20,000 Volts Electric Fence Charger

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by Asia-Off-Grid, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Does anyone here run an electric fence for your livestock, or maybe to keep out predators? We are beginning to purchase necessary hardware, in order to fence in a portion of the farm. I'm sure we will look at expanding it later. I am checking prices on insulators from international distributors now, in fact. Wire will be purchased locally.

    I just purchased a 20,000 volts rated fence charger, made in Thailand. An option I really like about this charger is, it can be powered by both AC (230vac) or DC (12vdc).

    Anyway, first question is, does anyone here have an electric fence on their property? If so, would you have any advice regarding setting up the system and anything you would / did change after it was originally installed?

    I have seen options for various different wires to use. Is there a particular wire type that I should use, over any / all others? I have seen a number of videos, but mostly marketing information. I would prefer direct personal advice from those who have actually used electric fencing. Real world experience, if you will.

    I imagine that, due to the vast amount of clay in the ground here, it will probably be best to run a ground wire (or two), along with the positive wires. I am pretty sure, during dry season, conductivity will be at its minimum for an electric fence. I am thinking 5 wires, at heights from ground level:-

    Top of post
    10" (negative)
    06" (negative)
    Ground level

    While we do have cattle that will be inside this area, the fence is actually for smaller livestock like goats, pigs, etc. The cows are taken out daily, to graze in an area off site.

    The pond, for size comparison, is roughly 33' by 39.5'.

    Any advice you may offer, will be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  2. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    I have used an electric fence to keep animals out of my garden. Thus I have had best luck with the conducting plastic lines as if they can't see the wire, it doesn't keep them out as well. I also tie plastic flags on the wires to make them more visible. We always used the electric wire fences in our fields as a kid. Very useful to section off areas of a pasture for rotating the feeding, for "hogging off" potato and corn fields after harvest, etc. Like the invisible dog fences, once the animals get conditioned to the fence, it bites, they avoid it and I think making it obvious that it is there is very important. At least with the old ones, the biggest problem is that they are shorted out by weeds, grass, etc, and you have to keep the area under them mowed low. With dry sandy soil, they are less effective, but in my limited experience, the conditioning of the stock is more effective than the actual shock, once bitten, they don't go there. Some people have tied ear corn to the wires to teach the animals that the wire bites, never tried it myself. My biggest problem is the pests bothering my garden, coons, chipmonks, deer, squirrels, wood chucks, require a near impossible fence, both low and high, while most farming situations are aimed at a target animal, fence for cattle is set up different than one for sheep or hogs.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  3. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    I use electric fence in conjunction with Barbed Wire and Woven Wire fence. I never look at Volts in a fence charger but Joules and miles of electric fence. Also what is being kept in or out. Before cutting back I had hogs, goats, and cattle all grazing on the same pastures and all three have very different fencing needs. Electric fence alone is nearly worthless and is best used as a continued education tool for the critters that says "STAY AWAY FROM THE FENCE IN GENERAL IT BITES!" Sheep and Goats, other than noses and light hair areas are immune to the shock. Cattle with horns learn that they can stick a horn under the fence and pop the insulator off, Hogs constantly test the fence and if the electric is out.......so are they. YOU HAVE NOT HAD FUN UNTIL YOU HAVE HERDED 250 head of hogs back to where they belong! Anyway my fence solution that works for multi species pasture is 5' sheep and goat woven wire fence, a strand of barbed wire right above the woven wire and a strand of barbed 3" from the base. a 100 Joule Bull Zapper charger powering a top strand electric above the barbed wire and 12 joule Parmak charger powering a second strand 10 inches from the base of the fence. That 100 Joule will light you up and will leave blisters and burns just from the arc if you get too close. I had a bull that would simply take the shock from lesser fence chargers because the grass on the other side must be better :) Hogs don't need much in the way of joules or zap and 8-10 joules works just fine almost all breeds (the exception being breeds like the manglista that have a lot more hair.) If the electric goes out the barbed wire is back up and hogs hate poking their nose on sharp steel barbs, thus the strand 3" from the base. The top strand of barbed also is a deterrent for the cattle from pushing the fence down if the electric goes out. Sheep and Goats the only thing that kept them in was the woven wire fence and even then they would sometimes get out goats in particular, sheep not so bad. I ended my relationship with goats when all 120 found a way out and ate 200 peach tree saplings down to little stumps that I had just planted 3 days before......... I did get a good price for them at the sale barn the following Saturday :)

    Above all else when it comes to electric fence HAVE A GREAT GROUNDING I use 3 copper ground rods that are each 8' long and jumped together. I also only use copper connection wire for both hot and ground and seal it with brush on rubber sealer or the rubber pieces you shrink down with a torch. If you don't seal it leave enough spare wire to cut it back every 3-6 months as it oxidizes and breaks or just wont deliver enough charge to the fence.

    If you think you have enough fence....... you probably don't. If you think you have way too much fence you probably have enough.
    Brokor, Zimmy and Asia-Off-Grid like this.
  4. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    No practical fence is going to stop any of those, deer being the most annoying for me. Good dogs have been the best solution I have found for keeping those kinds of critters at bay.
    Asia-Off-Grid likes this.
  5. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    I plan on placing flags between every pair of poles, so the animals will learn the perimeter, hopefully easier than if there were no flags for them to see.

    If we had any animals like that around here, the Khmers would have already eaten them. My biggest predator problem, IS local Khmers.

    Would this apply even to a 20,000 volts shock? If not, that isn't something I wanted to hear. I do hope, even if necessary to incorporate barbed wire along with the electric fence, that I will be able to keep the goats fenced in. The last thing I want or need, is for them to ramble over to neighbor's pastures.

    Exactly why I am figuring it best to include a couple of runs of grounding wire along the fence line, in addition to the grounding rods. Even considering adding a meter of chicken wire, or something similar, inside the fence line and on the ground, to add additional grounding for the animals to step on, as they hit the fence.


    Looks like I need to do a bit more serious planning, before installing the fence and adding "escape artist" livestock to the area.
    Zimmy likes this.
  6. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    I might be wrong , but doesn't 20,000 volts seem like a lot for an animal fence ?? T5R is right about the joules rating. I helped my grandpa fix a bunch,,but other than that I have no real experience with it
    Zimmy and Asia-Off-Grid like this.
  7. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    I reckon I'll find out. Here, I am limited in options.
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    The voltage is part of the equation. If the system cannot deliver the amperage to get the critter's attention, it'll be like rubbing your feet on a rug and snapping the ear of your fave grandkid. Joules is the basis for training critters.
    Brokor, Zimmy and SB21 like this.
  9. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    No label on the unit. But, it delivers one hell of a spark. Here is a video of my friend Pete testing one:
    Zimmy likes this.
  10. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready!

    I am also putting my first one up.

    I'm fencing in about 4 acres into 5 different paddocks.

    Perimeter fence from the ground will be 5 wire at 6", 8", 8", 10", 10". All hot wires. Goal is keeping out wild boar, cows, and dogs while keeping in goats, domestic pigs and a pony.

    Cross fencing will be 3 wire at 6", 8", 10". A higher wire may be required. I don't know yet.

    I have a 10 mile rated solar powered fence charger and am using polywire.

    Maybe we can learn this together.
    Asia-Off-Grid and SB21 like this.
  11. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    I stand corrected.
    Asia-Off-Grid likes this.
  12. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready!

    I know goats are squirrelly. I'm hoping the fence shock helps. When I had goats before, I watched them climb over field fence and even push under chain link fence. I won't start out with more than I can put in the freezer.
    Asia-Off-Grid likes this.
  13. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    You may beat me to it by a while. I still have to order parts (insulators) that will take up to 2 months to arrive, unless they "conveniently" get lost and I have to reorder them. Not sure how difficult it will be to find the proper wire. Hopefully, it will not take long.We also haven't ordered fence posts. I have estimated that I will need about 80 or so posts in all. May just order 100 of them, as I know we will need more later.

    I will be interested in how well you manage to keep goats in. Outside this forum, I have heard horror stories about them being "Houdini-like" in their abilities to get out of fenced areas.

    Man, after testing it myself and witnessing that spark first hand, I knew pretty danged quickly that I did not want to be a test subject for its abilities.

    I wish I could do the same here. However, for Chan to continue to be self-sustaining, if anything happens to me, she will need to keep a herd of goats around for consuming, trading, etc. I figure 15 to 20 of them, at least.
    Zimmy likes this.
  14. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    You can probably fabricate suitable insulators from plastic pipe or solid rod way faster than waiting on a shipment from east bumbuck iowa.
    Zimmy, Asia-Off-Grid and SB21 like this.
  15. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    My sister had goats at one time. She used an old truck bed topper for their shelter, up on cement blocks. Had to keep it well away from the fence, or they'd climb up and jump the fence!
    Had a school buddy once who peed on an electric fence! He did that only ONCE! :D
    Zimmy, Asia-Off-Grid and SB21 like this.
  16. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    I was thinking the same as well. I remember my grandpa using glass, porcelain, and pvc. Among other non conductive stuff for temporary repairs. Cut some strips from a tire as well. You could definitely run the wire thru short lengths of pvc or plastic pipe mounted to your post. Get creative. Might save ya some cash on material and shipping,,and time.
    Zimmy and Asia-Off-Grid like this.
  17. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready!

    I've seen rubber water hose segments used as well
    Asia-Off-Grid and SB21 like this.
  18. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Thanks for the idea. They sell rolls of plastic / poly hose here, even lengths of water hose. Trouble is, I don't know how UV resistant it may be. Cambodian sunshine can be brutal on PVC and other such materials. We have replaced water lines linking storage vessels, after three years of service, due to having broken down from the sunshine.

    I do appreciate the advice of others here, concerning using local products to manufacture insulators for the fence wire I will use. But, I am concerned about the UV resistance of such items. I really don't want to have to replace insulators every three years, on these posts. That would be an enormous amount of work, over the area I plan to ultimately wish to have fenced. However, I will go that route as a last (READ: only) resort.

    I have been browsing eBay and other sites, for products that are UV resistant. Here is ONE SUCH ITEM, and reasonably priced, in my mind. Now, I just need to work on buying about 400 of them and having them shipped from Oz to here. (The company does not ship internationally.)
    SB21 likes this.
  19. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    One thing to remember,,,if you don't already know,,,,if you're using slip thru type , or clip in type insulators ,,, you may get a a bit of slack in your wire being stretched between multiple posts. If you had insulators that the wire needs to be wrapped around or fastened at each post ,, your wire may stay tighter between each post. Hope this makes sense.
    Asia-Off-Grid and Zimmy like this.
  20. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    It does make sense. It is also worth the observation that the wire will have to be threaded thru each of those widgets linked to Oz. Using the wrap around makes a bit of sense to me, OR use them like on power lines with wire ties at each insulator.
    Asia-Off-Grid and SB21 like this.
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