7 Reasons Your Electric Fence is Not Working (And How to Fix It)


It is common for horse or donkey enthusiasts to face issues with electric fencing. Electric fencing is usually installed to confine our equines in a safe environment. If the electric fence is not working, the animal is exposed to the harsh world, so the issue needs to be fixed ASAP.

Not everyone can afford to receive professional help, for all those who are trying to identify and resolve the issue themselves, we are listing down some common electric fence issues and their solutions.

  • Inadequate or improper power supply
  • Poorly tied connectors
  • Poor insulators
  • No proper spacing
  • Insignificant energizer
  • Faulty lead-out wires
  • Breakage

1.  Inadequate or improper power supply

The effectiveness of electric fences depends on the power supply, so the inadequate power supply can cause an issue.

It’s quite easy to detect if the power is being properly supplied or not. To identify if the power supply is causing the issue, carefully check your power box if everything is running fine, take a voltmeter tester, and measure the power output of the electric charger.

To be more specific, if the system uses AC chargers, you have to pay attention to the main power source and if the system uses a DC charger, you need to double-check if the batteries are fully charged or not.

Solution

Usually, the reasons for inadequate power supply are: a defective charger, blown fuse, and improper energizer. You can easily sort out the issue by replacing the charger, plugging in the charger correctly, fixing the blown-out fuse, and buying and connecting the right energizer.

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2.  Poorly tied connectors

Poorly tied connectors can also bring down the electric fence performance. Fortunately, identifying and fixing the poorly tied connectors is not a hard nut to crack. This issue is breathtakingly common in long fences, but it can be identified and sorted without any professional help. Identifying if poorly tied ends are the issue can be a little tiring as you have no other option but to walk and check the metal filaments thoroughly.

Solution

If you are successful in knowing that the bad connectors are causing the scene, simply tie the joiners and the line-to-line connectors properly to resolve the issue.

3.  Poor insulators

If connectors can be a problem so do the insulators. The insulator is a small device that does not allow the current to flow freely. The poor insulators can not stand well to the sun, they often end up deteriorating. Now you have to examine if the insulators are expired, whether you need a replacement or not?

Solution

This simple problem demands a simple solution, to fix the insulator issue, you simply have to invest in good quality insulators. You do not have to go through any lengthy process, replacing the expired insulators with the new ones would resolve the issue completely. Take professional help if you do not want to get bothered by the insulators again.

4.  No proper spacing

Improper spacing between the fence posts can also play it’s part in making the electric fencing useless for a short period. The fence posts must at least be uniformly 15 feet apart for smooth working. Check if “all” fence posts are 15 feet apart or not?

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Solution

Whether all fence posts are improperly spaced or few of the fence posts are causing the issue. You have no other option but to fix the spacing. If they are not 15 feet apart, get them properly spaced, if some of the fence posts are improperly spaced, fix them until all fence posts are uniformly residing 15 feet apart.

5.  Insignificant energizer

The electric fence does not work properly and sometimes even stops working completely if the energizer is not strong and capable enough to carry the operations. Keep in mind that the energizer should supply the desired voltage to the fence to push it to serve its purpose.

Solution

Measure the fence out, if the electric fencing you have installed has two lines, add both in the measurements. You have the total distance that the energizer needs to cope up with. Now that you have got the figures, simply replace the inefficient energizer with the one that can handle the need. Your problem would be resolved.

6.  Faulty lead-out wires

Yes, faulty lead-out wires can also disturb the electric fencing efficiency. To be able to identify if the lead-out wires are disrupting the function, you have to check the voltage. If the voltage is okay, the electric fence is causing the issue for some other reasons.

Solution

Simply go turn off the power and disconnect the lead-out cable and the ground system. Now turn the power back on again, take the voltmeter, check the voltage. If voltage is not being supplied as per the need, you have to get a replacement. Replacing the faulty lead-out wires with new ones would bring the electric fence efficiency back.

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7.  Breakage

Breakage can also be the reason why your electric fence has suddenly stopped working. To identify which part is broken, you have to thoroughly examine the fence.

Solution

If breakage is the main issue, you have no other solution other than replacing the defective part. Sometimes the defective part can be fixed but it is not recommended if you are looking for a long term solution.

These were the seven most commonly faced issues that affect the efficiency of electric fences. There are several more as well including; a fault in the ground system, shorts on fencing, too many wire tie-offs, tightly tied wires, and kinks in the high-tensile wire. In brief, there is no all-in-one solution, each issue needs to be addressed differently.

About Waqar Zafar

Hi, I am Waqar, founder of Equine Desire, active in the horse world since 2012. I have MSc (Hons) in Agriculture from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. I love to solve equine health care issues and note them down in the form of research papers. I have written hundreds of equine health care, accessories, names, and history-related blogs. My equine-related work is watering a lot of horse-related magazines and blogs.


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