Electric fence question--must charger be at one end?

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I had one strand of electric fencing up and running inside my dog pen, with the wire leading to the charger starting at one end. Now I've built a one acre pen for my goats and dog to share--the best place for the charger (which is supposed to be inside) is in the middle of a line of fencing. I have it all hooked up and turned on but it's not working. The charger indicator shows it to be on but the fence isn't hot. What have I done wrong? The gate is free, so the wire doesn't come full circle--it stops and starts on either side of the gate, with the charger attached in the middle. Does it need to be at either end?

-- Elizabeth in E TX (kimprice@peoplescom.net), August 10, 2001


Actually, the middle is the best place for the charger - that way the run to the farthest end of the wire is shorter than if you had it at one end. The break in the middle is also fine. I'd be willing to bet that you got a short in it somewhere while you were adding the second segment. Try disconnecting the fences one at a time and see if the opposite one goes hot.

-- Steve - TX (steve.beckman@compaq.com), August 10, 2001.

Steve, thank you so much! I walked the fence again and found a place where the wire had jumped off the insulator and was touching the metal rod the insulator is on. Now it's working just fine but doesn't seem to be delivering a very strong shock--I'm guessing maybe I need a second ground rod and I'm going to pour some water where the ground rod is. It hasn't rained here in a long time and this sandy soil is dry. Thanks again!

-- Elizabeth in E TX (kimprice@peoplescom.net), August 10, 2001.

Elizabeth, How are you checking to see if it is delivering a shock? If you are simply touching the wire it may not seem very strong, especially if you have rubber soles on your shoes and you are dry. But, if you touch the wire with one hand and the ground with the other it will definately get your attention. I DO NOT RECOMMEND that you do that. I did and it knocked me on my butt. And that was the same wire that I could hold on to while not touching the ground and I couldn't feel anything. Good luck, Doug

-- Doug in KY (toadshutes@yahoo.com), August 11, 2001.

Doug, you have got to be kidding! I'm much too scared to touch the wire myself, rubber soles or no:o) I just guage my animals' reactions to the shock, and though I'd sprayed my goats with the water hose they crowded up to the wire and didn't seem to notice they were touching it, until one put his nose to it and jumped away. It's about 8" off the ground.

-- Elizabeth in E TX (kimprice@peoplescom.net), August 11, 2001.

One thing I did that I'm not sure is OK--the charger is inside my chicken house, and I ran the wire to the outside through a piece of flexible tubing so it wouldn't contact the wood. The tubing is from my rabbit watering system; I just took what I had. Could that be part of the problem?

-- Elizabeth in E TX (kimprice@peoplescom.net), August 11, 2001.

Get yourself a voltage meter. They can be found at a farm supply store or through the mail. Than you will know for sure if your fence is down...safer than putting your hands on it. Mine optimally runs about 7,000. I have read that it should be at least 3500 to keep coyotes at bay. Also with the extreme dry weather, it helps to water down the ground rods.The tubing should be okay to run wire through.

-- Kate henderson (kate@sheepyvalley.com), August 12, 2001.

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