Image Below: Cheetah M60 plugged into a badly installed socket.
With nearly 50 years of experience manufacturing electric fences, We’ve seen just about every fencing mistake possible. And We continue to see people make many of the same common mistakes. At Cheetah we are constantly challenging ourselves to make fencing easier, faster, stronger, and safer. With a little commitment and a modest investment in time to learn how to use this new technology, you can save thousands of pounds/euros and hours of maintenance time by making electric fencing work for you. So you won’t have to learn the hard way, here are 10 common mistakes that you should avoid:
#1 Poor earth grounding
Lots of people still think you can skimp when it comes to adequate earth grounding. What we must all learn to do, is install several ground rods — at least three that are 2-2.5 meters, galvanised, and attached with good ground clamps. The electricity must complete a full circle back to the charger through the ground. Poor grounding gives weak shocks.
#2 Using different types of metals
Don’t do it. When you hook up steel wire to copper something call electrolysis happens and the metal becomes corroded, making a poor contact and weakening shocking power.
#3 Inadequate animal training
Each and every animal must learn that the fence hurts. So please build a handy training fence, preferably on heavy wet soil. Flag the fence for visibility, and force the animal to try and cross the fence.
#4 Fence posts too close together
Well-intended government agencies recommend lots of fence posts in their fencing specifications. Fifteen meter spacing on flat land is just too close. You want the fence to act like a rubber band. When something runs into the wire, you don’t want to break all the insulators or knock posts out of the ground. If the posts are spread apart far enough — say 25 to 30 meters — the wire will just bend to the ground and pop back up.
#5 Too many wire tie-offs
Again, fencing specifications may call for braces every 400 meters of wire to tie the wire off. But I have found that even 1.5 km is OK, and actually adds more elasticity in the fence wire. This reduces the chance of wires breaking.
#6 Wires tied tight to each fence post
To maintain elasticity (the rubber band effect), wires must float past each line fence post.
#7 Building new fences near old existing fences
Old fence wires seem to be always moving somewhere and coming in contact with the new electrified wires. This almost always causes a complete short in the fence, and away the animals go.
#8 Bottom wire in contact with heavy, wet vegetation
Wet grass will suck lots of juice out of any fence charger. Hook up the lower wires separate from the other wires, and install a switch for the lower wires that you can turn them off when the grass is tall.
#9 Poor-quality insulators
Be careful here. Sunlight deteriorates plastic. So buy good-quality, long-lasting insulators. Usually black ones are treated to resist degradation by ultraviolet light. I have found that poor quality insulators turn white or clear after a few years in direct sunlight.
#10 Staples driven in all the way
When using plastic tubing as an insulator, don’t staple it too tight. You can spend several hours trying to find a short like this, discovering a staple had damaged the tubing next to a ground wire, causing a hidden short.