Finding Electic Fence Leaks

Checking your Fence Line with a Directional Fault Finder

A short in your fence line occurs when the power escapes to the ground. This can be caused by a broken underground cable, broken wire or insulator, a loose connection, or something touching the fence, such as excessive vegetation. The Directional Fault Finder can help you locate the source of a short by measuring the flow of energy from the energiser to the ground.

  • Place it on any section of fence wire, moving it laterally to get a good contact. In a sound fence with no shorts the amp reading on the main screen will be zero, as nothing is flowing out of the system. The volt reading on the top right screen should read around 6000 volts. Any reading on the amp scale indicates some kind of fault on your fence. The more severe the fault, the higher the amp reading. You will also see an arrow pointing in the direction of the fault.
  • Follow the arrow until the reading drops or disappears - this indicates that you have moved just beyond the fault. In multi-wire fences you will need to test each wire in turn, starting at the top. If multiple faults exist it may be easier to isolate sections of fence, using cut-out switches, so you can clear one section at a time.
  • Where a fence splits in a Y or T junction, take a reading of each line and follow the one where the reading is highest. The same applies if your fence is constructed with up and down links at the beginning of each section.
  • If you have a fence with live and earth wires or an earth return system and there is a high reading on the earth wire, then you should assume that a live wire is touching an earth wire, creating a dead short.
  • Pay particular attention to gateways and underground cable joints

Note there are maps available showing the farm electical system, click here to see them.