While other folks are out watering their gardens in the morning, you’ll see me out in the pasture diligently watering the grounding rods for my electric fence.
We’ve had a relatively dry spring and although I have two grounding poles daisy chained together for my fencing that are on a hill with fairly sandy soil. That means when it’s dry (or frozen) the zap goes out of the fence.
I really like electric fencing. It’s easy to put up, easy for me to change for different configurations, and most of the time the horses show a lot of respect for it. However, when the ground is very dry (or frozen) the fence doesn’t ground. For electricity to flow in a system, such as an electric fence, there must be a
complete and closed circuit. The electrical current must travel from its source through the circuit and back to the source. This flow only occurs when a charged wire of the fence becomes grounded.
Improper fence grounding causes about 80% of all electric fence failures and it’s easy to see why. Even when you daisy chain grounding rods together, even when you have a charger with enough juice to make your hair curl, if there isn’t enough moisture in the soil to enable the electrons to flow, there is simply no zap.
So, to keep my fence buzzing with electric current, first I packed the area around the hole with rock salt (which increases the ionization of the soil). Then I water the grounding poles on dry days.
There are other solutions: You can now buy bi-polar electric tape that doesn’t need to be grounded. If it had been available when I installed my fence, I certainly would have gone that route. But with the fencing already installed, I think I’ll just keep on watering my grounding rods!