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Coastal 101 | Animals | Product Spotlight | May 5, 2017

Maintaining Your Electric Fence

Coastal 101 Product Spotlight Animals Farm & Fence Pet & Animal Livestock Fencing Homesteader Blue Collar Farmer Fence

Installing, maintaining, and periodically moving an electric fence is easier than you think. A good electric fence can keep livestock safe, be moved with relative ease to create paddocks, and always looks great.

How it Works

An electric fence is nothing more than a simple circuit. When an animal (or person) is grounded and touches the wire they receive a small shock. That’s because the positive terminal from the charger or controller is attached to the fence line. The negative terminal is connected to the grounding rods. Pretty simple right? Maintaining that simple circuit is easy as well.

Regular Maintenance Made Easy

Depending on your animals, weather, and use, you might need to check a few things on your electric fence every month. These include:

Voltage: Check various points on your fence for proper voltage using a voltage meter.  If you’re not getting enough voltage or no voltage at all, start your problem solving at the controller. Do you have voltage coming out of the controller? Is the unit plugged in? Are the solar panels clean and facing the sun? You might also have corroded terminals on your battery, or the battery might need to be replaced.

Coastal tip: To clean the terminals on your battery, simply use a wire brush to remove all corrosion. Check the connecting wires for corrosion as well.

Once you’ve eliminated those possibilities, ensure the ground is properly connected and the grounding rods are buried deep. Finally, look for a line that has separated from an insulator and is now touching a post.

Costal tip: Quickly find shorts in your fence by listening for an ongoing snapping sound. 

Keep Clear: Always keep brush, bushes, weeds, and tall grass from touching your fence line. You can either spend time clearing it away or spray it with a healthy dose of herbicide.

The goal is to remove vegetation from the line, avoid shorts, and minimize fire risk. If your line arcs amid tall, dry grass in the middle of summer you could have a brush fire on your hands.

Creating Paddocks

A paddock is quick and easy with horse-safe electrical fencing. Simply follow the installation instructions, including how to build a fence corner, and add it to your current electrical fence line. When you want to move your livestock to a new bit of pasture, the fence will easily come with you. You can even set up posts in advance and add fencing when needed. Just be sure everything is properly grounded.

Coastal Has Your Electric Fence Materials

Stop by your nearby Coastal Farm & Ranch for all of your electric fence supplies. That includes ground rods, wire connectors, fence energizers, insulators, splicers, switches, electric meters, output leads, gate kits, polytape, wire, and more. Got a question about your electric fence? Our employees have the knowhow to keep your fence electrified all year long.

Electric Fence Facts

The amperage from most electric fences is measured in milliamps, which is far less powerful than the electricity in your home. This means the shock is minimal.

Horses have a hard time seeing high-tensile wire when spooked, which is why horse-safe electrical tape is recommended.

Electric fence can be more costly to install than some other fencing options, but can last longer and is easier to maintain.

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