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. Erica
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I have a zareba 10 mile solar charger. I have five strands of electrobraid but no where near 10 miles worth. The fence tester says the voltage is 3.3 and I have three ground rods hooked up. My dogs just walked right through the fence. What do I do? It used to contain them.

    • Kencove Kencove
      Posted November 20, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Erica, can you test your energizer when it is not hooked up to the fence? If you are reading below 5.0 kV, we would suggest sending your energizer in for repair. If you are getting a good reading of 5-10 kV from the energizer, then you will want to test your ground bed. You do not want to read anything higher than 2 kV at the ground bed. If you are reading higher than 2 kV, you have a fault somewhere along your line causing the energy to ground out. If your ground bed tests good, and your energizer is performing well, try testing along your fence line to identify where the energy is going. Usually lead out wires, underground wires, insulators, and corners are places where energy may leak and cause a loss of electricity on the fence line.

      If you would like more help, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-536-2683. If you wish to send your energizer in for repair, please mail it to 344 Kendall Rd, Blairsville, PA 15717. Please include your name and phone number with the energizer.

  2. Babajide
    Posted March 25, 2018 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    Pls how can I wire electric fence into zones

    • Kencove Kencove
      Posted August 9, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Hi. Can you give one of our product specialists a call? They will be able to talk you through any electrical fencing questions you may have. They can be reached at 1-800-536-2683.

  3. Gregg
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Have a Gallagher 2million Denver. No metal t-post, 4 strands of high tensil. No reading with meter, fencer clicks but no light. Have one 8 ft
    Galvanized ground rod….I do feel an intermittent “tingle” when touching fence.

    • Kencove Kencove
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Greg, what is the joule rating on the energizer? I am unfamiliar with the unit you have mentioned in your comment. Secondly, what is the length of your fence? Do you have a lot of cross fencing? There are a few things that can be going on with your energizer/fence set up. Either your energizer is too small for your set up, there is a dead short somewhere on your fence line, or your energizer is defective. Can you try testing the energizer itself, unhooked from the fence? If you are able to get a good reading from the energizer, then you either have a dead short or your energizer is too small. If you are unable to get a reading from your energizer when it is unhooked from the fence, then your energizer may be defective. If this is the case, our certified technician can take a look at your energizer. Simply ship your energizer to 344 Kendall Rd, Blairsville, PA 15717. Please include your name and phone number on the energizer so we can get in touch with you. You can give our sales team a call at 1-800-KENCOVE for any additional advice or questions you may have.

  4. Conrad Mandsager
    Posted July 11, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I have a Gallagher M400 energizer on a permanent high tensile fence of 4-5 wires (depending on the paddock). There is probably a total of 2 miles of fence in the area that I am trying to get hot. We live in an area of NH that has tons of ledge which has made sinking ground rods difficult to almost impossible. So finally I decided to put 3 8′ rods near the foundation on my house where there is fill against the foundation and basement. I have them hooked in series to my M400. I cannot seem to get more than 1.5 to 2 volts on this fence. There is some vegetation on the fence in some parts, but not much. I was working on the fence yesterday and noticed that I was getting shocked by the wire from ground terminal on the M400 to the ground rods. I pulled it off the ground rods and got a reading of 4.6 v on that wire. I pulled the hot wire off the fence and tested it and I was only getting 2.6 v on the hot wire. Is my energizer bad? Can it be repaired? Anything else that you would recommend?

    • Kencove Kencove
      Posted July 13, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Hello Conrad, when installing ground rods its important to keep them away from other buried lines such as water, phone, or electrical. If you are reading a high voltage (over 2,000 volts) on your ground rod you have a fault somewhere along your fence line. Can you test your energizer? Simply unplug the fence and disconnect the ground and hot wires, plug back in fence, and use your voltmeter to get a reading from the energizer itself. In an ideal situation you will want to read from 5,000-9,000 volts. Your energizer may be perfectly fine, there just may be a poor connection, cracked insulator, or something along your fence line drawing out the voltage.

  5. Wayne
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Have a zareba 6 joule, the unit snaps nice and loud with bright indicator light but zero output at the terminals.

    • Kencove Kencove
      Posted December 5, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Hello Wayne, are you reading a voltage if you unplug both lead out wires and test the unit directly at the terminal? If you are reading under 6,000 volts at the terminal we recommend sending in your unit.

  6. Max
    Posted October 3, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Hi there, I just set up an open circuit fence about 150m long. The energizer is a Zareba Red Snap’r 66c. The energizer clicks loudly every couple seconds. There’s still voltage going through the line, but it a pulse, not constant. There is no short along the fence line (weeds, insulator connections etc), so I’m not sure why it’s releasing load. When I disconnect all the wiring from the energizer and plug it back in, it still does the same loud ticking which makes me think it’s the energizer itself that is faulty, not my wiring.

    Any ideas or advice?

    • Kencove Kencove
      Posted October 3, 2016 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Hello Max, no worries sounds like your energizer is working correctly! Energizers do not constantly energize your wire, that would be very dangerous! Rather they set out pulse of voltage.

  7. Doug Strandell
    Posted August 26, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Recently the fence quit shocking. I bought a new charger since the old one was 17 years old. If I just hook up the fence wire the charger appears to work. If I attach the ground wire it does not flash. I walked the fence and can’t see any problems. There is only one grounding wire that I see and the connections are good. It has worked for many years. Ideas?

    • Kencove Kencove
      Posted August 29, 2016 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Hello Doug, what type of Fence Energizer do you have now?

  8. Rajesh
    Posted May 28, 2016 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    We are using power fencing syatem. Day time its working fine. But night time automatically voltage drop 6.6 KV to 1.5 KV. Afterwards its maintaining 1.5 KV. Please tell any solution for my problem. We changed Earth Pit. But no Result.

    • Lacy Weimer Lacy Weimer
      Posted June 2, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Is there are a heavy weed load on your fence line? If so there is a lot more moisture in the evening and at night on the weeds that would cause a considerable drop in voltage.

  9. Melva
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I have a herd of sheep . 2 strands test up to 7000 volts at both ends of the line. 3 tests show it is getting electric. But there is no shock to the sheep and my helper grabbed the line twice and held it…no shock. How can 3 diff. Tests show voltage going through wire, yet no shock ? I heard one sheep get zapped when it tried to pass through and the wire hit a t post. Surely this is a clue.

    • Lacy Weimer Lacy Weimer
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      It sounds like you are having a grounding issue. Is the ground frozen where you are located? Do the sheep have heavy wool? Wool acts as an insulator. Was you helper wearing rubber shoes?
      If the ground is frozen you will more than likely have to add more ground rods or create a posi/neg system. Check out this blog on Winter Grounding!

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