Disadvantages of an Electric Fence

Electric Fence can be a cost effective alternative to more traditional fencing and don’t lessen property values. However, they also come with a few disadvantages that you should be aware of before investing in one.

In the simplest terms an electric Fence consists of posts (usually wood or insulated metal) with a single or multiple live wires running through them. A component called a power energizer converts standard electricity into a short pulse of high voltage which is transmitted along the live wire about once per second. The pulse runs down the wire, through any conductive animal in contact with it, and then back to ground through a metal rod driven into the earth. This is the current that gives you the “boot or kick” feeling if you accidentally touch a live electric fence wire.

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The pulsating nature of the electricity used by electric Fences means that it is safe, unlike the continuous supply of current you get from a mains outlet which can result in a grabbing effect which prevents a victim from releasing the source of the electrical charge. Instead, the pulsating electricity causes muscle contraction and therefore the animal is able to retreat from the fence.

The amount of energy required for the pulses to run down an animal is determined by the joule rating of the energizer. The higher the joule rating, the more powerful and therefore expensive the energizer is. When buying an energizer, it is important to choose one with a high enough joule rating to power the length of your fence, while leaving sufficient joule capacity to be able to recharge your fence should you expand it in the future.

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