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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

How does an electric fence work?

What are the benefits of using electric fencing? 

How do the costs of electric fencing compare to the cost of traditional barbed wire fencing? 

What are the different types of electric fencing designs? 

What should I consider when choosing an energizer? 

What is a Joule? 

Is electric fencing safe for my livestock? 

Is electric fencing durable and able to withstand impact from livestock and wild game? 

What are the most common causes of electric fencing failures? 

What does Twin Mountain recommend for grounding electric fencing? 

How do you cross gates in your fence line with hot and ground wires? 

Is it advisable to use barbed wire in an electric fence? 

What if I still have questions? 

 

How does an electric fence work?

An electric fence is one or more electrified wires, tapes or ropes carrying a pulsing electric current. The electric current follows the following sequence: 

  • The electrical circuit begins at the positive terminal on the energizer where an electric pulse lasting 150 microseconds is released at an interval of one pulse every second 
  • This pulse travels from the energizer through the lead-out wire to the fence line 
  • The pulse continues along the fence line until it comes in contact with an animal 
  • The pulse travels through the animal into the soil (electricity is always looking for the shortest path to the ground) 
  • The pulse travels through the soil to the ground rods and returns to the ground terminal on the energizer to complete the circuit 

An electric fence works as a psychological barrier once an animal is educated to respect the fence. The pain felt from the shock of an electric fence is quick and does not harm the animal whereas a conventional fence with barbed wire can cause injury. 

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What are the benefits of using electric fencing? 

There are several advantages: 

  1. It is an animal friendly fence that reduces the risk of injury compared conventional fences (especially barbed wire). 
  2. It is cost effective and cheaper to install than conventional fencing. 
  3. It is easily installed. 
  4. It is very versatile and can be easily and quickly erected, designed and configured to meet specific needs, permanently erected or used temporarily with different livestock and/or seasons. 
  5. It can be used to maximize pasture and grazing management resulting in increased profitability. 
  6. It is very low maintenance. 

To realize the full advantages of electric fencing, correct installation using high quality products is essential. 

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How do the costs of electric fencing compare to the cost of traditional barbed wire fencing? 

Electric fencing costs significantly less in time, materials and labor. In most cases, electric fencing costs 35% - 50% of the cost of conventional fences. 

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What are the different types of electric fencing designs? 

There is no single way to design and install an electric fence. The design you choose will depend upon several factors including: climate, terrain, livestock being controlled, and pasture management. There are three main types of electric fences: 

Permanent : 

Properly installed electric fences are as equally effective as conventional barbed wire fences. Whether used as perimeter fences or cross fences, you can have confidence in their effectiveness in controlling all livestock. 

Temporary : 

One to three electrified wires, tapes or ropes used as a dividing fence which is moved frequently (daily, weekly or monthly). This allows livestock to graze areas not normally graze due to the absence of reliable fencing. Temporary fencing is effective for all livestock including: cows, horses, sheep and goats. 

Offset : 

The electrification of existing conventional fences will extend the life of any non-electric fence substantially due to the reduction of fence impact by livestock. 

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What should I consider when choosing an energizer?

Twin Mountain makes several different models of electric, battery and solar powered energizers specifically geared for certain livestock and/or wild game applications. When choosing the right energizer for your needs, you will need to consider: 

  • What type of animal you are containing? Livestock require less power to contain them than wild game require. 
  • What is the size of the area you are fencing? This should be expressed in terms of fence miles. 
  • What power sources you have access to? The most desirous power source is 110V electricity. However, remote pastures will require a battery or solar unit. 
  • Are you seeking a permanent or a portable fencing solution? Portable fencing solutions may call for battery or solar powered energizers so that they can be easily moves from location to location regardless of the power sources available. 

Energizer performance relates to the ability to deliver a sufficiently high voltage (or shock) onto a fence line. Several factors must be considered when measuring energizer performance: 

  • You should consider the output joules (not the stored joules) 
  • You should consider the pulse shape 
  • You should look at voltage under load 
  • Energizer distance should be quoted in single wire terms 

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What is a Joule? 

A measurement of electrical energy used to rate low impedance fence energizers. The effective power the energizer delivers to the fence, independent of other factors that can drain voltage. The higher the joules, the more intense shock the animal will feel. 

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Is electric fencing safe for my livestock? 

Yes! In fact, if properly installed, electric fencing is actually safer for livestock! Remember, electric fencing is not so much a physical boundary as it is a psychological boundary. Any animal touching an electric fence receives a safe, brief, painful shock. As a result, animals learn to avoid the fence all together. 

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Is electric fencing durable and able to withstand impact from livestock and wild game? 

Electric fences, if installed properly, have flexibility built in to compliment the electric shock. Flexibility is gained by spacing posts 50-60 feet apart, using appropriate insulators that allow the fence line to float when pressure is applied, and not over tightening the wire, tape or rope. 

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What are the most common causes of electric fencing failures? 

Grounding! A majority of the problems experienced with electric fencing can be traced to ineffective grounding. Half of your electric fence system is grounding so it merits a lot of attention. 

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What does Twin Mountain recommend for grounding electric fencing? 

The selection of a grounding site is crucial. The area must be regularly moist and at least 30 feet from: 

  • Any ground rods from another electrical system 
  • Any telephone ground rods 
  • Any plumbing system 
  • Any structure using reinforcing steel directly in contact with the ground 

Three galvanized ground rods (1/2” X 6’) should be driven into the soil a minimum of 20 feet apart and connected via one insulated wire back to the energizer ground terminal. 

There are two types of grounding systems: 

Soil Ground Return (Recommended for moist soil where conductivity is good) 

In this configuration all fence wires are live (hot) and the circuit is completed through the animal to the soil and to the ground rods that connect back to the energizer. Recommended where soil conductivity (moisture) is good. 

Fence Ground Return (Recommended for dry soil with poor conductivity) 

In this configuration live (hot) wires and ground wires are alternated and ground rods are driven into the soil at 1320 foot intervals along the fence line. The circuit is completed when the animal touches both wires while standing on the ground. The current passes through the animal into the soil and to the ground rod that connects back to the fence line to complete the circuit. 

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How do you cross gates in your fence line with hot and ground wires?

It is recommended to use insulated wire fed through PVC pipe and buried 12 inches deep. 

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Is it advisable to use barbed wire in an electric fence?

No! Barbed wire is dangerous to use in an electric fence. Livestock can become entangled in a barbed wire fence and if it is an electrified fence, the continuous exposure to the shock could seriously injure the animal. Additionally, barbed wire is a very poor conductor of electricity and a lot of voltage is lost due to the resistance barbed wire possesses.

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What if I still have questions? 

We at Twin Mountain Fence are deticated to excelent customer service for all your fencing needs. If you still have questions after reading our FAQ page please contact us and a trained service professional will answer your question via email or phone. 

In addition check out our glossary of terms and installation section for more information on electric fencing. 

For specific questions about warrenty or shipping please contact us.