Lead out wire for electric fence

Field Bee

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Can you run a lead out wire from a ac fence charger in your barn underground to the area you want to fence in? Or does the fence charger have to be next to the start of the fence?
 

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I always tried putting the charger on a wall on the house or barn..... easy to then have it sheltered from weather.

If it is a long run from the charger to the start of the fence, IF you use lower quality insulated wire, you might lose some charge. With a good copper wire, properly insulated, the loss of power is minimal.
 

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I ran 70 feet of insulated steel lead out from my barn, and I must be having a ground issue now. Just not getting the power for some reason. I have 3 galvanized rods 10 feet apart in damp sandy soil near the charger. I did have the charger next to the fence originally and it worked great. Maybe I need to run another lead out for the ground rods to put them close to the fence? Does the wire between the rods need to be insulated? Just trying to trouble shoot here.
 

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I never ran a long wire to the grounding rod... I only ever used a single grounding rod.

So... grounding rod right by charger, attached to charger.

I think I have read that with low conductive soils... maybe then you use more grounding rods????

To troubleshoot...

I would first make sure the charger is working in its new spot. Get a loop of electric rope, attach to charger, see if it is hot (it will be stupid strong... so you will want to use a tester or your ears, don't touch).

If that works, then you know the currect grounding rod and charger location works.

If it doesn't, fiddle with the grounding rods until it does work.

Once it works, with the small test loop, then connect the charger to the pasture fence via the insulated wire.

If it doesn't work... then ...

I would first do a slow walk of the pasture fence. Maybe a wire is touching a t-post (not sure what kind of set up you have), or a bottom wire is running through too much overgrowth.

If all that is good...

And since it did work when the charger was next to the pasture....

I would think it is because you are running a steel instead of a copper wire from the charger to the fence.
 

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I ran 70 feet of insulated steel lead out from my barn, and I must be having a ground issue now. Just not getting the power for some reason. I have 3 galvanized rods 10 feet apart in damp sandy soil near the charger. I did have the charger next to the fence originally and it worked great. Maybe I need to run another lead out for the ground rods to put them close to the fence? Does the wire between the rods need to be insulated? Just trying to trouble shoot here.
First, the insulation for most "lead out wires" is totally insufficient for useful electric fence voltages. The wire overhead for power for the utility company is ~14,000 V. In order to prevent lots of voltage loss, look at the insulation used. Its several inches of air gap. My fence is 6-8,000V. I can test the amps dropped from one end of the lead out wire to the other and its probably 1A per 40' or so. Higher quality lead out wire (not the tractor supply garbage) might be better.

I bury all underground lead-out wires and gate pass wires in conduit for this reason. Theres no way you wont get some small crack somewhere with the crappy lead out wire! Ground wires need no special treatment just the hot. More ground rods or deeper ground rods are almost always the answer to a low voltage fence. Gauge of wire shouldn't be a major issue, but I use thick ground wire because I have lightning diverters and that probably does matter.
 
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