Invisible Fence - Break Detection

I have an Invisible Fence to keep my dog from bolting. The control unit is now beeping, indicating a break in the underground wire. Short of ripping it all up, is there any way to detect the beak and repair it locally?
Thanks,
Ian
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Time domain reflectometry? :-) Hook one end of the loop to a fence charger ground terminal and the other to the hot terminal and listen for underground sparks?
Nick
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Walk the line with the dog's collar in hand. Walk close enough to the line to trip the "beeping' in the collar; when the beeps stop, you're at the break.
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Ian Stock (remove the "antispam") wrote:

Try this first: try walking the fence line with a portable radio, -detuned- from a broadcasting station. Set it on AM, tape it to a stick so you can keep it nice and low to the ground. If it "acts up" at any one point (and only 1 point), that could be your break (It's likely radiating some RF energy) If AM doesn't get you anywhere, try it on FM. If no results...
Don't know enough about your troubleshooting skills or the Invisible Fence, for that matter, but --
Assuming:
You know how to measure/checl continuity? And you would be able to rig up some long runs of wire to your multimeter? (You would essentially be making your test leads -very- long)
The Invisible fence buried wires are accessible at some point after they exit the ground, you can literally "check the loop" for continuity?
If both assumptions are true -- oops, one more: When you find the break you will be able to fix it? -- if all true, then start at a point in the middle of the run...
1) dig a small hole to let you get your test leads on the wire. Testing continuity back to both origination points, your next hole to dig will either be left or right of your previous one, depending on which way tested "open".
2) Repeat step 1 as needed, breaking the distance in half for each dig.
Eventually you'll either hit the break with your test hole or say "well, I'm down to X' left, enough holes, time to dig up this small stretch and find it."
Good luck.
--
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Have an Invisible Fence and the "radio method" described is exactly how the installers do it. The issue you will have when you find the break is fixing it. Your best bet is to talk to the Invisible Fence people and get a splice, which you can probably crimp on yourself. Should save you the service call fee.
Theo
I-zheet M'drurz wrote:

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from checking they do make a nifty break checker http://www.radiofence.com/break.htm
it is 60.00 but depending on things it may be worthwhile. it uses 2 tones and a ground rod.
I would thing a small electric fencer would be a good idea you should be able to locate it by the static. however the unit they sell since it uses 2 tone will let you find the break very close to where the break actually is!
Have you checked any spots where the wire is vulnerable or have you mowed or aerated the lawn recently? The house that I have the people had an invisible fence and they left the wire pretty much just laying on the ground?
Wayne
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On a real invisible fence, the radio method is pretty easy; I have found two breaks that way. A third break i couldn't find because the radio did not behave like the instructions said. Turns out it was a short in the twisted wires out to the loop! I paid the professionals to find it, and then made my landscaper (who cut and reattached the wires improperly) reimburse me.
If it is not a real invisible fence, the radio method will not work. I have not tried it, but the directions talk about adding a cheap part from Radio Shack.
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Visual inspection is the only option but I have always been able to find breaks by looking for places where there has been some disturbance. In one case it was where I was digging, in another case it was where my smaller dog (who doesn't need a collar) was digging for a mouse.
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I used a current detector. When the current detector failed to beep, I started checking the line. I've found all my breaks that way. Although, sometimes it was off a few feet depending on the terrain.
@charter.net (hlherron)
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