Is your Gate Automation Installer Licensed to do Electrical Work (i.e. an Electrical Contractor) ...
" Gate Motor installation at a Strata complex in Parkwood,Western Australia Note the nice use of a plastic esky in this permanent installation we came across in Parkwood, Perth Western Australia. Inside this esky, which was freely sitting on the concrete deck with a hole in the base for the wires, was a 240V-24V transformer connected straight to the motors 240V power input. It was sitting in about 1 inch of water and had exposed copper wires without any insulation or tape to be seen anywhere.
As a licensed electrical contracting company and electricians, we often get asked why we do Gate Automation, and the simple answer is (other than because we love it) that when we started in the Automation Industry over 20 years ago, it was a job that only licensed electricians and electrical contracting companies with an EC.####? License number were legally allowed to do.
This was because most gate systems, and almost every half decent one, used 240V AC motors. While they were a few around, low voltage systems weren't really used because they just weren't very good at all.
Since then, 24 Volt DC Systems have evolved and improved considerably, and become much more common in the residential sector. This has allowed other tradespeople, like fence installers, fabricators, welders, and landscapers already working in or around gate automation, to exploit a bit of a grey area in the electrical legislation and start to play around a lot more with the electrical side of things.
Technically, this should strictly be limited to the connection of 24V or 12V devices. However, as almost every system runs off 240 Volt Mains Voltage being transformed down to low voltage, every gate automation must involve a licensed electrician at some point to work with the 240V side of things. There are a lot of companies operating without electrical licenses on this basis, and some that are really pushing it to dangerous levels.
We come across some very disturbing "Professional Installations" that are a deadly accident just waiting to happen, and clearly done by somebody other than a qualified, licensed electrical Tradesperson.
"Is that Esky "C Tick" Approved and an acceptable method of installing a 240V transformer , and what is its IP rating with that hole in the base?"
Ask yourself, "Do you really want your Automatic Gate System; something that sits out in the rain and weather all year round,
Is continually attacked by insects, pets, and humans,
Gets driven into, Climbed over, Kicked open, Slammed shut,
Struck by lightning, and Burnt by the sun,
Sits in puddles of water all winter and has a layer of dew on it Every morning when it wakes up,
And is expected to continue to work reliably through it all
year in/ year out, despite, (in many cases), never getting serviced or paid any mind,
To be installed and Wired up by anybody other than a Trade Qualified Electrician?"
Please Ask your Gate Automation Installer,
"Are you a licensed Electrician?",
and if they say they are not, Ask them,
"When is the Electrician coming to wire up the gate motor then?"
This was the power supply to the gate motor in Parkwood. It was done with an extension lead plugged in about 30 meters away, buried (barely) underground without conduit.