Properly securing an electric fence charger is important for keeping your dog or livestock contained. But, can you put an electric fence charger outside, or are there risks involved?
While some electric fences are weather resistant, electric fence chargers can not be put outside. Electric fence chargers should be kept indoors, or encased in some form of protection.
In this post, we are going to discuss if you can safely put an electric fence charger outside, where to keep the charger, and the dangers of electric fences and chargers.
In This Article:
- Can You Put an Electric Fence Charger Outside?
- Can an Electric Fence Charger Be in the Rain?
- Does Wet Ground Affect an Electric Fence?
- Does Grass Short Out an Electric Fence?
- Can an Electric Fence Start a Fire?
- Where Do You Put an Electric Fence Charger?
- How Does Electric Fence Charger Type Affect Location?
- How Do You Ground an Electric Fence?
Before opting for an electric fence, we suggest obedience training.
Training your dog can prevent the stress of an electric fence collar, and focuses on positive reinforcement.
While electric fence collars are not physcially harmful, for some dogs they can lead to emotional distress without proper training.
Check out brain training techniques, a science-backed way to improve your dog’s behavior without the use of force or dominance!
Can You Put an Electric Fence Charger Outside?
There are some electric fence chargers that can be put outside.
However, they are electric after all, so water and inclement weather can affect integrity.
Therefore, it’s always recommended to keep your electric fence charger inside. If that isn’t possible, you should encase the unit, and try to keep it secure.
Most electric fences will have to be kept inside, but there are a few exceptions:
- The electric fence charger is completely water/weatherproof
- You take measures to secure the charger during inclement weather
- You encase the charger to protect it from outdoor elements
- The electric fence charger is solar powered
Many fence chargers are weather resistant, meaning they can handle some light weather.
Some even have protection in the event of lightning strikes!
However, this does not mean they are waterproof or weatherproof, so they must still be protected.
If you’re browsing for an electric fence, be sure to pay close attention to the features and requirements for storing a fence charger.
If an electric fence charger is compromised, the whole fence will become non-functional.
Depending on your property, it’s best to keep the charger in a shed, barn, or some covered and protected building.
Cold, stormy weather is not the only weather you will want to protect the charger from.
You will want to keep the charger in a dry place away from exposure to both low and high temperatures.
If you haven’t already, check out our review of the best Electric Electric Fence for Dogs!
Can an Electric Fence Charger Be in the Rain?
Most electric fence chargers cannot be in the rain.
Usually, these chargers are susceptible to shorting out from water damage and cease to work properly, resulting in your animal being able to escape.
Here are a few factors that can damage the fence charger and impact functionality:
- Water Damage – If the unit is exposed to rain or any water, the electrical components will be damaged.
- Weather Damage – Weather, which might move debris around or knock down trees, could damage or break the fence charger.
- Temperature Damage – Very low or high temperatures can compromise the battery of the fence charger, and it may cease to function.
Just keep in mind that the fence charger is an integral part of an electric fence.
Without it there is no fence, so do all you can to secure it.
Does Wet Ground Affect an Electric Fence?
Wet ground is actually ideal for electric fences as wet soil allows for the electric charge to travel more feasibly and freely through the circuit.
Here is what to remember when installing an electric fence:
- Soil Condition – Excessively dry soil is not optimal for the functionality of the fence. You want the soil to be well-saturated.
- Wire Material/ Quality – Ensure you are using the right grade wire. Home or industrial use wires will not properly handle the voltage of the fence
- Grounding Rods – Most of the time, an electric fence that is not working can be attributed to improper grounding.
For more on fence material, take a look at this article that discusses materials used in various parts of an electric fence!
Does Grass Short Out an Electric Fence?
Surprisingly, grass can short out an electric fence, so make sure it’s cut short. However, grass is not the only reason your fence may short out or stop functioning.
Here are a few more things to look out for that may short out an electric fence:
- Poorly made/not enough ground rods
- Broken or damaged insulators
- Weak, broken, or damaged wires or connectors
- Vegetation, or objects touching the fence and draining power
Keeping your property properly landscaped is not only for aesthetic purposes.
If you have an electric fence, you should keep vegetation neat and trimmed, so as not to let it touch the fence wire and steal power.
If you are having issues with your electric fence shorting out but nothing is touching the fence, consider the possibility of a system compromise as previously mentioned.
Can an Electric Fence Start a Fire?
Some say that an electric fence can start a fire with the vegetation around it.
However, the likelihood of this happening is actually quite low.
In order for an electric fence to start a fire, all of these conditions would need to be met:
- The fence is improperly maintained (broken or damaged wires and insulators)
- An abundance of dry vegetation around the fence
- A damaged wire shorts to a metal object such as a metal fence post
With this in mind, an electric fence is unlikely to start a fire.
Read More: How to Keep Dog in Yard Without Fence. Not sure if an electric fence is right for you? These alternatives are just as effective!
Where Do You Put an Electric Fence Charger?
You now know all the ways to not store your charger, but you may still be left wondering where you CAN keep it.
You should keep an electric fence charger indoors, say in a shed, a barn, or even a garage.
However, it is not quite that simple, and there are other things you must pay attention to when deciding on a location for the fence charger.
Where you keep your electric fence charger ultimately depends on the type of charger you have.
There are 3 main types of electric fence chargers:
- AC Unit – Most common, plugin power option
- DC Unit – Common alternative, battery power option
- Solar Unit – Energy efficient, solar power option
Wondering if you should go with a solar charger? Here are some advantages and disadvantages of solar energy.
AC chargers should always be kept inside.
DC chargers are versatile, especially considering they are not hardwired and can be stored inside or outside if proper measures are taken.
Finally, solar chargers are meant to be outdoors in a location with access to direct sunlight.
If you must keep a charger outside, in addition to securing and encasing it, utilize eaves or awnings for protection, as well.
How Does Electric Fence Charger Type Affect Location?
Each of the 3 main fence charger types offers different benefits and has certain requirements.
Take a look at the table below for more information on deciding a location for your fence charger.
|Charger Type||Power Source||Range||Location||Benefits|
|AC Unit||Electrical Outlet||Over 100 mi||Indoors, near outlet, close to the fence||Most stable charging option|
|DC Unit||Rechargeable Battery||About 10 mi||Indoors or protected outdoors, close to the fence||Great for areas with no power, requires lower voltage|
|Solar Unit||Sunlight||About 10 mi||Outside, in sunlight, not obstructed||Energy efficient, great for areas with no power|
How Do You Ground an Electric Fence?
Understanding how an electric fence works will help you with properly grounding it.
There are 5 main parts through which the electric shock travels:
- The fence charger
- The lead-out wire
- The type of livestock or animal
- Ground rods
- Ground lead in wire
Essentially, there is a wire that leads out of the charger to the fence on one end, and another that leads into the unit.
The circuit is completed by an animal that touches the fence, with the circuit traveling through soil and ground rods, into the ground wire.
You should install grounding rods a minimum of 3 feet deep, and 10 feet apart, from the beginning of the fence until you reach the ground wire line.
Typically, depending on fence size – you will need 3 or more grounding rods.
You should use galvanized steel for the grounding rods, and ensure they are at least 4 feet long for optimal functionality.
Can you use rebar as a grounding rod for electric fence? You can, but there are some things to consider before going the DIY route.
If you are more of a visual learner, here is a video of how to ground an electric fence:
What Happens if You Don’t Ground an Electric Fence? Here’s everything you need to know about grounding, why it’s important, and if it’s necessary!
Ultimately, it’s vital that you properly charge your fence for the best results.
Doing so requires that you keep the charger secure and safe, preferably indoors.
If you are considering an electric fence, make sure to refer to our article if you have any questions about fence chargers!
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