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Electric Fencing FAQ's

Which energiser would suit me best?
This would depend on several factors.The length of the fence is the main consideration and how long it could potentially be in the future would help determine the size of the energiser. Factors to consider when choosing between a mains and a battery powered energiser would include how close your electric fence is to a power point and whether or not you wish to take the power out to the fence with insulated cable. Another consideration would be whether the fence is temporary or a permanent fence and how mobile it needs to be; a perimeter fence would be permanent but one used for strip grazing would have to be very mobile.

Can I use a car battery with my energiser?
Yes you can but this is not recommended as car batteries and leisure batteries are quite different. A car battery will give out a lot of power in the first few days but then lose power gradually over the subsequent weeks and the fence will be less effective until the battery is finally flat. They will need to be charged more often and charging a battery while it still has some charge in it will lower the life expectancy of the battery itself. A leisure battery has a 'deep discharge' whereby it gives out a constant output for weeks on end and will lose it's last amount of power over a few days until it has completely discharged. These batteries often have warning lights on them to alert you to their current charge level.

Can I make my 12v battery last longer between recharges?
Yes. Batteries will always very slowly discharge to earth even when they are sitting on the grass so if you are able to keep them up off the ground then so much the better. By having the battery sitting on a short length of plywood which itself is on a couple of blocks of wood, then the battery's charge will last that little bit longer.

Why don't you sell leisure batteries?
They are full of acid and few carriers wish to transport them (and those that do charge a lot) therefore we usually refer people to their nearest caravan / camping retailer or sometimes a local garage where they stock them.

Why should I buy an electric fence rather than a standard fence?
Electric fencing is cheaper and needs less maintenance and it is also an entirely different type of barrier. While a conventional fence is a physical barrier to an animal, an electric fence becomes a psychological barrier as the animal receives a shock and quickly learns that it is unpleasant to come into contact with the fence.

Will an electric fence be okay for horses?
Yes. Electric fencing is preferred when fencing in horses as they learn to respect it very quickly and they will keep away from it. Neither will a horse rub against the fence possibly bringing harm to itself and the fence.

Can I energise the the length of barb on the top of my existing fence?
Definitely not. As barbed wire can snag on an animals hair or skin, it could cause injury if it were to be electrified as the animal would jerk away from the electric fence when it received a shock and any hair or skin in contact with the barb could be damaged. Instead, it's best to use distance insulators with a length of electric twine or rope to make a powered line along the top of the fence.

My electric fence tester isn't working?
If there's a fault on your fence, there may be just enough voltage that you feel a shock but not enough to register on a voltage tester. Check the installation and make sure all connections are good and there is no power leakage to earth - commonly due to broken insulators or vegetation touching the line.

My electric fence isn't very powerful in summer. What might be the problem?
An earthing fault is the most likely cause. In drier weather the electric fence current finds it harder to return to the energiser and complete the circuit than when it's wet. When installing an electric fence it's best to try and position the earth stake in an area that is unlikely to dry out in summer. Sink another earth stake into the ground a couple of metres away from the first and connect via 'lead-out' cable.

Why can't I use an old length of steel for my earth stake?
Earth stakes for electric fencing are always galvanised so that they don't corrode underground as the rust would soon inhibit the current returning to the energiser making the electric fence less effective.

If someone touches the fence, will they be locked on to it?
No. The pulse is every second or so and lasts only a fraction of a second so the snap an animal feels causes a momentary jerk and then the current is off. Anybody touching it is not going to get a reflex which holds them to the wire - that only happens in cartoons!

If my energiser breaks, can it be repaired?
Yes. Very rarely energisers go wrong. We'd only had two in the past two years with one being a lightning strike while the other became submerged. Both were sent off and had new circuitry installed and are back in operation. New circuitry is not something we carry as standard as the brands we stock are some of the best and most reliable on the electric fencing market.

What about solar panels, why don't you sell them?
Solar panels are available for electric fencing but there are two types. There are the ones which are advertised as being for '3 season use' which are effectively reliable in summer, competent in spring & autumn and unreliable in winter. These range in price from around £40 to £100 and will not give peace of mind that your fence has an adequate charge. The other type are very good and are built to a high specification but they will start off at around £200 and go up to £400. They are very good and reliable but most people have an old car battery they can charge up and install overnight while the leisure battery is taken in for a recharge.