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Electric Fence Installation Guide

Electric fencing offers easy, high-tech protection against deer, raccoons, and other animals. It is more effective than physical barriers or chemical repellents because it instills the fear of being shocked into the animals. Once an electric fence is in place, animals will avoid the fenced area and search elsewhere for food.

The Gardener's Supply Electric Fence kit provides:
* 320 feet of PolyWire
* a weatherproof Battery Energizer
* insulators (25)
* 2-foot fiberglass rods (20)
* anchor stakes (4)
* a 2-foot copper grounding rod
* an electric fence warning sign

Using 3 strands, you can create a fence measuring up to 110 by 110 feet. Or, you can use 6 strands for a 55 by 55-foot fence.

Keeps Animals Out
The Stafix Battery Energiser delivers 0.16 joules of quick, pulsing shocks yet it uses only a small amount of battery energy. The shock jolts and frightens animals, but it will not harm them. Nor will it harm pets or children. The battery energiser can easily charge up to 5,280 feet of PolyWire.

Easy-To-Install Wire
Our lightweight PolyWire comes with six stainless steel wires for better conducting power. The wires are spun into flexible polyethylene strands that can be easily wrapped around insulators and corners. It is much easier to work with than standard electric fence wire.

Portable Rods
Fiberglass rods are lightweight, yet provide strong support for the PolyWire. Unlike permanent fencing, these rods can easily be moved if you want to enlarge or reduce your fence area. After the garden season is over, pull up the rods for winter storage.

Designing Your Fence
Take a few minutes to think about your fence design. There are many factors to consider such as animal size, the placement of fence rods and wires, gates, and the power supply for your charger.

The Size of the Animal
The size of the animal(s) you want to deter will determine the spacing of the wires. Estimate the shoulder height of the animal and plan to place a wire at that height. Follow with a wire above and below.

For small animals, place the wires near the ground and closer together. For large animals, plan to space the wires evenly all the way to the top of the rod. Or, a minimum of three strands of wire may be sufficient if you follow the rule of thumb of placing the first wire at shoulder height of the animal, followed with a wire above and below.

Positioning and Bracing Fiberglass Rods
Calculate the total perimeter of the fenced area to determine the number of rods that you will need. Rods may be placed up to 20 feet apart on level terrain. If the area is hilly or uneven, place the rods closer together at the high and low points in the land to keep the lowest wire at a proper distance from the ground. For large gardens or orchards, it is helpful to outline the area first with string or mason's line.

Make sure you pull the PolyWire taut so that animals have full contact with the wire and feel a maximum shock. To keep the wire taut, brace the corner rods securely with baling twine, rope, or wire to serve as your bracing lines.

Gates are important because they allow you to move in and out of the fenced area. You won't need a gate at all if you are controlling small animals and your wires are positioned low. In this case, simply slide the insulators and wires down to the ground, cross into the garden, and slide them back up.

Gates are needed for high wired rods since the top wires can’t slide all the way to the ground. A gate can be permanent or temporary and made of wood or steel. It can be as simple or ornate as you wish.

If you want the gate to be electrified, we offer a gate handle and insulators for connecting and disconnecting the PolyWire.

Installing Your Fence
Follow these steps to assemble the yellow insulators. Each insulator consists of two parts: a wire holder and a threading ring.

1. Screw each threading ring halfway onto the wire holder. (The word Western faces out).

2. Insert the rod through the insulator between the threading ring and wire holder. Slide the insulator down and tighten it into place. Place an insulator for each strand of wire you plan to use on the rod. For example, if you want a fence with five wires spaced 12 inches apart, you'll install 5 insulators per rod.

3. Select 4 rods to act as corner rods and add an extra insulator. The extra insulator is necessary to hold the bracing line that attaches to the support stake. Now you are ready to install the fence.

4. Install the corner rods first. Wear gloves to push the fiberglass rods 8 to 10 inches into the ground. If the soil is hard, use a rubber mallet or a steel hammer with a protective block of wood over the rod. A hardpan soil may require a screwdriver or metal pin to start the hole.

5. Each fence kit includes four, 12-inch anchor stakes to help support the corners. Push a stake into the ground 3 to 4 feet behind each corner rod at a 45-degree angle. Cut a piece of rope or twine long enough to go from the anchor stake to the rod and back. Tie a loop on one end of this line and insert it through the opening on the extra corner rod insulator. Bring the other end of the line through the anchor insulator. Pull tight and tie.

6. Install the remaining rods, spacing them no further than 20 feet apart. (Attention gate owners: Set one rod aside to serve as a gate rod.) Once the rods have been installed, move the insulators to the height you want for the wires.

7. For gate owners: Select the spot where you want access to the fenced-in area. (Try not to choose a corner.) Select the closest rod and install the gate rod 3 to 4 feet away from it (or whatever width your gate will be). The gate will go between the two rods.

Wiring the Fence
8. Wearing gloves, cut off a 9-foot piece of fence wire to use later in step 12.

9. Place a dowel or stick through the roll of PolyWire to make it easier to unwind. For fences with gates, begin at the gate rod. For fences without gates, begin at any rod. Wind the end of the wire around the lowest insulator and tie it off.

10.Unwind the wire as you walk the fence line, feeding the wire through the insulator clips at each rod. When you reach the end or the other gate rod, pull the wire taut and wind it a couple of times around the insulator. Without cutting the wire, bring the wire up to the next insulator on the rod. Begin again on the next level connecting the wire to all corner and middle rods.

11. Pull the wire taut, wrap it around the insulator and bring it up to the next level. Repeat this step until all levels of fence line have been installed.

* If your design does not include a gate, you now have a complete fence line with no openings.

* If your fence includes a gate, there should be an opening between the two ends of the fence line. Install the wood or metal gate snugly into the opening.

Distributing Power to all Fence Levels
12. Before you connect the energiser to the fence, take the 9-foot piece of pre-cut wire and tie it to the lowest fence wire near the gate or the starting rod. Wrap the wire piece around the lowest fence wire, tie it, and then bring it up to the second fence wire and tie. Repeat this step until all levels of fence wire are attached.

13. If you have enough wire left over, you can cut another piece to make another connection at a second point in the fence. The power will be distributed to all levels of the fence much more efficiently.

Powering the Battery Energiser
The battery energiser can be powered by four D-cell batteries or by an external 12-volt deep cycle or marine battery. D-cell batteries are held inside the energizer unit. (Alkaline D-cell batteries will supply up to 32 days of current on the slow setting and 20 days on a fast setting.) If you use a 12-volt battery, it is connected externally to the energiser with wire clips and will last much longer (available at specialty battery companies or motorboat dealerships). NOTE: Make sure the energiser switch (9) is off before installing batteries or connecting to an external battery (Fig. A).

To Install D-Cell Batteries
1. Set the speed switch (9) to the "Off" position (Fig. A).

2. Hold the unit flat in one hand with the stand fixing location tab (11) facing up.

3. Squeeze the chassis retaining clips (3) to release the chassis.

4. Draw out the battery bay using the finger pull handle (10). You will see an electronic circuit board and a battery bay inside.

5. Insert four, size D batteries using the illustrations inside the battery bay.

6. Replace the battery bay, pushing firmly on the finger pull handle (10) until the chassis locks into place.

7. Locate an area with firm ground and mount the energiser on the stand near the fence line (Fig. C).

To Install a 12-volt Battery
1. Set the speed switch (9) to the "Off" position (Fig. B).

2. Make sure all internal batteries in the energiser have been removed.

3. Locate an area with firm ground and mount the energiser on the stand near the fence line (Fig. D).

4. Connect the narrow end of the red wire (12) to the energiser connector Pos + (5) and the other end to the positive terminal on the battery (Fig. D).

5. Connect the narrow end of the black wire (13) to the energiser connector Neg - (6) and the other end to the negative terminal on the battery (Fig. D).

Final Connections
Proper electrical grounding of the fence is essential. The earth or ground is one half of the electric circuit that delivers an electric shock to the animal. An animal touching the fence actually completes the circuit between the ground and the charged fence wire. If you live in an arid region, or if your soil is especially rocky, you may need to use more than one grounding rod.

Connecting to a Grounding Rod

Figure B: Battery Energizer Speed Switch
1. Using a hammer, drive the 2-foot grounding rod into moist soil (not rock!) leaving approximately
Figure C: Energizer powered by D-cell batteries
3 inches of the rod above the soil level. For a proper ground, you'll need to keep the soil moist.

2. Attach the narrow clip of the yellow wire (15) to the fence lead connector on the battery energiser (7). Connect the other end of the wire to the fence line.

Figure D: Energizer powered by an external 12-volt battery
3. Attach the green wire (14) to the grounding rod.

Speed of Operation
The control switch on the bottom of the energiser unit has three settings (Fig. B).

* Off (0) - Select when installing or repairing fence.
* Slow (1) - Produces a shock approximately every 2 seconds.
* Fast (2) - Produces a shock approximately every 1.2 seconds.
The Pulse (8) is an indicator light that flashes each time a shock is delivered to the fence.

Training the Animals
Electric fences will work most effectively when animals are encouraged to place their sensitive moist noses against the wire. To accomplish this, the wire should be baited with small pieces of aluminum foil that have been smeared with peanut butter. Place 2-inch square pieces on the lowest wire at 5-foot intervals. Make sure the foil does not touch the ground.

For deer, use a combination of molasses and peanut butter on the highest wire. Peanut butter or leftover grease will also work for dogs. Keep the charger on high power for a month or until the animals have been trained to keep their distance. After that point, the charge may be kept on low power. Some gardeners may only need to keep the charger on at night.

Maintaining Your fence to Keep Animals Out!
Electric fences require occasional maintenance to keep them performing at their best. When you are out in the yard, orchard, or garden, take time to check the following:

Grass, tree limbs, or any debris touching the PolyWire. Turn off the energizer and remove the debris; otherwise it will drain power from the wire and reduce the charge. Keep grass short by trimming, mulching heavily, or simply installing the fence over a tilled area rather than grass. (You may still need a mulch to suppress weeds.)

The Battery Energiser. The pulse light should be blinking steadily. If it blinks slower than usual, check the following:

* The battery(ies) may be low and need to be charged or replaced. When batteries begin to wear down, the level of voltage going through the wires is the same but the length of time between pulses increases. This gives animals an opportunity to cross the fence. Keep batteries fully charged or replace them when the light flashes slowly. We carry an optional fence tester that determines if batteries are low (see Ordering Information). Make sure that your battery connections are tight and the ground rod is securely in the earth.

* If using D-cell batteries, make sure the batteries are placed correctly inside the battery bay.

* With a 12-volt external battery, check your connections to the battery.

Dislodged rods: Take a weekly stroll around the fence to make sure that the rods are secure and the wire is clear.

Safety for You, Children and Animals
The GSC Electric Fence is a low powered system that regulates voltage into quick sharp pulses. While the shocks will not harm adults or children, they are uncomfortable. Have a family "fence orientation" when the fence is installed. Emphasize that the electric fence should always be given plenty of distance unless the power is off. Pets will have to learn the hard way unless they understand your verbal commands. We offer additional bright yellow "Warning, Electric Fence" signs that can be tied right to the fence wire.

* Do not connect the battery energiser to any equipment using an electrical outlet. Such equipment may include battery chargers, battery eliminators, fence monitoring systems, etc.

* Only operate the battery energizer in an upright position. Do not submerge in water.

* Always remove the D-cell batteries when they become flat or prior to long term storage (6 months or more).

* Replace the D-cell batteries as a complete new set and do not mix battery brands or types.

12-volt lead acid batteries:
* Avoid spilling the acid and check the level regularly.

* Never run the battery completely flat.

* Never leave the battery flat, recharge it at the first opportunity.

* Keep the energiser away from corrosive and explosive external battery fumes.

* Do not connect the energizer to barbed or razor wire of any type.

* The energizer should be connected to the grounding rod or stand, not to any other devices such as telephone poles or lightning cables.

* If there are overhead powerlines in the vicinity, run the wires at right angles to the power lines. The vertical distance between any fence wire or connecting lead and the surface of the earth should not exceed 6 feet, 6 inches.

* Install fence wiring away from any telecommunication lines or radio aerials.

* In areas where the fence may be touched by the public, post clear warning signs at intervals not exceeding 295 feet.

* Maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet, 6 inches between different electric fence systems.

* Never connect more than one energizer to the same fence line.

* Do not allow children to play with the energizer or electric fence.

* Keep these instructions for future use.

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