• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Devaka Cooray
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Dave Burton
  • Dan Boone
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
  • Mike Barkley

Adding electric fence cut-off switches

Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi everyone my wife and I recently bought a farm house with 15 acres of pasture in Maine. I just built an electric fence for our sheep and I need to install cut off switches to our bottom 2 lines to prevent voltage loss during the winter. As of right now all the lines are connected and hooked up to a single Energizer. This is the first fence I have built and I'm not sure how to install the cut off switches without losing power to all the lines. I'm sure this is probably a dumb question but any help would be much appreciated, thank you.
Posts: 2027
Location: West Tennessee
cat purity trees books chicken food preservation cooking building homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Josh, hopefully this will help or lead you in the right direction. My neighbor has miles of electric fence on his farm, and periodically on fence posts he has switches like the one shown below to enable/disable certain lines or entire areas.
Posts: 750
Location: Bendigo , Australia
dog homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There are also 'twisted wire' style switches that are very good value
wire switch
In Australia we need to turn them off on very hot days to prevent grass fires
Posts: 323
Location: northeastern New Mexico
wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Howdy Josh and welcome
I can help you.
One thing you might want to get is a inexpensive electric fence tester. It's basically a neon lamp that is energized by the high voltage found in these fences. You can get one at any ranch store.
I picked the first url that came up when I searched for electric fence circuits so you will have a reference. electric fence Gallagher.com  
In the diagram below you'll see a battery with its plus and minus terminals, this represents the charger.
The negative terminal is actually the ground which is why most chargers only have one wire going to the fence.
That looks like a good link to learn how fence chargers work so I'll leave the basics alone.
The good thing about the ground being the ground connection is its everywhere so you only need to deal with one wire.
This means electric fences don't need to have a return (to the charger) wire. If you were to break the wire to a section of fence the fence loses its charge. Depending on how the fence is interconnected around the property it only needs connected to that one high voltage wire to work. Say for example you have one border fence charged that goes in a straight line, break that line by opening a gate and the far end of the fence is now disconnected. By the way many ranchers use a spring loaded insulated gate handle to turn on and off fences. Be certain which side the charge is coming from and make certain you get the handle on that side so you don't have a live wire on the handle side.
Good luck I hope that helped.

[Thumbnail for Gallagher-electric-fence-wiring.jpg]
[Thumbnail for building-electric-fence-gates-pasture.jpg]
[Thumbnail for simple-neon-electric-fence-tester.jpg]
Posts: 33
Location: Cambodia
goat duck rabbit chicken pig bee solar homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Josh Wright wrote:I'm sure this is probably a dumb question but any help would be much appreciated, thank you.

Not dumb at all. Here is a quick (and not so great) graphic I just made up, as I am better at showing, than explaining.

Basically, install your fencing in a single run, starting at the top and winding back and forth until you complete the bottom length. You can then separate the lower two lengths from the upper lengths, with a disconnect. Open the circuit during winter to disconnect the lower two lengths, while keeping the upper lengths energized.

EDIT: Oddly enough, I just purchased a 20,000 volts unit yesterday, which can be powered by both AC and DC sources, in order to energize a fence we will soon be installing.

[Thumbnail for electric_fence_with_disconnect.gif]
Electric Fence With Disconnect.
All of life is a constant education - Eleanor Roosevelt. Tiny ad:
It's like binging on 7 seasons of your favorite netflix permaculture show
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!