When installed properly, an electric fence can be very useful in keeping your home safe and your pets and animals within its boundary.
These fences aren’t always straightforward and this article aims to save you lots of money and also hours in maintenance. Outlined below are some of the common mistakes many people make when installing electric fences – be sure to avoid these.
- Lack of adequate grounding
Although you might know this already, poor grounding is one of the reasons for weak shocks. That said, you need to provide proper grounding of the electric fence to be effective. To do this, you’ll need at least three grounding galvanized rods – these should be attached with grounding clamps. This makes it possible for the electric current to complete circle through the ground.
- Using different metals
Stick to the metal you choose to use from start to finish. If using copper, don’t mix it up with steel wire. Doing this will only lead to electrolysis which will cause corrosion and even weaken the shock. Good quality systems such as those offered by hotline UK can help prevent a lot of these issues as they use quality materials and don’t take shortcuts.
- Inadequate animal training
All animals within the fence needs to know how painful it can be getting too close to the electric fence. Use a training fence on heavy wet soil to train these animals. The fence also needs to be highly visible to both animals and humans.
- Placing the fence posts too close
Most government agencies have a spacing specification of fifty-feet between fence posts. On flat ground, this is just too close for the fence to be effective and last for longer. Fifty feet is too close considering animals may run into the wire causing several of these posts to break off. Placing the posts farther apart, say 90 feet, makes the cable have some elasticity, hence be able to repel the animal’s weight without breaking off any posts.
- Lots of wire tie-offs
Placing wire braces every quarter mile may be too much for an electric fence. Putting wire tie-offs every 5000 feet may be adequate for the fence. In addition to this, the spacing allows increased elasticity for the same, hence less risk of the wires breaking off.
- Tying wires to every fencepost
The wires should float past a few fenceposts to help maintain the rubber band effect.
- Erecting new electric fences near old ones
This is entirely wrong for it only increases the risk of shorting should the wires come into contact. If the electrified wires short out, it then means the fence won’t be effective anymore, hence a higher risk of losing the animals.
- Contact with wet vegetation at the bottom
Wet vegetation, and especially grass will suck lots of electric current from any fence charger. To avoid this, have the lower wires connected to a separate switch, and an additional one for the uppermost wires. This way, you will be able to turn off the lower wires when the vegetation is too dense.
- Poor-quality insulators
Always go for the best quality insulators you can find. Good quality insulators should be capable of resisting UV degradation from direct sunlight. Black insulators are recommended for electric fences.
- Driving staples all the way in
While staples are meant to secure the plastic tubing, stapling it too tight only increases the chance of a hidden short. Avoid driving the staples all the way in to prevent shorts in the same.
- Improperly installed solar panels
The solar panels should be installed facing the direction of the sun. No assumptions should be made when installing the panels. Be sure it is done right for maximum exposure and optimal performance.
- Kinks in high-tension wires
Kinks in high-tensile wires will always create a weak point, causing the wire to break easily. To avoid this, cut off the damaged part or kinks, and splice it. A hand-tied knot will be more effective and a stronger splice.
- In-line strainers too close together
Installing inline strainers above each other increases the risk of them getting hooked up. To avoid this, install the strainers by a fencepost. This reduces contact hence no more intertwined wires or strainers.