Discharged: Six Reasons Why Electric Fences Fail

February 28th, 2017 | Posted by Drip-Well

If you are new to electric fences, you may think that it is a simple plug and play operation. Just set your perimeter, attach the wires and you’re done – right? Wrong!

You may not realize it yet, but there are actually several issues that can occur with your fence that could diminish its power or destroy it all together. Whether you’re setting up your first fence or troubleshooting issues with your current fence installation, let’s take a look at six reasons why your electric fence could fail and how to fix or prevent it.

Your Fence has Poor Grounding

For your electric fence to work efficiently, you must ensure that it is properly grounded, as the University of Illinois Extension notes. As a rule, each charger should have at least three grounding rods arranged in 10-foot intervals. You should also be aware of other grounds near your fence. You don’t want to add your grounding rod within 50 feet of other grounded electrical services, for example.

Your Wiring is Badly Placed

You may feel the urge to use excessive force to tighten your wires to their respective posts to keep them in place, but this could actually be creating issues instead of preventing them. Living the Country Life suggests that as conditions throughout the year warm and cool, wiring needs to have the ability to expand and contract in kind, not to mention move in windy conditions. Using a more adaptable method to secure wires, like plastic insulated loops, keeps wiring at the desired height while allowing for movement and adjustment as needed.

You Are Using Incorrect Wires

Avoid the use of poly-wire or small conductor wire as these types of materials will provide a reduced ability to carry electricity throughout your fencing system. You should also pay attention to the wiring size and make sure that the gauge of wire you use is consistent. Tapering down or using larger wire gauges can reduce the ability for power to travel properly throughout the entire fence. L & M Manufacturing can help you find the right fencing wire you need for your purposes.

You Don’t Have Surge Protectors

Lightning strikes may seem random, but you may be surprised how many times a lightning storm can disrupt or permanently damage your electric fence. That doesn’t mean it’s something you have to deal with. Grounding rods are one part of keeping a system in check. The other is installing surge protectors and lightning diverters. These devices work just like they do in your home to manage electrical overloads, allowing your fence to avoid damage and costly repairs in case of a lightning strike.

You’ve Got an Induction Issue

Induction occurs when electricity is transferred from an electrified wire to a non-electrified gate or other metal object that is not in direct contact with the wire. Wiring that connects to a fence or gate area needs to be properly run and grounded to prevent power loss or worse, inadvertent shocking. In most cases, the wire simply needs to be grounded where it reaches the non-electrified gate to prevent electricity transfer.

You’re Letting Snow or Vegetation Steal Your Power

There may be a time where you notice that your electric fence is diminished in power, but you don’t know why. You checked all the connections and used the proper wire but still have issues. One of the most common reasons for this is environmental – namely overgrowth of plant life or heavy snow. Snow, grass or vegetation that is touching your wire can sap the electricity flowing through and reduce the power reaching all areas of your fenced-in area. Keep your fence fully powered by trimming down grass along your fence and keeping snowbanks and drifts below the powered fence line.

A final reason for electrical fence failure is that you are not using high-quality products. At L & M Manufacturing, we provide the finest and most reliable insulators, energizers and other electric fence supplies in the industry that are sure to keep your fence charged and keeping your livestock right where they should be. To learn more about our range of products, check out our full cattle products brochure online or call us today at 800-676-3747 to learn more.