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Algae on electric tape fencing. Effects efficacy? Bleach it? Life expectency?

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  • Algae on electric tape fencing. Effects efficacy? Bleach it? Life expectency?


    Does algae effect electric fence tape? Wondering if soaking in bleach water will remove it?

    Also, how long has your fencing remained viable before needing replaced? I am in a damp environment and the oldest fencing I have is about 10 yrs. A lot of it has a bit of algae on it. One field in particular has had problems holding a charge, and I am wondering if that is why.

    Not looking forward to taking down MILES of 3 strand tape and soaking in bleach, but it that would help, I'd rather do that than replace the tape entirely.

    A friend wondered about spraying on bathroom cleaner or something similar? There is that algae remover at Home Depot. I believe it is chlorine bleach based.

  • #2
    The cheap tapes are made of polypropylene and they degrade in the sun, as they degrade the wires begin to break and 10 years would be a long time. We had the cheap tape left over from my seller, who would have installed it in 2004, and by 2008 it was starting to get dull and fuzzy in appearance and not something I chose to reuse.
    I don't know about Horseguard, it costs more probably because they use UV stabilizers and maybe heavier wire. I use Electrobraid and right this minute I can't tell you the manufacturer's rated life expectancy on that either.

    The charge is carried by the wires imbedded in the tape and they are very thin. After 10 years they may have corroded to the point there is no continuity any more, and if you put bleach or other algaecide on the tape it may hasten the corrosion process. I don't thiink the algae affects the continuity in the wire itself, but it might mess up any connections.

    I'm off to google right now, DH and I have had a very lively conversation about this!

    ETA I couldn't find a rated life expectancy on the Horseguard site but a testimonial stated that the guy's fence was 10 years old, looked great and was still conducting a charge, he had thought he'd have to replace by now and was pleased. Electrobraid has a 25 year warranty for permanent fence that is not in effect for material used for temporary fences, rotational grazing etc.. Didn't see dirt or algae addressed in my quick search.
    Last edited by ReSomething; Feb. 11, 2011, 03:04 PM.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
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    • #3
      More likely mildew...unless your fence is an underwater fence. ;-)

      Bleach can kill the stuff, but it's hard to do unless you've got a pressure washer (and if you use one, be sure to tension the fence so it's snug first and then spray from inside the fence so you don't blow it off the insulators). If you don't get all of it blown out of the weave, it comes back pretty fast.

      Tape longevity depends on the brand, and the type/number of wire(s) used.
      "Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them."
      -Richard S. Bach