March 20, 2018

Electric Fence terms you should know and remember for 2018


Terms you should know when planning or installing electric fence:

Alternating current
Current that flows back and forth, changing directions rapidly. AC current is typically used in households in the United States and Canada. It reverses directions 120 times per second or 60 full cycles.

A measurement of electrical current; what you feel when you receive a shock. The higher the amperage, the more intense shock the animal will feel.

Used to train wild animals to avoid an electric fence. Turn off fence controller. Smear an aluminum pie tin with the bait (peanut butter, honey, rancid bacon, molasses, etc.). Connect pie tin to an electric fence wire using metal wire. Locate several baited pie tins around the perimeter of the fence. After baiting is completed, turn fence controller on and monitor bait stations regularly.

Capacitive discharge
A term used to describe electric fence controllers that pulse electricity at regular intervals through a fence, typically at one-second internals.

An output capacitor is used to store direct current (DC) electricity between pulses through a fence. Alternating current (AC) can't be stored using a capacitor.

Continuous current
Refers to a continuous output of alternating current (AC) rather than a pulsed or cycled output. Continuous current fencers produce very low voltages and extremely low amperages in order to keep them safe. As a result, these fencers do not work well on long, weedy or wet fences. Continuous current fencers are not UL listed.

Corner posts
Sturdy wooden posts driven deep into the ground to provide extra support for the tension put on a fence line as it changes direction. Corner posts are not only used at corners, but also for gates and end posts.

Direct current
Current that flows steadily in one direction, typically produced by batteries through a chemical reaction.

Direct-discharge fencer
A type of fence controller that does not require a grounding system to deliver an electrical shock. Direct-discharge fencers are most effective on short, weed-free fences.

Distance ratings
A way of comparing the relative power of fence controllers. Ratings are based on a single strand of 17-gauge steel wire strung 36 inches above the ground under ideal, weed-free laboratory conditions.

Fence load
Any number of conditions that cause current to be drawn from a fence wire. Weeds touching the fence, broken insulators, rusty fence wire, and even wire splices all increase fence load and reduce the fence's voltage and amperage. Fence load is measured in ohms.

Ground wire return system
used where dry or sandy soil conditions do not allow a traditional ground system to work. Consists of running a ground wire parallel to a hot fence wire, delivering at the point where the animal touches the two lines.

Ground System
Necessary to create a complete electrical circuit: when the animal touches the electrified wire, the electricity travels through the animal, into the soil, back to the ground rods that are connected to the fence controller, resulting in the animal receiving a brief shock. A ground system consists of ground rods (3), hookup wire, ground rod clamps and line clamps.

High tensile
An affordable, long lasting electrified fence system that is an excellent choice for perimeter fences, providing a barrier to contain or exclude animals. These sturdy, permanent fences require braced corner and end posts in wood along with special insulators, hardware, and tools that maintain constant high tension on metal wire.

A nonconductive material (plastic or ceramic), typically used to offset fence wire from a fence post. Insulators prevent the current from traveling through the post and into the ground, short-circuiting the system.

A measurement of electrical energy used to rate low impedance fence controllers. The effective power the controller delivers to the fence, independent of other factors that can drain voltage. The higher the joules, the more intense shock the animal will feel. (1 joule = 1 watt of power for 1 second)

Line posts
A post used to support electric or non-electric fence wire. Line posts support the fence line, and have far less tension put on it than corner posts. As a result, they can be made from a variety of materials, including metal, wood, plastic and fiberglass.

Low-impedance fencer
Low impedance fence controllers increase the joules (energy or shock) on the fence line if weeds or other vegetation touch the line. Available in AC, DC and solar powered models.

Mob grazing
The tendency among certain species of animals to graze vegetation down to the dirt. May cause animals to reach vegetation outside the fence.

Ohms are used to measure resistance to the flow of an electric current. A low ohms reading represents a heavy fence load, and a high ohms reading represents a light fence load.

On-time / Off-time
On-time refers to the duration of the electrical pulse produced by a capacitive discharge fencer. Off-time refers to the length of time between the pulses. Zareba fencers have electrical pulses that are only microseconds long, followed by one full second of off-time between each pulse. This long off-time enables an animal (or person) to easily break away from the fence.

Pulse width
Pulse width refers to the duration of the electrical pulse produced by a capacitive discharge fencer. (See On-time / Off-time)

Resistance is any force that resists the flow of electricity, consuming power from a circuit by changing electric energy into heat. Electricians measure resistance in ohms.

Rotational grazing
A system for livestock grazing, using internal temporary enclosures (within a boundry fence) to control the specific areas where the animals graze. This allows the vegetation in the previous enclosures to grow back. Typically is 1-strand of wire at 40" or at animal's nose level.

Solid state
Solid-state fence controllers deliver a medium amperage shock in pulses of medium duration. They are best used to control shorthaired livestock, small animals, and pets where light weed conditions exist.

A component that joins together separate strands of fence wire, tape or rope without breaking the fence's electrical circuit.

Temporary fencing
A one to three-strand electric fence system that is used for rotational grazing or other short-term uses. It typically uses step-in poly posts or rod posts, and a DC or solar operated fence controller for portability and flexibility.

A component used to tighten fence wires, typically polytape, to increase tension on a section of the fence line.

A device that increases or decreases the voltage of alternating current.

A measurement of electrical pressure. It functions similarly to water pressure in that it "pushes" amperage down the fence wire.

A unit of measurement for electric power equal to voltage times amperage.

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