Need a good gate lock
Hi all. I was thinking about this as I posted in another thread.
I have a gated driveway into my rural property. It is just a farm gate and I used to lock it with a heavy chain to a very heavy post.
I want to use a combination lock, not a keyed lock, and I have renters. (Dont want to have to deal with keys for a few reasons.) I've used a few different combo locks.
These days, the lock just hangs on the chain and we dont lock it except occasionally. Because the locks become very unreliable. I cant find a weather-proof combination lock. Even with frequent lubrication with a special lock oil, they dont open sometimes (or it's very difficult) and of course in winter they can freeze (it rains here all winter).
My renter missed class one morning because she couldnt get out and we've had to use lighters to warm it couple times when it froze.
I want this gate locked at nite, every nite. Does anyone have any recommendations for good locks that can handle the weather? Again, I really dont want a lock that requires a key, but I'm open to other suggestions for types of locks...or solutions. (I cant afford an electric or other automatic gate but that is on my wish list...unless someone knows of 16 foot automatic gates under $300.)
I use this Master Lock to secure the properties that I manage. You need not get it from the link. I usually get them for about the same price (~$17) at Walmart.
My older ones have been going strong for about 5 years now, and only need a squirt of WD40 about once a year. They're also programmable, so you can change the combo if you suspect that it ever becomes compromised.
Make sure that you get a good chain to go with it (you know - the weakest link and all that ;-).
Thanks you WHEC724.
*sigh* Unfortunately, my eyes are not what they used to be, even with glasses, and I cant read the numbers on those without putting my face within 6 inches of them. I have one on my tack room.
I also have some very average lighting out by this gate....sometimes even none. There's no electricity down there, so I use solar powered...have tried a few types and none work very well. So unreliable lighting is also a factor with reading the numbers, for anyone.
If anyone has suggestions for *outdoor* LED lights that take batteries I'd also love to hear them. I'm always looking for those....ones for outdoors are not as common, altho I've found a variety of handheld ones.
One thing I'd like to add, in addition to the lock and chain, due to the weather you might want to look at some sort of "box" that covers the lock and is easily removable. This will help protect the lock from the elements.
A post with a wooden box that hinges open from the top that the chain is threaded through, with the lock lying in the box is one method that I've seen. Good luck!
That's a very interesting suggestion Biker. I'm going to look into the logistics of that. Because you have to come thru the gate at an angle, it can be very tight when pulling a horse trailer but I should be able to offset the box somewhat.....
I second adding some sort of weather proofing to where the lock sits. Every lock will fail if it is full of ice. It should not be too challenging to add some sort of container to prevent moisture from getting in it. Some sort of inverted steel box welded on the post is common. A silicone baking pan would also work just fine. Like this:
Also, consider adding two locks in series. Have one lock, a short chain section, another lock, and then the rest of the chain. If one lock fails, you can use the other one to open it. The backup lock could even be dipped in something like hard cheese wax, or silicone grease, only be opened in case of emergency.
Also soak the lock in anti-freeze, Yes automotive anti-freeze it will prevent the lock from freezing. Putting in a box is a great idea or some type of pouch. In the winter when I know it is going to be really cold I carry a small bic lighter. I stop every day for the newspaper and hot choc. If the lock is frozen wrap 1 sheet of newpaper aroubnd the lock and light it the lock will open with the key after that.
I would put two locks on. One keyed one combo then you have an alternate access when needed. I got the idea from the forest service as they require that they have a lock in addition to your lock when your property borders a national forest.