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Country Discussion Topics
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Putting up hotwires
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Paula    Posted 04-30-2004 at 07:23:57       [Reply]  [Send Email]
So the time for putting up a fence is drawing near. I'm
planning on erecting a large dog run for the boys
(rhodesian ridgebacks), and being sighthounds I'm
thinking I'll have to run some electric tape or wire at
least at to levels (about 1' off the ground, and above
and to the inside the fence). I've never run hotwires
before. Is there a good book or website I should refer
to? Should I just ask the electrician to do it?


As usual excellent feedba    Posted 04-30-2004 at 11:07:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I found the whole prospect of electric fence installation
daunting and even considered paying the electrician to
do it! I'm much better now thanks. I went to that Parmak
site and even spoke to a rep. The solar powered pack
is right up my alley.

Thanks guys! I really feel I can do this.

You guys are so cool.

Linda in UT    Posted 05-01-2004 at 00:29:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
Be sure to shop around for the charger, Paula. The retail price on the parmak site (last time I checked) was far more than I found it elsewhere. NASCO's ( for the parmak chargers we have are about the same as the best price I could find in the city, 200 miles away.

New-gen    Posted 04-30-2004 at 15:59:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hope you enjoy your place when you get it all done, I know how hard you've worked to get it.
It's always easier to help/advise people who are smart enough to comprehend and ambitious enough to go ahead and take the bull by the horns!

Clipper...Hey Paula!    Posted 04-30-2004 at 11:09:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
Lemme know how that fence werks for you...I gotta do sumpin to keep Ruben outta the tater chips an tequilla at the Saloon.... :^)

Linda in UT    Posted 04-30-2004 at 09:50:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
Paula, we use solar powered electric fence chargers for our cattle. Ours are made by and they've worked well for us for over 10 years. Ours are 12 volt chargers to hold bulls, but 6 volt will probably work fine for your dogs. But, it sounds like for your application you'll have power handy.

Yes, the ground rod(s) are extremely important. I went to a local electrical supply house and bought the rods & connectors. We left the tips of the rods sticking up where we wouldn't run over them and ran the ground wires from the charger to the connectors on the rods.

No, you don't have to complete the circuit. Meaning, you don't run the wires from the charger and then back to it. The hot wires only connect to the charger in one place and run down the fence from there. Don't make the mistake of looping the hot wire back to the charger and connecting it.

You'll have two wires connecting to your charger - the hot wire and the ground wire.

You don't need especially strong posts to support the hot wire fence. You can either fasten insulators to an existing fence, then run the hot wire (or tape) through the insulators, or you can push freestanding fiberglas rods into the ground inside of your fence and fasten your hot wire to them. Companies sell all kinds of insulators that will fit everything from thin fiberglas rods to chain link fenceposts to T posts, etc.

You can do the installation yourself. There's not much to it. Install your ground rods, install your insulators of choice, run the wires and connect them. Buy an inexpensive fence tester and use it to troubleshoot for shorts in the fence. Visible sparking is not normal, popping sounds along the fence are not normal.

RedTail    Posted 04-30-2004 at 09:22:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
Paula, I prefer electric tape. It is much easier to put up and also acts as a good visible barrier for the critters and for humans. Although, it is a one wire system, remember the ground is acting as your other wire. Most problems in hotwires come from bad or incomplete ground. Pound in three 8 ft ground rods about 6 feet a part. Dig a trench between them and connect them with insulated High voltage wire (the kind they sell at your farm store). Then bury the wires and the rod tips so that you lawnmower doesnt hit it, dogs dont trip on it etc. If your area is small you may get away with only one ground rod. Also the ground rods have a thingy with a screw that connects the wire to the rod. Be sure to put it on the rod BEFORE you pound it in cuz the top of the rod will get mashed and the connector wont fit over it any more.....gud luk

Shord Round    Posted 04-30-2004 at 13:27:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
RedTail, not sure why you would want insulated wire to run between your ground rods??? I would think the more contact with ground that you have with your grounding system the better ground you have and the better you system will work. Not sure why you would want that, maybe you could explain. Thanks

Fern(Mi)    Posted 04-30-2004 at 09:08:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi paula:
Here are three sites to check out for hot wire fence applications and explainations.
Do hope this helps.
If you need some total confusioun over all this whistle later. I've been working at it for years to see if there isn't another way of getting it wrong. lol

New-gen    Posted 04-30-2004 at 07:54:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ditto on what Deadcarp says, is there a farm store near you? They should have what we call "fencers" {not sure on the correct term} From some of the things you say you've done I'm sure you would be quite capable of hooking it up yourself (andI mean that in a complementary way}
When I was a kid growing up on the farm one of my first jobs was checking the electric fences. We had a test light with a probe you stuck in the ground, then placed the other end on th efence. Didn't take me long to figure out the PROPER way to use that tool!!

Burrhead    Posted 04-30-2004 at 09:50:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
roundcheer we call it a fence charger NewGen

deadcarp    Posted 04-30-2004 at 07:34:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
Fencing is a 1-wire circuit so you can probably easily do most of the cold work yourself and then let somebody light it up for you. Just remember to insulate the wires everywhere they go. For example even a green fence post with innertube rubber wrapped around it is fine. Right until you staple the wire down. Once that line is hot, it relies on seeking a ground to work. :)

Pitch    Posted 04-30-2004 at 11:55:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
I ran A hot fence around my dog pen last winter. It is a very easy job. I got every thing I needed at TSC in one trip except the ground rods and I got them at lowes. I ran one wire about 16' high and another about 30'. Really it was a waste of money, the dogs got zapped once or twice and they don't get within 2 ft of it anymore. I have'nt even had it plugged in for over a month.

Paula    Posted 04-30-2004 at 13:50:22       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thanks Pitch, that's what I want to hear. I'm very
concerned about leaving these guys to their own
devices with all kinds of critters flitting hither and yon
around them. Sighthound eyeballs are hard wired to
their a$$muscles. Just a couple of weeks ago a friend
lost one of her ridgies when it chased a rabbit off her
acreage across a road and was hit by a truck. And you
KNOW the last thought in that dog's head was RABBIT.


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