Electric Fence – How To Install

American Fence Logo

2215 IH 45

6612 Harborside Drive

3501 N. IH 35

League City, TX. 77573

Galveston, TX. 77554

Georgetown, TX. 78628

281-332-0511

409-744-7131

512-930-4000

Fax: 281-554-2592

Fax: 409-744-7131

Fax: 512-930-4002

Houston Fax 281-332-0513

Email: [email protected]

www.afence.com

Definitions
of common fence terms use to classify fence chargers.
Fence
Mileage Guide
– Grounding Recommendations

How do joule ratings reflect your
chargers performance

INSTALLATION GUIDE
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Important safety hints
I. How to install your fence charger
II. Operating instructions for solar installation
III. How electric fencing works
IV. Trouble shooting guide
V. Radio & television interference
VI. Lightning & surge protection
VII. Helpful fence building hints

IMPORTANT SAFETY HINTS!

1. To reduce risk of electrical shock do not remove CAUTION cover. Refer to service personnel.
2. Never electrify barbed wire! The barbs may injure animals if they
become tangled in the fence.
3. Use “1 amp/250V” fuses only. If fuses higher than 1 amp or lower
than 250V are used, they can damage a fence controller and void your warranty. Fence controllers that are protected with replaceable
fuses use external fuse holders. If there is no external fuse holder,
there is no fuse to replace.
4. Always disconnect battery-powered fence controllers from the battery before recharging the battery. Failure to do so may damage
your fence controller and battery charger, and void your warranty.
5. Never run more than one fence controller on the same fence line at
one time. The pulses of short shock solid state fence controllers will be too close together and may be hazardous to animals and people.
It will also damage your fence controllers.
6. Never alter the design of a fence controller or substitute components. This could be
hazardous to you and will void the warranty.
7. Instruct all persons how to disconnect a fence controller in case of emergency. Post signs on electric fences along public roads or near
residences.
8. Never disconnect wires or approach a fence during lightning storms.
9. “WARNING” Risk of electric shock! Do not connect an electric fence to any other device such as a cattle trainer or a poultry trainer.
Otherwise lightning striking your fence will be conducted to all other devices.
10. To reduce the risk of electric shock, an AC line operated fence controller has a polarized plug (one blade is wider than the other).
This plug will fit in a polarized outlet only one way. If the plug does not fit fully in the outlet, reverse the plug, if it still does not fit, contact
a qualified electrician to install the proper outlet. Do not change the plug in any way.
11. Never connect a DC fencer to an AC power supply.
12. Always check your fencer and fence line for voltage once installation
is complete. The fence OK light will flash when power is on the fence. The fencer OK light operates continuously with the
continuous current fencers that are equipped with lights.

INSTALLATION AND OPERATING
YOUR FENCE CONTROLLER

THE SEVEN SINS OF
FENCE CONTROLLER INSTALLATIONS

1. An insufficient ground system for the fence controller.
(Refer to Step 2 of the installation instructions.)
2. Stray voltage may occur when the fence controller ground
system is located within 50 ft. of a utility ground, buried water pipe, or buried telephone wire. (Refer to Step 2 of the
installation instructions and Radio Interference Section.)
3. Inadequately insulated lead-out wire and jumper wires (wire
must be insulated to 20,000V minimum). (Refer to Step 1 of the installation instructions.)
4. The ground wire is not adequately insulated and is located
20 ft. or more from fence controller. (Refer to Step 2 of the installation instructions.)
5. Inferior connections and splices of the fence wire, ground
wire, lead-out wire, and jumper wires. (Refer to Step 3 of the installation instructions.)
6. Substandard fence wire insulation: cracked insulators, poor
quality insulators, water hose, plastic tubing, or the use of wood posts without insulators. (Refer to Step 3 of the
installation instructions.)
7. The fence controller is underpowered for the condition of the
fence being energized (i.e., rain, snow, ice, vegetation, rusty wire, and length of fence). (Refer to “How Electric Fencing
Works” in this manual.)

I. HOW TO INSTALL
YOUR FENCE CONTROLLER

Grounding Instructions: This controller must be grounded. If it should
malfunction or break down, grounding reduces the risk of electrical shock by providing a path of low resistance for the electric current.
AC line operated controllers are provided with a polarized 2-blade attachment plug for use on
a 120-volt circuit. The plug must be inserted into an appropriate outlet that is properly installed in
accordance with all local codes and ordinances.

Grounding of this product is provided by a properly installed ground rod electrically connected to the
fence controller output ground terminal. An internal fault on an improperly grounded fence controller could result in a risk
of high electric shock currents on the electrified fence.

DANGER – For an AC line operated fence controller, do not modify the plug provided with the controller if it will not fit the outlet; have a proper outlet
installed by a qualified electrician. If it is necessary to use an extension cord, use only a polarized extension
cord that will accept the plug for the unit. Repair or replace a damaged cord.

STEP 1
Install your fence controller under cover and protect all electrical connections
from moisture. The fence controller lead-out wire carries voltage from the (hot) fence terminal to the fence. A jumper wire carries voltage from one
electrified fence line to another (i.e., gates, buried wire, corners, and multiple
wire fence systems). Use insulted cable that is manufactured for electric fencing (10 to 14 gauge wire insulated to 20,000 volts).
Do not use common electrical wiring; it is only rated for 600 volt use.

STEP 2
Install at least one 6 ft. galvanized or copper ground rod within 20 ft. of the fence controller. Use a ground rod clamp to attach the insulated ground wire
to the ground rod (clamp must bite into rod and ground wire). The ground wire should be 10 to 14 gauge wire and insulated from 600V to 20,000 volts.
For best results, install three ground rods into the earth 6 ft. deep, spaced 10ft. apart. If possible, install ground rods in areas of constant moisture.

STEP 3
Do not install ground rods within 50 ft. of a utility ground rod, buried
telephone line, or buried water-line (they may pick up stray voltage). This is
evident if you receive pulsing shocks from water spigots or water tanks or if
you hear the pulse of the fence controller in your phone, television, or radio.

Step 4
Make good connections, using wire clamps, wire connectors, and proper splices
(refer to drawings). Simply wrapping the wire loosely causes corrosion at the
splice and reduces the power on the fence. Use high quality insulators, gate
handles, and insulator wrap, with UV (ultra violet) inhibitors for your fence.
If using metal fence posts, make sure fence wires cannot touch the post. There
are specific types of wood posts designed for electric fence use without
insulators.

Illustrations of different types of
knots and connectors for electric fence

II. OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SOLAR POWERED
ELECTRIC FENCE CONTROLLER


The solar powered fence controller eliminates repetitious battery recharging and replacement and reduces costs by utilizing free energy from the sun. Its unique design collects and stores the sun’s energy during both sunny and cloudy weather conditions. It will retain its full charge through 15 days of total darkness thereby keeping maximum shock on your fence line at all times.

This completely portable SOLAR POWERED fence controller is designed for
easy installation. The SOLAR PANEL is mounted at the proper angle to ensure maximum year-round energy collection. It is IMPORTANT to mount your unit in a location that receives full sunlight throughout the entire day and to fasten it securely to prevent turning and shifting. Its solid state circuit has excellent high/low temperature characteristics which are unaffected by changes in the weather for maximum output voltage on the fence wire.

Installing Your Solar Powered Fence Controller

STEP 1
Face the SOLAR PANEL towards the noontime sun. Due south in the northern hemisphere.

STEP 2
Connect the lead-out wire to the fence terminal and connect the ground wire to the ground terminal.

STEP 3
SOLAR REGION SETTING: (For solar fencers that have a solar setting switch).

Solar fencer installations north of the line on the solar setting map, have less useable sunlight each day when compared to installations south of the line.

For optimum performance throughout the year, installations north of the line
on the map should slide the solar setting switch to the northern region setting (far left position). Installations south of the line on the map should use the southern region setting (far right position).
If you can’t determine if your installation is north or south of the line on the solar setting map, use the
northern region setting (far left position). Failure to use the proper solar region setting will limit the solar fencers battery life and void your warranty.

For solar fencers not equipped with a solar setting switch, slide the 2 position switch to the on position.

The operating light should flash with each pulse of
electricity that is sent to the fence

FOR BEST
PERFORMANCE:
After installing your new solar fence controller, slide the
switch to the “OFF” position. This allows the sun to charge the
solar fence controller battery. Let the solar battery charge for three full
days.

BATTERY
MAINTENANCE:
Repeat the above three day charging process each time the fence
controller is placed in storage or taken out of storage. DO NOT store out
of direct sunlight for periods of more than 3 months without first
repeating the battery charging procedure or the battery may fail.

IMPORTANT:
DO NOT CHARGE THE SOLAR POWERED ELECTRIC FENCE
CONTROLLER BATTERY WITH AN AUTOMOBILE BATTERY CHARGER. THIS WILL DAMAGE THE
BATTERY. A TRICKLE CHARGER SHOULD BE USED TO MAINTAIN THE BATTERY WHEN THE FENCE
CONTROLLER IS NOT IN USE FOR PERIODS EXCEEDING 3 MONTHS. CAUTION! DO NOT ALLOW
THE BATTERY TO CHARGE OVER 18 HOURS WITH A TRICKLE CHARGER!

SOLAR PANEL MAINTENANCE: In the instance that battery replacement becomes necessary be sure to
CLEAN the solar panel. However, under EXTREMELY DUSTY conditions the solar panel should be cleaned
periodically with a soft cloth and water without detergent or abrasive cleaners.
A clean solar panel will operate at maximum efficiency.

III. HOW ELECTRIC FENCING
WORKS

Electric fencing is a “fear” barrier that uses safe electric shock to deter
animals. In order for an animal to feel a shock, the voltage produced by the fence controller must be high enough to penetrate the animal’s hair, hide, and
hoof. Once the voltage is high enough to deliver a shock, electricity must travel through the fence wire. It then flows through the animal that is
touching the fence and into the soil the animal is standing on. The electricity then travels through the moist soil back to the ground rods. From the ground
rods the electricity flows through the ground wire that is attached to the fence
controller’s ground terminal. The circuit is completed and the animal feels the shock instantly.

A
good ground system will pick up most of the electricity conducted by the animal
and send it to the fence controller. Poor grounding can cause interference
on telephone lines, in radios, and on televisions. You may also receive a
shock from metal cased fence controller or ground rod when it is not grounded
properly.

In
very dry climates (dry sandy soil) and cold climates (snow covered or frozen
soil) an alternative fence installation must be used.

This fence system implements the use of a ground wire running parallel to your
hot wire. This ground wire should be grounded every 1,300 ft. with 6 ft.
galvanized steel
or copper ground rods. This fence installation is no longer dependent on good
soil conditions and will carry the electricity back to the fence controller’s
ground system when livestock contact the hot and ground wires
simultaneously.

IV.
TROUBLE SHOOTING YOUR ELECTRIC FENCE

Even the best-built electric fences have
problems from time to time. The best time to discover and fix the problem is
before your livestock get loose. Use a volt meter designed to test an electric
fence or a five light fence tester to check the fence every day. When the
voltage drops drastically (Remember: Although wet insulators from rain or snow
will cause fence voltage to drop, the proper fence controller with correct
installation techniques will perform satisfactorily) take the following steps. .
.

STEP 1

FENCE CONTROLLER DOES NOT
OPERATE, CHECK THE FUSES

a. Some fence controllers do not have fuses.
Replaceable fuses can be replaced if there are fuse holders located on the
exterior of the fence controller cabinet.
b. If fuses are blown, replace them with
“1 amp/250V” fuses. Plug the fence controller in. If the fuses
blow instantly the fence controller must be serviced. Should the fence
controller operate for several hours before blowing a fuse there is a
problem with your fence installation, go on to Step 2.
c. If fuses are O.K. and the fence controller
does not operate, go on to Step 2

STEP 2

CHECK THE POWER SOURCE: Unplug
the fence controller or disconnect the battery clamps from the battery, before
checking power source.

a. A fence controller that operates on 115VAC
must have a power source ranging from 105VAC to 125VAC.
b. A 12 volt battery fence controller should
have a power source of 12 volts minimum when testing.
c. The 6 volt or 6/12 volt battery fence
controllers should have a power source of 6 volts minimum when testing.
Note: for best
results use a deep cycle battery rated at 85 amp hrs or more.

STEP 3

CHECK THE FENCE
CONTROLLER FOR OUTPUT:
Use a volt meter designed to test electric fence
controller output. Ask your local farm store for this product.

If a volt meter is
unavailable you can use a screwdriver as a “gross check” for voltage
output. Disconnect the hot lead-out wire from your fence controller. Do not
remove your ground wire. Using a screwdriver with an insulated handle, draw an
arc between the hot terminal and the ground terminal. The length of the spark
gaps are listed below for your use. This is not an accurate method to test your
fence controller, but it will indicate whether or not your fence controller’s
output is reasonable.

  • The 115VAC solid state fence
    controllers have a typical spark gap of 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch

  • The battery & solar
    fence controllers have a typical spark gap of 1/16 inch to 3/16 inch

  • The weed chopper fence
    controllers have a typical spark gap of 1/32 inch to 1/16 inch

  • The continuous current fence
    controllers have a typical spark gap of 1/32 inch to 1/16 inch

If the fence controller
output is low your fence controller should be serviced. If the output is O.K. go
on to Step 4.

STEP 4

IF THE FENCE CONTROLLER OUTPUT
AND POWER SOURCE ARE NORMAL, CHECK THE FENCE INSTALLATION

a. Reconnect the hot lead-out wire (which was
disconnected in Step 3) to the fence terminal. Then disconnect the
lead-out wire at the fence and check for voltage. If the voltage is good
the lead-out wire is O.K. If the voltage is low, you must replace the
lead-out wire. Use AFW hookup wire rated at 20,000V. Go on to
Step 4b.
b.

Reconnect the lead-out wire
and disconnect all fences that run off the main fence and check the
voltage. If the voltage is low, the problem lies in the main fence. If the
voltage is O.K., reconnect fences, checking voltage as each fence is
added. Voltage should remain steady or show a slight drop until you
connect the fence causing the problem. Then the voltage will drop
drastically or the fence will short out completely.

c. Once you determine which fence or section of
fence is causing the problem, walk the fence line looking for shorts. Look
carefully at corners and gates, and where the fence comes close to other
fences. Pay close attention to insulators and connections, listen for
telltale snapping sounds that indicate electrical shorting.
d.

Vegetation or rust on the
fence is the most common cause of voltage loss. Even high-power, low
impedance fence chargers lose voltage when enough weeds and grass touch
the fence (especially when wet). Spraying herbicide under any type of
fence is good management, particularly under electric fence. Rust on the
fence wires acts like an insulator and will not transfer the electric
shock to the animal. If your fence wire is rusty replace it.

V.
RADIO AND TELEPHONE INTERFERENCE:

  • The fence controller ground
    system must be sufficient-see grounding illustration.

  • The fence controller ground
    system must be at least 50 ft. away from the utility ground and buried water
    pipes.

  • The fence controller MUST
    NOT
    be connected to the AC utility ground rod or water pipe.

  • The fence controller ground
    wire should not touch buildings which can act as a broadcast antenna. Use
    insulated cable (10 to 14 gauge wire insulated from 600V to 20,000V) or high
    quality electric fence insulators to isolate the ground wire.

  • Place the fence controller
    and its ground system at least 50 ft. away from radios and buried telephone
    wires.

  • Avoid running electric fence
    parallel to power lines or telephone lines.

  • Use top quality insulators.
    Poor quality insulators arc when they crack or become weather checked; this
    arcing causes radio interference.

  • To locate shorts, poor
    splices, broken wires, and faulty insulators, walk the fence line with a
    transistor radio tuned off the station on the AM band and on high volume.
    The radio will click louder as you approach an arcing insulator.

VI.
LIGHTNING AND SURGE PROTECTION

Lightning is one of the main
causes of fence controller failure. There are some precautions you can take
against lightning and AC power surges. Disconnect the controller from the fence
line and power source when storms are near. (Caution: never disconnect or
approach a fence during a lightning storm.) Install a lightning diverter
(commonly referred to as a lightning arrestor) between the fence and the fence
controller. This will divert the electricity from lightning strikes induced on
to the fence to the earth before it does any damage to the controller. Lightning
diverters do not arrest or stop the flow of current from a lightning strike,
they direct the flow of current into the ground when properly installed.
lightning diverter, is recommended for all types of fence controllers.

You can also protect
105-125VAC fence controllers from electrical surges on the utility side by
installing a surge suppressor. The suppressor is plugged into the outlet and the
controller is plugged into the suppressor. Surge suppressor will protect from
surges up to 6,000 volts and has a response time of less than 5 nano seconds.

A quick way of disconnecting
the fence from the controller before storms occur would be installing an Cut Off
Switch. It also makes it convenient for working on a fence line. You don’t have
to unplug the fencer at the power source.

Using these types of
protection will minimize the possibility of your controller being damaged from
lightning or power surges, but if you live in an area of frequent electrical
storms be sure to have a spare fence controller as a back up.

LIGHTNING
DIVERTER INSTALLATION

This lightning diverter
helps protect your fence controller from damage due to lightning on the fence
line.

INSTALLATION

1. For a single wire fence, connect the
lightning diverter to the fence wire before mounting on to the fence post.
Unscrew the top nut from the lightning diverter, removing the washer and
nut. Position the lightning diverter against mounting post with the fence
wire passing through the split nut at the top of the lightning diverter
shield. Tighten the top nut ensuring that the fence wire is not strained.
Then secure the lightning diverter to the fence post.
2. Where more than one fence wire is hot, first
mount the lightning diverter on to the fence post before connecting hook
up cables (rated to 20,000 volts) to each of the hot wires using line
clamps. Unscrew the top nut and pass the hook up wires through the split
nut and tighten to secure.
3. Connect ground wire by attaching hook up
wire to bottom nut by winding in a clockwise direction and securing nut.
Attach other end of hook up wire to ground system with ground clamps.
Diverter ground system should consist of a minimum of two 6-ft. ground
rods spaced 10 feet apart and 50 feet from fence controller ground system.
4.

For greater protection,
install lightning diverters on all corners of fence. First lightning
diverter should be installed no closer than 50 ft. from fence controller.

VII.
HELPFUL FENCE BUILDING HINTS

1) PERMANENT
ELECTRIC FENCE SPECIFICATIONS

a. The number of wires and the height of a
permanent electric fence, aren’t as important as wire spacing. Wires
should be spaced closer together at the bottom of the fence, farther apart
at the top, so animals are shocked on the nose or front of the head first.
The following wire spaces were developed over many years of trial and
error.

As in portable electric fences, the height of a
permanent electric fence is less important than the wire spacing. Most
animals go under or through permanent fences, rather than jump over them.

b. No matter how many strands your fence has,
one hot wire should be positioned at shoulder height of the animal to be
controlled. This will cause the animal to hit the fence with its nose
first, the area most susceptible to electric fence shock. If an animal is
shocked in front of its eyes, it will back up. An animal shocked behind
its eyes will go forward into the fence. Proper wire spacing is more
important than fence height.

Since an electric fence isn’t a
physical barrier, the wire doesn’t have to be stretched (Piano String) tight.
But, pull it taut enough to stay at the same height between posts. Posts should
be spaced every 25 ft. to 75 ft., depending on the terrain. If you space your
post 75 ft. apart you should use fiberglass battens to keep your wire spacing
the same height between the post.

Don’t try to evenly space
posts; in level terrain posts can be spaced farther apart. In uneven terrain,
posts need to be spaced wherever there is a high or low place. On hillsides,
posts should be installed perpendicular to the slope. This keeps the wire at the
proper height and prevents it from binding on insulators or clips.

Definitions
of common fence terms use to classify fence chargers.
Fence
Mileage Guide
– Grounding Recommendations

How do joule ratings reflect your chargers
performance


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