The number-one reason electric fence energizers fail is due to ineffective or improper grounding of the unit, and wet ground conditions, heavy snowfall and spring weeds can all have an impact on the ground connection. A properly working electric fence grounding system is critical for the electric current to effectively keep cattle contained and predators out, says James Falbo, VP of engineering at AgraTronix, makers of Power Wizard brand electric fence energizers.
Falbo offers these six, electric fence grounding tips to consider this spring to ensure your electric fence chargers are grounded and working properly:
Check your ground system and the voltage of your electric fence during the wettest and driest seasons of the year to ensure adequate electric fence grounding of your system regardless of the conditions of your land.
After properly shorting out the electric fence, use an electric fence voltmeter to check the voltage levels of your fence energizer.
Make sure you use 10- to 14-ga. insulated lead-out wire rated at 20,000V. Using household or industrial cables made for only 400V are not enough to support the system.
Make sure the correct type of rod is used for the grounding, for example pipe or rebar. It needs to be galvanized steel at least 4 ft. long. Do not use copper ground rods as these will lower the effectiveness of the connection.
If the power is not sufficient, you may need to add another grounding rod to your electric fence grounding system. Most fences will require two or three grounding rods positioned about 10 ft. apart, near the starting point of the fence.
- Make sure that your ground rods are far enough away from your utilities, in particular your telephone lines. If the rods are too close to the utility grounds they will cause interference in your phone or electrical lines.
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