The primary cause for failures in electric fence energizers can be traced to improper or ineffective grounding. Muddy conditions, wind-swept leaves, spring weeds and snowfall can also impair connections and cause failures with disastrous consequences.
According to James Falbo, Vice President of AgraTronix – the legendary creators of Power Wizard brand electric fence energizers –– “a top-notch electric fence grounding system in optimal conditions is an essential part of maintaining a potent current that will keep your cattle contained and predators out”.
Falbo goes on to provide the following six essential tips for keeping your electric chargers properly grounded and in optimal function this spring.
Do a routine check of the conditions of your grounding and electric fence voltage during the driest and wettest points of the year. This will ensure that your electric fence is always operational no matter the conditions of the ground.
After the electric fence posts have been properly shorted out, check the voltage levels of your fence energizer with a standard electric fence voltmeter.
Only use 10- to 14-ga. insulated lead-out wire with a 20,000V rating. Using lower grade wiring for domestic or commercial use are not suitable for systems higher than 400V and will cause problems.
Be sure to use an adequate grounding rod, pipes and rebar are good options. But, they must be made of galvanized steel and run 4 ft. deep. Avoid copper rods they will reduce the efficacy of the connection.
If the power seems inadequate, you may need to add an additional grounding rod or two to your system. Most electric fence systems require as many as 3 grounding rods standing 10 ft. apart at the starting point.
Keep your grounding rods clear of any utility poles or other electric currents as they can cause disturbances. If they are too close to phone lines you may suffer interference.