Electric fences are a popular security solution in South Africa, and they are used alongside alarm systems to deter intruders from breaking into commercial or residential properties. However electric fences can be dangerous if you don’t know how it works because of its physical design – designed specifically for deterrence purposes only!
The intent is not to explain how an electric fence works but rather what to look at and what to do to keep your electric fence working optimally.
Here is a list of common problems you might experience with an electric fence, this list is not exhaustive:
- Broken wires
- Poor insulation
- Poor grounding
- Bad connections
- Energy leaks
- Vegetation growth
- Legislative compliance (commonly signs are not adequate)
- Valid certificate of compliance not issued
Some basic maintenance you can do on your electric fence
- One of the most important things to do for your electric fence is to keep it clean. Make sure there aren’t any weeds or grass growing near the bottom strand, if the fence is all the way to the ground. If there are any branches, bushes or vegetation in general touching the fence cut them back.
Take a walk around when it is windy also, branches for instance will not be touching the fence but in the wind will be swaying an periodically touch the fence. Do the necessary with them too.
- When you walk around listen for a tick-tick-tick sound. That is an indicator that something is shorting onto the fence and needs attention.
- Check for broken insulators, this can make the fence wire touch a metal post – not ideal when you’re using steel T-posts as this will short.
- Visually check connections. Take a walk around your fence every so often and inspect it for loose connections. The ground system consist of ground rods which is connected to the electric fence.. Wires can get damaged or loose over time due to a multitude of factors. If the wire to the rod or the wire to the fence is disconnected it is best to get it repaired.
- There’s a lot of misinformation about electric fences out there, and one thing people often don’t know is that you should have the correct size energiser for your fence. If lightning strikes the fence it can cause damage from power surges which will then affect or damage the energiser and/or your batteries.
It’s usually not worth repairing since replacing may end up costing nearly as much but then you have a warranty that comes the new energiser.
- Although the wires looks similar to that of normal fencing, it is not. The correct tension is important and needs adjusting from time to time. It is easy to spot with a visual inspection or if you are unsure contact a reputable electric fence installer to check it for you.
An electric fence by design is dangerous and we encourage you to get a reputable electric fence installer or maintenance team out to facilitate repairs. Doing work on a fence by yourself can be dangerous and can void the certificate of compliance that was issued.
It is advisable to have your electric fence inspected at least once a year by a reputable installer and maybe sooner if you feel it is required.
For more information or assistance feel free to contact Lutigyn Systems on the following:
Phone: 081 508 2785