Setting Up the Wiring For an Automated Gate

When deciding to install a new fence installed double drive swing gate, cantilever, or slide gate on your property, you may think “Oh I can just get out of my car and open the gates”. However, it’s probably a good idea to leave the option of automating your gate once you tire of manually operating your gate. The best time to set up for gate automation is before a hard surface is laid down, such as asphalt or concrete. Yes, you are still able to install a gate operator after you have installed a hard surface, but it will be much more expensive and complex after the fact.

The wiring for a gate operator coming out from the ground where a driveway will soon be laid

Getting power on the side of the driveway can be done in a few different ways:

  1. Install a conduit under the driveway before the hard surface is laid down
  2. Horizontally bore under the driveway
  3. Saw cut out an area in the driveway and lay down the conduit

Install Under the Driveway

Installing the conduit under the driveway before the hard surface has been laid down is the most cost-effective option. When the area is open, it is a good idea to install a few conduits stubbed out on each side of the drive. The conduit can not only be used for power, but you may need to use the conduit for a water line for sprinklers. Of course, you will not want to install power and high voltage power in the same conduit.

A tap measure resting on the ground compared to a specific marker to mark where exactly the conduits are installed in the ground

Bore Under the Driveway

Getting under the driveway can be done with a horizontal boring machine. This may be expensive, but it’s the best means after the concrete is poured. Horizontally boring takes a special machine. You can hire someone to perform this work or you are renting a small handheld unit that can used with a Little Beaver power unit.

Saw Cut the Existing Driveway

The third option can be less expensive and may be your last resort. Saw cutting into the hard surface and repouring the concrete or asphalt back in can seem like an okay idea, but in the long term this can cause more issues with the appearance of the drive. In the Midwest, it is very common that freezing and thawing causes damage to the repoured surface. All and all, the best option would be to think ahead and install conduits under the driveway before it is poured or laid.

The size of the conduit and the amount of conduit will be also need to be determined. An electrician can help you figure this out.

After placing conduit under your driveway, it is a good idea to take pictures of the conduit with measurements of where it was placed and how deep it was installed. Taking pictures with measurement and will help you come back and find the conduit in the future when deciding to install that operator that you though you may not want.

A completed driveway with marks shown of where the conduit and pulled wires lay