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Electric Fence not working

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  • Electric Fence not working

    So I put up HorseGuard fencing and when I turned on the charger and tested the fence with my tester, I found out that it's not "shocking".

    - Fence controller is working properly

    - When I touch with one end of the tester the HorseGuard Tape and the other end the ground on the fence charger it self, the tester is showing 7,000Volts

    - When I touch with one end of the tester the HorseGuard Tape and the other end the dirt )which is really just snow and ice) I get nothing

    - When I touch with one end of the tester the HorseGuard Tape and the other end the actual grounding rod (I have 2), I'm showing 7,000 Volts

    So I think we have a grounding problem and I'm trying to figure out how to make it work. Now, in this area we have had a pretty hard winter and we currently have several inches of snow and ice on the ground.

    We are supposed to have a big warm up that will last several day's with temps in the high 40's and lower 50's. I'm sure that will solve my problem. But how do I make sure that the fence also works when we have several inches of ice on the ground?

  • #2
    Snow, ice, and frozen ground are very poor conductors of electricity!

    Download this manual and read the installation instructions, particularly pertaining to grounding and putting in fencing in areas with poor soil conductivity. Installing multiple ground rods along the fence line will probably be your best solution.
    The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
    Winston Churchill

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Yes, that's what I figured. Do you know of a solution? Would the use of additional grounding rods make a difference or is the actual problem the fact that your standing on top of ice and snow and thus don't make contact with the actual dirt?

      Comment


      • #4
        We have 3 long ground rods, connected with a ground wire, about 10 feet apart for every fencer we have. I think the ground rods we use are 8 feet long, we have to stand on the tailgate of the pickup to get "tall enough" to drive them in with a steel post driver. This set up works well.
        Patty
        www.rivervalefarm.com
        Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by HookedOnReefing View Post
          Yes, that's what I figured. Do you know of a solution? Would the use of additional grounding rods make a difference or is the actual problem the fact that your standing on top of ice and snow and thus don't make contact with the actual dirt?
          If, as you say, you are getting 7,000 volts when you touch one end of the tester to the tape and one end to the ground rod, then the problem is that you are standing on ice/snow. As noted above, frozen soil is a poor conductor of electricity. You may still be getting enough shock in the fence to get an animal's attention.

          The Spring thaw will solve your problem!
          "It’s a well-documented fact that of all the animals in the realm of agriculture, Bulls have the highest job satisfaction rate."~~Ree Drummond, AKA the Pioneer Woman

          Comment


          • #6
            I assume you are not using their bi-polar tape that doesn't require grounding.

            What you can do is take several buckets of water to where your grounding rods are. Slowly pour the water into the ground where the rods are buried. It might take a couple of buckets. Once it's soft enough, try testing again.

            You can also add some type of chemical to enhance the "reception"... I don't recall what that is.

            Typically, once the horses know it's hot... they avoid it.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have the same problem in FL, only it is due to sandy soil and the dry season. What I am doing is putting in a ground-return fence. You run a ground wire a couple inches above or below the hot wire. The idea is that the horse will touch both wires, thus getting the shock. You have to connect the ground wire to the ground on the fence (obviously).

              I haven't hooked everything up yet, so not idea how it actually works. I will say that my wire mesh fence is toughing the grounding rod, and when you touch the hot wire and the mesh, it will knock you back. So this should work the same.

              Also check to see that your hotwire isn't grounding out somewhere. Check for any damaged insulators, tape touching trees or plants, etc.

              Comment


              • #8
                Make sure the clamp on ground rod is making good contact. Around here, the mixed metal connection can often cause scale. Mineral buildup with galvanized and copper at that touch point, so there is no contact, grounding is not happening, fence is not working.

                You can use sandpaper to remove scale, get a new clamp, so the ground rod works again. If soil is really dry, you need to keep the ground rods watered, especially in summer.

                Is ground rod one-piece metal, 8ft in the ground? My utility company used two 4ft rods with a coupler for grounding. Testing showed the coupler would get the scale going, so there was no grounding in a lightning strike. They had to go back and replace all those short rods. They also are the ones I learned about the clamp failure from.

                If you still can't solve the problem, call an electrician out to check your install. Trained eyes spot problems in short order, fix and give you relief from worry about fence.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think you've got power in the fence, since you're getting 7K when you touch the fence and the ground rod. Snow and ice don't make for a good ground for testing purposes, and also won't give much of a shock to the horses. They'll get some shock, but not a full whammy, so to speak. If the horses are challenging the fence, you may need to run a neutral wire just below the hot wire; when the horse touches both, it'll get a good shock despite frozen footing.
                  My Equestrian Art Photography page

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Copper Sulfate is the chemical to put around the ground rods.

                    Use a post hole digger to dig a hole about a foot deep around the ground rod, then dump in a few handfulls of the CuSO4, water well, and backfill.

                    It's available at farm supply stores and vet's offices and is used to treat hooves of farm animals. It's in those green thrush treatments (like Coppertox).
                    The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                    Winston Churchill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HookedOnReefing View Post
                      So I put up HorseGuard fencing and
                      When I touch with one end of the tester the HorseGuard Tape and the other end the actual grounding rod (I have 2), I'm showing 7,000 Volts
                      Doesn't this tell us that the ground rods, charger and fence tape are all working fine?

                      - When I touch with one end of the tester the HorseGuard Tape and the other end the dirt )which is really just snow and ice) I get nothing
                      Therefore, this must tell us that the only problem is the frozen ground, snow and ice, correct? If that's the case there's nothing to be done other than wait for a thaw. In the meantime he can hope that the fence delivers enough of a shock to control horses.

                      Or if I'm wrong, please explain.
                      "It’s a well-documented fact that of all the animals in the realm of agriculture, Bulls have the highest job satisfaction rate."~~Ree Drummond, AKA the Pioneer Woman

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HookedOnReefing View Post
                        So I put up HorseGuard fencing and when I turned on the charger and tested the fence with my tester, I found out that it's not "shocking".

                        - Fence controller is working properly

                        - When I touch with one end of the tester the HorseGuard Tape and the other end the ground on the fence charger it self, the tester is showing 7,000Volts

                        - When I touch with one end of the tester the HorseGuard Tape and the other end the dirt )which is really just snow and ice) I get nothing

                        - When I touch with one end of the tester the HorseGuard Tape and the other end the actual grounding rod (I have 2), I'm showing 7,000 Volts

                        So I think we have a grounding problem and I'm trying to figure out how to make it work. Now, in this area we have had a pretty hard winter and we currently have several inches of snow and ice on the ground.

                        We are supposed to have a big warm up that will last several day's with temps in the high 40's and lower 50's. I'm sure that will solve my problem. But how do I make sure that the fence also works when we have several inches of ice on the ground?
                        turn it off then dump a bucket of water dwon wheere the earth is ie the ground rod that goes into the ground
                        then turn it on

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We just had to test our fence the other day. DH took a small crow bar and hammered it through the snow and frozen ground so I could test the fence out back. Works great. Or you could just grab onto the fence yourself to get a good feel of how much of a shock you are getting in the fence. Or better yet, find that obnoxious neighbor kid down the road to dare him to touch the fence for ya.
                          R.I.P Vanny 26 yr QH Stallion 4/11/82 - 5/8/08, Scout 28 yr Paint Cross Gelding, Glistening 11 yr Arab/Saddlebred Mare

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Didn't have little obnoxious kids or neighbours available so I worked up the courage and touched it my self And it didn't work. Just some very "soft" pulses could be felt but not enough to deter anything or anyone.

                            Now that most snow and ice has melted off in the last couple of day's, it's once again working like a champ!

                            Snow and ice are great insulators that prevent shocking and that would mean most peoples electric fence barriers won't work during heavy snow/oce ground cover. Does yours?

                            Still need to find a solution to make it work during heavy snow and ice.

                            I now use only 2 groundrods each 5' long but will add 2 more that are 8' long. If that doesn't work when/if we have a heavy snow/ice cover, I will use a galvanized wire around the whole fence burried in the ground just a couple of inches and use that as a ground wire connected directly to the ground side on the fence controller.

                            Hopefully that works

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              To repeat, I don't think that you have a problem with your ground rods. The problem happens when there is snow on the ground, making it difficult for you or the horses to make a good circuit from the hot wire through the snow to the ground. There is really no remedy for this other than to run a neutral wire just below the hot wire. The neutral then acts as a path to ground, unimpeded by ice and snow, when both the hot and the neutral are contacted by the horse (or by you).
                              My Equestrian Art Photography page

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                draftdriver is correct. There is NO problem with your fence setup or the ground rods. Adding more ground rods or burying a wire won't change a thing.

                                The problem is the ice/snow between the horses feet/your feet and the unfrozen soil. A neutral wire, as he described, will make a difference. Adding ground rods won't.
                                "It’s a well-documented fact that of all the animals in the realm of agriculture, Bulls have the highest job satisfaction rate."~~Ree Drummond, AKA the Pioneer Woman

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by MikeP View Post
                                  A neutral wire, as he described, will make a difference. Adding ground rods won't.
                                  Draftdriver is a she. Grin.
                                  My Equestrian Art Photography page

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by draftdriver View Post
                                    Draftdriver is a she. Grin.
                                    Well then, you drive on, Girl!
                                    "It’s a well-documented fact that of all the animals in the realm of agriculture, Bulls have the highest job satisfaction rate."~~Ree Drummond, AKA the Pioneer Woman

                                    Comment

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