Electric Fencing...Need 6 questions answered so I can order

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by outofmire, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    Ok, you all helped me get this far. I couldn't have done it without ya.

    Here's my plan for fencing in our 6 acres...about 2000' perimeter. I need some more information to get this finalized so I can order everything.

    I'm going to use 7-8' T-posts at the corners and gates....and drive them as deep as I can...maybe 1.5-2'. I'll either use wire diagonal bracing as Uncle Will recommended or else I'll use the wedgeloc for bracing.

    For inline posts I'm going to use 3/8" rebar as Oxankle recommended, spaced every 15'. I'll use the round post insulators. This will be 4 strand spaced every 9" for my goats.

    Later when we get a horse, I'm thinking I'll add something more visible along the top, such as polytape. I may even replace one other smooth wire with polytape.

    That brings me to my questions:
    1) If I use the wedgeloc for bracing, do I use a t-post for the diagonal piece?

    2) Is there an advantage to using the wire as bracing, other than lower cost?

    3) Which color of insulator is the best?

    4) What size controller do I need? What brand is best? My utility rod is right by the power supply. I know you aren't supposed to put the ground system for the electric fence within 50' of any utility rods. So that means I'll have to run power to the charger 50' away, correct? Would I be better off using a battery operated charger?

    5) How far should I space the inline posts? I got several different answers to this last time. I think it depends on the kind of wire I use, right?

    6) What kind of wire? I'm trying to decide between 15-17 gauge Aluminum or 14-17 gauge Galvanized?

    Aluminum doesn't require splicing tools, splicing parts, or a dispensing reel, correct? Aluminum is more visible, but also easier to break by jumping deer. Of course, my fence height will only be 3' tall now, and later when we add a horse, it'll be topped by polytape making it easier for the deer to see the height. If I use aluminum, what kind of ground rods do I use? Stainless Steel?

    If I use galvanized, won't the deer just knock down a large section of the fence rather than making a hole? I'm not sure which is worse, actually.
     
  2. ace admirer

    ace admirer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think i missed earlier discussion of this project.

    here's my take from a comercial cattleman with deer in area.

    no electric wire is going to survive running deer except high tensile wire (about $60.00 per 4000 ft roll) if you use ANY other wire (unbarbed) you will have to repair (splice, retie) every time a paniced deer runs through it.

    metal post should not be used on any electric fence that has to survive deer (the deer will break the plastic insulators and the wire will end up shorting itself out against the metal post) if you continue with you plan, at least consider fiberglass intermiate post ($1.00 each)

    of all the chargers i have tried (and i've tried a bunch) the gallegher(spelling) is one of the best for the money and they stand by their product with warrenty repair. i have tried others that work well but the lightning strikes take them out pretty easy. the gallegher seems tougher and make in modules so only the affected parts have to be replaced.

    ac powered fence charger will have a higher power output for the money spent. i would consider batt powered charger only in situtations where ac is not available or for temp fencing. i have several that are battery because of location (figure $60 batt, $200 solar panel, $30 panel/charge controller then the cost of the charger) or you could just charge the battery about every month or so (but that will get old fast)

    ss ground rods only have to be used in areas where its hard to get good ground conductivity.. the deal there is that a hole is dug, the ss ground rod is placed in the hole, then salt is poured in the space around the rod to increase ground conductivity. i'v never done it, but have read about it. grounding is important but ask back when you furm up your design or get a instruction booklet (the information is basically the same nomatter what brand you choose) i think the 50' thing is a code problem more than anything else. i use three galv or copper coated rods for ground and four rods for lightning suppression. thats a total of seven rods, buts thats for fences that are a couple of miles long and in a high lightning prone area.

    food for though:

    there is no cheaper commercial fence than high tensile (for cattle that is)

    the main cost of high tensile is in corners, ends or any place a direction change is nec. 8" or larger corner, 6" or larger brace post, 4"x 8 or 10 ft hoz. connector timber, (each 90 degree corner will cost around $90.00)

    if your land is flat, a post (4-6inch pressure treated) every 100 ft or so will do (with intermediate fiberglass post every 30 to 50 ft).

    the deer will still break the plastic insulators at the wooden post, but if you use a battery powered screwdriver and galv. screws, replacement is no too bad. (the wire will not short out too bad against a dry pressure treated post) i like the Dare black pin insulators (about $8.00/25) thats for wood post now...dare uses yellow for all other post. when deer go through the intermediate post, the insulators usually are thrown off the fiberglass post, not broken. i usually find the insulators with in ten feet of the post and just put them back on.

    with high tensile (200 lbs tension force on each wire) there will be no wire damage from deer. just insulator mentioned above. but again no metal post or all this is out the window. ok i'm too wordy. good night.
     

  3. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to mention that I have shallow soil which is why I chose to go with the T-post corners. Therefore this will not be high tensile.
     
  4. ace admirer

    ace admirer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    OPPS, what you got bed rock or just rocks? how deep can you plant a pressure treated post? you could probably still use ht but have to use double braces at corners... i have kinda the same situtation only i have a couple of corners in swampy soil so i have deep set post but they gain little support from wet soil. i have to use extra long hoz. braces (usually a pt 4 x 4- 10 to 12 feet long) and sometimes two with two brace post. isn't fencing fun?!?!?
     
  5. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I hit shale about 1-2' down depending on if it's on top of the hill or in the valley. My neighbor has a tractor, and I could ask him if he has a post hole digger for it....but I think my biggest limiting factor is that I need this fence asap. Someone else is taking care of my goats, and I need to get them back a month or so before they start kidding...which is now. I really want them to have the full 6 acres because the forage is sparse.

    Also, I'm having to do this myself. My husband doesn't have the time or inclination. I feel a little over challenged when I start thinking about the heavy machinary it'll require to do this right. I just want to pound in my little t-posts and do the best I can with what I can do. But I do want it to be something that will work for us for 5 years if we need it to. I don't want it to be shabbily done. I don't want it causing me so many problems that it's no kind of help at all.

    Just out of curiousity though, how deep would I need to bury the corner posts if I double brace?

     
  6. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

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    Wat about just doing wooden posts for the major corners. I have wood corsers and t-posts as "guides" for the terrain. That way you only need about 8 deep holes and you will have a very solid Hi-T fence.
     
  7. ace admirer

    ace admirer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    with high tensile, the specs call for 200 lbs of tensile force on each wire. some of the fences i have besides major highways have 6 wires, so you can figure thats 1200 lbs of pull on the post. at some point it turns into a balancing act. the fence trying to pull the corner post out of the ground, the weight of the corner post and its grip in the soil to hold it down. you could put less tension on the wires but at some point the wires will swing out and overlap when the deer run through it. if you don't run a grounding wire along with the hot wires ,( a method necessary with verylong runs of fences in areas that the soil is dry) this will not cause a problem. you will just have to untangle the wires every so offten. the support and intermediate post will have to be placed more often. because gravity will be sagging the wire more under this lower tension.

    once the corners are done, its a fast fence to run, even by one person (especially by your self). i have run miles (thats no exageration) of high tensile in the last few years, and i did it all with just me and my now 9 year old son. but the corners ARE a lot of work.

    I think you have some options, a very large corner post (for added weight) maybe sections of telephone post in good shape along with double bracing. or installing a "dead man" in the ground at each corner to resist the fences pull. that would be something like a car tire buired in the ground with a cable around it to act as a anchor. that would be best done with a smalll backhoe or maybe even a scraper on a tractor. and it means some lost space on the fence line if you want it near the property line. Still, in my opinion its going to be a short term vs long term thing. i don't think anyother fence will last long term except ht, its going to be a pay me now , pay me forever thing.

    let me tell you right away. the tractor augers are dangerous and i mean deadly. you should never operate one alone and adhere to directions strickly. i have a very heavy one that i fabricated years ago. it does nicely, but with the lighter ones, there's always the inclination to get off the tractor and "help" it.

    anyway, we have crystellian quartz and grannit here, can shale be broken up with a rock bar enough to dig out with a post hole digger? it would work great if the corner post could be down at 3 feet, 3 1/2 or 4 would be perfect.

    if interested, i will look around for printed info on high tensile for you and i'm pretty sure tractor supply has a video on one method of installing the corners. let me know if i may be of some little help.

    (and i didn't think my spelling could get any worse, its one of my many unsurmantable problems)
     
  8. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I would use a 110v plug in charger. I would build a section and turn the goats in being sure they have shelter and a pen to put them in when the fence fails. I don't think what you're looking at doing would be a permanent fence which is why you should just do a section first.
     
  9. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the info. I know you are right, but I feel like I'm back to the drawing board. I guess I need something temporary at least. I wonder how difficult it would be to put up the fence with t-post, and then later go back and set wooden corners and ht.

    Well, actually since the land here is so shallow, we do have a problem with dryness. I had heard about running a ground wire along the bottom of the fence, and was thinking of doing that. So if the hot wires touch the ground wire, I'll have a problem? It'll short, right? But if I straighten them out won't they be fine again? I know there is some elementary aspect of the nature of electricity that I'm not understanding here.
     
  10. ace admirer

    ace admirer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    correct on the grounded wire.. the deal there is to alternate hot and ground wires so that when the animal stickes his neck through the fence it will come in contact with one hot wire and one grounded wire. they get a good jolt that way and learn to "respect" the fence. usually that means an odd number of fence wires bottom hot, center grounded, top hot for example. or five wires hot bottom, ground second , hot third ,ground forth, and top hot. ive got plots with five wire grounded, about three miles long, works great except when a limp falls on fence or the deer thing. then i get a dead short, whole fence fails then. so they have this gismo that not only checks fence for voltage and amperage but will also point in the direction of the problem, about $100, i thought it was a waste of money but it sure beats walking miles of fence (sometimes more than once) to find a problem. it turned out to be money well spent.

    again the problem with running a grounded wire is that if the fence sags or deer run through it and the wires become tangled, you loose all voltage on the fence due to a dead short. the better chargers have a fence condition meter or light that tell you if the fence is shorted. but you can purchase a $14.00 gismo that you clamp anywhere on a hot wire. if it measures a fence voltage less than 2000 volts (i think thats the voltage) it will start flashing to warn you.
     
  11. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    On your corner bracing you ask about wire and T-posts. I would use longer T-posts as your cross bar horizontally at the top and also diagonally wire. Make your diagonal wire pull from the top at the post away from the corner and at the bottom of the corner post. Use a piece of rebar or a good stick to wind the wire taught and leave it in the wire allowing the top bar to hold it. Don't crank too hard or you will pull out the post. I wouldn't use rebar as inbetween posts, use all T-posts. At least if you redo your corners with wood you will already have the posts in place.
     
  12. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so how can I do this "right"?

    Can someone please tell me what I'll have to do to set the corner posts properly? Would I need to dig as far as I can, which may only be 2' max and set them in concrete, and then double brace? Would that hold 5 or 6 strands of high tensile wire? If I do this "right" what gauge do I need? Will 14 gauge be okay? I want the fence to survive deer.
     
  13. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    I got the book Fences for Pasture and Garden from the library today. Have you heard of this. She says you can help brace a corner post with a 3' diameter rock-filled wire cylinder. Though she didn't specifically mention it's practical uses, it did seem like something I could do. We have a lot of rocks just lying around. The only thing I might have problems with is keeping the goats from using the rocks to jump out, as the rock pillar is in on the inside of the corner post.
     
  14. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I don't quite understand how the rock pillar is inside the corner. I have seen a "buried deadman" to hold a corner post. Dig a hole outside and inline with your corner post and pour concrete with rocks and put an eye bolt in it. then wire from your corner post to the eyebolt. Problem being you have to put one for each direction opposite the pull off the corner.

    Try this:
    It's been wet lately and the ground is very soft. Mark out where you want your corners and drive a piece of steel into the ground at those spots. If it's dirt you can easily drive a steel or rebar 3ft. or more. If it goes in you then know you can auger and put a wood post there. Do this at all corners until you have what you need and mark them with stakes. Then get your neighbor to auger the holes for your wood posts. If he has an auger he must be able to use it somewhere, you only need to get the corners in and work from there. You might have to move things a little but you would be better off in the long run. I've got plenty of rock on my place and posts don't always work out where I want them. I have had to use stock panels to space between from where the post ends up and where I wanted it. Just be sure to run everything in a straight line, you can't fence in curves and have it last.
     
  15. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I am a commercial cattle producer.
    I put up my fences using high tensile 12 1/2 gauge wire.
    I buy ParMak chargers, good warranty and decent price.
    I set the main wood line posts on 120' spacing.
    I use 7/8 inch fiberglass round posts drilled on 2" spacings set 30' apart
    I use a "cotter pin" connector to secure the wire to the fibergalss posts
    I use a stainless steel strainers (fence tighteners)
    I use porcelin insulators on the corners.
    I make strong corners with wood posts and a pipe horizontal
    I only have 1 hot wire, the second one up from the bottom
    To install your fence I suggest the following
    Hire the corner posts installed
    you will need the following specialty tools
    a spinning jenny to feed the wire from the roll, maybe rent one
    a quality pair of wire cutters designed to cut high tensile wire
    wire tightener for the strainers
    5 light tester
    hand type post pounder, short piece of pipe with a weight welded
    This will give you a fence that will give peace of mind and let you sleep during a storm.
    PS...on your corners where the depth is a problem, go to the off side from the fence and about 6 to 8 ft from the post dig a large hole that will accept a wooden fence post. Lay the post into the hole and secure a couple strains of high tensile wire to the post in the ground and then take the high tensile wire to the top of the corner post an fasten. Tamp the dirt back onto the post that is laying in the hole. This will anchor the corner post. You will not be able to pull the corner posts out with it guyed to the buried post. Even a tractor will not be able to pull it out if done correctly.
    I---------o
    The I is the horizontal buried post
    The ------- is the guy wire
    The o is the corner post
     
  16. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    There was a wooden corner post, and secured to it on the inside was a vertical pillar of rocks incased in woven wire. It was as tall as the corner post.
     
  17. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the great responses. I'm going to print out this thread for my planning. I kinda like the idea of hiring someone to do the corners. Don't think we can afford it as soon as the fence is needed. I'm thinking I will either set up a temporary 1 acre fence and work on doing this right. Or else I will do a low tensile perimeter fence as I planned for now, and go back and add the wooden corner posts later when we have more time and money.

    I really like this book Fences for Garden and Pasture. I can't remember who, but someone recommended it on one of my other threads. Thanks!
     
  18. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 books from the American Association for Vocational Instruction Materials. Onw is titled Planning Fences and the other is Building Fences. They are old but very clear and informative. I also have a guide from Langdale Forest Products on how to build fences that stay put. These have all been valuable in any fence building and repair I've done.
    You said you are keeping goats, I would be worried about dogs coming thru the fence as much as the goats. If you build permanent or temporary you might want to build a nite time area with stock panels where their shelter is to protect them from predators.
     
  19. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    That is a good idea. But I do have 2 dogs for protection, one is a great pyr, and he is very protective of his goaties. I'm also planning to get another one.
     
  20. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    Who wrote books you mentioned?