Common Electric Fence Mistakes

Common Electric Fence Mistakes

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,,


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.

Contact us now for your free quote in Nelspruit, White River, Barberton, Lydenburg, Hazyview, Sabie and Witbank on 074 104 6028 / /

11 November 2019, Nelspruit Fencing (Pty) Ltd, Mbombela, Mpumalanga

Electric Fences:  Does it really work?  (Part 2 of 2)

Electric Fences: Does it really work? (Part 2 of 2)

Let’s pick-up where we left off in Part 1 of 2 (here is a link to the previous article: and again start with – Of Course electric fences work! Electric fences is a security measure to keep the bad guys out, or at least to provide you with plenty of warning (in the form of a 15 – 40 Watt siren going off) that somebody is trying to breach your perimeter security.

I dealt with the first 3 objections against electric fences and whether it works or not in my first article and now deal with the remaining 2:

1. Electric fences require too much maintenance; and
2. If the criminals really want to come in, you can’t stop them.

1. Electric fences require too much maintenance

I’m sure we’ve all seen those depressing electric fences with the fencing wire hanging loosely between brackets (some even broken completely with the ends hanging down the wall) and the brackets looking like it is on the verge of rusting and the fence just being a general eye sore to both the property and the neighbourhood.

The solution for this is very simple: ensure you use an installation company which does a professional installation and properly tensions your electric fence wire to ensure the wires do not sag. A professional installation company will use good quality products, so that your electric fence remains in good shape for years

The only care your electric fence does indeed require is to ensure it is kept clear of vegetation. Surely, this is not unlike mowing the lawn and generally keeping your garden neat? And in fact, yes, eventually a number of years after your installation (depending on the professionalism thereof) your electric fence will need to be re-tensioned with new springs and a few bobbins may need to be replaced here and there. This is something we do for a fraction of the cost of the actual fence and again any property has maintenance requirements from time to time. An electric fence will place undue responsibility on any property owner, which that owner does not already have. Especially if you use a professional installation company like Nelspruit Fencing.

2. If the criminals really want to come in, you can’t stop them

With as much respect as we can muster for this statement: yes, if someone is specifically targeting you and your property (almost like a hit!), you cannot really stop them. However, with this line of reasoning, why do you bother locking your front gate? We all do what we can to keep as safe as possible and to make it as difficult as possible for a criminal to enter your premises and if a criminal does manage it, to give you as much warning as possible to defend your loved ones and yourself. Electric fences are the best possible perimeter security with the best warning system – you just have to make sure it is installed properly and professionally.

At Nelspruit Fencing we take security serious and we’re happy to discuss all aspects of your electric fence and any other security system like perimeter beams with you. Contact us for your free quote in Nelspruit, White River, Barberton, Witbank, Lydenburg and Hazyview, 074 104 6028 / / Also, if you have any comments on this article, we’d love to hear from you and address any other objections or questions not dealt with in these articles. Stay safe!

12 September 2019 – Nelspruit Fencing (Pty) Ltd, Nelspruit, Mpumalanga

“Know Your Products”: Security Electric Fences – 5 or 6 lines?

You, as consumer, are faced with so many options of electric fencing products, we at Nelspruit Fencing (Pty) Ltd decided to launch a series of articles called “Know Your Products”.

This is the first “Know Your Products” article and is written to explain to consumers why you should never have a 5-line electric fence.  The first bit of information to take note of is that one of the most common ways an alarm on a security electric fence is triggered, is when the earth and live wires touch.

Below we made a drawing showing the electric current on a 5-line fence.  You will note the top 2 and the bottom 2 lines are live wires and only the 3rd wire is an earth wire.  This means that only if the 2nd or 4th line connects with the 3rd line, an alarm will be triggered.  This is impractical as an intruder will not try to climb through the middle of your security electric fence, but under or over it.


Below we made a drawing showing the electric current on a 6-line fence.  You will note that if the top or bottom 2 lines touch each other (which is where an intruder is most likely to try and enter) the live and earth wires connects and an alarm is triggered.  In addition to the top and bottom 2 lines, if the 2nd and 3rd or 4th and 5th lines connect it will also trigger the alarm.

Do not let anybody try and convince you a 5-line fence is sufficient as a Security Electric Fence, just to save costs.  Above we have demonstrated why it is most definitely not the case.

We are happy to discuss any further topics – please let us know if you have any questions about this article or any other topic related to security solutions, either by commenting below or emailing us at  For information re the services we offer, please visit us at

5 April 2018, Nelspruit Fencing (Pty) Ltd, Nelspruit, Mpumalanga

Cut Wire and Earth Short test: how to check if your Electric Fence Security System is working properly

Testing your electric fence security system.

How do you know if your electric fence security system is working properly?  Those of you who are not installers by profession, may not know that to trigger an alarm the electrical current in your fence has to be broken.  This can happen in many ways, the 2 most common ways which will indicate an intruder is a cut wire or if the Live and Earth wires touch each other as someone tries to climb over your fence.

The ‘Cut Wire and Earth Short Test’.

Apart from merely trusting the installer doing work at your premises or studying up on electric fence security systems yourself to ensure you understand how it works, there is one easy way to check:  the Cut Wire and Earth Short Tests.  To ensure you have a proper electric fence security system, it is imperative that both these tests are done.

Installers should show you the alarm system works.

Upon completion of your electric fence security system, your installer must show you that if a wire is cut the alarm is triggered.  This can be achieved by removing a bridge or by cutting a wire and repairing it (Cut Wire Test).  In addition, the installer also must make a short between the Earth and Live wires by putting some object in connection with both (i.e. a screw driver).  This simulates somebody pressing the wires together as if they were trying to climb over the fence.  Once the short between the Earth and Live wires are made the alarm must be triggered (Earth Short Test).


Ensuring effective and relaible security services.

Nelspruit Fencing (Pty) Ltd will always ensure our customers have been shown that their electric fence alarm system works, by performing these tests and always ensures any questions the customers have is properly answered so that our customers understand all they need to know about their electric fence.

This is one of the tips to be sure you receive quality service.  We are happy to discuss any further topics – please let us know if you have any questions about this article or any other topic related to security solutions, either by commenting below or emailing us at  For information re the services we offer, please visit us at

23 March 2018, Nelspruit Fencing (Pty) Ltd, Nelspruit, Mpumalanga

Electric fence alarm system with pin-point ability

Electric fence alarm system installations have become common fixtures in South Africa. When an alarm is triggered on an electric fence alarm system the owner of the fence is alerted to an intruder and can take the necessary steps to protect himself, his family and his property.

But what if you are in the middle of a farm with an electric fence spanning more than 10 kilometres? How do you know where the breach has occurred? With the continuing improvement of fence and security technology the answer is quite simple.

JVA ZM20 - electric fence alarm system

JVA ZM20 – electric fence alarm system

By combining JVA’s ZM20 with a GSM Module, Nelspruit Fencing will split up your kilometres long fence into sectors and if an alarm is triggered in one of these sectors you will receive a text message (or email or Facebook notification, whichever you prefer) which will notify you of the sector in which an alarm is triggered.  This means you will be able to immediately direct your attention to the correct area, instead of traversing your entire fence before reaching the cause of the trigger.

In addition to directing you to the correct sector which is triggering an alarm, the ZM20 and GSM Module will also keep a careful log of any time when your energizer has been switched off and by assigning different codes to the different users, you will be able to see which user has switched off your energizer.


Clearly the electric fence alarm system will serve our farmers in and around Nelspruit (and anywhere else in Mpumalanga) well.  You will no longer waste precious time looking for the criminals on your farm to find out where in your crop they are stealing from, you will be able to zone in on them immediately.

If you have any questions about this specific electric fence alarm system or any other security solution, please contact James Deminey on +27 13 742 0004 / +27 74 104 6028 or visit our website