For beginners, installing an electric fence is a little complicated and may cause harm if not done properly. Here are a few steps that may help you in this task:
Step 1: Plan the job.
Great endeavors human have made were not carried-out through sheer talent and expertise. Most of them succeeded due to carefully laid out plans. So is your electric fence installation project. Planning your electric fence will make the job go smoother, prevent accident, and save you a lot of time and more likely, money. Now what should one plan about?
The things you need to know in planning the phase of your work is the type of materials to purchase, the kind of material to purchase, the amount of materials to purchase, the positioning of the post, the positioning of the wires, the installation of the wire chargers, and how and what accessories to add. An important part of the planning phase is the fence layout which will guide you in the installation.
After laying out these plans you need to procure the tools and manpower need.
Step 2: Procure needed manpower, materials, and tools.
For manpower, it is advisable that you work with a two or three person team and make sure that at least one of you has knowledge regarding electrical jobs. This will save you time and you will have a knowledgeable partner should electrical problems arise.
For acquiring materials, it is recommended that you find a supplier who specializes in electric fence products so you will be sure that the materials they will provide are of high quality. Most of these specialized stores will have all the things you need so you will no longer spend time store hopping for items you need. Another advantage of this is that you could ask advice from these specialized suppliers for the efficiency of your work and the adequateness of the materials you will purchase.
Since, you will be installing an electrical fence you will need tools that are customized for the job. Having someone knowledgeable in electrical works will help you know which tools to use and how to use them in order to avoid damaging the materials.
Step 3: Pole down.
Now to proceed to the work proper, the first thing you should do is to install the fence posts. This is a pretty easy job of dig and fill but you need to be accurate in your pole spacing. In case your poles have flanges, you also need to be sure that line posts face in the same direct so you could have your wires laid out on a straight path.
You need to install corner posts first and line post next. In installing corner posts, be sure that they have sturdy foundation in order to avoid uprooting since these posts will take higher amount of tension and stress. For permanent fences, it would be beneficial to cement the foundation of your corner post.
In installing line posts, you need to accurately space them in order to properly carry the weight of the wires. Be sure to measure, re-measure spaces between posts in order to be certain and refer to the fence layout you have made. Having a spacing guide will help in the accuracy of your measurements.
You also need to ensure that posts flanges are facing the same position.
Step 4: Wire in.
Wirings are easy to install except for the knots and splice techniques that you need to apply.
While installing the wires around the fence, make sure that you properly insert them into the flanges of each line post for proper support. In the absence of flanges, use wire clamps in attaching the wires to the posts. Be sure that attachments to corner posts are sturdy and properly installed to withstand tension.
In connecting the wire, make use of the western union splice, the eight knot, or the reef knot. The reef knot is most advisable in corner posts wire connections. You must drill in a rod into the corner post and use it as the anchor where the center of reef knotted wires is placed. Using connectors in joining electric wires will enhance electric flow and will ensure that the joints will be able to take a higher degree of strain.
When connecting poly products, you need to strip the end of the wires in order to maintain uninterrupted flow of electricity. You should insulate these ends with an electrical tape once connected.
Step 5: Charge up, ground down.
In installing your electric chargers, make sure that they are boxed or placed in an area protected from the weather. An ideal location is somewhere free from moisture. This is with the exception of solar chargers which are needed to be placed outdoors where sunlight concentration is relatively high. Nevertheless, you should always make sure that your chargers are elevated from the ground.
Connect the ground wire of your charger to ground rods. Three properly spaced (8’ to 10’ apart) grounding rods would be considered as proper grounding. Connect the ground wire to the rods through the ground rod clamp. Then, bury the rod to the ground. In doing this, make sure that there are not underground lines that are in contact or near you ground rods.
Finally, you need to connect the lead wire to your fence wires. Install jumpers to distribute current to other electric wire levels in your fence.
Step 6: Accessorize.
The purpose of your electric fence is to enclose animals in and not injure anyone who comes into contact with them. In order to prevent this, you need to accessorize your electric fences.
The most useful accessories are the warning devices. You should install one or more warning devices in each side of your fence to warn anyone from touching the wires. You may also use insulated clamps in order to prevent current from flowing into the post if these are positioned outside of the wires and are intended not to carry any current.
Lightings should also be installed around the fence in order to ensure visibility during night time. For high tensile wires, strainer should be used to tighten them. You may also need electric wire testers to test presence of electric current around the fence. For storm prone areas, lightning diverters should be installed to prevent lighting from striking you fence and causing unwanted power surge.
Step 7: Final check.
A final check will be needed to ensure proper installation of your electric fence. Check for the following as you tour around your fence:
- Test if electric current is distributed through-out the fence by using an electric wire tester.
- Make sure that there are no animal drinking vats near the fence.
- Look for other obstacles that may come near your fence such as tree branches, grass, and others. These will impede electric current.
After such check, you will be confident enough that your fence would serve its purpose. Now, you should never install and leave your fence as they are. Don’t forget to do regular maintenance checks or have someone to do this job.