While doing repairs and generally driving around the Lowveld we have noted a few common mistakes made when electric fences are installed. These electric fence mistakes are made by installers who are not properly trained, and which mistakes will impact negatively on your electric fence’s performance. Finally, it is also these common electric fence mistakes which make people believe that electric fences do not work. (Have a look at our “Do electric fences work?” Articles, https://www.nelspruitfencing.co.za/electric-fences-does-it-really-work-part-1-of-2/, https://www.nelspruitfencing.co.za/electric-fences-does-it-really-work-part-2-of-2/.)
Here are the most common electric fence mistakes.
The bridges are built wrong, so that your electric fence is not really in series or parallel.
This is a bit of a technical issue, which we’ll be happy to explain to you on site, but basically it means instead of having a proper security fence or a proper gaming fence, you have neither.
HT cables are installed in polyethlene pipes (poly pipes) instead of proper PVC conduit and pipes are not sealed.
These poly pipes are soft and flexible and do not provide proper protection for your HT Cable when you bury it. The HT Cable is the cable which connects your energizer to your electric fence and as such must be properly protected. Additionally, if the pipes protecting the HT cable are not sealed, when it rains water will accumulate in your pipes and this will cause your 8,000 volts cable to be submerged in water. Obviously, this is a terrible idea.
There are not enough earth spikes for the length of the fence.
If you do not have enough earth spikes for your fence, your fence will not be properly earthed. The electric shock of a fence which is not properly earthed will not be as painful as the shock from a properly earthed electric fence and therefore your deterrent of an electric fence is severely minimised. There are several other technical issues, which again, we’ll be happy to share and explain on site, (i.e. induction, capacitance, etc.)
There are no lightning diverters.
This is a COC requirement and as it is not an expensive part of the fence, we always install it to try and minimise the risk to your energizer. Your energizer is the most expensive equipment of your electric fence, so it is well worth doing what you can to try and protect it.
In order to obtain a COC many fences (especially free-standing fences) require a barrier fence.
This is a source of great contention between installers, complexes/estates and the Electric Fence Regulators and needs an article on its own (which will be published in due course). In the meantime, if you have any questions, we’ll be happy to answer them on site.
There you go: now you also know the basic mistakes which we see too often. The customer, who has no technical knowledge is completely in the hands of his/her installer and we therefore urge you to ensure your hard-earned money is not spent on a fence that cannot do what you need it to and what you’ve paid for.