Electric fences can be used for a variety of purposes. Mainly they are known for keeping pets like dogs or farm animals like cattle enclosed for safety. But while electric fences can be a harmless, affordable, and effective way to redirect animals, they are also known for being noisy.
Electric fences can make different noises even when they are working properly, generally either a clicking sound or a humming sound. Knowing what type of sound the electric fence makes can help in figuring out how to fix it.
Though a sound can be concerning, there is no need to panic right away. We have lots of insight into what is going on.
Why Do Electric Fences Make Noises?
A large cause of noise when it comes to electric fencing is interference.
When setting up a fence for use, it’s important that nothing be in the way of the electric line of the fence or the grounding. Even grass can cause a disturbance.
When an object interferes with the passing of electricity from one end of the fence to the other, it can cause problems such as noise, but also can run the risk of starting a fire.
Sometimes it’s even been known for vegetation to burn off of a fence until it grows back again, causing the same problem to reoccur over and over again.
Another reason for a noisy electric fence is called splicing. This can occur when one end of two connected wires isn’t fully connected.
Since electricity needs to get from one end of a wire to the next, it’s important nothing gets in the way of that transfer.
Are Noisy Electric Fences Dangerous to Humans or Animals Ears?
Unless you touch an electrical source that has a much higher voltage than what an electric fence can provide, electric fences should never harm your hearing.
Really the only downside to your hearing is the fact that constant and loud clicking or humming is just annoying.
Especially if the fence is close to your house or you have neighbors who just want some peace and quiet.
Dogs, with their acute sense of hearing, can detect where electric fences are even when they are working properly. They can tell their owners if they sense something by perking their ears up, rolling their head around, or twitching their ears to better hear the sound.
Electric fences should never harm an animal’s hearing either, despite the fact that they have better hearing than humans.
Longterm Effects of a Noisy Electric Fence
While a noisy electric fence should never affect your hearing, it is a hazard.
The current from the fence can cause disruptions in radio, television, or telephone reception at distances of around a mile.
According to Part 15 of the FCC rules, authorities are required by law to have you either fix the noise or they can order you to completely shut down the fence.
Neighbors who hear a noisy fence are allowed to report you to authorities for not obeying the law.
Can I Fix a Noisy Electric Fence?
Thankfully, all it takes to fix a noisy electric fence is often just a little maintenance.
If there is a noise that needs to be fixed, be sure to note where it sounds the loudest, as that is most likely where the problem is coming from. It helps to take a radio around the fence line and see if any disturbances in the frequency pop up.
Walk around the perimeter of the fence and make sure that nothing is touching the wire and that no other wires are crossing it.
Other than vegetation or random objects, a large cause of noise comes from when something made of metal causes the current to ground out. This can include another metal portion of the fence, which can cause arching in the electric current.
If you think you may have missed a step when installing your electric fence, be sure to watch the video below for a step by step guide.
Do I Need an Electric Fence?
While extremely useful, affordable, and easy to set up and fix, the fact is that not everyone needs an electric fence. Especially when you don’t have time to fix problems such as noise caused by interference.
It’s best, in the end, to train your animals as much as possible in order to teach them where they are allowed to go. While you may not be able to wrangle farm animals like horses or cows, who need more substantial borders like electric fencing in order to keep safe, training your pets can take care of a lot of hassle.
Alternatives to Electric Fences
If you’re still worried about the noise and you just don’t trust yourself to fix an electric fence there are always alternatives.
For larger animals such as horses, V-mesh or rope fencing can be relatively cheap and easy to set up. Just make sure that it is tall enough and visible enough for livestock to be able to see.
If you have pets or smaller livestock such as dogs, chickens, or even pigs, your next best bet is a physically sturdy fence. Just be sure to build it tall enough that animals can’t jump over, and to maintain the exterior.
Dogs are also known for digging holes underneath fences in order to escape, so be sure to bury chicken wire at the base of your fence or place large rocks where they could bury.
A safer version of an electric fence, though more constricted, is the underground electric fence. Only inserted into the ground one to three inches, a small wire hidden in your lawn can keep animals such as dogs or cats inside your lawn.
Dog collars are also a viable option, which is really just the smaller, more mobile version of an electric fence. Just be sure to buy one that is good quality and learn how to use it before putting it on your pet.