sure the chain doesn't become too loose. However, be careful not to tighten the chain too much, as some sag is desirable for optimal operation.
If you have questions about your driveway gate or need help with maintenance, contact Northgates In Motion for help. We are ready to assist you with all of your driveway gate needs, including routine inspections and servicing.

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Northgates In Motion
5835 Labath Ave.
Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Toll Free: 800-570-9000
Phone: 707-584-3000
Fax: 707-584-8621
Email: northgates@sbcglobal.net

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