What You need to know about Electric Fences
Types of Fencing
Piggy Bank/Wall top Fence – This is an fence that is normally installed on top of an existing perimeter wall. It could be an electric fence alone, a razor wire alone or both. You will find this type of fence is common in residential homes.
Stand-alone Electric Fence – This is where an electric fence is installed on the ground supported by either wooden or steel posts. This is mainly done in commercial areas or nomadic lands to control grazing or wildlife from breaching a residential area.
Requirements of an Electric Fence
Major Fencing Materials
Razor Wire – There are two major types. The silver stainless steel razor wire and the galvanized razor wire (mostly in green, blue or black). The galvanized one has an extra coat of paint, thus lasts longer and hides the rust longer.
High Tensile Wire (HT Wire) – This is the wire that conducts the electric voltage pulses throughout the entire fence. There are different gauges for wire. There is 1.6mm and 2.5mm in size. The wire is measured in kilos.
Energizer – The machine that is responsible for powering the electric fence. It converts power into powerful pulses of voltage when the wire is triggered.
Wire Post (W. Post), Strainer Post, Supports & Strainers– These are posts that hold the electric wire from one point to another.
Other Fencing Materials
- Siren Kit – security beacon, flasher
- Binding Wire – used for razor wire installations
- Earth Rod – to direct the power of the fence to the ground to avoid shocks and sparks
- Under-gate Cable – connects the wire at the gate to ensure a continuous flow of power current
- Warning/Danger Sign – ‘Hatari’ sign to warm people of potential danger
- D10 – Steel nails that are drilled into the perimeter wall to keep the razor wire in place.
- 4 core cable
Approximate cost of an electric fence
The prices quoted below can differ depending on different factors that we’ll look at later. They are inclusive of the cost of material, approximate labor and transport.
|Plot Size||Electric Fence + Razor||Razor Wire Alone||Electric Fence Alone||Standalone Electric Fence|
|50ft by 100ft (90m)||KES110,000||KES50,000||KES90,000||KES315,000|
|100ft by 100ft (120m)||KES145,000||KES65,000||KES100,000||KES420,000|
|200ft by 200ft (240m)||KES300,000||KES125,000||KES145,000||KES840,000|
|400ft by 400ft (480m)||KES575,000||KES240,000||KES 225,000||KES1,680,000|
Factors Affecting the cost of installing the electric fence
- The size of your plot.
- The type of the perimeter wall. Some are flat, others have steps.
- If you share the wall with someone else and it’s been fenced on a side.
- The materials in use. When galvanized razor wire is used, the price increases.
- For standalone fences, price differs depending on whether steel posts or wooden posts are used.
Advantages of an Electric Fence
- Electric fences cost less than barbed wires since fewer materials are required and they take less time to install
- They are more versatile as they can be taken down quickly and re-installed elsewhere as compared to the barbed wires
- They have a longer life compared to barbed wires due to their reduced physical pressure
- Electric fences improve existing fences by including one or two electrified wires in your conventional fence or by adding offsets thus extending the fence life
- Electric fences are simple and flexible. They are a quick and easy way to effectively subdivide a paddock for intensive grazing, improving pasture management and production for those practicing agricultural farming
- Electric fences also encourage low maintenance and this is due to their reduced stock pressure
- In an agricultural context, electric fences are said to cause less damage to stock. The shock from an electric fence causes less or no damage to stock and if they are forced through electric fences by wild animals or bush fires there is a reduced likelihood of injury
Common issues of electric fences
From time to time, you’ll find that the electric wire system may be going off. The downside is that the alarm system gets triggered, which can be very irritating and annoying. Who has the patience and time to keep explaining to the neighbors that there is no burglar in the vicinity? Plus, it won’t serve its purpose if it happen every so often. So here is a few causes and remedies.
Earthing – This occurs when the grounding system is not properly set using an earth rod. Ensure that during installation, all the wires are tied properly and the earth rod is properly placed.
Shocks – This can be triggered by an animal, rain or falling twigs. Where you have no control over the rains and animals, ensure that there are no vegetations near the fence. Clear tree branches that are around the fence.
Power cut-off – This can happen when there is no power and the backup battery is depleted. It may take a while to get the system running when the lights get back. If the fence does not turn on, try resetting it from the energizer.