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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been needing to put up a hot wire around the interior of an existing fence, and I have been putting it off and putting it off until now when I only have a month until I will be putting my first goats in this pasture. I, having grown up in suburbia, know literally nothing about putting up an electric fence, and sadly now, know no one who could help me in this endeavor. I have scoured the internet hoping to find some sort of resource that would tell me absolutely ever step of the process but I can't seem to find one complete enough. I have found stuff about putting up an entire electric fence, but not for putting up a strand around an existing fence. Maybe I am thinking about this too hard and it just isn't that difficult? I don't know.
Does any one know of a resource that could help me? Be it video, article, or book?
 

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Have you purchased any of the supplies yet and are you able to post photos of the existing fence and the supplies? I'm sure the folks here can walk you through it!

You'll need a charger, wire or tape, offset insulators to hold the wire or tape, and some type of grounding rod.

Have you checked out the Premier One website? It's a fencing company and they usually have really good instructional PDFs linked on their website!
 

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Don't be intimidated! Once you get started, you'll realize that putting up electric fencing is super easy. You just need the right kind of insulators to attach to your existing fence and then it goes right up! Post some photos of your fence and where you want to place the wire and I'm sure the folks here can help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have not purchased any supplies yet. But I figure I will need those offset insulators that look like this:
Tool Composite material Machine Pipe Engineering

Sorry that picture's kinda huge.
I will try to get some pictures together of my fence. One big question I have is how do you deal with gates?
 

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If your current fence is built with t-posts, those insulators will work. For gates, buy some insulated electric wire. It's metal wire coated in rubber. Cut off a few feet more than the width of your gate. Strip an inch or two of rubber off one end to expose the wire and twist it onto your electric fence at one side. Then run the insulated wire down the post (use some wire or horseshoe nails to hold it onto the gatepost. Dig a trench about 6"-8" deep under the gate and lay the insulated wire at the bottom and cover it up. Then attach the other end of the wire to your electric fence on the other side of the gate in the same way you did the first. If you have a lot of deep mud under your gate at certain times of the year, you'll want to lay some gravel over the top so hooves and boots can't sink down and expose your wire. You could also bury it deeper, but that's not quite as easy. ;)
 

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Well, a few options at gates. The easiest being insulated handles with a hook so you just literally move the electric line when you need to go through the gate. Which is great if you don't use the gate all that often or if the gate is a point at which you have a lot of animal pressure/escapes.

Fi-Shock GHRY-FS Rubber Gate Handle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BGBU2LY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_1GNLCb74QB8F5

If it's a gate you plan to go through multiple times per day, this may not be the best solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here are some pictures of my fence. It is hog wire with t-posts and wood braces at corners.

Plant Tree Wood Natural landscape Land lot
Plant Tree Sky Wood Natural landscape


Thanks for that @Damfino I have been trying to figure that out for months.

Another question I have is does this type of fence need to be tightened? And, what do you do at the start of the wire? As in do I need to like bend it around the insulator so it stays on or do I just stick it on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Maybe I should rephrase my question. Does an electric stand off wire need to be tightened, like with a line strainer or whatever would be appropriate? Also this might have an obvious answer, but how do you attach the wire to the first insulator? Do you just stick it on like you would for the rest of the fence line, or does something different have to be done in order for it to stay on the insulator and not just slip off when you go to put the wire on the next one?
 

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No, you do not need to apply tension to a single strand offset hot wire other than just by hand as you are stringing it.

I'm not positive this is the "correct" way, but when we had it, we wrapped the wire around the first insulator a few times so that we could "tug" on it while stringing the rest. Because you don't want it to be pulling on the attachment to the charger.
 

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Sorry, I had a busy couple of days and forgot to answer your question, but it looks like SalteyLove got it covered. :)

For the t-posts, you can use the t-post insulators, but you'll need something different for your wooden posts. There are nail-in insulators, and there are screw-in ones, and there are kinds you attach to the post with wire. I've used them all and my preferences depend on the angle of the wooden post, whether there will be tension on the line (such as on an end post or corner), and what's cheapest. I've also used pieces of cut-up garden hose to insulate wire around the outsides of trees or wooden posts.
 

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Garden hose around trees! Genius!!
That's going in the memory banks.
If the tree or post is near the end of the wire you can just run the wire through. Otherwise I cut a slit lengthwise down the hose. If the hose has an arc to it, I cut the slit along the outside of the curve and slip the wire inside. The hose usually snaps shut around it and I don't have to add tape. But if the tree is a small diameter I may have to hold the hose shut with some electrical tape or the slit gapes open and the wire may pop out.
 

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Hey I don't really have anything new to add. But I want to second Premier 1 for your supplies. Also... you can do this! It took me months upon months upon months to figure out electric and to just work up the nerve to just do it. I had panic attacks just thinking about it.

I didn't exactly grow up on a farm. No one around me that I know personally knows how to do electric fencing. When I asked my father-in-law (pretty good at home-level electrical work) he said "I know not to pee on it!"

My point is... just breathe. You can get it working! Once you figure out that first stretch, you'll wonder why it took you so long to put it up in the first place.
 

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You can do it! My daughter and I put up one around my entire perimeter after the last dog attack. I was afraid to try it myself, too. Now that I have it done, I actually feel confident enough that we have been modifying and adding gates, etc.

One word of warning: Do NOT lean over the fence to grab the bucket you dropped - a blast of electricity to my, um, chesty bits, caused me to teach the neighborhood kids exiting the school bus some creative new language. OMG! That stung!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you so much for the words of encouragement! It really goes a long way. Now I can go from this :hide: to this:coolmoves:(emojis are too much fun aren't they). I think I have worked up my nerve enough, and with you guys I know if I have any trouble someone will be able to get me out of it.
 

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I did not grow up using electric fences at all either. I got thrown in at the deep end during college when I moved my horses to a professor's backyard barn. He'd had an electric fence up for horses he'd owned many years previously, but it was completely dilapidated to the point where most of the wire and support posts were buried under bushels of weeds or entirely underground, half the corner posts were either rotten or leaning over, and the electric fence charger was a hunk of rust nailed to a post in the garden. Miraculously, it still worked! I may have had to buy a new fuse for it, but it still had some life, and once I figured out (by trial and error) which nub went to the ground and which went to the fence, I was able to make it work. I spent days digging up wire and hacking down weeds with a machete, setting up corners, and resurrecting the old metal support rods, but I got it up and working! I had to buy all new insulators, some new support rods, and roll of wire, but by the end it all worked and I was able to move my horse in! I eventually set up a whole new electric fence from scratch on the 4 acres across the driveway (I was so proud of myself!), expanded the original pasture, and I kept my horse there for four years. She even had a foal in that professor's barn. It was a trial by fire but I felt like I learned a thing or two about electric fences and it wasn't as hard as I thought. In fact, setting up the electric fence was the easy part. Battling those 4-foot-tall weeds by hand almost killed me!
 

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Just keep at it. I had retired electricians and new grads and licensed contractors fail at helping me get mine to work. Finally after reading tons of suggestions I hit the problem. Mine was a grounding problem. Once I ran a ground wire instead of grounding rods my problems were over.
Well except for an occasional grounding out due to random things. Tree branches falling on the line and such.
 
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