Bloody electric fence!

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14 years 2 months ago #21924 by Ghilly
After fixing things here and there and rewiring bits, I went to check and see what sort of belt the fence was giving out. I have a cheapo fence tester with five little lights. It was only lighting up one light. I refiddled with things, still only one light. I then had a sit down and a think. "Maybe it's the unit itself?" I thought. So I tootled out to the garage and had a look. I jiggled the wires going into the unit and there was a loud tick tick tick... Hmmmmm.....

Ok, so I took the unit off the wall and the earth wire clip thing broke off.... now there is nothing to hold the wire in. I found the little tiny spring and the clip bit and managed to sort of get it back together but it wasn't really gripping the wire very well. It wasn't gripping it all that well to start with.

Why it has these little clips with springs is a mystery, they are the sort of thing you see on the backs of TV's and stereos for little thin wires, not hulking great wires that are in insulator cables.

I've managed to wind up a thinner bit of wire and bunged it in the hole and attached it to the insulator wire.
The hole has a shiny plate inside it where the insulator wire has to touch... seems a bit flimsy to me, not real connection, no nuts to tighten around the wire like on the earth wire outside in the ground.. you know, where you have a bolt, the a washer, the you wrap the wire around the bolt, put another washer on and screw the nut on tight... a decent connection!
The unit is just relying on the end of the wire touching the shiny little plate thing at the bottom of the hole and held in place by this biting clip thing... which broke.

Even after replacing the insulator cable to the fence, I'm still only getting one light on the tester. I even replaced the earth wire and then wet the ground where the metal spikes go into the ground....... AARRRGGHHHHH!!!!!

I need full belt, five lights not little tingle one light. No wonder Nigella is sailing through the bloody fence. She's not getting into anyone elses property, just into the bit where the wind break trees are trying to grow and eating them.

I have muttered and cursed and deepened frown lines, I have wired and rewired. All I can think it is is this weak excuse for a connection on the unit........ Why limp clips? why not decent screws or a nut and bolt system? I know it's a 'lifestyle block' unit but still.... The manual says it should cover 8kms but will work better covering 2kms.... that's one hell of a difference! I mean if it says 8km..... it should cover at least 6kms ... hells bells we only have an acre!

I have no idea what to do next.... Kim has been researching and reckons it could be the earthing wire so she's going to test that tomorrow but what if it is? No good having possible solutions to these problems available but no advice on what to do about it if it is.

I have no idea how to make the wire going into the unit secure, it's worked ok up until recently and there is nothing near the unit to dislodge the wires... they poke up into the bottom of the unit and sort of hang there by these useless clips.. that break!

Blardy electric blardy fences!!!!!

Yakut

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14 years 2 months ago #316778 by beedee
Replied by beedee on topic Bloody electric fence!
Y, If you have really done the thing in I might have a spare.. I shall check the state of the one I am not using .. and can drop it off tomorrow on my way past!.. so keep us informed and get out of bed before 2pm!!!!!

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14 years 2 months ago #316793 by postdriver
Replied by postdriver on topic Bloody electric fence!
Check the earth by putting your tester into the ground and then onto the earth stake with unit running,If alls good with the earth there should be no current flowing down through earth,If there is current there add more earth stakes untill it works correctly,earth stakes should be galved rod and you need to space them apart a bit.Hope this helps.Richard.

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14 years 2 months ago #316816 by Kevin and Perlita Morgan
Hi
I dont know what kind of electric fence you have a 1 strand ,or a two strand .We used to have a Gallagher unit ,Which had an insulated wire running from post to post ,the earth wire from the unit went to a metal stake in the groung .We found this set up was uselees in the dry season ,so I changed the set up and had the live insulated wire running from post to post .then I ran an the earth wire to the metal earth stake and then connected a galvanised wire to the stake ,and then ran it to the each post and connected it to the post 4 inches below the live wire ,so the earth wire was was always working
Cheers
Kevin

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14 years 2 months ago #316819 by Ghilly
Replied by Ghilly on topic Bloody electric fence!
It's a Gallagher and we still haven't figured out why we're only getting a tiny amount of zing. Tried everything and I even poured water on the earthing wire and the three stakes. It's just too damn hot out there to be messing with it. I have managed to clip two sets of hooves, one in the sun... and then decided to do any more was stupid in the heat. Then a big cloud came over carrying a few spits of rain, so I went out and did Korus hooves... the sun came out half way through and I nearly expired... Koru wasn't impressed either... it's too bright to see the lights on the tester properly.

We're going to disconnect the insulator cable from the unit to the fence and test the wire on the insulator cable and see how much zap that has all on it's own. I've replaced the cable yesterday so it's not a faulty cable.

I may have to run the hose out to the earthing wire and soak the ground a bit and see........ I'm just frustrated at the flimsy unit connectors.

Yakut

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14 years 2 months ago #316822 by kate
Replied by kate on topic Bloody electric fence!

postdriver;302026 wrote: Check the earth by putting your tester into the ground and then onto the earth stake with unit running,If alls good with the earth there should be no current flowing down through earth,If there is current there add more earth stakes untill it works correctly,earth stakes should be galved rod and you need to space them apart a bit.Hope this helps.Richard.

Hi Postdriver and welcome to lsb [8D]

Cheers
Kate

Web Goddess

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14 years 2 months ago #316836 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Bloody electric fence!
Check the tester by disconnecting the wires from both terminals, then connect the tester to the terminals, turn on the power unit, and see that the tester is showing 5 lights. I have 2 testers that show voltage. One day I spent hours checking out the fence, then The Manager took the power unit into CRT ..... who told her there was nothing wrong with the power output. To shorten a long story, the batteries in both testers were flat, and the fence was fine.

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14 years 2 months ago #316839 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Bloody electric fence!
In Yakut's case it will be impossible for the tester to have flat batteries because there aren't any! I have one of those 5 light testers too, and they are pretty foolproof.

But do as LR says, and hook the tester directly to the output terminals of your electric fence energiser, first with nothing connected, and then with your electric fence connected.

You should see at least 4 or preferably 5 lights with nothing connected, and the reading may drop by one light when you connect your electric fence. If the reading drops any more than that, you have a short on your electric fence, which needs to be fixed.

If you don't see 4 or 5 lights with nothing connected, your fence energiser is faulty. In this case, your local Gallagher agent will probably need to send your energiser back to the factory so they can replace the terminal if that is what is wrong. To be honest, I've never heard of this happening. Generally, the terminals are pretty robust.

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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14 years 2 months ago #316841 by postdriver
Replied by postdriver on topic Bloody electric fence!

Kate;302057 wrote: Hi Postdriver and welcome to lsb [8D]

Cheers
Kate

Thanks Just got round to an intro on new members.Richard.

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14 years 2 months ago #316866 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Bloody electric fence!
No batteries .... that simplifies things. But ..... our power unit got zapped by lightening during one thunderstorm, which we found by testing the unit with the meter.

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14 years 2 months ago #316885 by Pyewacket
Replied by Pyewacket on topic Bloody electric fence!
Thank you all for your suggestions. Wish I'd read some of these instead of doing my own research first - your explanations were far easier to understand! :)

I went out there yesterday afternoon and tried disconnecting some of the maze that constitutes the fence, but that made no difference. I checked the earth stakes, laid part of the fence down so that it hopefully made contact and should be zapping, then checked the earth stakes again and finally walked the entire maze with a radio tuned to white noise.

I had to keep walking back to the unit and turning it on/off, but even with the unit on, I accidentally touched a 'live' wire, jumped back, realised that I hadn't received a shock and grabbed the wire. I could just feel a slight tingle. Fortunately, most of the goats haven't figured that out yet!

The next thing would be to test the unit itself, but the terminals are cheap spring clips and I will have to rig something up so that the tester can make contact with metal.

It really helps knowing that I'm on the right track after reading your suggestions.

When I bought the unit, I thought that the smallest energizer specifically designed for lifestyle blocks would be more than enough for this meager acre. It is not as robustly constructed as other Gallagher units, but it should still be sufficient.

The final thing to do will be to deconstruct the maze that Yakut has spent so much time putting together and test again. There has been some resistance to that, which is why it's my last resort!

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14 years 2 months ago #316901 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Bloody electric fence!

Pyewacket;302129 wrote: The final thing to do will be to deconstruct the maze that Yakut has spent so much time putting together and test again. There has been some resistance to that, which is why it's my last resort!

When you reconstruct the maze, it might be a good idea to install some of those Knife Switches that Gallagher and other manufacturers produce.

Our property had just one of these when we came here, and over time I've added more. Without any switches, it can be very difficult to find where a short circuit is. And also, if there is a short anywhere in the system, your whole property is down, without any electric fencing.

With some switches dotted here and there, you can isolate various parts of the system and see if the voltage comes back up. By a process of elimination, you can then find the fault, and leave that part of the fence isloated until you have fixed it. Meanwhile, the rest of your property is still protected with an electric fence that works [^]

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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14 years 2 months ago #316902 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Bloody electric fence!
Pyewacket, you must disconnect the wires that go to the fence before you can test the power unit. Also, because you only got a very small shock from a wire just out from the unit does NOT mean that the unit is stuffed. It may just mean that there is a dead short somewhere that the power is going to, rather than flowing through you.
I cannot understand that the wires for the earth and the fence are not bolted on to the power unit with a hexagonal nut or a butterfly nut. However .... to disconnect your unit, turn it off at the wall, get the wire cutters and cut the earth and power wire somewhere close to the unit but where you are able to rejoin the wire again.

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14 years 2 months ago #316905 by Ghilly
Replied by Ghilly on topic Bloody electric fence!

LongRidge;302149 wrote:
I cannot understand that the wires for the earth and the fence are not bolted on to the power unit with a hexagonal nut or a butterfly nut. However .... to disconnect your unit, turn it off at the wall, get the wire cutters and cut the earth and power wire somewhere close to the unit but where you are able to rejoin the wire again.

I can't understand it either, those wires are a lot sturdier than speaker wires, plus they attach at the bottom of the unit, so they hang straight down under it and rely on the grip of the clips to hold the wires in place. The clips have a tiny edge of metal on them that is part of a plate, so the ends of the wires.. just the ends, are supposed to touch the plate. It all seems rather flimsy and hit and miss.... I would prefer it to have a wing nut or bolt and nut like the knife cut off thing.... even the earth rods have nuts and bolts to hold the wires in place...... I thought of using a screw in the hole where the clip has broken but the whole thing is plastic and screwing anything in there would just crack the plastic.

After Kim had walked around back and forth and I had clipped two sets of hooves, it was just too hot to do anything else. We had a couple of visitors turn up to pick something up and after about ten minutes standing around outside, we were all frazzled... and that was at 4:30. The sun wasn't loosing any heat at all. In that heat, I couldn't think my way out of a wet paper bag so we gave up and came inside.

I guess we'll have another go at it today.

Cross yer fingers.

Yakut

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14 years 2 months ago #316906 by Ghilly
Replied by Ghilly on topic Bloody electric fence!
Oh, and it's not a maze of wires...... it's a carefully thought out hotch potch!:rolleyes:[;)]

Yakut

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