How to Replace an Electric Fence Charger
While it is rare, an electric fence charger will burn out from time to time. One common cause is when the fence is struck by lightning, and the charger is fried even before the fuses have a chance to break the circuit. For whatever reason, here are the steps to follow when replacing an electric fence charger, and how to troubleshoot the fence afterward. Unless you are positive the charger is bad, it is a good idea to troubleshoot first.
Step 1: Check the Fuses
Before you replace the electric fence charger, check the fuses. Most chargers have one or two cylinder type glass fuses, mounted in clearly marked fuse holders on the front of the charger. To remove them, push in and twist counter-clockwise. To replace a fuse, insert a replacement fuse, push it into the holder, push, and twist clockwise ¼ turn. The fuse will lock into place.
Step 2: Disconnect the Old Charger
Never try to work on a electric fence while it is hot. The electric fence charger doesn't have enough power to cause you injury, but it can be extremely unpleasant. Disconnect the power cord from the electric outlet. Next, remove the two wing nuts where the ends of the fence wires connect. Remove the wires. Loosen the set screw holding the ground wire, and pull the ground wire out of the slot. Lift the charger up and away from the hanging clips, and set it aside.
Step 3: Mount the New Charger
Hang the new charger from the same mounting hooks as the old one. Connect the two ends of fence wire to the same positions as they were in before. Insert the ground wire into the slot, and tighten the set screw, making sure the the ground wire is clamped tightly in place. Plug in the charger.
Step 4: Test the Fence
Using a fence tester, make sure that current is flowing through the fence. If you get a positive reading, the replacement is successful. If you get a failed reading, check all of the connections, and make sure that all wires are correctly placed. If this checks out and the fence is still not operative, you have a short somewhere along the fence line.
Step 5: Inspect the Perimeter
To inspect the perimeter, carry a machete to cut any weeds, vines or branches that have fallen or grown near the fence line. As you walk around the fence, listen for a snapping or popping sound every second or two. If you hear the sound, it will lead you to a short. Test the fence on either side of any spices, to check whether the splice is not tight. Inspect the insulators on posts for damage that allows the fence wire to contact a metal surface. If you are unable to find a problem, use a short piece of fence wire, and create a small circuit at the charger to be sure that it putting out a current.