Electric Fences Review
By following a couple of basic steps, you can secure your garden with an electric fence.
We highly advise you to let two or three people work on the electric fence since this will shorten the overall time it needs. Building a fence requires a combination of high-quality materials, the use of appropriate building techniques, and some elbow grease. No two fence works are equal. The installation of an electric fence must be done by someone with a good knowledge of working with hand tools and fundamental knowledge of electricity.
How to install an electric fence at home?
- Get your homework ready.
In order to buy an electric fence, it is necessary to perform some additional studies. First, establish if you can use an electric fence on your property by studying the relevant regulations. Determine the location of the power cables and ensure that the electric fence is kept away from the electric cables.
After you figure out where to put the fence on your property, take note of the desired location of the fence. Be aware of possible geographic features, such as hills, heavily forested terrain, or tall scrub, that may need to be treated or avoided. Begin by carefully measuring the outline of the fence line and deciding on the number of fence wires to be used to create your fence.
Once you are done with a thorough drawing of your fence, you can begin buying the needed electric fence supplies and the charging device. Keep in mind that the ground poles should be mounted 3 to 10 feet away from each other and that you also should have connectors and wire insulators to finish your fence. Take time to evaluate the wire length of your fence so that you can be confident that you are buying a proper fence power supply.
Many horse fences are sold in packs, however, be cautious when buying a ready-made box, since in many situations you may need to buy more or less than is provided by default in the pack. This happens just due to the unique nature of each electrical fence unit. Each fence is completely individual.
- Fence charger installation.
The charger for the electric fence must be mounted in a safe, sheltered place, away from humidity and solar rays (excluding solar operated battery chargers). It must be easily accessed for a stand-alone ground spike system from a house or barn.
If the user is running an AC charger, the site location must be as near as possible to the power source and the electric fence. Even though the casing of the charger is generally weather-resistant, it is recommended that the charger should be mounted indoors or in a weather-resistant casing.
Make sure that porcelain tube insulators (or similar) are placed in the building walls or casings where the fence wires are routed through. Inspect the location where the charger is mounted regularly and maintain it within a dry and safe surrounding.
- Insert wooden posts, T-posts, and prep for gates.
You will need round wooden posts at the corners of your fenced areas, i.e. where your gates are to go, and also as support halfway through long stretches of your pasture.
Then you will want to use T-posts approximately every 10 to 20 feet from one corner post to another. This can vary depending on the area you are fencing.
If you have the T-posts in the ground, you can hang the gates. Once this is done, you can continue.
- Add support posts.
Now you are done with your round wooden posts and your T-posts. Next, you need to go back and insert support posts every few meters from the T-posts. This way you make sure that the wire cannot drag on the ground.
Once you have the support posts in the ground, you are ready to move on.
- Run the wire.
That’s a funny thing. It is unfortunately not so easy to run wire. However, it can be made a bit simpler with the use of specialized equipment.
As soon as you put the wire from one wooden pole to the other, you need to go back and attach the wire to the connectors on the T-posts and wooden stakes.
Then lay the wire in the proper slots in the supporting poles. Take care that each strand you put in place is attached to the same bar of connectors and supporting poles.
Lastly, you must perform this procedure for every strand between every post until the entire strand wire is in place. Once a strand is laid, you will need to use a pair of pliers to tighten the wire as much as you can.
Then unwrap it on the end of the wire. There are inline strainers available that you can use to stretch the wire and hold it tensioned.
As soon as the wire for every strand goes all the way around the fenced zone, you can continue.
- Tighten up.
We covered this in the previous section, however, it’s absolutely essential that the wire is tightened. Otherwise, it may not just seem messy, it may also be useless.
For instance, when you have a quick goat trying to hop over an electric fence, the probability of it hopping over a tight wire with electricity and not getting a hook is pretty low.
However, when you get loose wires, it is likely it would be able to hop over the electric fence and miss a hit. That’s not what you are looking for.
Therefore, ensure that you are doing absolutely everything you can to hold your wires tight.
- Inserting ground rods.
Next, you must insert grounding rods. This is how electricity will work. If you do not use enough grounding rods, you will notice it because your fence does not carry electricity.
So you should actually place two around the base of the post where the charger is.
Then you should place them about every ten meters along the fence line.
It is important to mention here that if the fence is interrupted (for example, a gate breaking the electric fence), the covered wire must be laid between the fences on the ground to maintain the current flow.
- Check the performance.
Connect all wires according to the instructions in the kit and allow the system to charge. Slide the two grounding rods into the ground and hook them to the solar panel. After the system is charged, use the voltmeter to make sure all areas of the fence are powered. Do not touch the fence with your hands until the power is turned off. Place warning signs around the garden.
What is needed to install an electric fence?
There are a few things you should be aware of before setting up your electric fence
Get all the needed components for the electric fence. They are shown in the following list:
- Electric Fence wire.
- Electric Control Box (pick the most appropriate box to suit your gardening needs).
- Steel holdings.
- Grounding pole.
- Plastic brackets (2 for each rod).
- 8 rounded plastic loops and 8 bits of wire approximately 24 inches in length (corner joints).
- Driving hammer/pile driver.
- Wire cutters.
- Gloves (as an option).
How to wire an electric fence?
To fasten the wire on the posts, use the clamps provided with the different fence wires. You should begin at the pole that is most distant from the charger, attach to that pole the number of wires you will use to power the fence.
- Do not just wind the wire around the fence poles, because the wire can get loosened a lot faster and lead to rust. Use the connection clamps provided by the supplier.
- The wires should be tightened at the anchor end. This can be done in a number of methods: you can mount a self-locking, ratchet-type wire tightener with a latch, you can use an entrained wire puller, or mount a wire tightener with a turnbuckle.
- You should pull the wire as hard as you can, but take extra caution not to exert excessive force on the wire to make it break, as this could result in severe personal injury.
Does an electric fence have to make a complete loop?
A frequently asked question is: “Must an electric fence form a complete loop?
The answer is no, an electric fence does NOT have to form a complete loop. However, completing the fence loop has advantages and disadvantages.
Making an endless loop increases the voltage on the fence line because the current is pushed in both directions. In essence, the voltage only has to travel half the distance in an endless loop.
Even though more voltage is better, creating an endless loop makes it difficult to find faults on a fence line. Because the voltage moves in two directions, a digital fault locator cannot distinguish between right and left to indicate where the current drop is.
In summary, you should only create a full loop when necessary, and when you are trying to increase the voltage on the fence line.
How to install an electric fence for cattle?
If you plan to keep cattle, you will need to build some kind of fence to keep them safe on their pasture. While most types of fencing are suitable for cattle, electric cattle fences are the easiest, fastest, and most economical way to fence in. An electric cattle fence is also very convenient as a portable temporary fence that can be used for rotational strip grazing to prevent overgrazing in certain areas. You can install an electric fence for livestock very quickly by following these 10 simple steps.
1. When installing an electric fence for livestock, proper planning is crucial. Consider the following points in the initial planning phase to determine the amount of material needed to build an electric fence to effectively contain your livestock:
- Determine where you will place your electric fence.
- How many cattle you need to contain.
- What type of cattle do you need to contain – dairy cows are easier to contain than beef cattle or bulls?
- How large is the area you want to fence in?
- Access to water.
- Will your electric cattle fencing be temporary or permanent?
2. Mark the boundaries for your fence with poles and string. Remove excess vegetation and debris from the fence boundary – if vegetation comes in contact with your electric fence, your electric cattle fence will short circuit and reduce its effectiveness.
3. If you are installing a permanent electric cattle fence, install the posts, starting with the corner posts and end posts. Use 8-inch diameter wooden posts for the corner posts, as they must be strong. The run string between the corner posts to create a straight line, then start installing the inline posts. Inline posts can be 3.5-inch diameter wooden posts or metal T-posts. Use a handheld rod drill (auger) or spade to dig holes for wooden posts. Metal posts can be installed with a post hammer or driven into the ground with a sledgehammer. For temporary portable fences, plastic entries can easily be installed if required.
4. Attach insulators to the posts at the desired height. The number of wire stands required will depend on the size and strength of the livestock inside the fence; whether there is a sturdy fence behind your electric livestock fence to catch your livestock in case of an outbreak; and whether it serves as a temporary fence for strip grazing. For this purpose, clamps are attached to the plastic entry posts.
5. Begin at the end post, run the conductor wire along the fence and fasten it to the intermediate insulators on the posts at every level, ensuring the wire is held tight. Continue this process for the necessary number of strands.
6. Fit the spring-loaded fence grips to enable ready accessibility to your pen.
7. Then join the strands of the conductor wire with high-tensile wire, connecting wire, or polytape/polyamide wire fastened with a metal clamp or band connector to make sure that power goes to every strand of the conducting wire.
8. Put warning signs spaced along your electric fence, particularly if it is accessible to the general public or bordering a public road or footpath.
9. Install the grounding rods – three grounding rods are recommended for dry floors, but wet floors may require only one or two-wire each rod to the next and connect the last one to the charger’s ground terminal.
10. Finally, connect the live terminal of the charger to the conductor wire of your electric fence. Turn on the charger and test your electric fence with a fence tester.
How to install an electric fence for horses?
Horses are flying animals and are visually focused. That is why a highly recognizable fence is favored for horses. It is essential to select a fence that matches the behavior of the animal.
When your horse is confined, it tends to run away at a gallop. A strong electric fence fails if your horse runs to it at full speed. For instance, if the horse were to run away within a barbed wire fence, it might be severely hurt. Suitable fencing for horses is thus absolutely necessary.
Construction of a fence for horses
It is important that the height of the fence is taken into account during installation. Horses are by nature big jumping horses and can easily jump over a low fence. The distance between the wires is equally important to prevent the horse from jumping through the fence. The distance between the posts must also be considered. If the distance between the posts is too large, the wires sag too much and the fence becomes less secure. With a portable fence, the posts go deeper into the ground, so they must be placed closer together to be stable enough.
Electric Fence Safety
Are electric fences safe for people? Of course, they are!
Along with the recent increase in the use of electric fencing both for animal protection and security purposes, there are a lot of stories and urban tales regarding this new technology that are causing many people to question: Is electric fencing secure for human beings? Although electricity can be fatal at relatively high levels, many electric fences do not generate sufficient electricity to injure people or animals, and indeed, electricity is much more secure than is often thought.
But we would like to know if you use an electric fence. If so, what is your experience when installing your fence? If you don’t use an electric fence, what type of fence do you use? What experience have you had with it?
We would like to hear from you. So please leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.