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View Full Version : Horrible Luck with Solar Fencers



aspenlucas
May. 11, 2011, 02:12 PM
Any tips, info? I've purchased the Solar Fencers from Tractor Supply (the 100.00 model, can't remember the name off hand, maybe Zareba), anyway. I have twice had to take them back. I have a third one and guess what...doesn't work. This is in about 4 years of using them, I've gone through 3.

I have a section I need to fence off at one of the barns I rent. The man wants me to use a solar fencer as he said electricity is too expensive. (is it really that bad for a fencer?). Every time I've used a solar the fence doesn't zap or hold charge. I'm grounded, can plug the same fence into the wall and it's hot, but the solar fencer on and horses are out.

I have to have this section fenced off by Monday and I'm terrified the horses are going to get out. :(

Phaxxton
May. 11, 2011, 02:16 PM
You mean fence chargers right?

Are you sure you are grounding properly? Are you sure you are buying an appropriately sized charger?

As for grounding, one ground rod won't do it. I believe you need more like 3 for most fences, and they need to be burried deep enough and in the right place.

As for size, I was always told to follow a 10% rule when buying chargers. If it says it will make 10 miles of fence hot, it will actually only make 1 mile of fence hot enough for horses to respect. So you may need to way size up on the solar charger.

hundredacres
May. 11, 2011, 02:20 PM
WHat type of wire are you using. In our experience the solar didn't work well with braided wire, but better with high tensil (so we don't use them).

SmartAlex
May. 11, 2011, 02:23 PM
I had the same luck with the solar Zarebas and all I wanted was to keep the deer out of my flowers. I ended up running an electric line and buying a plug in one.

aspenlucas
May. 11, 2011, 02:33 PM
WHat type of wire are you using. In our experience the solar didn't work well with braided wire, but better with high tensil (so we don't use them).

It is premier rope, so you may be right, that may be the issue! It's grounded well. The plug in one works just fine, put the solar in hardly a zap and it's clicking and showing it's working.

Phaxxton
May. 11, 2011, 03:45 PM
It is premier rope, so you may be right, that may be the issue! It's grounded well. The plug in one works just fine, put the solar in hardly a zap and it's clicking and showing it's working.


I agree solar chargers work better on high tensile wire than rope fencing. It CAN work for the rope, depending on the size of the fenced-in area. You just have to WAY size up the charger. We have a 5+ acre field fenced with 4 strands of Electrobraid. Top and bottom wire are hot, second from the top is the ground wire. 3 ground rods. We get it hot enough that the horses respect it - readings between 7,000 and 9,000 when we test it.

ETA - We have a Southern States brand charger.

grcrider
May. 11, 2011, 04:08 PM
Have you tried a battery powered charger? I use one for a portable corral when camping and it works great with my electric rope. It takes 2 D batteries and they last about all summer.

Somermist
May. 11, 2011, 04:17 PM
We have had very bad luck with Zareba chargers. We have changed to Gallagers and love them. Excellent charge and works well with various types of wire, braided rope and tape. They will cost you more to begin with, but we have found them well worth it. They are so much more durable and last a long time.

JB
May. 11, 2011, 04:44 PM
Parmak might be a good idea

camohn
May. 11, 2011, 05:05 PM
I have not had good luck with the TSC/Zebra chargers....either solar or non solar. Neither worked well.

GoForAGallop
May. 11, 2011, 05:08 PM
We have had very bad luck with Zareba chargers. We have changed to Gallagers and love them. Excellent charge and works well with various types of wire, braided rope and tape. They will cost you more to begin with, but we have found them well worth it. They are so much more durable and last a long time.


I have not had good luck with the TSC/Zebra chargers....either solar or non solar. Neither worked well.


I had the same luck with the solar Zarebas and all I wanted was to keep the deer out of my flowers. I ended up running an electric line and buying a plug in one.

Zareba's are just POS chargers. Find a different brand and you should have no issues! My friend uses a Gallager, and I have some ancient one the brand has worn off of, it was like $150 five years ago.

Almost Heaven
May. 11, 2011, 05:16 PM
I've got about $800 worth of TSC/Zareba's. They're worthless.

We changed to Parmak 12v (DON'T get the 6v unless you're using wire) with excellent success. We now own 5 of them, in use every day reliably over the past 2 years.

I've had excellent service from Southern States plugin, but never used their solar.

Once you get a good one, be sure the basics are correct, especially GROUNDING and CONNECTION to the charger. Get a digital meter and survey the entire perimeter regularly.

hundredacres
May. 11, 2011, 05:44 PM
We have a Zereba TSC electric charger (20 mile) and it's worked well for 9 years (zapped by lightening once but sent it to some really nice guy in TN and he fixed it for CHEAP). Anyway, the TSC solar charger never worked well for us with the braided and I won't use high tinsel so we sold it on ebay :).

Lori T
May. 11, 2011, 08:30 PM
We are dealing with same issues with our TS solar charger. I think we need to add more grounds...how far apart do you put them? I have one in the ground about 4 feet away. Where should I place the others?

dbts
May. 11, 2011, 09:09 PM
Parmak solar charger has done very well by me. I use it on stainless steel wire. My trainer is on year seven problem free with hers on 35 acres.

JB
May. 11, 2011, 09:11 PM
We changed to Parmak 12v (DON'T get the 6v unless you're using wire)

I have a 6V and Horseguard Tape and it's awesome. The only thing that takes it out has been lightning, but that's because I'm too stupid to put up a lightning diverter :lol:

But, HG tape is loads better than most tapes, so that might have something to do with it?

Zwarte
May. 12, 2011, 08:37 PM
The "bipolar" fencing from Horseguard claims to not need grounding.

Mali
May. 12, 2011, 08:47 PM
I've had a Parmak solar charger for 6 years now. The only maintanence I've done, is take a wire brush to the wing nuts at the connection points. It works great, and I would highly recommend spending the extra $$$ for one!

Bogie
May. 12, 2011, 09:00 PM
You can buy battery powered charges that work with rechargeable boat batteries. We tried that for awhile and it worked okay but then we went for a plug in charger.

I don't think the electric is much. I'd try to persuade the barn owner to let you run it from the barn. I agree to scale up. I have one that's supposed to charge 30 miles of fencing for our limited paddocks (about 3 acres divided up) and it's sufficient but doesn't make your hair smoke if you touch it.


Have you tried a battery powered charger? I use one for a portable corral when camping and it works great with my electric rope. It takes 2 D batteries and they last about all summer.

Daventry
May. 12, 2011, 09:04 PM
Another vote for the Parmak solar chargers. We've been using them for about 7 years - the 35 mile ones and use braided rope, one on each side of the property. No problems!

Leprechaun
May. 13, 2011, 09:35 AM
We tried solar years ago and had nothing but trouble. Maybe technology has progressed but we found it a pain. Good Luck.

Phaxxton
May. 13, 2011, 09:45 AM
We are dealing with same issues with our TS solar charger. I think we need to add more grounds...how far apart do you put them? I have one in the ground about 4 feet away. Where should I place the others?


Hmm. Why only 4' away? I would guess your grounding is insufficient.

We have 3 six-foot ground rodes spaced 10' apart from each other in a triangle formation. The first one is a little more than 25' from the charger. This is in accordance with Electrobraid's recommendations. Our fence stays hot with our solar charger.

Soil is another consideration for grounding. You want the ground rods in an area that stays moist most of the year. Very dry/sandy/rocky soil can pose problems. Make sure your ground rods are also at least 50' from underground pipe, cable, or other ground system.

BasqueMom
May. 15, 2011, 01:41 AM
Usually, when we get a customer with charger problems, it turns out to be a Zebara charger. Gallaghers are good, Speedrite, Patriot are also good.

The higher the joule rating the better. Yes, buy for more footage, mileage than
you need. Hadn't heard the 10% rule but sounds right. Reps have told us that the charge 10 miles down will not be much, so........

Solar panels are getting more expensive all the time, so be prepared. You might be better off to do a plug in and pay the barn owner an extra few bucks a month for the electricity. Some chargers are adapt to all three ways, solar,
battery or plug in. Actually, the solar part just keeps the battery recharged.
The bigger ones also require a battery--a marine, deep or wet cell type, so that
needs to be figured into your cost. Walmart carries them. Few suppliers ship
them individually as they are considered hazardous material.