Hooking up an electric fence: Farming Ranching Agriculture  -- General Tractor Discussion Forum and Review Hooking up an electric fence: Farming Ranching Agriculture -- General Tractor Discussion Forum

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 09-13-2001, 10:41 Post: 31790
SOB



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 Hooking up an electric fence

HELP!!!! Here's what I have. I ran an electric fence, started 2 wires at the power supply, ran 1 low the other high, I tried 2 things. First, I terminated each run seperate from the other, ending at an insulator. have a ground wire from the ground terminal into a grounding rod. Result..nothing. Then I connected the wires together to make one continous loop, result..only the top wire is hot. My question is.. how do I set it up so both the top wire and the bottom wire are hot? I also have 2 strands of barbed wire between the electric. Thanks!






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 09-13-2001, 12:07 Post: 31791
BillBass



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 Hooking up an electric fence

I have never hooked up an electric fence, but, as an electrical engineer, I can tell you that it is impossible to have 2 wires physically connected and have one hot and not the other.

You say you started 2 wires at the power supply. I assume you mean that you connected both wires to the same hot terminal on the power supply. If you have good connections on both wires, then both will be hot. If not, then there is a bad connection somewhere.

How are you determining if the wire is hot? Are you checking between the wire and the ground rod, or between the wire and the earth? Check between each wire and the ground rod first to make sure you have good connections on all wire connections. If both are hot there, then check between each wire and earth. That will check the ground rod to earth continuity.






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 09-13-2001, 13:01 Post: 31792
Randy



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 Hooking up an electric fence

Having a good gound connection is important. I used a 5' lenght of copper pipe driven 3' into the ground. If the soil is dry where your ground rod is that may be a problem, not a good connection.

I have two wires on the fence, they are both connected together to one wire which goes to the power supply. The wires do not have to be a complete loop, they do have to be insulated from ground. The controller I have has two lights, one shows that the unit has power the other pulses showing current flow. The intensity of the pulsating light tells how strong the current is flowing through the fence wire. A weak light is an indication of a short to ground of the fence wire. This could be from something touching the fence like a piece of brush or a weak insulator.

It has been my experience that all electric fence insulators are not created equal. I think different kinds of plastic absorb enough water to conduct electricity. If you watch at night you can see a blue flash where the short is sometimes, or hear a snaping sound as the current shorts to ground.






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 09-13-2001, 16:34 Post: 31793
FarmerWannabe



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 Hooking up an electric fence

Randy is right on.

What can you use to safely test a fence?
I am tired of trying tools only to get shocked. What do they say, "Even a moron can learn from his own mistakes?"






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 09-14-2001, 00:36 Post: 31799
Roger L.



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 Hooking up an electric fence

I agree, Randy has it right. One terminal goes to a ground rod driven deep into wet dirt. The other terminal goes to the hot wire. The hot does not form a loop, it just goes straight out from that terminal. If you have two hots, then they are either both connected back to the terminal like the tines on a fork, or just run a jumper between them somewhere. All hot wires must be insulated from everything. They just hang in the air. The circuit is completed (a complete loop) when the animal that is standing on the ground reaches out and touches the hot wire. He completes the circuit and gets shocked doing it!
You know those spring loaded insulated gate hooks that you use when an electric fence has to pass a gate? Well, I test my fence by looking and listening for the small spark that buzzes when you hook those back up. Since the handles are insulated you don't get shocked...after all, that is how they are made to be used.
I've also seen cheap neon fence testers for a couple of bucks at the farm store. You touch the wire and if it lights the fence is working. But it will only tell you if it is working....not how well it is working. The buzzing of the gate hook is a better test for how well it is working.






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 09-14-2001, 07:03 Post: 31800
Randy



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 Hooking up an electric fence

I have used one of those store bought fence testers also. You stick one end in the ground hook the other end on the hot wire and the little light flashes. Generally I can not find it when I want to use it, or while attaching it to the fence I get "bit". I don't like that.

Roger uses the method that works best for me. Watch the intensity of the spark. I will take the gate hook and hold it close to something grounded and watch the spark, you don't have to have any special tools or meters.

I remember a friend of mine once put up a section of electric fence. He tried to save some money on insulators. He wrapped the wooden post with inner tube rubber secured it with a piece of copper wire making a loop to run the fence wire in. He took a regular Volt/Ohm Meter checked continuity between the wire and the post, everything looked fine until he turned on the fence module. The fence had very little charge to it.

The rubber did not provide enough insulation barrier. The ninie volt battery in the VOM did not produce the same potential as the electric fence unit. Once he used the proper insulators the fence worked fine.






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 09-14-2001, 10:18 Post: 31803
FarmerWannabe



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 Hooking up an electric fence

Great idea to use the handle as a tester. I do that to test the fence when I open and close, why not use it other places as well. Thanks. I'm sure my wife has thought of this, she just likes to see me shock myself.
One day, I was moving a roll of fencing and leaned into the electric fence. Let's just say the fence roll did a good job of grounding. Come to think of it, maybe that's why I didn't think of the handle idea myself...






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 09-14-2001, 10:19 Post: 31804
SOB



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 Hooking up an electric fence

Thanks for all your help folks! I'll keep you posted.

Sean






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 09-15-2001, 12:40 Post: 31822
Elkoboy



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 Hooking up an electric fence

As others have said the little neon bulb electric fence tester only tells you if the fence is working, but not how well. To save the money or as an impromptu tester you can also just pick a blade of grass and touch it to the fence wire about an inch or two from where you're holding it. You'll receive a mild shock but not nearly as severe as if you'd touch the fence wire.

The secret to the fence working well is having a good ground. Many manufacturers suggest 3 ground rods spaced 10 feet apart buried 6-8 feet into the ground connected together. Depending on your soil conditions you may need more rods (if it is dry or sandy). Also make sure your ground rods are at least 50 feet away from any utility grounding system to prevent stray voltage that will disturb the livestock.

Then it's just a question of hooking the ground terminal on the fencer to the ground rods, and the fence wire(s) to the hot terminal. And make sure your fence wires are not touching ground in any way.






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 09-15-2001, 20:53 Post: 31831
Southern Boy



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 Hooking up an electric fence

Fi-shock makes a neon light fence tester. It has 5 lights on it. Each light represents a different voltage. It has a probe that you put in the ground and then you touch the tip of the tester to the fence. I know that Tractor Supply and Southern States farm stores carry them. The highest voltage that the tester shows is 8500 volts, I think. I bought mine for about $15.00. If you don't have a farm store near you, I think Tractor Supply will sell online. You may also check Fi-Shock for a web site and a better description of the tester. To prevent electrical shock with any tester, ALWAYS PUT THE GROUND PROBE INTO THE GROUND BEFORE TOUCHING THE HI-VOLTAGE PROBE TO THE FENCE.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Farming Ranching Agriculture Forum

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