Automatic door triggered by power interruptions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by theothermaryd, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. theothermaryd

    theothermaryd New Egg

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    Apr 4, 2011
    We purchased a chicken coop already wired for electricity and with an automatic chicken door installed. The door plugs into a timer, which in turn plugs into an outlet inside the coop, on the wall directly above it. There is a plug on the outside of the coop to plug the whole coop into an outside outlet.

    The problem is that every time there is an interruption in the power, even momentarily, when the power comes back on the door operates: closing if it is open or opening if it is closed. We have a generator that comes on if the power is off for more than 10 seconds, but living out in the sticks, we occasionally get interruptions of just a couple of seconds. I can't have the door opening or closing unpredictably at random times every time the power flickers.

    We are home most of the time and can operate the door "manually" by plugging it in or unplugging it, but that defeats the purpose of having an automatic door. Plus if we operate it by unplugging the outside plug, to save going in the coop and disturbing the girls, that means the light in the coop won't work if we do need to go in when it's dark.

    Has anyone else had this problem? Any ideas for a solution? My husband is handy and can rewire the coop but the door seems to be a self-contained, prewired unit.

    Thanks!

    New owner of an even dozen: 2 Buff Orps, 2 GLWs, 2 Golden Comets, 2 Black Stars, 2 Barred Rocks, 1 Ameraucana and 1 Welsummer.
     
  2. Sassafras

    Sassafras Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 16, 2011
    N.H.
    I have not run into that problem yet. You should look at the different plug in timers at your local hardware store. It should have an internal back-up battery in it. You may have to get one with more "bells and whistles".
     
  3. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2011
    Southeastern Ohio
    Wow, I want an auto door eventually but it is nothing for us to reset all of our clocks 3-4 times a week from small 2-5 sec outages, reset satellite boxes, etc. I am going to remember this for future, maybe go with solar. Hope you get it worked out! I think the small battery back up maybe the best to, we have those at work, unsure if okay for outdoor use though.
     
  4. theothermaryd

    theothermaryd New Egg

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    Apr 4, 2011
    After looking at timers online, there are plenty that feature battery backup for the settings, so if the power goes out you don't have to reset it once the power comes back on. But the power still goes out. I think we might end up getting a small UPS, plugging it into the outlet, and plugging the timer into that. Since there is only a 10 second delay before the generator kicks on, even a small, cheap UPS should last for a while. The coop is pretty weather-tight and the outdoor outlet that it plugs into is a GFCI, so I am not too worried about it being outdoors. We can mount the UPS high up on the wall and I bet my handy husband could even build a chicken-proof nook for it, with scrap pieces of plastic conduit to protect the cords that go to the door and to the wall outlet.
     

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