Electric Fences – What You Need to Know

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electric Fence

Electric Fence are used to deter people or animals from crossing a boundary. They work on the simple principle that an animal contacting the wire closes an electrical circuit, which may then cause a shock. Depending on the voltage, and how long the pulse lasts, the effect can be anything from barely noticeable to painful, or even deadly.

A common misconception is that electric Fences are dangerous, since the voltage is high (+5000 volts) compared to standard mains electricity (220 volts). However, the fact is that this voltage is only for a very brief period of time and the pulse is VERY short (about 150 microseconds). This results in an unpleasant feeling for the animal which they learn to associate with touching the fence line so they will not do it again.

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A good ground system is essential. This consists of several insulated ground rods which are connected to the charger’s ground terminal and to each other. The ground rods should be buried at least 12″ (30 cm) into the soil. This prevents the ground from draining all of the power back to the charger and allows the charge to stay with the animal. The grounding rods should be tested with a digital voltmeter to confirm that they have a low reading, no more than 2 kV. If the reading is higher than this, the grounding is insufficient and more ground rods need to be installed. The charger user manual should recommend the number of ground rods to use.