Testing an Electrical Fence


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Old 05-11-24, 11:29 AM
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Testing an Electrical Fence

Can I test a solar charger with a multimeter? I think I fried two multimeters attempting to do so. The images are the chargerís specs and the new multimeter.
if possible, what setting?
thank you.

Meter

Charger specs
 
  #2  
Old 05-11-24, 12:07 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

No load output - 7.5kv. That's 7500 volts.
Most meters are rated to 1kv max.
Looks like yours says 600v max.

You can use a basic neon bulb tester. ...... Neon bulb type tester
Try holding the bulb near the wire with no connection.
If that doesn't work.... let one probe touch the fence wire.
 
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Old 05-11-24, 12:39 PM
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Since the high voltage present on an electric fence is pulsed, a multimeter won't work.I have an inexpensive meter designed just for testing an electric fence.

 
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Old 05-11-24, 12:46 PM
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Some additional info....
What are you testing..... the battery ?
The solar cell ?

Those can be tested with any meter.
It's just the HV fence line that presents the problem.

Looking thru the manual... they mention battery is not user serviceable.
Gallagher fence manual
 
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Old 05-11-24, 02:53 PM
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Thanks for the replies.
This is a retirement project of mine. Itís being used for a homemade squirrel deterrent around a nectarine tree.
There are PVC pipes with strips of hardware cloth surrounding the trunk. The strips are about two inches apart and not touching the tree or the ground.
I have an underground rated 14 ga. cable going from the charger to the bottom strips, one on each. The cable is hot but the HC is not. Iím trying to find out why.

 
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Old 05-11-24, 03:04 PM
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How are you grounding the system. That often is the weak point of electric fence systems. You should have at least one grounding rod but most systems recommend 2 or 3.
 
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Old 05-11-24, 03:31 PM
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Well, considering a squirrel wonít touch the ground (dirt) and a hot wire at the same time, I attached the ground wire from the charger to every other strip and the hot to the others. This, as opposed to a ground rod.
 
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Old 05-11-24, 04:28 PM
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The idea of the system is one wire goes to a ground rod and the other wire goes to the grid.

That cable is not rated to carry high voltage.
It could be actually arcing internally.
You'd need to run at least one highly insulated conductor.
just an example
 
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Old 05-11-24, 05:08 PM
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You do not need a cable rated to carry high voltage. Since the fence charge is a very short duration pulse there is very little amperage involved. My 9Kv electric fence wire is poly fibers intertwined with some small gauge strands (3 or 4) of maybe 22 ga wire. Very effective for up to animals the size of deer. You can run a wire just off the ground that will deter squirrels it just needs to be kept clear of weeds and grass to be effective.

If you don't have a KV meter another way to check the effectiveness of your fence is to touch it. Back of a knuckle is good.
 
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Old 05-11-24, 06:07 PM
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When I was about 8 years old visiting relatives in Canada, an uncle gave me a stalk of grass to touch an electric fence. I remember the sensation as a gentle pulse not shocking or scary.
 
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Old 05-11-24, 07:21 PM
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I grew up on a farm. Most fences were barbed wire, but some were electric. A rite of passage for farm kids was to prove that you were brave enough (or more correctly stupid enough) to pee on an electric fence. It was not in the same universe as a gentle pulse. Seventy years later I can still remember the pain.
 
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Old 05-11-24, 09:19 PM
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Electric fence energizes are typically rated by length of fence they can support. This one is rated at about 0.5 miles and has 0.06 joules of energy. A cow or horse would barely feel it. You can touch the wire and it will sting just a bit but won't leave a mark. A 2 mile energizer delivers 0.10 joules and hurts like hell. A 10 mile one delivers 0.5 joules and will know you on your butt and leave a mark.

As the old saying goes, size matters.
 
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Old 05-12-24, 06:55 AM
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A 10 mile one delivers 0.5 joules and will know you on your butt and leave a mark.
That must have been the one, because I suddenly found myself sitting in the middle of a muddy field road. For a while, I believed I had been punished from above.
 
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Old 05-12-24, 08:38 AM
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"I have an inexpensive meter designed just for testing an electric fence." Care to share, Wayne?
As you can tell, I know squat about electric fences. It just seemed logical that if one strip is hot and one is grounded, it should work.
I actually became frustrated with the whole thing and grabbed one of the bare wire ends in each hand and I wish I hadn't. Talk about a jolt up the arms! That could be used as a defibrillator. Note to self: quit doing stupid stuff!
So, the juice is there but why is it not electrifying the HC. I'm beginning to believe, as others have suggested, I'm grounding out somewhere. The only possibility I can see are the screws holding the HC to the PVC posts. Are they touching the metal posts inside the PVC? I wouldn't think so because they are only 1/2" sheet metal screws.

 
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Old 05-12-24, 08:43 AM
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"I have an inexpensive meter designed just for testing an electric fence." Care to share, Wayne?
As you can tell, I know squat about electric fences. It just seemed logical that if one strip is hot and one is grounded, it should work.
I actually became frustrated with the whole thing and grabbed one of the bare wire ends in each hand and I wish I hadn't. Talk about a jolt up the arms! That could be used as a defibrillator. Note to self: quit doing stupid stuff!
So, the juice is there but why is it not electrifying the HC. I'm beginning to believe, as others have suggested, I'm grounding out somewhere. The only possibility I can see are the screws holding the HC to the PVC posts. Are they touching the metal posts inside the PVC? I wouldn't think so because they are only 1/2" sheet metal screws.
 
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Old 05-12-24, 08:44 AM
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https://www.amazon.com/s?k=electric+..._ts-doa-p_1_20

They are simple to use. Just hang the hook on the fence and stick the ground probe in the ground.
 
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Old 05-12-24, 05:38 PM
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suspect its grounded out also not sure which one is hot but you may need to insulate the screws on the hot side somehow.
 
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Old 05-12-24, 06:54 PM
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Your system should work as long as the bottom cloth and the top cloth are not touching in any way. The UF cable should be OK as long as there is no ground rod connected to the charger and the fencing will be isolated.

What is on the inside of the PVC pipes? I suspect the screws are contacting some metal.
 
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Old 05-13-24, 06:56 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Iíll try one of those testers.
Inside the PVC are those cheap green metal posts you can get anywhere. Others have mentioned that maybe the screws are touching them. The screws are 1/2Ē sheet metal screws and if you take into account the washers, wire, fencing and the PVC walls, how much is protruding into the inside. But just in case, Iíll back them out on my next attempt.
 
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Old 05-13-24, 06:58 AM
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There is no ground rod attached to the charger. The black wire is connected where the ground rod goes.
 
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Old 05-13-24, 07:40 AM
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so the bottom is hot and a squirrel would have to climb up the fence to where he is touching both the top and bottom wire mesh to get shocked does not really seem that effective but still suspect its grounded out to the T post I would look at adding some insulators perhaps rubber washers to the hot side and centering it on the open squares so the wire is not directly touching the screws, and for the ground side get some longer screws and so it is making contact with the post you have all those post in the ground anyway no reason not to ground it it may make the fence more effective to where a squirrel will get shocked just touching the bottom section.
 
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Old 05-13-24, 07:49 AM
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I think we have lost site of the original question.

Can I test a solar charger with a multimeter? I think I fried two multimeters attempting to do so. The images are the charger’s specs and the new multimeter.
if possible, what setting?
thank you.


I've tested my electric fence with a multimeter before and didn't burn it out. Attached one lead to a grounding rod (long nail in the ground) and touched the other lead to the wire. Make sure its set to the highest DCV setting. Usually the power pulses so you won't see a steady flow but rather a spike. As for your old meter, most have fuses that can be replaced. But it should handle the power from an electric fence, at least for short intervals.
 
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Old 05-13-24, 02:18 PM
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Finally, success! As much as I hate to admit it, a couple of screws were touching the metal posts inside the PVC and grounding the system.[img]data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7[/img] Now that I've backed them out and attached the wires from the charger with copper split bolts, the first two strips are charged. I'm going to try to use alligator clips to connect the other strips.

Thanks again, everyone.
 
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Old 05-13-24, 02:57 PM
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As much as I hate to admit it, a couple of screws were touching the metal posts inside the PVC and grounding the system
​​​​​​​
 
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Old 05-21-24, 09:30 AM
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I connected the other strips with alligator clips and all is working. I found a $7 electric fence tester at ACE that does the job. It's a simple yes/no tester but that's all I need.
 
 

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