Low voltage on electric fence...

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by laxrick, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. laxrick

    laxrick Out Of The Brooder

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    Princess Anne, MD
    My poor goats have been penned up since yesterday because I can't seem to get my electric fence working functionally.

    The shock is very, very weak. Even when I touch the hot terminal, the jolt isn't enough to really deter me or any of my goats. However, I made the horrible mistake of touching it while accidentally touching the ground rod with my other arm and the resulting shock was pretty intense.

    The ground rod that it is hooked to is a pure copper rod driven about 4-5 ft. in the ground.

    Can anyone tell me, in their experience, what do you think the problem is? I've narrowed it down to faulty wiring in the barn (it's very old, however, when touching the ground rod I received a good jolt) or insufficient ground (but my ground is deeper, pure copper, and generally much better than anyone else's grounding system I've seen locally).

    I'm off tomorrow and plan on installing a second ground rod and piggybacking them and running new wire from the fuse box to a recepticle. Does anyone think this will solve the problem of a ridiculously weak shock?

    BTW, the wire is not touching anything but plastic post clamps. The wire used to link the controller to the fence is insulated copper wire. The wire is stripped on both ends and one is wrapped around the hot fence controller terminal and connected to the actual fence wire by wrapping it and holding it snug with electric tape. The ground is the rigged up the same way but the bare end is clamped onto the ground rod with a copper clamp.

    Any help would be appreciated...
     
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    I'd be very surprised if it were a ground rod issue. What kind of wire is it, the hot wire?

    By touching the ground rod, you bypasses the hotwire and got a shock. This tells me the hotwier must be shorted somewhere.
     
  3. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    Quote:This is your problem.....

    1) run the copper wire to the copper ground wire is AWESOME.
    2) run the hotwire wire to the terminal post...you are grounding yourself out with the copper I believe to the fence...

    Go here for good instructions. You are not getting a good hookup to the hotwire box.

    http://www.afence.com/Electric_Fence/how_to_elecfence/elecinstall.htm

    Looking at the picture in here, I am not saying you need 2 ground wires. I run about 5000 feet of wire and only one ground wire.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2008
  4. laxrick

    laxrick Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. Well, I've even temporarily hooked the fence wire straight to the controller to see if I could get a shock that way with no luck.

    The wire I'm using is probably 16 or 17-gauge insulated copper wire. Not sure what it's rated for, but honestly, I doubt it's rated for 20,000v like the instructions say, but I know people who don't have any problems and they use either the same wire or hook the controller straight to the fence wire.
     
  5. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    Why are you using copper wire
    the instructions on that pagelink I sent you say this.

    Use insulted cable that is manufactured for electric fencing (10 to 14 gauge wire insulated to 20,000 volts). Do not use common electrical wiring; it is only rated for 600 volt use.

    that is why you get the crud shocked out of you inadvertantly when touching ground...but no shock on the main fence...not enough to throw the volts through the copper.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2008
  6. laxrick

    laxrick Out Of The Brooder

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    Why are you using copper wire

    What should I be using?​
     
  7. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    I edited the last post. But read that link it tells you everything...

    Use insulted cable that is manufactured for electric fencing (10 to 14 gauge wire insulated to 20,000 volts). Do not use common electrical wiring; it is only rated for 600 volt use.
     
  8. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    I just use regular hotwire fencing from tractor supply or orschlens or a farm and home. For the goats you don't need heavy duty wire. get the less expensive stuff.

    Like this:
    http://www.tractorsupply.com/webapp...62|14366|28743?listingPage=true&Special=false

    the insulated wire should only be used for a gate or from the box to the wire if you have to pass through the tin in the barn etc. otherwise the bare wire is fine.

    also, I might suggest you get one of these. They are lifesaving trying to find a short. It is a fence tester.

    http://www.tractorsupply.com/webapp...62|14366|35984?listingPage=true&Special=false
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2008
  9. papadekaitlyn

    papadekaitlyn Out Of The Brooder

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    The ground rod obviously has a good ground. The issue is likely to be in your connection to ground.

    The copper wire connecting the ground terminal to the ground post could be the issue.

    Using 600V cable instead of 20,000V shouldn't be the problem... If anything the 600V cable offers less resistance and if there was a problem there the insulation would melt off of it due to overheating.

    (I don't recommend using under rated cable though.)

    Not sure what kind of hot box you got, but mine is a simple unit that runs off a car battery. I have a wire from the ground terminal on the box to the ground rod, and the fence wire is connected directly to the hot terminal on the shock box. I used a some conduit to insulate where the wires pass through the wall of my coop and into the store closet (which is where my hot box is).

    Mine will knock the snot out of you. I accidentally leaned too far forward one morning to grab the waterer so I could refill it and it hit me through my pants on the shin and sent a jolt all the way to my hip which made me jump and hit my head on the top of the coop's door frame...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  10. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    funny papadekaitlyn! I love the [​IMG] cause that is how you feel after getting a jolt! I needed a good laugh today, thanks!
     

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