Gardening 101

What are the Most Common Electric Fencing Mistakes?

Electric fence

Electric fencing can be a great aid for keeping animals in or out of the garden space and these tips are here to prevent you from making the most common mistakes.

Poor earth grounding

Many people advise that adequate earth grounding is not always necessary. However, it is essential to install at least three ground rods—galvanized or copper—and attach them with high-quality ground clamps. The electric line should do a full circle and reach the charger through the ground. Inappropriate grounding can give you weak electric shocks.

Inadequate charger

Fence energizers are essential to provide a reliable electric fence. Visit for the best energizers. Pay strict attention to the fence energizer, or else animals may bite through the fence and enter the premises. The fence is just bait for the animal; it is the electric bite that keeps them away. You should always invest in a fence energizer that has adequate power. The rainy season is the time when plants grow faster, and these might touch the wires. This is the time when you will need the extra power to force the wet vegetation away from the fence. You can also use output transducers to measure the power output.  One thing you need to keep in mind is that the price of the energizer is not related to the power output. You may find power energizers at a reasonable price.

Inadequate animal training

Train your pets to understand that the electric fence can hurt them. Instead of forcing them to touch the fence, you can feed them under the fence so that they can touch it on their own. Depending on the animal, you can attach a piece of bait to the fence. The animal will not relate the pain directly to the food, but to the fence, and will learn to stay away from it.

Fence posts positioned in close proximity

The ideal distance between the posts should be approximately 15 yards. The wires shouldn’t sag too much because of the distance of the posts. Your fence should be like a rubber band. If the posts are too close, the insulators may break, and the posts may come out of the ground if anything runs into them. However, if they are spread apart, the wire will only bend a little, and not break off completely.

Too many wire tie-offs

Depending on the fence, you may need to install braces every quarter mile of the wire to tie it off correctly. Wires extending to as much as 5,000 feet are sufficient to add elasticity to the fence wire. This eliminates the risk of wire breakage.

Wires tied tight to each fencepost

You should always ensure that the wires float past every fencepost. Many people use tape locks in the insulators to restrict wind flaps, but this only reduces the elasticity of the wire.

Building new fences near old fences

Old fence wires often dangle here and there and sometimes touch the new wires. This can lead to a short circuit in the fence that can leave the animals scared to death.

Bottom wire in contact with wet vegetation

Wet grass, trees, or outdoor planters usually absorb a lot of energy from the fence charger. To combat this problem, you can attach the lower wires of the energizer separately to the live terminal, and install a different switch for these wires so that you can turn them off when the grass is taller.

Poor-quality insulators

Never overlook this step. Sunlight can deteriorate the plastic. So, always invest in a high-quality, long-lasting insulator. You may purchase the black ones that can resist degradation due to UV light. Poor-quality insulators crack because of the direct rays of the sun.

Solar panels facing away from the sun

This is easy to understand. Solar panels will function correctly if they are installed when the unit is facing the sun. Always read the instructions carefully. Don’t assume that you are installing the unit correctly.

Kinks in high-tensile wire

Small kinks in a stiff wire are always risky as they can break anytime. You shouldn’t hit the wire using a hammer because the wire can break easily. It is advised to cut the damaged section of the high tensile wire by splicing it. You can try a hand-tied reef to cut the damaged section as this makes the strongest splice.

Installing in-line strainers close together

Wires tend to flip due to the wind. Many people tend to install in-line strainers above each other, but this is not the right way to do it. You should separate them by a fence post so that they don’t catch on each other.

Wires too close to each other

There should always be a minimum distance of 5 inches between the wires.

Wire stretched too tight

Electric fences shouldn’t be too tightly strained. You can install inline strainers to maintain the sag between the fence posts.

No voltmeter

You should always use a voltmeter to check the temperature of the fence. Don’t touch it to feel the heat as it can hurt your hands.

Wire too small

A high-quality conductor in the wire will carry more electricity. So, don’t compromise on the conductor. You should buy a conductor with a low Ohm per meter value as their performances are better.

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