10 Most Common Electric Fence Problems, Part 2

In continuation to my previous post regarding common electric fence problems, here are two more issues to keep in mind.

#3 Lightning damage to a fence charger (Energizer): There is nothing more bothersome, than testing your fence the morning after a lightning storm and not getting a reading.  Trying to outsmart Mother Nature can be almost impossible, but there are a few tricks.  You cannot guarantee absolute lightning protection, but you can install safeguards such as surge protectors and lightning diverters to help avoid an expensive repair.  Installing a lightning diverter on your fence is not easy, but will relieve stress during those brutal storms.  The lightning diverter must have a separate ground bed 50’ from the energizer’s ground bed, with a minimum of one extra ground rod.  Lightning (electricity) is always looking for a ground.  Lightning diverters simply divert the lightning to ground before it reaches the energizer.  However, lightning diverters are not 100% of the fix. There are a lot of fence chargers on the market that offer a warranty that includes lightning damaged.  Kencove offers a low-impedance energizer line with a 3 year warranty that includes lightning damage.  If your energizer gets struck you can merely box up the pieces and send it to Kencove’s energizer repair station.  As long as the energizer was purchased from Kencove and is under warranty, Kencove is obligated to fix the fence charger or send you a brand new unit. Dean (Kencove’s Energizer Doctor) repairs all makes and models of fence chargers purchased from all farm stores. It is helpful to have a backup fence charger to use while the damaged unit is getting repaired. Kencove offers reconditioned energizers that would serve as excellent backup units in case of lightning damage.  While there is no way to completely avoid a lightning strike, we can be prepared.



#4 Bad Connections:  How many times have you walked your fence line and not been able to find the source of power leakage?  Sometimes it is not always obvious, and you must look very closely at your wire connections.  The best way to find a faulty connection is to use a voltmeter and test each side of the connection.  If the voltage decreases on one side of the connection, you have found the problem.  This connection will need fixed or replaced.  Connections can fail for a number of reasons; crimp sleeves crimped improperly or loosely, a hand knot that is making poor connection, rusty wires, or corrosion.  Be sure to focus on wire connections when building or fixing your electric fence, proper connections are essential to the flow of electricity.


                   Fastlok                          Crimp Sleeves                   Gripple                                  Quik-Splice


Tried these tips and still having issues? Check back for more tips and tricks to keep your fence healthy!


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  1. Landon
    Posted September 20, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    My theory on electric fence connections is to walk the line and if I can hear it ticking then it’s too poor of a connection.

  2. Ruben Flores
    Posted November 19, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Nice details. Can’t imagine all these things could go wrong on the electric fencing, i don’t think it’s a type of fence someone would install themselves.

  3. kencove
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    While it may seem that there can be a variety of issues with electric fencing, the benefits outweigh the pitfalls. Electric fence is easy to install and requires very little maintenance. Electric fence is economical. The cost of using electric is low, and the use of electricity extends the life of the fence by reducing pressure from livestock. Electric fence is safer than non-electric alternatives. It creates a psychological barrier rather than a physical one, so the animal is trained to respect the fence.
    At Kencove, we understand the difficulty a customer may have while installing their first electric fence. Because of this, we offer a free DVD on how to build high-tensile fence, which shows the electrical hook-up. Two-day training schools are also offered for those who want an in depth knowledge of all aspects of fence building. You can find more information on Kiwi Fence School here: https://www.kencove.com/fence/FenceSchool.php. Our Product Specialists are always happy to answer questions, assist in picking out the correct products for your fence building needs, and to help customers trouble shoot any problems they may run into.

  4. Jeanine
    Posted December 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    We have an electric fence. It was working fine in the fall. Now snow is on the ground the ground is frozen and our electric fence has stopped working. We got all ice off fence, checked connections, and fencer is reading fully charged. Does anyone know what we can do to get it working?

    • kencove
      Posted January 7, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Low fence line voltage during freezing weather is typically caused by poor grounding conditions. Especially in areas that experienced an extremely dry summer. Dry frozen soils limit grounding ability.
      The best solution for a multi-strand fence is to run a wire from the ground out to the field. Connect the negative strand to the ground wire, which is attached to the ground bed through the output terminal on the energizer. Driving additional ground rods along the fence and connecting them to the negative wire will also increase the ground field, as well as create a posi-neg. fence system. Be sure that the ground bed has at least 3 feet of ground rod for each output joule.
      For those that need a quick fix, use the largest drill bit you can find to drill a couple holes into the frozen soil. Dump warm water down the drilled holes and drive the ground rods as deep as possible. This is not a solution to your problem, but sometimes a very small ground can be a large help until temperatures increase.

  5. Lilly Jones
    Posted May 7, 2014 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Awesome descriptions! Most people are unfamiliar with these common problems.

    Lilly Jones |

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