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Adding electric fence cut-off switches

 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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
 
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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.
Brian
   

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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.

electric_fence_with_disconnect.gif
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Electric Fence With Disconnect.
 
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