Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Paying tuition

I just spent $145.00 for tuition and got an electric fence energizer thrown in for free.

The other day my bride was working around the pump house where our fence energizer is plugged in. She set a step stool on one of the (insulated) wires from the zapper without realizing it until she heard a “pop” sound.

The meter was flat lined at the fence, but the thing was putting current out the ground wire. I pronounced the zapper as kaput and replaced it with a lower powered spare we have. The fence tested OK, with less zap of course. I ordered a replacement charger.

The new charger came and I installed it today.

I hooked it up and tested it. The fence was dead and current was pumping out the ground wire. I fussed and swore and looked around for something out of place. I found it. The grounding wire was pulled loose from the grounding rod, hidden by the tall grass behind the pump house. As soon as I saw it I knew what had happened. My bride had set the step stool on the ground wire. The “pop” she heard was the wire pulling loose from the ground rod. It was still in contact (sort of) with the ground rod there in the tall grass where it was hard to see, just no longer well connected.

I had never heard of a charger sending current down a disconnected or poorly connected ground rod. Apparently when I put in the spare unit it was connected enough to give me a reading on the meter. Our stock is well trained to the electric fences and just never had any occasion to test it in the time it took for the new unit to arrive.

I now have a very nice spare zapper, and a new bit of knowledge; always check the ground, even when you are sure you know what the problem is.

Papa would often say “You paid the tuition, be sure you learned the lesson”.

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