A handy tool for electric fence fault-finding are digital fault-finders which are specially designed for the job and while all are not that cheap to buy they can save you hours of walking and if you think your time has any value then over time these devices will actually save you money.
Any farmer with an electric fence will tell you from time to time all fences give trouble and will require some maintenance every year. The main problem with electric fences is when summer growth can grow up and earth the fence wire. There are a few ways of avoiding this either by cutting under the wire with something like a cordless hedge trimmers or spaying under the wire with grazon pro and the proper type sprayer.
The reason I mention grazon pro is it is one of the best type of broad leaf sprays that I have come across that will kill almost everything except grass. The reason you don’t want to use something like roundup or Gallup which will kill everything is because if you kill off the grass the new weeds that will emerge will have no competition without grass and will quickly take over.
Another thing that will help is to have a powerful fencer with enough joules to burn off any growing vegetation that touches the fence wire. The best solution is probably a combination of all three. The quickest thing to take a shock from a fence however is some faults like a bit of wire grounded. That could be anything from and old piece of tin or metal touching the wire to some old fence wire buried in the ground but still connected to the live fence wire somewhere.
That is what the fault-finder is for unlike a regular fence tester that just tests for voltage the fault-finder is going to tell you in what direction the ground problem is and save you a lot of time looking and searching for the problem.
VOSS.farming – Digital Fence Tester & Fault Finder
like the voss farming fencers this tester and directional faultfinder comes in at very good value for money and it would be hard to find any faultfinder with so many positive reviews at this price point. Its got a fence tester from 200 to 9900 volts and a fault-finder with directional arrows with measurement range of 1–30 amps suitable for all conductor materials. It has an illuminated screen making it easy to read on darker evenings and comes with an artificial leather bag with strap handle and a 9v battery.
Hotline Electric Fence Fault Finder
(Click on image for latest price)
the hotline fault-finder is a step up in price and looks like a quality made product but you would have to ask yourself if it might be worth spending a little more for a well-known brand like Gallagher. This fault-finder has much the same functions as the others with direction arrows to point you in the direction of the fault and comes in at a reasonable price. You can see hotlines website for more information about the company and range of products
If your not ready to splash out on a full faultfinder and like the exercise you could always get a handy enough hotline key-ring like below to attach to your car keys which will show you the voltage power on the fence.
Gallagher Electric Fence Fault Finder
Gallagher needs no introduction when it comes to fencing products but the prices a bit higher than some others on the market. Again it works in much the same way as most other fault-finders and arrows will lead you in the direction of the fault. The video below will explain the process in more detail on how it works. Whether you decide to use this faultfinder or another one they are a very handy tool to have on any farm that has a lot of wire to follow.
Speedrite Digital Fault Finder
Again I saved the best until last but the speedrite is also the most expensive and might not be within everyones budget. Its probably looks the best of all the fault-finders and comes with plenty great reviews The display presents current, voltage and current direction simultaneously and also can display previous current readings to compare values. Its got an audible current indicator a belt clip and an insulated, water resistant case.
A fault-finder is not going to solve all your fence problems but what it will do is save you time walking and searching for something that is not apparent or that easy to see that is earthing your fence and taking all the current from your fence into the ground. Anyone who has been walking around fields looking for a fault only to walk past it several times will know what I mean.
I think all the devices above are good products and while they will all do the same job some are almost double the price of others. Which one you decide to go for is up to you. I just want to explain what they are and what they do. If you are interested in solar fencers I wrote a bit about them here