Is Your Electric Fence Affected by Dry Winter Weather?

Colorado winters can be extremely dry. Snowfall can be unpredictable and can melt away and evaporate quickly in our intense high-altitude sunlight. The dry weather has an especially large impact on farmers and ranchers, not only on crops and livestock, but farm equipment, as well.

An important part of that equipment for many ranchers and farmers is their electrical fencing, and extended dry weather can cause it to lose its effectiveness in keeping livestock where they need to be. This can be a concern to users of electrical fencing in urban locations, too. 

Poor Grounding from Dry, Cold Soil

An electric fence works by completing an electrical circuit whenever an animal (or person) touches it. The electricity passes through the animal into the soil and back to ground rods to create a complete circuit and give a shock. Dry soil can cause electric fence systems to lose effectiveness due to poor grounding. Its charger/energizer won’t work at full capacity unless it’s grounded properly, and soil that’s dried out doesn’t ground as well as when it’s moist. Cold soil is also a worse conductor than warm, adding to grounding concerns in the winter. 

Proper Spacing and Maintenance for Ground Rods

Properly spaced and maintained ground rods are essential to maintaining enough voltage on fences to act as an effective deterrent, especially under adverse soil conditions. Generally, that means having at least 3 feet of ground rod per joule of the energizer’s output capacity. If rocky or loose soils make it hard to effectively ground a standard fence system, a two-wire system that includes a ground wire spaced away from the hot wire can deliver a shock on contact without the need for grounding rods along its perimeter. 

Ongoing Maintenance Practices for Electrical Fencing

Ongoing maintenance is important to keeping any electrical fence in proper operating condition. Aside from dry weather concerns, damage from lightning, high winds, broken or rotted posts, and intrusion can occur. Electrical components and insulators need to be checked for proper operation, as well. Proper current must be maintained in order for the system to be effective and to guard against overcharging the fence, something that can cause severe injury or even death to both animals and people.

Facility Maintenance Services for Above and Below-Ground Fencing

If your electrical fencing needs service or upgrading, Allstar Electrical Services offers facility maintenance services for both above- and below-ground fencing and other electrical systems.

As a leading service contractor in Colorado, Allstar Electrical offers 24-hour, 7-day service for our facility maintenance and manager partners, not only in metro Denver, but all along the Front Range. We even offer some services statewide and nationally. Allstar responds to all service requests within 24 hours and the same day for emergency requests. With a designated project manager handling your account, you can count on reliable, dependable whenever and wherever you need it.

Allstar Electrical has served Colorado for over 15 years and is top-rated by the BBB and Angie’s List. We offer homeowners, builders and businesses reliable, professional electrical work that is safe and up to code.

Call Allstar Electrical at 303.399.7420 during business hours or visit our websiteanytime. Besides a thorough explanation of our services and information about our company, our website has timely articles in its Resources section about the latest developments in the ever-changing world of electronics. Then use our handy on-line forms to request an estimate or set up an appointment.