Friday, August 9, 2013

Troubleshooting electric fences

Check your fences as often.

Fences giving you headaches? Use the troubleshooting info below for determining whether your energizer or your fence is the cause. 

Is it the energizer or the fence that’s the problem?

1. To check—turn off the energizer.
2. Then disconnect the wires going to the fence and ground rod system. 
3. Turn the energizer back on.
4. Then measure the voltage between the 2 terminals (fence and earth) on the energizer with a digital fence voltmeter or other fence testing device (place the ground probe onto the “-” terminal and the fence probe onto the “+” terminal). 
5. If the tester reads less than 4000 volts, the energizer (or possibly the battery if it’s a battery energizer) is the problem. 
6. If the tester reads more than 4000 volts, the fence is the problem and the energizer is working properly.

If the energizer is at fault—

1. Check that the 110v outlet is “live” with a test light.
2. If the test light works and the energizer does not, contact Premier ( or 1-800-282-6631). We are happy to help and will act quickly.

First determine whether it’s the battery or the energizer that’s not working.
1. If it’s a 12v energizer, carry it to a nearby vehicle. Attach the input cords carefully to the vehicle’s battery. 
2. If the energizer works, then the energizer’s battery needs to be recharged or replaced. 
3. If the energizer does not work when attached to a vehicle battery, then you should call Premier (1-800-282-6631) about the unit.

If the fence is at fault— 

How to find the fault(s)
Walk or ride along the fence looking for situations that are reducing the voltage. Re-attach the fence and ground wires to the energizer and turn it on. Check voltage. 

1. If you have a Fault Finder, use it. The arrow will tell you which direction the energy is flowing (leaking). Follow the fence from the energizer outward. Move in the direction of the arrow, testing as you go until you arrive at the problem. 
Note: Fault Finders can tell which section of net is at fault if you touch it to the clips where 2 nets join. But it is not able to locate the exact location within a net because energy flows in multiple directions within a net.

2. If you don’t have a Fault Finder (and do have a voltmeter or fence tester): Walk or drive along the fence. 

a. Nettinglook for:
• Lowest live strand against the metal spike near the soil (photo below).
• Damaged strands that are touching the ground.
• Netting touching a wire fence or steel post.

• Damaged and broken insulators.
• Any point where an energized wire touches the soil, a steel or wood post or a nonenergized wire. Separate them.
• Branches lying on the fence and forcing wires together. Remove them. (HT wires will “spring” back, photo below.)

A fallen tree can be a real downer on your fence voltage. 

c. Listen for snapping sounds as you walk along a fence. These occur when a conductor is close to a grounded wire, stake and/or a large green weed or tree.

Use switches to turn power on/off to sections of fence. Useful for determining where the shorts are/aren't.

d. Separate the fence into parts by turning off switches (if it’s a permanent HT wire fence), or by disconnecting portions of electric netting. Then progressively reconnect it, checking voltage as you do so. When the voltage suddenly drops, you’ve found the area with the problem (the section you just connected or switched on).

Hope this helps you in determining your fencing issues.
For more fence help, check out the following links—
Pos/Neg Fence Tips
How to keep your solar units working