6 Common Electric Fence Myths…UNCHARGED!

blog_1_fence-mythsIf you are new to electric fences or are a seasoned installer, there are a few “facts” you may have come across. Often times these “facts” are, in fact, myths. Today we are going to uncharge 6 of these myths!

Myth 1
A shock from my electric fence is harmful to myself and my animals.

Truth

calves-072The shock from an electric fence is more of a memorable discomfort than harmful pain. Your animals will learn to respect your fence not due to fear, but rather the annoyance of the shock.

The amperage on a fence is read in milliamps where households are measured in amps. In terms of danger, it is not the voltage but rather the amperage that harms you. Most energizers on the market today are low-amperage, high-voltage, and low-impedance.

The pulse of energy running down your fence line is very short if you are using a low-impedance energizer as compared to energy from an outlet, which is a constant flow. Since there are pulses on the fence line, you or the animal will feel a brief bite rather than a constant shock.

The static shock from touching a doorknob is 5,000 volts, where an electric fence can have anywhere from 3,000-9,000 volts.

 

 AmpsVolts
Television2.5120
Outlet15-20120
Energizer0.79,500

 

A combination of amperage and voltage is what determines the shock and the danger of the shock. Fence energizers produce low-amperage, high-voltage shocks, which are not harmful. Outlets produce high-amperage, low-voltage shocks, which can be dangerous to animals and people.


Myth 2
High-tensile fence is expensive and hard to maintain.

Truthblog_2_fence_myths

In comparison with other fencing options, high-tensile is rather competitive. The posts, insulators, tools, and labor for most fencing options are relatively consistent across the board. The high-tensile wire is one of the most economical parts of a high-tensile fence. Most of your cost is associated with your posts and labor.

When working with high-tensile wire, posts, insulators, and hardware from Kencove, you can be assured that all of our products are of the highest quality. Our products are also set to age and degrade at the same intervals. This means your posts will not rot out before the fence rusts or insulators crack. Using CCA-treated posts, class 3 galvanized wire, and UV-stabilized plastic insulators, Kencove’s complete line of fence products are built to last 20 or more years.


Myth 3
Solar Energizers are more cost effective than a standard AC/DC energizer.

blog_3_msd_soalr_fence-mythsTruth

Although solar energizers sound like the “cheapest” way to electrify a fence, they are actually quite costly.

Let’s figure the average cost for running a 1-joule energizer for 10 years using both an AC energizer and solar-powered unit.

 

The amount of energy an AC energizer pulls from your outlet is very limited. Anywhere from 10 to 50 watts are pulled from an energizer. With a 10-watt energizer running all day, every day, you can expect a cost of around $0.72 per month or $8.64 per year. Although free energy driven by a solar panel sounds enticing, the reality of a solar setup is very pricey. Not only do you need to buy the energizer, you need to purchase the battery, solar panel(s), and charge controller. As with all things, the more parts you have, the more likely something is to break or go wrong. Solar energizers are ideal for spaces of fence where AC or DC energizers are not an option, or for portable electric netting or rotational grazing. Even though free power sounds like the most cost-effective option, this is not always the case!

 

 AC (Plug-in)Solar
Cost of 1J Energizer$99.75 (EK1)$105.95 (EKD1)
Battery$0$79.00 (bought locally)
Solar Panel$0$43.75 (MSP10P)
Charge Controller $0$25.75 (MSC10LVDW)
Mounting Bracket$0$23.95 (MSP10-20MB)
Battery Cable$0$5.95 (MPBC24)
Yearly Watt Draw $9 x 10 = $90 for 10 years$0
Total for 10 years$189.75$284.35

blog_4_ek-line_fence-myths


Myth 4
Everything that touches an electric fence will get shocked.

mountain-bird-1389557Truth

There are a few instances where an animal or person may not get shocked from an electric fence. If the circuit is not complete then a shock will not be felt. One major component to any electric fence is the ground. If your fence is not properly grounded, the shock may not be as powerful or even felt at all! Because completing the circuit and grounding are critical for the shock to be felt, birds sitting on a fence line or power line feel no shock. Since they are not grounded in any way, the circuit is not completed. If the soil near your ground rods is extremely dry or frozen, there are no water molecules in the soil available to move the energy and complete the circuit. Installing an Earth Ground Return System is one way to ensure your fence stays hot even with poor grounding.


Myth 5
Horses cannot see high-tensile wire.

Truth

lusitano-herd-pictIt is true that high-tensile wire can be difficult to see. It is also true that horses’ eyes are located on the sides of their heads, and their vision is roughly 20/33, while a human’s is 20/20. With that being said, however, horses CAN see the wire. The problem arises when horses are spooked because they may disregard the high-tensile wire and run through it anyways. It is for this reason that high-tensile is not recommended for equine. There are a variety of options available for horses including polytape, coated wire, and Horserail. Not only are these options more visible for horses, they are also safer. When a horse is spooked, it will bolt regardless of the fence you have. High-tensile wires lend themselves to tangling around horses, catching their legs, and cutting their hides. When using more horse-friendly fencing, you can eliminate these dangers. Fencing recommended for horses is not as stiff as high-tensile and will not “bite” or cut into them. Polytape, polyrope, coated wire, and Horserail are also safer for horses because they break at a much lower strength. This allows a spooked horse to run through without getting caught up in the fence.


dsc_2541-editMyth 6
The only way to test an electric fence is to touch it.

Truth

If you are new to the electric fence business, I’m sure you have heard this line a million times. Although touching a fence will let you know if there is a shock or not, there are a variety of testers and remotes available on the market that will let you know if your fence is working and your current voltage reading. Kencove offers a large selection of fence testers for all types of budgets, operations, and uses.

 

ProductCostFeatures
5-Light Voltage Tester (V5L)$10.75• Check the voltage on your electric fence by inserting pin into ground, then touching the probe to the fence wire.
• Voltage level is shown with neon indicator lights.
• Measures up to 8,000 volts.
Fence Alert (MFA)$21.50• For use on permanent and temporary fencing.
• Works with all pulse energizers.
• Can be seen from up to ½ mile away.
• No ground wires or external power source required.
• Clip accommodates 8 to 16 gauge wire.
• 2 trigger levels: 1,000-2,000V minimum or 2,000-2,500V minimum.
Kencove Digital Voltmeter and 12-Volt Battery Tester (VSXK)$29.75• Use it to test the voltage on your fence or 12-volt battery with ease.
• Measures up to 12,000 volts.
• Easy-to-read LCD display.
• Includes 9-volt battery.
Kencove Fault Finder (VPA)$75.75• Digital readout shows voltage, amperage flow, and direction of short.
• Works great with smooth wire, electric twine, ribbon, rope, and electric netting.
• 1-year warranty.
Kencove Remote Control and Fault Finder (VPAR)$139.50• Allows you to turn your energizer on or off from anywhere along the fence line.
• Digital voltmeter and amp meter.
• Digital readout shows voltage, amperage flow, and direction of short.
• 1-year warranty.
Fence-Alarm (VFA)$275.50• Solar-powered, mobile-device-integrated, fence-monitoring system.
• Real-time updates to your mobile phone via text or email.

 

While each tool has unique functions, they all let you know if your fence is working properly. We recommend the Kencove Digital Voltmeter and 12-Volt Battery Tester (VSXK) for all operations as it is the most accurate voltmeter we have tested. For any questions on these products, please call 1-800-KENCOVE.

Electric high-tensile fence is often seen as an expensive, hard to maintain, dangerous fence option when, in fact, it is quite the opposite! Kencove strives to provide the highest quality, safest, most advanced fence options for our customers. The ever-changing world of agriculture is developing new and improved fencing options each and every day. However, high-tensile fence has proven that, although it is fairly new, it is still an economical, safe, sturdy option for most farms and ranches.

So the next time you hear one of these fence myths, you can help advocate the truth about electric fences and help us debunk some common myths!

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