Keeping your electric fence in tiptop shape is vital if it’s going to do its job when you need it. Here are some tips.

Maintaining your electric fence
When it comes to safeguarding your property, an electric fence can be a powerful deterrent against intruders. Whether you’ve had an electric fence installed for a while or have recently purchased a property with an existing setup, it’s crucial to understand that these fences require regular maintenance to ensure they function at their best. Here are the basic DIY aspects of maintaining an electric fence and a few key things of which you should be aware.

Understanding your electric fence

Before we look at maintenance, let’s understand how an electric fence works. Essentially, it’s a wire fence through which an electric pulse is passed. This pulse, generated by an energiser, converts power from the mains or a battery into a high voltage, low current electrical pulse. (Current is what kills, which is why fences use a low current.) The energiser is connected to the fence and grounded to complete the circuit.

Maintaining your electric fence

The importance of proper earthing

Earthing is arguably the most important component of an electric fence system and most issues with electric fences arise from poor earthing. For the fence to work, the circuit must be completed: when an intruder or animal touches the fence, the circuit is completed through the ground via their body and flows back to the energiser through the earth. To maintain proper earthing, ensure you have enough earth stakes buried in the ground, especially in dry conditions where the grounding of the wires can be weak.

Maintaining your electric fence

Common issues and basic maintenance

Now, let’s address some common issues and the basic maintenance steps you can take:

Danger: turn off the power. Before starting any maintenance work, always turn off the power on the energiser to keep safe.

Inspect the fence wire: Check the fence wire regularly to make sure there are no obstructions such as branches, leaves, weeds, or insects touching the fence and the ground. A constant clicking noise from the electric fence wire is often an indicator that something is touching it. Prune trees and shrubs to prevent foliage from contact with the wires. Also, remove any debris from inside the insulators that could complete the circuit by touching the steel fence dropper.

Check for damage: Examine the wires for damage, breaks or corrosion and also check the insulators that secure the electrified wire to the fence posts. Damaged insulators can allow the wire to touch the fence dropper and complete the circuit. Replace damaged components if needed.

Maintaining your electric fence

Tension the wires: Make sure that the wires on your electric fence are properly tensioned, so that they don’t touch each other or the ground. If you need to tighten them, be careful not to over-tighten, as this could harm the wire. Just tighten them enough to remove any slack in the wire.

Battery backup: If your energiser has a battery backup, check the battery regularly to make sure that it’s working. This step is essential for maintaining power during outages.

And that’s it – an electric fence is a simple thing to look after and it will keep your property and family safe if you do so.

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