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Shocking gates

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  • Shocking gates

    I have metal tube gates hung off of wood posts in concrete. There are three strands of well insulated electric rope and three strand of coated high tensile non-insulated wire running around the paddocks.

    There are two ground rods 8 feet apart located near the fencer (quite a ways from the gates).

    When the ground is wet the gates give off enough current to be a bit shocking.

    How can I fix this? Another ground rod at the fencer? Something else?

  • #2
    I am curious too as I have heard of this happening.

    A question though- do you have 6 strands of electified rope/wire as your fence?


    • #3
      Are your ends on insulators directly screwed/nailed onto the gate posts? I'm wondering if the electric is jumping to the metal in the screws and thus conducting down the post to the gate hinges? If this is the case you can either have the offest insulators to keep the charge well away from the gate posts, or directly insulate the electric rope with insulating tape where it attaches to the gate post insulators.


      • #4
        This would happen to me too, but only in the winter.

        Never did figure out what was causing it. I would just wear mittens and make sure not to touch the horse and hold the gate!


        • #5
          Do you have anything running the electric underneath the gates (to go from one section of electric to the next) -- like insulated wire but maybe it isn't insulated enough? Handyman (not!) at a barn I was at used to run the electric wire through a piece of garden hose and bury that under the gates. And the gates were shocking the heck out of us and turned out it was because the hose has metal in it and that was conducting the electricity. I.e., it wasn't really the same as a true insulated wire.


          • #6
            If current is "jumping", you should hear the spark, and when it's dark, you'd see it as well.

            If it's not "snapping", you have direct contact somewhere. If you have steel hardware that your gates hang from the post on, and a cracked insulator on the same post, and the wood post is wet, you'd get a "hot gate". Since you say this happens when "the ground is wet", I'd bet this is the problem.


            • Original Poster

              I have 3 hot wires on the fence.
              No snapping anywhere near the gates.
              No wire running under the gates.
              This happens with 4 gates.
              The shock can happen when the gate posts are "dry" and the ground is not muddy but still damp.
              I'll double check to see if there are any cracked insulators, but with previous visual inspections the insulators look very good.
              Maybe I can use my voltage tester on the back of each insulator to see if one is hotter than the rest.
              I'll also try electrical tape on the wires at the insulators.


              • #8
                You won't see or hear the electricity jumping if it is running straight through your insulators and into the screws and then down the posts. You'd only hear it if for example the screws were put it at a wrong angle and is close enough for the current to jump to them. I'm guessing your insulators are screwed directly onto the posts and aren't offset?

                Can anyone tell me how to put up photos please? I have some photos of a better type of insulator that you might be interested in using. (We are distributors for a fencing company by the way, so not just talking out of my bottom here .)


                • #9
                  Okay have just checked and I see you can't put up photos on COTH unless you are a premium member, which I'm not, so I'll just put in the hyperlink to the page where the photo is.

                  Here's a photo of a couple of my little paddocks; the large pasture fields are fenced with vinyl rail or post and board but these little paddocks are fine with just vinyl wire. The fencing in this photo is not electric, it's just plain vinyl, however the little field at the back in this photo does have vinyl electric and the insulators are the same as these tensioners except they have extra polypropylene insulation inside the tensioners where the electric vinyl attaches to.


                  Where the insulator fixes to the post, it is attached to the post via armoured cable and stands away from the post by about 6 inches so there really isn't any chance for the electricity to jump anywhere near to where your gates hinges attach.


                  • Original Poster

                    These are type of insulators I have. Mine are clear instead of colored.

                    What do you mean by "offset"?

                    The gate hangers are not touching the insulators.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DebbieB View Post
                      These are type of insulators I have. Mine are clear instead of colored.
                      Hmm, they're usually pretty good insulators.

                      Try the insulation tape around your rope where it connects to the insulator and see if that makes any difference. I can't think that electricity can be coming from anywhere else - it has to be getting down the post somehow and normally if it does this then it is the insulators that are letting the fence down. Most bizarre.


                      • #12
                        Sorry I think our posts crossed . Take a look at the photo link I posted above. The insulators in the photo are offset away from the posts by about 6 inches.


                        • #13
                          We had this problem. Ground the gate hinges and the high-tensile uninsulated strands at the gate. It's caused by electromagnetic (AKA capacitive/inductive) coupling between the hot wires and the uninsulated ones.
                          The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                          Winston Churchill


                          • Original Poster

                            Thank you everyone.


                            • #15
                              Right, find a good insulator.


                              • #16
                                This happens to me on about 6 of our 13 gates!! It shocks us bad! We have the metal quick-locking gates and the handles are hot too. It is such a pain!

                                I'm looking into how to fix - thanks for posting this!