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Old 02-25-2011, 08:31 AM   #1
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Electric Fencing Question


Not sure how much any of you know about farm electric fencing, but there are times that it can defy logic.. anyways, that is not my question...

I am building a shack to enclose an old well. I will be trying to power the well pump using a windmill to charge a large bank of batteries and then use an inverter to convert to AC power. The water will be used for horses in nearby paddocks.

here is where the electric fence part comes in.... the paddocks are too far away from hydro to have a traditional plug in fencer. we tried 2 different brands of solar fencers, but just don't get the overall readings that we do out of the plug in type (we compared the two by running a generator and switching between them - the plug-in type kicked butt).

so, what I was thinking of doing was to put a plug in fencer in my well shack and run off a second inverter (1 - to separate the two loads and prevent brown-outs on the fencer, 2 - if the well pump fries the inverter i don't want the fence down to). then I will bury an insulated power lead from the fencer to the fence (about 50-60').

my question is, Can i drop a ground rod into the well and use the contact of the water and water to earth as an earth ground for the fence??

thanks in advance

rod

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Old 02-25-2011, 09:39 AM   #2
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I always read that you're not supposed to install ground rods even within 50 ft. of a buried water-line (it may pick up stray voltage). I assume they were talking about the metal pipes. Supposedly the livestock can get a slight shock when they drink and it discourages them from drinking.

What you are proposing sounds like it might cause similar problems.

We do have electric wires offset from our field fence, but I don't have any first hand experience with this happening. Our ground rods are about 30 feet from our water line but we have plastic pipes.

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Old 02-25-2011, 09:51 AM   #3
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nancy,

thank you for your reply... my piping will all be plastic, but I hear you on the shock thing.. the bowls will all be plastic as well... we are going to use an auto-refilling bowl .

my attempt was to have the ground rod as close to the fencer as possible, but I suppose there would be little difference running my power line 50' as well as the ground 50' and have everything up at the fence...

rod
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:54 AM   #4
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I don't know beans about electric anything - but I bet the folks at this site could help you: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/
Sign up and post in the "Projects" area.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:02 AM   #5
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With plastic pipes, I don't think it would be a problem if you put the charger in the well shack and then sank the ground rods into the soil starting 10 feet outside the shack.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:16 AM   #6
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thanks
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:53 PM   #7
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If it were me I would run 120 from the pump house to the charger and place the ground rod at the charger.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:18 PM   #8
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What is the output of the fence charger? If it's powerful enough then burying a power lead will frustrate you...due to the high voltage burning through the insulation.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:54 PM   #9
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Burying the ground rod in the well might actually be counterproductive, especially if it is a deep well. The closer the rod is to the charger, the better the results will be. Also if the fence is for retaining horses then you'll need a functional voltage for only a short time...long enough for them to learn what the fence is all about. After that lesson, a dead fence is no different than a live fence - to a horse. They won't go near it.

Last edited by jlmran; 02-25-2011 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rditz View Post
nancy,

thank you for your reply... my piping will all be plastic, but I hear you on the shock thing.. the bowls will all be plastic as well... we are going to use an auto-refilling bowl .
this won't matter even plastic is subject to the voltage gradients in the ground.

see this rather long and some what boring video for a scope of the problem

http://www.mikeholt.com/strayVoltageVideo.php
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:49 AM   #11
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rditz, Please list the brands and models# of your energy system for others to use.
While riding ATVs in Ok. last fall we found a nice well house beside a cabin with solar panels on the roof, 4x 6v batteries, & inverter inside. Nice set up.
My first experence with an electric fence happened in 1967 when I was 7y/o. I was walking, then I was on my tip toes and fingers screaming for help. About that time I remembered someone telling me "Don't touch that wire". Guess where the wire was. LOL

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