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Electric fence grounding, distance etc

Posted by MountainMan_BC z6 Canada (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 7, 05 at 2:46

I'm grounding my fence tomorrow, it's about 700' of portable electric mesh. It needs to be HOT due to the local wildlife.
A couple questions.
What do I use to lead the wire out from the charger? The 'lead out' you buy is a rip off. Is there another wire that'll work ok? I heard some type of wire slipped through old hose, but I have 150' from charger to fence! Any ideas?
And for grounding, can I place the ground about 150' from where the fence begins?

Thanks for any responses.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Electric fence grounding, distance etc

I've never used netting, but for an ordinary electric fence, the grounding is attached to the charger, not the fence, so it doesn't matter where it is. To get out to the fence, I used 1" grey PVC electric conduit pipe with galvanized fence wire fed through it, it costs $2.39 per 10' section at Lowe's. Smaller sizes are cheaper, but I couldn't find the corner fittings for those. With this pipe, the hot wire can be run inside a building, leaving just an inch of wire exposed at the charger, attached to the walls inside and out, and also set on the ground so that it will be tamped down into the soil. It holds paint well if necessary, and doesn't seem to get brittle in the sun or freezing weather. Mine's been out there for more than ten years and has never cracked or broken.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rigid Non-Metallic Conduit


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RE: Electric fence grounding, distance etc

Mountain Man,
Your ground doesnt have to be close to the fence activator. I used three 8-foot ground rods, ten foot apart, driven full length into the ground. Your grounding rod setup needs to cover a 30-foot length to be effective. I use pipe clamps on each grounding rod and 12-gage interior electric wire to connect the ground clamps in a series back to the fence activator. You can remove the outside covering of regular 12 or 14 gage indoor electric wire and use both the black and white covered wire to connect all the ground rods back to the main unit.
I dont use any special wire to connect the hot side of the activator; I just hook in the wire I run around the property. I dont know why the covered electrical wire couldnt be used to hook up the hot side of the charger to your mesh fence; after all, it supplies the electric to your home and usually does a good job there.
I know suppliers want to sell you special wire to connect everything together, but then electric wire is electric wire IMHO.


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RE: Electric fence grounding, distance etc

does someone have pics? I'm a visual person and I am also going to install some electric fencing around my ducks pen and have NO IDEA as to how to do it. Never been around electric fencing before. Thanx for any help!!! Already have the box thingy and some of the yellow plastic things to nail into my wooden post for the wire to run in. Also have the wire as well. Got it all at Lowes.


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RE: Electric fence grounding, distance etc

Hoptown: Electric cable for household wiring is only insulated for 600 volts. Fence chargers generate 4,000 to 10,000 volts. That kind of wire can leak significantly and drop the voltage in the fence (if not ground it out completely) if it's on the ground or attached to anything that can ground it or if the insulation gets nicked or chewed. You need something with much thicker insulation if you don't want the run-out electrified. They sell underground cable for electric fences that can also be used to fashion cut-off switches and gate handles, or PVC pipe can be used as insulation for ordinary bare fence wire, or as you said you can run the wire exposed so long as it's mounted using insulators.

Gardnpondr: Your charger should have come with a booklet on how to install it, ground it, run wire underground for gates, etc.. and also how not to install it. For example, you can't use an existing utility ground and you can't put the new fence ground system near an existing utility ground. The link below has some good illustrations, but you still have to read, understand, and follow the instructions for your unit. If the manual is no good, return it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Parmak Installation guides


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RE: Electric fence grounding, distance etc

Dpallas,
I am using the house type #12 electric wire for the GROUND wire, not for the fence around the property. I dont believe there is any voltage running in the ground, if there is voltage in the ground cable, things are hooked up wrong. My charger generates over 5500 volts and test to the limit wherever I hook the tester to the fence. The fence covers 2 miles and there is no drop off anywhere on the line.


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RE: Electric fence grounding, distance etc

Gardnponder,

You wanted pictures, first the grounding rod. This is an eight foot rod driven in the ground with the clamp and wire attached. This is the end ground rod away from the controler.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

This is the picture of the middle of the ground wire, connecting the two wires to the second ground rod.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

This is of the entire ground wire and the hot wires on the temp posts.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

This is how the ground and activated hot wires are attached to the controller. This is a solar controller and it has a slot to fit on a t-post.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Hope this helps you, not too difficult to set up. The ground is the most important part of the fence set up, and make sure the hot wire isnt grounded out, use standoff that are plastic or ceramic.


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RE: Electric fence grounding, distance etc

Hoptown, yes, you can use it for the ground, and the way you've shown it in the photos is very professional and nicely done. I couldn't get my ground rods in that far and broke my foot trying. Those T-post-pounders really get some momentum going!

I was referring to your comment I dont use any special wire to connect the hot side of the activator; I just hook in the wire I run around the property. I dont know why the covered electrical wire couldnt be used to hook up the hot side of the charger to your mesh fence; after all, it supplies the electric to your home and usually does a good job there. when I pointed out the 600 volt insulation vs the 5500 volt hot wire.


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RE: Electric fence grounding, distance etc

Dpallis,
I cheat a little; I have an auger that belonged to my great-grandfather an old time barn builder. I use it to put the t-post and ground rods down.
It was for drilling holes through posts and beams to drive dowel rods to support barn framing back in the 1850s. It drills a hole 1- inch in diameter and you can drill down about 3 to 3 foot. Makes setting a t-post easy and really helps on grounding rods, only have to drive a much less amount in the ground. The ground posts in the pictures are 8 foot long.
It is so dry here now; I am not getting a good ground from them. A five-gallon bucket of water on each rod will last for about a week.
I looked at MoutainMans first post again and noticed he said the charger is a long distance from the hookup to the fence and under that setup I wouldnt use the household wire for run-out either. Wonder if he could move the charger or get a different type and move everything closer to the fence hook up?


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RE: Electric fence grounding, distance etc

I cheated putting mine in too. This place is very old and it has a grey water field about four feet wide and thirty feet long to soak up waste water from the clothes washer and kitchen. There's never any standing water there, but it's always wet, so I put the ground rods right in it. The system called for five 8' rods, but I could only get them in five feet or so. After I smacked my foot, I sawed them off as they were and the fence is still hot enough to keep goats in. Couldn't get away with that in drier ground, though.


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