Your Guide to Buying Electric Fence Components on eBay

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Your Guide to Buying Electric Fence Components on eBay

Electric fences offer many practical advantages to those who own horses and livestock. Any horse owner will understand the worry about a prized horse getting loose. Electric fencing has become more widely used and popular over the last few decades and new materials have allowed anyone to install a new electric fence with no hassle.

The individual components, from energisers to kick in posts are all easy to find and buy on the internet, but eBay offers a huge database of worldwide listings and easy purchasing choices. This guide aims to inform the buyer how to purchase electric fence components on eBay.

The Principles of the Electric Fence

Electric fences work on a basic principle of electricity running in a closed circuit. The energiser (essentially a battery) sends out a regular current, about one per second, along the wires. The circuit at this point is ‘open’ and when a horse or animal touches the wire the circuit becomes closed and the electricity is delivered into the animal, giving it a quick but harmless shock. The current passes through the animal, into the ground and back to the energiser’s earth rod. When the animal backs away the circuit is broken and the current stops.

Some would suggest that electric fences are a cruel way to keep horses and livestock contained in an area but electric fences teach the animal not to lean or chew on the fence components. The horse tends to learn quickly not to touch the fence and the voltage should be low enough to simply give the horse a small, painless shock.

The Important Electric Fence Components

All electric fences are made up from a few basic components. If the buyer is purchasing everything separately over a period of time it is important to consider that they need to know what each one does. The following table breaks down the range of components that are needed to make an electric fence:

Earth Stake

· It is important to have an earth stake as this helps with the conductivity of the whole fence. If the earthing conditions of the ground are poor the electricity may escape away into the ground and the fence may not be as effect as it should be.

· An earth rod is used for mains powered energisers and up to three rods 3m apart may be needed.

Energisers

· The power source of the fence which is connected to the earth stake/rod.

· Energisers can be mains,, battery or solar powered..

· Energisers are measured in volts and joules and also how much wire they can power which is a useful guideline when deciding what power is suitable to use.

· Areas with dense vegetation it is advised to get a slightly higher powered charger so that the vegetation does not dampen the power.

Conductors

· Conductors are what delivers the charger around the fenced area. Conductors come in the form of wire,, polytape,, and polyrope. Conductors have several strands of metal woven into the fibres to conduct the charge.

· The wider the tape the less strong it will be, but the most recommended for horses.

Insulators

· These effectively hold the wire/tape away from the post which prevents the posts from conducting the current and stops it from melting/burning. Insulators are made from plastic and come in different shapes and attachment options.

· For the wire, a simple standoff ring insulator is fine; these will be for wooden posts and can be nailed or screwed into the wooden post.

· Polytape insulators are flat clips and hold the tape flat so it is visible to see. These will come in specific widths so it is important to remember the width of the tape when buying insulators.

Posts

· Posts mark out the area that is to be fenced off and also hold the polytape/wire via the insulators.

· Posts can be heavy duty wooden posts depending if the fence needs to more permanent.

· Plastic step in posts are handy for those who wish to change the area around or need a temporary solution until a permanent one is made. These come in heights like 3ft and 5ft posts.

Connector

· Tape connecters help join two pieces of tape together whilst maintaining the effectiveness of the current.

· Wire connectors prevent the need to buy new lengths of wire as wire can be connected easily

Warning Sign

· Any electric fencing that is near a public path, highway or bridle way must have warning signs on at regular intervals.

· It is recommended good practise to have warning signs visible for visitors or new horse riders.

Electric Fence Tester

· An electric fence will need testing every day to ensure that the voltage is at the right level. Testers are inexpensive and a vital component to use when constructing a new fence or using a new energiser.


What Type of Fence Is Being Constructed?

Now that the buyer knows what goes into making an electric fence, they need to know which components are needed. They will need to consider the following:

  • How long is the fence needed?
  • How close is the fence to a mains source of electricity?
  • What is the buyer’s budget?

If the fence is needed for more than a few weeks or months, the buyer would want a mains charger with a more powerful voltage capacity than a battery operated energiser. Wooden posts would be the better option if the buyer is not wishing to change the size of the area. A post should be placed at a minimum 6-8 meters apart.

If the buyer is wishing to have a temporary fence or have the option of moving the area around, then lightweight kick in posts are ideal. These are easy to move around and also indicate how deeply they need to go into the ground.

Having access is a keen concern and some electric fences offer spring gates,, but it is advised not to use this type for horses as they could get their manes or tails stuck and shock themselves by accident. A way to keep an electric fenced area with a gate is to bury a wire under the gate to keep the whole circuit intact. This means the buyer doesn’t have to replace their gate or worry about having to place the electric fence in another area.

How to Look for Electric Fence Components on eBay

To start looking for an electric fence, the buyer should start their search on the eBay homepage. On there they should select the Sports & Leisure Category, go onto the Sporting Goods page and then select Equestrian.

eBay offers the buyer the chance to look at a wide range of listings by using search methods such as keyword search or categories. Electric fence components are relatively easy to look for on eBay but it is suggested to use the keyword search function mostly.

  • The buyer can start with a general search such as ‘electric fence’ and this will bring up a range of listings that match the search term. Some of these items will be in used condition and may need picking up by the buyer. If the buyer is looking for a specific item then they can search for a certain type of energiser. An example is that they could search for ‘4 volt energiser’ or ‘1200m electric fence tape’
  • The buyer should try out different combinations of words to bring up listings that they might be interested in, and the buyer can look at components that have been previously used. Used Wooden posts will be cut to height, and often these are available in bundles and can save the buyer a lot of money compared to buying new ones.

Electric Fence Maintenance

Quick, basic checks should be done most days to ensure that the electric fence is working properly and nothing is interfering with it. Checking it often will also increase the life span of the fence.

  • Look for items that may interfere with the conductors, especially at the bottom. Ensure weeds are kept trimmed back and check for fallen branches after a storm.
  • Check the condition of the polytape regularly; make sure that it hasn’t frayed in some places as the metal wire running through it may break and stop conducting a charge.
  • Check the charger often to ensure it has not developed any problems and that the key parts are free from dirt and cobwebs.
  • Ensure the posts are well rooted in the ground or aren’t falling over after bad weather.
  • When making checks to the fence; ensure to wear thick, protective gloves and only handle the fence when everything is turned off.

Conclusion

Once the whole electric fence has been broken down into manageable components, the buyer can find it easy to look for and purchase fence components on eBay. The internet will offer many places to find components, but eBay offers a wide range of individual products to suit every need and budget. Whether the buyer was looking for a new mains energiser or a more reliable fence tester, this guide had ensured they are well equipped to find everything they need on eBay.

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