Because of our dry weather I noticed my electric fences were not
working very well. I soon discovered that I got shocks when I touched
the ground rod. I knew right away the ground was bad. I only had a 2
foot piece of galv. pipe. so I went to buy a real rod. The guy told
me I need three 8 foot rods spaced 10 ft. apart, and gave me a free
booklet put out by the Dare Company. Well, OK, they do say to use
three rods, but I think that's overkill. At the same time my 2 ft,
pipe was way under rated. So, I will put in a real 8 foot rod, but
only one. I'm sure that will help greatly.
However, here comes the question. They say to not place the fencer
ground rod closer than 40 feet to the house or barn ground rods. I
can not understand what the reasoning is for that? I also looked and
the rod I am replacing is 18 ft from the barn ground to the breaker
box. My other fencer (other barn) that rod is only about 11 feet away
and that one is set in a concrete slab so it would be very hard to
replace, however, it's only a foot from the water hydrant so that
seems ideal since the ground is always well soaked. In order to
change the one I am working on, I'd have to move the fencer to the
other end of the barn, which means changing the fence and adding an
outlet. Or, I'd have to run 20 ft of wire to the rod.
I dont understand why the closeness to the building (power) rod should
make any difference at all. Do you?
In a practical sense, no, it doesn't make any difference.
I've not read their literature so am surmising, but I suspect it's to
minimize any possibility of a faulty power ground condition having any
likelihood of being able to supply a continuous voltage/current to the
It's normally pretty dry here in SW KS and never had any need for so
much ground on the electric fences to keep them "hot". I would go w/ a
sold rod instead of (particularly galvanized) pipe, and drive it
certainly deeper than 2-ft. In some really dry times, have just taken
the water truck over there and soaked it up -- it'll take a couple
months before there's any problem again even if it doesn't rain...and we
could certainly stand some -- been about six weeks now since other than
a shower... :(
Would love to have "you'se guys" share some...since the mid-May bout of
severe weather, we've only had one good rain here...been _very_ spotty.
From about Dodge on east, not so, but west and particularly SW... :(
I'm thinking that since the fence ground is part of the shock circuit that
it may be possible that fence charger voltage will stray into the grounding
electrode system of the house or barn thereby creating a shock hazard for
On Sat, 28 Jul 2007 08:30:05 -0500, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Yes, I do. My fence charger generates 5,000 volts between the two
terminals and I assume yours is about the same.
If you have a poor ground and a shorted hot wire, then the ground
becomes -5,000 volts. If you tied that to your house ground then
your house ground would be at -5,000 volts.
It may never put the full charge on the house ground but in real life
it happens often enough to shock you and to kill small animals. Also
happens often enough that they put warnings about it on their
There are lots of homes and farms that are floating many volts off the
ground or neutral line because of poor grounds due to poor soil.
Read recently where a dairy farmer had that problem with his 220 volt
neutral and his livestock were sensing it.
That sounds about right. I have one of those voltage testers.
Yes, if it was tied directly to the house (or barn) ground, but I
don't do that. It's just that the rods (fence and barn) are closer
than 40 feet apart, so I cant see how that would have any effect.
I have heard and even read articles about stray voltage. However, I
cant see how the power from a fencer would kill small animals. My
barn cats always manage to walk under an electric fence with their
tails in the air, and YEOW...... (pretty funny to see). Eventually
they learn to keep their tails down.... Electric fencers are not
intended to kill anything, just shock.
Now, getting shocked is another matter. I've had horses shove their
water tank against a hot wire. The tank is plastic, but when a little
dew gets on the sides, the horses jump when they take a drink. This
caused our pony to refuse to drink and he got sick because of it.
He's ok now, but I had to relocate the tank, use a different tank, and
now I drive a couple pieces of 2x4 in the ground so the tank cant be
shoved against the fence.
Yes, that could kill, and do all sorts of other damage to equipment.
But that has nothing to do with the fencer ground.
By the way, I should mention that when my poor 2 foot ground rod got
too dry, I could touch the electric fence and barely feel it. But
when I touched the ground rod, I got a worse shock than I have ever
gotten from the fence itself. Interestingly enough, I just dug a post
hole about 24" deep not too far from that ground rod. The soil was
dry all the way down. I temporarily solved the dry ground rod by
letting the hose run on it for 10 minutes or so. That restored the
fence operations. However, I am now going to install an 8 foot store
bought ground rod I doubt it will get dry all the way to the bottom.
Originally that 2' pipe was temporary, but it's one of those things
that you do and forget about as long as it works.
Oh ya, we got almost 3" of rain this week..... Thank God !!!!
A local mechanic says there is nothing more permanent than temporary.
A second ground rod will increase the grounding capacity by about 40%
if I remember right. Adding the third one doesn't help a whole lot.
There is also something called an enhanced ground rod. An example here:
I don't know anything about them other than there is such a thing.
On Sat, 28 Jul 2007 08:30:05 -0500, email@example.com wrote:
I used a 3-foot rebar with a grounding connector attached for my
electric fence. My (cattle) charger is solar-powered w/battery and
will give you a shock to remember, even during a draught. The fence
is about 300 feet long and has been working fine for 14 years. Get an
inexpensive electric fence tester to see if your fence is working
properly. It's my guess that one 8-foot rod will work for you. Make
sure all connections are tight!
1) If it is close to a building ground, you will be partially electrifying
your building ground. While you won't kill small animals, it probably isn't
very good for electronics that rely on that ground, you will probably get noise
in radios, and if the intentionally electrified portion of the fence gets
connected to a good ground (maybe something falls across it), you could
get a surprising jolt from your building ground that might cause you to
have some dangerous accident.
2) If your ground gets very dry, part of the circuit that is supposed to
be going through the animal to the ground is not going to work very well.
I had an electric fence to keep deer out of an area. I found that in August
and September when the ground was very dry, it would not work very well.
Watering the ground near the fence helped a lot.
3) You didn't say what the fence posts are made of or whether you had a ground
wire run along the fence. If the posts are metal, running a ground along
the posts goes a good ways to establishing a useful ground for the
Yes. The pulses from the earth rod can feed back into earth pegs that are being
used by domestic switchboards and telephone lines - this would lead to your
radio clicking, your stereo, your telephone, possibly disrupt your internet
connection. My neighbour, who is on the same transformer as I , once foolishly
used the mains switchboard earth peg in his dairy shed for the fence unit. Even
my electric kettle was clicking and ticking away when I plugged it in. It also
damaged my stereo amp.
so, there is your explanation. -P.
firstname dot lastname at gmail fullstop com
I "buy" that. The "earthing" system is only supposed to "see" fault
currents. In "normal" circumstances, no current flows in you grounding
In most areas, the ground and neutral are bonded together at the service
panel and/or the meter base.
IF that's the situation where you live then MAYBE I can see him having the
problems you describe but I just don't understand how so much electrical
"crap" gets into your house.
That all depends upon how the utility has connected the primary of the
distribution transformer. In the US, it's quite common for on connection on
the transformer primary to be connected to a grounded neutral. If that's
the case, several amps will flow through the ground connection under normal
First, most heavy loads are 240 volts and for these loans there is no
neutral current. The 120 volt loads partly cancel. MAYBE you might get a
net neutral current of 30 amps.
That 30 amps of neutral current is traveling over wires rated to carry 100
or 200 amps (depending upon service). The voltage drop between "pole pig"
and service entrance on the neutral might be a volt or two but likely a
fraction of a volt.
That voltage difference is what would be driving current through the "ground
connection." Let's say there is 25 ohms resistance. Even 3 or 4 volts
could drive only a fraction of one amp.
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