Posted by: 347bennetrd | May 25, 2010

Electric Fence Troubleshooting

The electric fence system on the farm is really extensive.  Three electricity units here;

power three separate lines – Trig, Tubbies and Gums.  The other day we wanted to set up break fences (this subject will most definitely feature in another post…) not far down the Gums line and were only getting 2500kV – not enough.  All the way down the main line there are switches that stop the electricity at that point.  In order to determine where the problem is, you can work back switching on or off until you can isolate the area that contains the problem.

Then, its a matter of walking along the line checking for potential issues.  This could be a wire come off the post, something touching the wire or making it short.  As you walk along, it also pays to reattach the plastic insulators that may have wiggled loose.  This particular day however, I walked along and then back again not finding any major problems.  Dad thought it may have been the point at which the lines go under the road – perhaps they were nicked by the grader going past?  So we dug up just next to the culvert but no, that was fine.  We checked under the shed, following each insulated wire along to check it didn’t have any nicks or shorts, but no.

Finally I was asked to dig alongside the back of the drench shed.  This was not a delightful job as this is a favourite dog, ummm, bodily function area, but nevertheless I got it all dug up.  We looked at the wires, and it turned out that the earth wire had been nibbled through by rats – we could see the rats nest!  So we reattached the wire, filled in the hole and hey presto, 6000kV as ordered!

Here is the filled-in trench;

It was actually lucky because the day before I had had some digging practise with Dad.  Apparently its ‘girly’ to use your foot on the spade.  The appropriate way to do things is simply to aim correctly and use your arm strength to fire the spade into the ground.  After lots of complaining about the roots and general difficulty I finally managed to do it the way Dad suggested.  So this trench was much easier in comparison!



  1. you’ll have to show me the spade technique one day! did you deal to the rats nest while you were there?

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