View Full Version : Electric fence questions!~

JackSprats Mom
Aug. 6, 2011, 03:39 PM
Oko so I know nothing about electricity, just letting you know.

I've had issues with my charger and losing charging down the line on my fence.

Today I went out an bought a digital volt meter so I could really see what the issue is, couple of thing came to light.

Firstly, the charge out of the 'hot' side of the charger is 0.3 volts and out of the grounded side 0.9 volts...so is my ground wire hot? should it be? Is 0.3 volts normal?

I have a power wizard and have the 150 hooked up right now but have a 1000 for when I manage to get the full 11 acres hooked up. (the 150 is powering about 1/2 acrea atm).

Aug. 6, 2011, 05:03 PM
since you have a volt/ohm meter... read the ohms of the wire... should be between 100 to 500 ohms depending upon the conductor

Usually the issue is poor grounding or earth that is too dry or of poor conductivity (sandy soil)

JackSprats Mom
Aug. 6, 2011, 05:25 PM
It doesn't read ohms just volts....

Almost Heaven
Aug. 6, 2011, 07:06 PM
Something's all screwy here, 0.9 or 0.3 volts won't give anything. Check your ground - the pulses should be in the 6000 range, whatever the units are.

Ohms will just tell you the circuit resistance, practically useless.

Sounds like you're just putting battery voltage on the line. That won't shock or hold anything.

Aug. 6, 2011, 07:15 PM
Ours gives out at least 13 volts right now and we don't have it set up entirely properly (no time!).

I don't have a volt tester yet so I can't tell you what it is along the line, but I heard "It really really hurts" :lol:

Melissa.Van Doren
Aug. 6, 2011, 07:54 PM
I always buy an overkill charger... current one is rated for 50 miles of fence (and powering approximately 5 miles).

The most common cause of poor shock value if your charger is up to the task is not enough ground rods. Unless yours are planted in an area that stays really damp, you should have three, 10' apart.

And I'm assuming you're using a "low impedence" charger? If not, practically anything that touches it will wreck the shock value. Low impedence chargers actually work harder when weeds, branches, etc. impact your fencing.

JackSprats Mom
Aug. 6, 2011, 09:51 PM
the charger is low impedence and is overkill for the amount I'm using it for....have 5 grounds rod's about 5' into the ground...

Can test the circuit in some way? Maybe disconnect the wires and just test the voltage coming out? Does it have to be grounded if I try this?

Grrrrrr not sure why this isn't working, it should be sooo simple!

JackSprats Mom
Aug. 6, 2011, 10:06 PM
kk correction!!!

Sorry told you I knew wnothing about electricity...

Getting a reading of 0.3 KV not volts so 300 volts which is still sounding way low??

Plus can someone answer if my ground should be reading higher then my hot, or if it should be reading at all??

Aug. 7, 2011, 02:30 AM
300 V is low - mine usually runs at around 5000 V - and that's often with a short in the fence.
As your earth is measuring more than your live wire, I wonder if you have a short? My earth doesn't register on my tester. Haven't touched to see if its live that way:eek:.
Get a few buckets of water or hose and wet the ground around your earths really thoroughly - unless its in a naturally damp area.
Turn the mains power off and make sure all the connections are tight.
Turn the fence back on and go for a walk along the length of itto see if you can hear any shorts. You can also do this at night looking for sparks, or take an old transistor radio turned to AM and no station. It will click if you have a short.
Trail back to the main switch.
Turn power off.
Down the farm again.
Fix short.
Back to the switch. Turn on.
Check voltage somewhere close by.
Repeat process until your voltage is above 3 kV.

Its much easier with a friend at the switch and either two way radios or yelling at each other.:yes:

Hope the weather is fine.

JackSprats Mom
Aug. 9, 2011, 04:33 PM

Also going to move my grounds rods as I wonder if there is an issue with them...

Hopefully I can get this sorted this summer as I want to subdivide my fields.

Aug. 9, 2011, 09:41 PM
My voltmeter does not go to two digits above zero, so if it's reading 10,500 volts it only displays "0.5".

Make sure your voltmeter reads whole numbers > 9. :)

Aug. 9, 2011, 11:55 PM
The electrician installed a grounding plate instead of grounding rods, apparently that prevents you from having to ground it several times/gives a better ground. Then again I don't think most people carry them around in the back of their trucks like him :lol:.

Aug. 10, 2011, 08:15 PM
I am not sure what is going on with your fence. I have a 10 mile charger (not solar) and I have maybe 3500 ft of wire hooked up to it. I have 1 ground rod by the charger (rebar put 6 ft into the ground). I forget how many volts (or whatever) it is supposed to put out but when I test it with my digital tester it test 1.2 or 3 all along the lines. .3 seems pretty weak. Do you have the wires hooked up good at the box? Are you using the wire or the tape? I used to use the tape but have better success with the wire and it is not unsightly or unsafe for the horses. Sometimes if it is really dry, soaking the ground around the grounding rod helps.