Electric systems need to be grounded in order to prevent electric shocks. A grounding system carries electric current away and leads it into the ground, where it is absorbed. It’s important that your electric fence is properly grounded to protect yourself and your loved ones.
In an electric fence, grounding is a vital element since the wires are exposed and can easily be subjected to short circuit or human contact. To prevent accidents, you should know how to install proper grounding before starting the installation of your fence. Soil conditions, charger capacity, and the composition of the grounding materials are the most basic considerations in proper grounding.
Dry soil or soil with low moisture content is more difficult when it comes to grounding. Dry soil needs to have longer grounding rods in order to be correctly grounded. High moisture soil is a grounding-friendly type of soil. Moisture will help the grounding rods dispose of the fault current from the circuit, since wet soil conducts electricity better. The presence of minerals and organic matter in the soil also improves the grounding capability of the buried rods.
Charger capacity and required grounding are directly proportional. The higher the capacity of your electric charger, the more grounding you will need. Be sure you know the power of your charger, and the required length of your ground wire.
Knowing a bit about the types of metal available for use as grounding rods will help you decide which ones to use for your fence:
- Aluminum rods – will easily corrode in the soil. Not recommended for use as grounding rod.
- Galvanized steel rods – last for long periods but tend to lose conductance once they corrode. Can be used as grounding rods.
- Copper rods or copper clad steel rods – last for longer periods and never lose conductance, even if they corrode. These are most recommended for use as grounding rods.
In the installation of your grounding system, you should use a 600 volt to 20 kilovolt insulated ground wire. The first ground rod should be placed within 20 feet of the charger. For best results, use 6 ft to 8 ft rods driven into the ground, with a distance of 10 ft between each rod.
Use at least 3 ground rods for your electrical fence. If 3 rods would not provide proper grounding, use additional ground rods until the desired effect is achieved. These rods should be placed a reasonable distance away from drinking areas for your animals. You should also make sure that the ground rods are away from any underground utility lines, as this would disrupt signals of telephone lines or any electric utilities. Use grounding clamps in connecting the rods to the ground wire as these will not easily corrode when paired with the appropriate ground rod.
Grounding is an important part of the electric fence system that you are installing, so you should allot a considerable amount of time and effort to it. Once you have done these and made a faultless ground, you have already solved 90% of the connection problems that may happen to your electric fence.