When dog owners first purchase an Invisible Fence, they often ask, “How do I run an invisible fence under my driveway?”
There are a few ways to do this, like inserting the wire into driveway seams, tunneling under the driveway, or simply running the wire over the top.
Some methods are easier than others, and all will have your fence up and running faster than you thought possible!
Read on to see the best ways to run an invisible fence under (or across) a driveway so you can finish the installation and keep your dog safely in the yard.
How to Run an Invisible Fence Wire Under a Driveway
If you need to run an invisible fence wire under a driveway or sidewalk you can use a garden hose and a tunneling kit to tunnel under with water in about 30 minutes.
It takes about 5 minutes to get under a sidewalk.
Once the tunnel is made, run the wire through PVC pipe or conduit underneath the driveway and bury the edges so they aren’t a tripping hazard.
You can also lay the wire in one of the concrete expansion joints and then caulk over the wire to keep it from coming out of the crack and getting tangled or cut.
If you have an asphalt driveway you can cut a small groove with a diamond-blade circular saw, lay the wire in the groove, then use caulk to seal the wire into the groove.
Precautions to Take Before You Begin
It’s important to make sure that all debris and tripping hazards are removed before beginning the process, especially when working with a saw.
Always wear protective goggles and gloves to avoid injury to the eyes and hands.
4 Options for Installing Invisible Fence Wire Across a Driveway
There are 4 ways to install the invisible fence under driveway. These options are also viable for going across a sidewalk.
1. Lay the wire across your driveway
Use landscaping pins to secure it on either side.
One downside to this method is that it leaves the wire exposed to entanglement, breaking, and may cause someone to trip.
2. Use a garden hose and water kit to tunnel under
This method is cheap and easy to use.
Run the wire through a PVC pipe or plastic conduit and push it under the driveway in the tunnel you created.
Read our related article, Can You Put Invisible Fence in Conduit? for additional help and information!
3. Place the wire in an existing seam of your driveway
If you have seams or expansion joints, these are a boon for installing invisible fence wire.
Simply place the wire in the seam and caulk over it.
4. Cut a new seam using a saw
You’ll have to use a circular saw with a masonry blade to get through, but the cut only has to be big enough to slip the wire into. Caulk over the cut after the wire is installed.
None of these options are excessively difficult.
The most permanent methods are installing it under the driveway in a pipe or cutting a seam in the driveway for installation.
Installing Invisible Fence Under Driveway: Easiest Methods
Two of the easiest methods for running an invisible fence under your driveway are using an existing expansion joint or laying the wire across the top of the driveway.
If you’re looking for a simple fix that doesn’t require much handy work at all, then these two options would probably be the best.
Install the Wire in an Existing Seam
When looking to run an invisible fence under your driveway, using an existing seam is a very easy option.
If there’s a seam between the driveway and walkway, or between the driveway and your garage, you can easily put the fence wire into that existing seam.
How it Works:
- Use a blade or shovel to scrape out the caulking and debris that’s in the seam.
- Place the wire in the seam.
- Use caulk to cover the wire, or just leave it alone, and it will eventually fill itself in.
Lay the Wire Over the Driveway
For this method, you simply just lay the wire over the top of your driveway (no digging is required).
Laying the wire over the top of your driveway is the easiest, and least time-consuming option available, if you’re looking for a quick solution.
However, laying the wire across your driveway can also become a hazard for people tripping, and the wire will wear out faster from cars driving over it daily.
This may require a new one to be purchased every 1 or 2 years.
If you still want to use this method, and reduce the wear and tear on the wire, you could run the wire through something like a hose to protect it when cars drive over it.
Install the Wire Under a Gravel or Concrete Driveway
With each of these driveways come different challenges. Continue reading to learn about the process and difficulty levels for each of these options.
Install an in-ground Wire Under a Gravel Driveway
Gravel driveways are the easiest type of driveway to work with because even though gravel is hard to dig through, you don’t need power tools to do so.
The biggest concern is making sure the wire is being protected from cars driving over it every day.
The best way to do this is by installing the wire in a PVC pipe. Don’t use metal because it will break the fence signal.
Regardless, you can install the wire with or without a protective pipe.
Once the wire is buried it’s relatively safe, though the pipe will protect it from the gravel.
How it Works:
- Use chalk to mark a line across the driveway and dig a trench along that line, approximately 1-3 inches deep.
- Place the fence wire in the pipe.
- Insert the pipe into the trench.
- Refill the trench with the gravel you dug out.
- Compact it yourself, or let it happen naturally over the next few days.
Install an in-ground Wire Under a Concrete Driveway
Concrete driveways often give homeowners a hard time when it comes to installing an in-ground wire, but it isn’t as difficult as you may think.
You can use a garden hose and a water tunnel kit to create a small tunnel from one side of your driveway to the other.
Run the wire through the PVC pipe and bury both ends so they’re not a tripping hazard.
Want to see water tunneling in action?
Here’s a video of someone using a typical water tunneling kit to get under a sidewalk.
Install an in-ground Wire Over a Concrete or Asphalt Driveway
If you don’t want to tunnel under the driveway and your driveway doesn’t have any expansion joints, you can make a cut across the driveway and insert the wire inside it.
Wear safety goggles and gloves during the process to avoid personal injury!
How it Works:
- Draw a line where you want your fence using chalk.
- Get a circular saw with a masonry blade.
- Use the saw to cut the line.
- Place the wire in the trench you cut.
- Caulk over the top of the trench to seal the wire in.
This method will work for both concrete and asphalt.
It is more complicated, but it doesn’t take as long as you might think, and it ensures that the wire will be safe.
How Deep Should My Cuts Be to Install the in-ground Wire?
The wire should only be buried 1 to 3 inches deep.
The width of the cut you make should just be enough to tuck the wire in unless you’re also burying PVC pipe.
In this case, you’ll want to make sure the trench is deep enough so that the pipe is completely covered and the ground is flush so you don’t create a tripping hazard.
Before you cover the fence wire, it’s extremely important to check the collar and make sure it picks up the signal from the fence.
If the wire is too deep in the ground the collar won’t pick up the signal, allowing your dog to run free.
This could be a problem when burying the wire underneath a thick concrete driveway.
Though, if you would like your dog to be able to cross the driveway you can create a dead zone.
Simply install the wire inside a heavy metal pipe or create a length of twisted wire to “scramble” the signal.
After you have checked to make sure that the collar is in fact picking up the signal from the wire, you can then caulk over it or cover it with gravel.
Read More: How to Create a Dead Spot in Invisible Fence. Dead zones create a safe place for your dog to cross the boundary. Here are the steps to DIY!
How Long Does it Take to Run a Wire Under a Driveway?
The time that this project is going to take all depends on what kind of driveway you have.
Each driveway requires a different approach as some driveways will be easier to work with than others.
If you are able to go with one of the more simple options like running the wire across the top of your driveway or using an existing seam, the process should take anywhere from minutes to 1 hour.
Though, if you have to go with a more difficult option like cutting the seam yourself with a saw, it can take anywhere from 1-2 hours in total.
The time range varies widely depending on how long it takes you to get tools and if you have prior experience using them.
Will My Driveway Be Damaged by Running the Wire Across?
The good news is, if done correctly, your driveway will not be damaged at all.
The important thing is to choose a method that you’re confident you can do well.
We know that the driveway can seem like an insurmountable barrier to your DIY in-ground invisible fence installation, but don’t be too worried about it.
Simply choose a method you can do and go for it.
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