I set up electric fencing about a month ago. It's just over 1.5 acres, and I'm subdividing it up to rotate my pigs and sheep through. Currently it is only 3 strands, enough for the pigs, but I will be expanding it up to 5 strands @ 48 inches for the sheep. For the first few weeks it worked really well. Like well enough I was surprised that I had accomplished it... Then we got a bad storm. Dark, rainy, lots of wind. Ever since then, it hasn't really worked. I'm using a Parmak solar charger rated at 30 miles, and the gauge constantly reads in the red. I hooked it up to a battery charger and made sure it was at 100%, but no change. Touching the fence gives the weakest pulse, less than a 9v battery. I was pretty stumped until I was checking some of the cross fencing and managed to touch both the fence (to check for a pulse) and one of the T-posts (to catch my balance from almost tripping over myself). WOW!!! It works! Like I thought briefly I was going to wet myself from the surprise of the shock!
This leads me to believe I have a grounding issue. I have 3 7' grounding rods driven all the way in. They are about 8' apart, starting about 6' from the charger. I had thought about getting some additional grounding rods and connecting them to a 4th wire towards the bottom of the fence. Then the escapee pigs would pretty much be guaranteed to touch a live wire and a ground wire when attempting to bolt. Would this work? Would it be a waste of time? I'm certain now that it isn't the charger or extra grounding from brush. Any other ideas?
I have walked around and pulled anything bigger. There is grass, and one shrub that I haven't tried to take out yet. The fact that I got shocked when I touched the fence and T-post makes me thing that's not it, but this is my first electric fence so I'm ready to be wrong.
What should I be looking for at the earthing points?
A grounding wire would be a good idea. You could just wrap it around the T posts to ground it. Fencing companies actually sell fences with hot and ground wires alternating for dryer climates.
It could also be that were the pigs are getting out the electricity had already been grounded. Make sure that there is nothing touching your fence or it will not work.
Just my 2 cents. RF