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View Full Version : Fence charger behaving badly.....



foggybok
Jul. 20, 2012, 10:32 PM
This fence charger is driving me nuts…. Any ideas of what is going on? Actually not the charger probably, but the system....

Charger is

Parmak Super Energizer 4 (SE-4) Low Impedance Electric Fence Charger, UL Listed, 2 Joules
Well-suited to shocking bears, the SE-4 (product 01-11A) can power a long expanse of electric fence and can cope with a variety of adverse weather and electric fence conditions. Voltage and joule data: Parmak reports that the SE-4 puts out 11,000 volts on an open circuit, 6,300 volts with a 500-ohm weed burden, and 4,300 volts (plenty to shock bears) with a significant 100-ohm weed burden. The SE-4 is rated at about 2 joules.
Purchased to keep out bear like creatures (read my obnoxious Fjord gelding that thinks the grass is greener….) and predators from the sheep pasture. Is used to power single or double perimeter wire around 13 cares and cross fencing (some of which is electric netting). Is installed in the laundry room and wired through the wall to go outside. Three ground poles sunk deep and connect by wire, which enters back through exterior wall to unit.


Worked great for a while, then we started having issues this last year. First problem was perimeter fence tape was getting old causing shorts along the way and loss of power… solved that with replacing wire with new aluminum wire. Still not getting full charge to fence, reading on box only about 6-7 kv when it used to be 12 kv. One day I noticed a clicking noise coming from the ground where the wire runs from the house to the back fence. This is an insulated wire meant for underground electric fence. My husband had been doing some digging in the area so thought he might have nicked the wire, so dug it up sealed and replaced.

After that fence was hotter than ever, even exceeding specs (read 16K at the box and pegged the voltmeter anywhere along fence line even with grass). Then same thing happened again, so we dug it up, resealed and this time left it in a hole without dirt, but covered hole to protect it. This seemed to work fine again… now, over time, reading on the unit goes down, but is still acceptable. I attribute this to increased weed growth with summer and when I mow and move the mesh it improves as expected (bit not to previous level). Again, starts going slowly down, but not too concerned yet…

Fast forward to this week, I’m working on the hoses and get shocked when I touch some unattached netting and the faucet…. Netting is touching ground pole, so hubby things current must be coming from the house (which has aluminum siding). So we think some kind of short from wire exiting the house…. So I tell him to do what he should have done in the first place and run the wire out of the house through conduit. So he does this and everything seems OK again, but reading only goes up to 9 kv. I figure it’s raining and weedy, so this is OK. Getting good power out to the peripheral fences at this time…

So then today (2 days later, I’m out there and fence seems to be working, but as I’m walking the dogs over the buried (in conduit) line, they freak. They are getting shocked from the wire….. I check in the house and the charger is now reading 2….. huge short again and it is through the ground over the wire…. Can’t figure out for the life of me how this is happening with the wire running in the conduit…. With nothing in there but air…..
So all you electric fence whizzes, what are we doing wrong?

Underthebridge
Jul. 21, 2012, 01:42 AM
water in the conduit.?

foggybok
Jul. 21, 2012, 02:49 PM
water in the conduit.?

Thanks, not possible......he did it right, ends facing down so no water can enter......

but thanks for the suggestion!

Underthebridge
Jul. 21, 2012, 03:19 PM
Did you disconnect fence, what read do you get then, I don't even have the correct ground and it works fine, maybe try a different type of groundwire. Maybe your ground rods are touching some type of pipes in the ground?

Ants in the conduit?

clanter
Jul. 21, 2012, 04:03 PM
Is installed in the laundry room and wired through the wall to go outside.

So all you electric fence whizzes, what are we doing wrong?

The electrical wiring from the house to the fence line is the issue. Standard electrical wiring is only rated to 600VAC .... the charger's output exceeds the conductor's insulation ability .. basically the electricity is leaking through the pores of the insulation

Move the charger to the fence line and run the charger's power in the conduct

foggybok
Jul. 21, 2012, 05:28 PM
The electrical wiring from the house to the fence line is the issue. Standard electrical wiring is only rated to 600VAC .... the charger's output exceeds the conductor's insulation ability .. basically the electricity is leaking through the pores of the insulation

Move the charger to the fence line and run the charger's power in the conduct

It's not standard electrical wiring, it IS wiring for this purpose. Insulated for high voltage.

Can't put the charger on the fence line, it has to be inside....

that said, I have wondered if the insulation is faulty... and am going to replace it with fresh wire just in case......

and the conduit itself should supply protection even if the wire is bad.....

foggybok
Jul. 21, 2012, 05:33 PM
Did you disconnect fence, what read do you get then, I don't even have the correct ground and it works fine, maybe try a different type of groundwire. Maybe your ground rods are touching some type of pipes in the ground?

Ants in the conduit?

I am going to try that today as I play with a couple of different things.....

ants or other not likely, it was just installed....

no pipes over there that I know of...and no reason for any......

I am going to move the ground to a different spot and see what happens......