Installing an electric fence on your property is good for security and peace of mind. However, you don't want to neglect it once it's been installed. While these fences do well to sustain themselves most of the time, they aren't free of potential issues. Understanding some of the most common problems will help you to spot trouble before it becomes serious or disables the charge to your fence. Here are some things to monitor on a regular basis.
Is The Grounding System Secure?
In order for your electric fence to maintain the charge that it's supposed to, the circuit needs to be complete. That means you need a complete grounding system. In most cases, the grounding bed is created with several galvanized grounding rods. The rods are buried several feet below the ground and spaced about 10 feet apart. You'll want to choose an area with moist soil for the best benefit. This builds a grounding bed that will support the energizer.
The grounding rods need to be connected via ground rod clamps. Opt for consistency among the rods and clamps in terms of metal type. One of the best options is to choose stainless steel wire and use brass clamps with galvanized rods. Check the voltage at the ground rods periodically. If there's any voltage reading, that means your ground bed isn't enough. You may need to add more rods or upgrade your clamps. The soil conditions can also affect this, as soil that's too dry won't conduct as well.
Is The Energizer Sufficient?
If the energizer powering your fence isn't sufficient, it's not going to produce enough of a charge to actually maintain the fence. The point to an electric fence is to maintain a steady electrical current that will discourage trouble, so you need to be sure that your energizer is sufficient.
Work with your electrician to consider the length of the fence you're charging, how much vegetation there will be in the way, and what kind of material the fence is made from. He or she will help you determine how big an energizer you need to maintain the system.
Are You Being Shocked By The Gate?
The design of an electric fence should isolate the charge on either side of the gate so that you are safe to open and close the gate as needed without any shock. However, electric fences sometimes experience what's known as induction. It's the transfer of electricity from the charged wire to a non-electrified wire or metal component without actually coming in contact with it. You can eliminate this problem by grounding the gate with a grounding wire and clamp.
This can happen with grounding beds, too, so avoid putting the grounding bed too close to a water source. Otherwise, you risk the water source conducting the charge from the grounding bed. Unfortunately, this can also lead to electricity carrying along your water pipes and into your home. If you have any concerns about the potential for induction with your fence, talk with your electrician about the ways to prevent it.
Has There Been A Recent Lightning Storm?
Lightning storms are worrisome enough on their own, but when you have an electric fence, they can pose an additional risk. If your energizer is struck by lightning, it can actually disable the charge to the fence. After any lightning storms, make sure that you test your fence to ensure that it is still charged.
In addition, you can minimize the risk of your energizer being struck with a few simple steps. Ask your electrician about the benefits of adding some surge protectors and lightning diverters on your fence to help prevent the problem. You'll have to set up a separate ground bed for the diverter, but it will help to keep your fence safe. For more information, contact companies like Narducci Electric.