Are you wondering if your electric fence is going to work in the rain? Rest assured we have the full answer for you.
Electric fences do work in the rain. However, rain can cause vegetation such as shrubs, grass, or trees to move into it. If vegetation touches the fence, it can cause a short in it, which can cause damage to the fence itself as well as the battery.
Now you may be wondering, how can I keep vegetation away from my electric fence or how to keep your fence safe? Keep reading to find out all you need to know about maintaining your electric fence when it rains.
Electric Fences Do Work in the Rain
Electric fences work in the rain because rain falls in water droplets. If rain fell with the flow of a faucet or hose, then it would be a different story.
But since raindrops are so small, they do not cause harm to the electric fence. An issue would only arise if the electric fence was already damaged when it began to rain.
The fence itself is safe in the rain because of the insulators. The insulator is important because it makes your fence effective while also protecting from the elements.
If the insulators are made of wood, they could hold in moisture and cause problems. If the insulators are made of plastic, it could carbonize.
You can make your own insulator, you just have to make sure you are using the proper precautions. You can also buy insulators if you prefer.
Pieces, such as the battery, should be installed inside because they are not designed to get wet. They should be stored in a garage or a barn or anywhere that is dry and safe from the elements.
Though electric fences can withstand rain, they are not weatherproof. Snow can be harmful because ice is not a good electricity conductor. Ice could interfere with the circuits and flow of your electric fence.
Colder temperatures make the wire tighten up, so this combined with the unpredictability of snow, winter could be a difficult time to keep your electric fence on and running. It is possible, it will just take more work and repairs.
What to Do After a Rainstorm with an Electric Fence
So, you just had a rainstorm. The rain itself should not have affected your electric fence, but water flow from the rain could cause issues.
If a twig, shrub, or something like that touches your electric fence, it will cause your fence to short out.
After a rainstorm, it would be a good idea to walk along your electric fence to see if any vegetation or debris is touching your electric fence. If you notice there is anything caught in your fence, you should turn the fence off and allow it to short out before doing anything.
You can turn the fence off by disconnecting the power source from the electric fence charger.
Before touching the fence, you will want to wait a few minutes to let the entire fence shut off and for any shortages to short, just to be safe.
Once the fence is safe to touch, you can remove any vegetation or debris touching your electric fence. Depending on the debris, you could remove it with your hands, or you may need tools.
Rainstorms can let down a lot of water, which can move more than just a twig. If the storm is strong enough, it can knock down trees. Before you try to move any vegetation, make sure you assess the situation.
When you are walking along your fence, it is also important to listen for any “ticking” noises that are coming from your fence. A ticking sound is a sign of arching or the fence shorting.
Rain does not affect electric fences, but sometimes there can be shorting. It is important to fix the issue because shorting can damage the battery and energizer.
When you hear a ticking noise, make note of where the noise is coming from on the fence. Then, turn off the fence to protect yourself.
When the fence is safe to touch, take a closer look at where the sound is coming from. From here, you can determine if you can fix the issue yourself or if you need to call in a professional.
Electric Fence Sparking in the Rain
If you see sparks coming from your electric fence, it can be another sign of shorting. A spark can be caused by something touching the fence, such as vegetation or debris, especially when the debris is wet.
Another reason there could be sparks is because the insulator is wet. Once things dry up, the problem should be solved. If there are still sparks later, you may have a different, unrelated problem.
It is important to know that bad splices of the fence wire is one of the most common reasons for sparks, so do not worry if you cannot see an immediate cause.
How Can I Tell if my Electric Fence is Working?
There are a few ways to check if your electric fence is working. It may be something you would want to do if you are worried a rainstorm damaged your fence.
You can try one of these three methods (or all three)
1. Use an electric fence tester
This seems like an easy answer, but some may not know they exist! You can buy one from the Tractor Supply Store, Home Depot, or even Amazon. Depending on what you have or what you need, this may be a good option for you.
2. Use a piece of grass.
Yes, a piece of grass! The piece of grass will absorb most of the energy, so you will not be harmed in this version of testing. The video below gives a great description of how to use a piece of grass as a DIY tester.
3. Use a voltmeter
This tool is nice to have because not only will it tell you if the electric fence is working, it will tell you how strong the fence is. It is nice to have this tool because you can also find weak spots on your fencing.
There are many ways to test if your electric fence is working, but most importantly: remember safety first. Electricity is not something to be messed with, so make sure you are being completely safe when testing your electric fence.