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How to find the faults of the electric fence

Release time:2015-05-22

Electric fence fault finding

Faults (shorts) in your fence can reduce its effectiveness and may cause other problems, such as interference on telephone lines or internet connections. Checking your fence regularly using a digital fault finder or a digital voltmeter is important in order to maintain an effective, problem-free electric fence system.

How to find your faults

Electrical current flows towards a fault in the same way that water flows towards the plug-hole in a bath. A digital fault finder allows you to follow the direction of the current towards the fault, whereas a digital voltmeter allows you to test sections of the fence and isolate a faulty section.

To find a fault using a digital fault finder

TIP: when using a digital voltmeter to find faults, isolate sections of the fence-line with cut-out switches.

Check the energizer and the earth system.

Starting at the leadout, work your way along the fence taking readings at regular intervals. Always check around gateways, branches in the fence and wire joins, as faults are likely in these areas. A fault will show up as an abnormally high reading. A sudden reduction in current between one point and the next indicates a fault between the two points.

Move backwards in the direction of the lowest reading to locate the fault.

At the first cut-out switch (at the end of the leadout), disconnect the rest of the fence and take a voltage reading. The voltage should be normal.

Move along the fence-line disconnecting a section of the fence and take a voltage reading at each cut-out switch. A fault will show up as an abnormally high reading.

Causes for faults may include...

Vegetation touching the live wires

Broken wires or insulators

Corroded metals somewhere in the fence-line

Poor insulation

Poor earthing

Poor connections