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Calling all livestock electric fence wizzards


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#1 Hayman1

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 12:17 PM

Ok, I have exhausted my level of limited knowledge on electric fence and could use some help.  I have three paddocks each with their own charger as it was easier than running extra long supply line etc.  All fence was replaced last year with treated posts and horse wire (heavy 2" x 4" wire).  They are electrified inside the paddock by cord above the top of the wire and 11 ga aluminum about 24" above grade off set from the posts.  Good grounding systems with 4 or 5 rod at least 10' apart and connected by insulated galv heavy wire as recommended by electric fencing companies.  Two paddocks are working without issue.  the third has some kind of back feed or whatever and has slightly electrified the regular wire fencing much to the dislike of customers.  I have a Gallligher brand fault finder and a digital electric fence tester which is probably a Zareba brand but there is nothing stamped on it.

 

I used the fault finder to trace a fault to a cross over (I cross over between high and low wire at corners and where I dead end wire on insulators to tighten.  While I did not see anything obvious that would cause a fault, I thought i at least had it localized.  Then Zeta came through and soaked us good.  this am I go out and I have the fault, then not then do etc.  The fault finder points in the direction of the fault.  I am running 10-12 KV on the line.  However, I can get low readings when I only get close to the fence which does not make sense to me (meaning I don't have to touch the hot wire to get a reading).  Granted it is not as high but still??  Also, I don't have to insert the ground end into the ground to get a near max KV on the line, just touch the hot wire.  How is that making a circuit or load?  One last question-  the hot wire is not going to ground unless an animal touches it and is grounded or there is a pathway by some other means.  Why is there a low amperage reading on both devices.  It does vary from 0.2 amp to 2.3 amps.

 

 

It's pretty frustrating but someone (maybe everyone else but me) knows what is going on or at least a few steps to suggest to figure out what is going on.  clearly out of my pay grade on this issue.  thanks.



#2 Gearclash

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 12:44 PM

Ok, I have exhausted my level of limited knowledge on electric fence and could use some help.  I have three paddocks each with their own charger as it was easier than running extra long supply line etc.  All fence was replaced last year with treated posts and horse wire (heavy 2" x 4" wire).  They are electrified inside the paddock by cord above the top of the wire and 11 ga aluminum about 24" above grade off set from the posts.  Good grounding systems with 4 or 5 rod at least 10' apart and connected by insulated galv heavy wire as recommended by electric fencing companies.  Two paddocks are working without issue.  the third has some kind of back feed or whatever and has slightly electrified the regular wire fencing much to the dislike of customers.  I have a Gallligher brand fault finder and a digital electric fence tester which is probably a Zareba brand but there is nothing stamped on it.

 

I used the fault finder to trace a fault to a cross over (I cross over between high and low wire at corners and where I dead end wire on insulators to tighten.  While I did not see anything obvious that would cause a fault, I thought i at least had it localized.  Then Zeta came through and soaked us good.  this am I go out and I have the fault, then not then do etc.  The fault finder points in the direction of the fault.  I am running 10-12 KV on the line.  However, I can get low readings when I only get close to the fence which does not make sense to me (meaning I don't have to touch the hot wire to get a reading).  Granted it is not as high but still??  Also, I don't have to insert the ground end into the ground to get a near max KV on the line, just touch the hot wire.  How is that making a circuit or load?  One last question-  the hot wire is not going to ground unless an animal touches it and is grounded or there is a pathway by some other means.  Why is there a low amperage reading on both devices.  It does vary from 0.2 amp to 2.3 amps.

 

 

It's pretty frustrating but someone (maybe everyone else but me) knows what is going on or at least a few steps to suggest to figure out what is going on.  clearly out of my pay grade on this issue.  thanks.

If there is no conducting connection between the wire that is energized by the fencer and the rogue fence that is showing charge then I suspect you have inductance happening somewhere.  This would be created by the ‘hot’ wire running parallel in close proximity to the ‘rogue’ wire.  It would have to run for fair distance of say several dozen feet for the rogue wire to pick up enough energy to be a nuisance.  I have seen this happen.  We were installing a long day lighting system in our dairy barn.  I was running 12-2G NM cable from the branch junctions to the fixture boxes.  One particular run I placed parallel to an insulated hot wire that ran across the bottom chord of truss.  The wires were perhaps 2” apart and ran parallel for about 15’.  We did the connections from the ends of the circuits in, ending at the panel, so at the time each fixture was being connected, the wire feeding it was not connected to anything at the junction box yet.  On that particular fixture, as I was connecting it, I chanced to see a spark between one conductor in the circuit wire and the aluminum extension ladder I was using.  That struck me as odd so I started looking closer and the spark would occur at regular intervals, like a fencer.  Touching the bare conductor would give me a slight shock.  As those conductors were not hooked to anything else the only way there could be a charge there was from inductance generated by the nearby insulated hot wire.  I removed the NM cable and re routed it so it crossed the hot wire at a 90* angle rather than running parallel and the problem was solved.  I did wonder what would have happened had I not seen that tiny spark and proceeded to connect everything as originally planned.


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#3 Hayman1

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 02:46 PM

If there is no conducting connection between the wire that is energized by the fencer and the rogue fence that is showing charge then I suspect you have inductance happening somewhere.  This would be created by the ‘hot’ wire running parallel in close proximity to the ‘rogue’ wire.  It would have to run for fair distance of say several dozen feet for the rogue wire to pick up enough energy to be a nuisance.  I have seen this happen.  We were installing a long day lighting system in our dairy barn.  I was running 12-2G NM cable from the branch junctions to the fixture boxes.  One particular run I placed parallel to an insulated hot wire that ran across the bottom chord of truss.  The wires were perhaps 2” apart and ran parallel for about 15’.  We did the connections from the ends of the circuits in, ending at the panel, so at the time each fixture was being connected, the wire feeding it was not connected to anything at the junction box yet.  On that particular fixture, as I was connecting it, I chanced to see a spark between one conductor in the circuit wire and the aluminum extension ladder I was using.  That struck me as odd so I started looking closer and the spark would occur at regular intervals, like a fencer.  Touching the bare conductor would give me a slight shock.  As those conductors were not hooked to anything else the only way there could be a charge there was from inductance generated by the nearby insulated hot wire.  I removed the NM cable and re routed it so it crossed the hot wire at a 90* angle rather than running parallel and the problem was solved.  I did wonder what would have happened had I not seen that tiny spark and proceeded to connect everything as originally planned.

Thanks for the tip GC.  So if I understand you correctly, the hot wire at the top of the fence which does run in 2 " proximity to the woven fence wire in places would energize the woven wire by inductance?  If true, I don't see what I can do to fix the problem.  There are places where the woven wire is on the inside of the paddock on corners where there are brace wires to keep horses from getting caught in those brace wires.  I suppose that I could cut portions (the topmost 4 inches off and the separation would be greater but I hate butchering brand new fence without being able to confirm that will fix it beforehand.



#4 endrow

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 03:46 PM

I have often found the problem to be where I have gates. How do you handle your openings and gate jumper wires.

#5 endrow

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 03:46 PM

I have often found the problem to be where I have gates. How do you handle your openings and gate jumper wires.

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#6 PaulN

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 05:34 PM

What Gearclash said is certainly possible. If the woven wire is energized by induction, then grounding the woven wire should solve it.


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#7 Hayman1

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Posted 01 November 2020 - 12:06 PM

Endrow- All my gates have high voltage insulated fence wire jumpers through pvc conduit that is sealed at the ends with silicone so that isn't an issue.

 

GC and Paul-  I went and did a little more investigating.  I do have the problem in the other paddocks.  I believe what is different is that the one that has been the biggest problem has the best connection between the woven wire fence and gate pins.

 

So, let's assume it is inductance primarily from the top fence cord (electrobraid cord so people will see it) that often runs 2" off the top of the woven wire. if that is true, I should be able to  use short ground rods 2-5 feet away from the gates and drain off the charge-correct?  I really don't care if the rest of the woven wire carries a slight charge, maybe that will help keep the animals away from it.



#8 PaulN

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Posted 01 November 2020 - 07:09 PM

The induced current will be  much lower, since it is not connected to the charger. I would start with one rod, and see how it works, you can always add more. A short ground rod will work as long as the soil is moist. But when you have a dry spell, you could be right back where you started.

 

One side note. The power line running past my place is 3 phase. A,B and C phase are side by side on top, and the ground wire is under them. The utility company has a ground rod on every other pole going up to that bottom wire.



#9 mlappin

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Posted 01 November 2020 - 09:01 PM

 

 

One side note. The power line running past my place is 3 phase. A,B and C phase are side by side on top, and the ground wire is under them. The utility company has a ground rod on every other pole going up to that bottom wire.


Ayup, sometimes the neutral or ground wire can have more juice on it than the hots.



#10 Hayman1

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 11:49 AM

Problem Solved.  4' or half a grd rod on each side of the gate and ground the woven wire.  Yes, did have to do both sides of the gate  since there is inductance on the other side.  Presto, no charge.  Thanks for the help.


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#11 dvcochran

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 09:02 PM

I was wondering if some of your paddocks had T-posts on some of the woven wire while the problematic one(s) are all on wood posts. T-posts will often produce enough ground to prevent the inductance phenomenon. If all wood posts on dirt or really clean under the wire I think ground rods are your only choice. Inductance is directly proportional to the voltage. The higher the voltage the shorter the length required to cause noticeable inductance. There are other factors but this is a consistent one. 

Glad you got it figured out. 

I use several solar charges so I am jealous of your kV. 


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#12 Hayman1

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 03:54 PM

Well, not so fast Kemosabe.  Tonto get charge with grounding rod in ground.  Totally baffled on what is happening.  I grounded both sides (the horse wire coming to the gate) of the worst offending gate with 4' galv rod and galv high voltage wire and crimps.  Ground is completely wet.  Measured with the fault meter and no current on the fence on the gate side of the woven wire.  Then went and did the same at another gate (there are only two gates on this paddock fence).  Measure zero current at that gate.  Now go back to the first gate and presto, there is a very small charge.  What on earth is going on?  No T posts on this fence, only treated posts but the woven wire is stapled directly to posts and the hot wires are on insulators.  the maximum current on the woven fence wire is about 2 amps and with the ground is down to about .1-.2 amp

 

Sorry, the earlier info about not having the problem on all three paddocks was not correct.  all fences have current at substantially reduced strength from the hot wires.  I think the difference is does the woven wire touch the gate or gate pins and transfer the current.  and as stated, no t posts anywhere.






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