Mounting the Control Box


Overview

The control box (or transmitter box) is the main control unit for the dog fence.  It creates the signal that goes through the dog fence boundary wire and creates the boundary. From the control box, you can set the boundary width (how far out from the wire the warning and correction start). In some systems like the Innotek IUC-4100 you also set the correction strength at the control box. The control box also includes an indicator that tells you if the fence is operating correctly and will usually sound an alarm if there is a break in the dog fence wire.


Locating the Control Box

The control box needs to be:

  • Near a Power Outlet – preferably, the control box is near an electrical receptacle so you can easily plug it in. If the control box is far from a power outlet, you will need to run an extension cord. When installing a lightning protection module, the power outlet must be grounded (i.e. three prongs instead of two)
  • Near an Exterior Wall – so you can easily run the boundary wire outside.
  • Protected from the Elements – the control box must be sheltered from the elements, particularly moisture. Control boxes (aka transmitters) are not particularly sensitive to cold. Many system manufacturers state that the control box needs to be kept above freezing point, our experience has been that this is not particularly important.

Interior

We usually put the control box in some out-of-the-way location like the garage, garden shed, or in a closet/cabinet on the inside of an exterior wall. After completing the initial installation, you will rarely use the control box, so ease of access is not particularly important.

Weatherproof Box

You can also put the control box outside in a weatherproof box. Weatherproof enclosures can be found at any hardware store, and are found in the electrical section. The weatherproof box provides extra protection if you are placing a control box outside under an eave or on a deck.


Mounting the Control Box

Screw the transmitter box to the wall using the supplied mounting screws. If you are mounting onto drywall or masonry, you will need to use the appropriate anchors to get a secure mount. Control boxes are light (around 1 lb), so there is no need to mount them directly into a stud.


Installing the Lightning Protection (optional)

In geographic regions that experience frequent lightning strikes, or for large installations (over 5 acres), it is worth installing the lightning protection module. The module is included in the Innotek IUC-5100 and the PetSafe Little Dog Fence systems. In all other systems, it is available for an additional $40.

The lightning protection module plugs directly into any grounded power outlet. Instead of the boundary wire connecting directly to the control box, the two boundary wires connect directly to the lightning protection module. Two wires are then used to connect the lightning protection to the control box. This configuration protects the control box from surges originating from the boundary wire or surges originating from your home’s electrical system.


Getting the Wire Outside

If the control box is mounted indoors, you need to run the wire outside. If there is some convenient venting or wiring already running outside, then use this opening to run the dog fence wiring. You can also run the wire through a window, or under a garage door. Do not run the wire through dryer ducting. Dryer vents get very hot when the dryer is in use and the insulation on the boundary wire will melt when exposed to this heat.

For most installations, the easiest way to get the wire outside is to drill a hole through the wall, pull the wire through the hole, then caulk the hole to ensure a good seal. Exterior silicone caulk works great for this application.

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert August 14, 2014 at 9:09 am

Hi, Is it possible to configure my electric fence so that my dog can enter the fenced in area through my front door or my side door. I think I know how to do one entry point, but I can’t figure out how to do two entry points. Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Robert, if you are installing a partial yard layout, you can suspend the wire along the edge of the roof along the sides of the homes where the two doors are located. It is the same as the gutter layout, only you are suspending it along two sides of the home.

Jason July 8, 2014 at 1:06 pm

My control box is plugged in to an extension cord in my garage. Periodically when I use my garage door opener the alarm sounds as if I had broken a wire. Every time I plug my shop vac in and turn it on the alarm sounds. It will cause a lot of work to relocate my box but I will if I think putting it next to an outlet would fix my problem. What do you think?

ADMIN – Hi Jason, I’m not sure what is the problem. Those electronics should not be causing the wall unit to alarm. Try taking the wall unit off the wall and plug it directly into the outlet, then try the garage door etc to see if the problem is fixed.

Tena Conrad June 1, 2014 at 2:36 pm

I need to know the settings on the box. There is A, B and C. I’m not sure what I am suppose to have it set on..Can you please tell me the difference of the settings?

ADMIN – Hi Tena, these settings are related to how much dog fence wire is installed. A is for greater than 2,400 feet of wire. B is for 1,300 to 2,400 feet of wire. C is for up to 1,300 feet of wire.

Lyndsey February 10, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Hey, I love your site! I am wondering about the Petsafe wireless instant fence. I like the reviews on this model and would like to purchase it, the only problem being that we live on the upper level of the house and must mount the unit 2′ above the ground on the ground level.
Is a weatherproof box wall mounted under our stairs appropriate for a wireless unit? I know they need to be kept above freezing and safe from the elements, but am unsure about the details with a wireless system and ensuring the signal will work without interference.
Thank you

Jessie September 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm

We live in a trailer and our out buildings are metal. Can we put in an invisible electric fence?

ADMIN – Hi Jessie, using the twisted wire to exit the wall transmitter and get clear of the trailer, the unit will work great. The out building should be a problem if you keep a distance of 15 feet from them.

Lisa July 10, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I’m looking for a system that will allow me to block access only to a wrought iron gate across my driveway that our dog can crawl under. The rest of our yard is well fenced. What system would work best? Do they all have to be installed in a loop?

ADMIN – HI Lisa,

For just blocking a small space like a gate, I would use one of the wireless outdoor pods. That is a much easier way to block off the are than a complete dog fence system.

If you did opt for a regular dog fence system, you would indeed need to install a complete loop.

jason July 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Hi, i was wondering if i could install the underground wire on a existing above ground metal fence, the metal fence takes up about half of the 800 foot loop. It doesn’t matter to me if the section attached to the electrical fence works or not , since my dog can’t get through the physical fence anyway. Another issue, is that i have a steel building that i am going kind of close to in one section, is that a problem?, thanks Jay

ADMIN – Hi Jason,

If the fence or building are sheet metal, you can use a dog fence – but sometimes the signal gets amplified in that local area. Running the wire at the top of the fence rather than in the middle will reduce this issue.

Jennifer May 23, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Hello, I’m trying to choose the best place to put my Dogtek EF-4000 transmitter box. The garage is unfortunately not an option, so I was thinking of putting it in the laundry room. I have a washer, dryer, and refrigerator in there already. My question is if the 3 metal appliances will affect the transmitter at all? Also, does the transmitter draw very much power – or is it likely that it will throw the breaker by adding that into the laundry room? Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Jennifer,

It is fine to put a wired system such as the Dogtek near metal appliances (but it is not okay to place a wireless system near metal appliances). The transmitter uses very little power, it will not cause the breaker to trip.

Susan Druschel March 20, 2013 at 6:39 pm

We have 3/4 acre that is landscaped with several garden areas, both above and below the house which basically is in the middle of that area. We also just got a 5 yr old chocolate lab. I need to keep the dog out of the flowers beds and also allow him to pass through the gates on the north and south ends of the area. I am not certain I understand how many exclusion zones of twisted wire you can have within an electrified area. Can I make as many as I need as long as I incorporate them into the connected loops going back to the transmitter? Or can I do one upper loop with exclusions and a separate lower loop with exclusions using only one transmitter located in the center by the gate. Also, I am considering the DogTek system – is that appropriate? Thank you in advance for your help. Your site has convinced me this is the way I need to go.

ADMIN – Hi Susan,

You can have as many exclusion zones as you would like, they just need to be linked to the main loop (or to each other).

The Dogtek would be a good choice. The PetSafe Ultrasmart would also be a good choice. The PetSafe is a little cheaper, and also lets you use the wireless outdoor pods which you could use to keep the dogs out of the garden beds without the need for all the mini-loops.

Kon Huypen September 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Great Site! I have a question about the wiring. I bought the Petsafe stubborn in ground dog fence. Can you put two loops into it or is it restricted to one set of wires coming into the box?

Thank.

Admin- Hi Kon,

You can install two loops but only one set of boundary wires will connect into the transmitter box. To connect the second loop, you will splice into the closes boundary wire to the area you wish to create the second boundary around. See our exclusion zone diagram under “dog fence installations” tab.

Ray DelCorvo August 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm

My son and his wife just bought a home with wiring “in place” but all electronics gone. When they called installers they wanted to replace the entire system? Your DIY may be a better solution. Questions….How do we determine if wiring is intact and what the wiring footprint looks like? Is the wiring typically compatible with different systems? Should we be replacing wiring? D0 you have recommendations on piecing the system or type of system? Thank you

ADMIN – Hi Ray, It is very difficult to know if the wire is intact without a transmitter to test the wire. Discovering where the wire is buried is also difficult if not near impossible. However, if the wire is intact you can plug in a new DIY system and go locate the boundary signal with the collar. All wiring is compatible no matter the system. I would recommend spending maybe a few hours locating the old wiring. If you run into any issues, you’ll save lots of time by installing new wire. This may be the best option anyway considering the fact that if anything were to happen to the existing wiring, you may have a difficult time troubleshooting the issue. As for recommending a fence, what is the breed and weight of your dog or dogs in question. What size of property do you plan to fence in?

Lisa July 13, 2012 at 11:17 pm

I have a PetSafe system. I bought the lightning protector recently but I am having problems installing it due to the electrical outlet. The transmitter is in a screened in porch (does not get wet) and the available outlet is of the outdoor type with two metal covers. The lightning protector will not fit into the plug as it is (too wide). Was wondering if you know of any easy fixes for this situation? By the way love our fence.

Admin- Hi Lisa,
You best option will be to purchase a plug extender that will plug into either the top or bottom terminal. Than you could plug the lightning protector into the extender. The only other option will be replacing the outlets face plate.

Kevin June 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm

We had a lightning strike a few weeks back that totally destroyed our PetSafe in-ground fence. Not only were the transmitter and AC plug fried, but the underground wire itself was broken in many spots. This required us to install a whole new fence system. We have been looking into the surge protection systems that are offered, but are wondering if they will protect the wire from damage or just the transmitter?

Admin- Hi Kevin,

The Lightning protectors that we offer will only protect the transmitter. Unfortunately there is no way to protect the boundary wire from a high voltage surge.

Oliver June 19, 2012 at 7:08 pm

I ordered a PetSafe stubborn dog system. Can I mount control box inside of a metal building, running the twisted wires thru the wall?

Admin- Hi Oliver,
Absolutely, the metal barn will not effect the transmitter if you have twsted wire leading out to the property line. The only time we have experienced any issues with metal barns and wired in-ground system. Is when the boundary wire(not twisted) is ran along side the sheet metal sides. The signal can be reflected off of the sheet metal a bit.

Laura May 5, 2012 at 11:23 pm

We are pretty set on the 4100. 2 Aussies for 2/3 of on an acre. One question I wanted to ask was about the depth of the snow in the winter. At times we can have up to 6 feet of snow. Will the 4100 be able to still work? I though I read that you can turn up the distance from the wire that with trigger the collar. With 6 ft of snow will the system still work at 100%?

Admin- Hi Laura,

The PetSafe IUC4100 system will be a great system for you two dogs. Snow will not be an issue. If you do have a lot of snow cover, we recommend simply turning the boundary field width to a higher level so that the signal can project through the snow.

Sarah April 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Greetings! This site has been very helpful, but I have one question. We have two fully grown dogs, a 15lb mix and an 85lb lab. Is there a single system that we can use for both dogs?

Admin- Hi Sarah,

The PetSafe Stubborn system will be a good choice. One nice thing about the system is that the correction levels are independent so you can adjust the level for each dog separately. You can use the Stubborn dog collar on the lower level for the Lab – it is rare that a dog even the size of a Great Dane would need the highest level of correction, and you can bundle in a PetSafe Deluxe collar for the smaller dog.

Steve April 10, 2012 at 10:43 pm

I am installing my Innotek and I have to cross the entrance to my garage in order to make my loop. I a trying to figure out how to allow my dog to have access into my garage. Is there a way to make a 30′ section, coming directly off the transmitter in my garage, neutral so it allows my dog to come in and out at will?

ADMIN – Hi Steve,

If the wires coming out of the transmitter is not part of the loop, and is just going out to the start of the loop, you can twist the two wire together until you get to the point where the loop starts and those two wires branch apart. This will make that section of the fence non-active. For more information, see our Installation –> Twisted Wire section.

If that section of the wire coming off the transmitter is part of the loop, you can’t twist the wires together, (because they are going in opposite directions). Instead, elevate that section of wire (run it through the garage guttering or run it along the eaves). The vertical height of the wire will stop it triggering collars down on ground level. For more details see our Installation –> Layouts section.

Stack March 26, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Ive been using the Petsafe Yard and Park 400 training collar system for years with great success. I am now looking at investing in a fence system. Does any brand offer a fence collar that works with a remote transmitter or vice versa?

ADMIN – Hi Stack,

The PetSafe IUC-5100 collar is dual purpose, and can be used as a fence collar and with the included remote control for training.

Steve March 26, 2012 at 8:40 am

My neighbor and I are considering joining our systems. This would give both our dogs, who play together for hours, around 10 acres to play on. He has PetSafe and I have Innotek. Power outages can effect either one of us or both of us. Should we use both transmitters or just one? Does it matter if there are two transmitters on the same line?

ADMIN – Hi Steve,

It you were to combine your yards, to make one large yard, you would use just one of the systems. You would start by re-wiring so you have one big loop around both properties and you would connect that loop to one of the transmitters. Both dogs would need to have a collar that is compatible with the chosen system.

You cannot put both transmitters on the same line, else neither of them will work.

Chuck March 9, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Does electricity pass through the boundry wire? If I install your system by weaving the wire through a chain link fence around the perimeter of my yard, could the wire possibly electricfy the fence, causing the threat of electrical shock to anyone who touches the fence?

ADMIN – Hi Chuck,

There is no possibility of electrifying the fence and shocking someone touching the fence. Dog fences work using a system to electric livestock fences, they send a radio signal through the wire that activates the collar when it gets close to the wire. The wire itself cannot cause a shock, the only way you can get shocked is touching the collar prongs.

cory January 10, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Is it necessary to connect the transmitter box to a grounding electrode in my garage as the manual says to but also says its not necessary for it to function properly?

ADMIN – Hi Cory,

Some systems have an optional grounding electrode that is connected to a grounding rod to provide protection against lightning strikes (e.g. PetSafe SDF-100A). They are not necessary for the unit to function properly. If there is no grounding rod nearby, and you need lightning protection, you can alternatively use a Lightning Protection module that uses the ground from your house’s electrical system by plugging into a standard three-prong outlet.

Wylie November 29, 2011 at 11:57 am

Hi. I’ve had Invisible fences at two other homes so I’m familiar with how to install and train. I have recently adopted a bull terrier who has decided it’s fun to climb the four foot cedar post and wire fence. My other two dogs are quite happy staying in the yard. My question is, can I staple the wire to the existing fence, bury it at the gates and driveway and still have it work? I’m worried I won’t be able to bury it all along the existing fence line. The second question is which fence would you recommend for a dog breed that is crazy enough to climb fences in the first place? He’s about 60lbs and my yard is a little under one acre. Thanks.

Sorry. Just found the mounting option for the wire. Great. But I’m still not sure about the fence selection. I don’t really like the collar for the SportDog model but think five levels of training may be necessary. One more question…I have LED landscape light that has buried wire near where I would install the invisible fence. Is this going to be a problem? How can I avoid it?

ADMIN – Hi Wylie,
If you believe you’ll need the extra correction levels, the SportDog is a good choice. At 60 lbs, I don’t think the size of the collar will be a hindrance. Expect that any electrical wiring has the possibility of creating interference. The best approach is to lay the wire completely out before burying it and test it. This way you can make adjustments easily. We recommend keeping a distance of 6 to 10 feet from any cables when running parallel to them. When you need to cross over a cable, make sure you do that with a perpendicular angle to minimize the interaction between the two wires. If you do receive interference there are only three solutions: 1) physically move the wire further away from the interfering cable, or 2) decrease the boundary width, or 3) both

Joanna Grant November 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Your website is extremely helpful. I moved into a house that had a pet fence around the yard AND the neighbors yard. The neighbor separated the two (their home housed the controls). I need to activate a fence for my dog. I was given a Pet STOP control, adaptor and collar from my sister when she moved. It appears to take three wires. What are these three wires for? I’d like to be able to use the unit. Thanks for your help!!!

ADMIN – Hi Joanna,
Two wire terminals are for your loop. You plug in the wire in one terminal and it comes back and plugs into the second terminal. The 3rd terminal on the transmitter is most likely your grounding terminal. I’d recommend contacting the manufacture to be certain. We do not work with Pet Stop products.

KF October 26, 2011 at 11:30 am

We moved into a new home with an Invisible Fence. We had them out to check the system and they repaired a break in the wire but otherwise it’s fine. We need to buy a transmitter and collar which are very expensive. If you buy a transmitter and collar here, is there a way to sync the transmitter and collar to the existing wire? Invisible Fence also comes out for “training.” Is it worth it? Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Katie,

The wire installed at your house will work with any in-ground wired dog fence you purchase.

Brian October 7, 2011 at 9:10 am

My home is out in the country and there is a fence all the way around my 4 acre lot. I have two driveways about 300 feet apart. How can I install a dog fence just for the driveways?

ADMIN – Hi Brian,

Two options:

1) You could bypass installing a fence by placing Outdoor Rock zones at the driveways keeping your dogs from leaving there. We advice bundling in the Innotek 4100 collar and charger (separate item) with this option. Here is the link to the Outdoor Rock: http://dogfencediy.com/store/accessories/indoor-zones/pawz-away.html

2) The second option is to install a dog fence. You install the wall transmitter in your garage. You’d run twisted wire from the transmitter out to one driveway where the twisted wire connects to a long narrow loop that covers the driveway opening. Then you’d connect another section of twisted wire to the loop and run it down the other driveway where it would connect to another long narrow loop that covers the driveway. This layout is exactly like the single-sided layout illustrated here (http://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/plan/#singleside)

Steve September 24, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Will the unit itself give off a signal that will effect the dog collar? For example if I mount the unit near my basement door will the dog be able to use that door or will the small section from the unit to the twisted wire (approx 6″) emit enough signal to trigger the collar?

ADMIN – Hi Steve,

Sometimes the transmitter will ‘leak’ a bit of the signal and cause any collar in the immediate vicinity to trigger. The range is limited (1-2 feet). For this reason you should keep the transmitter away from areas you want the dog to have access to. I would keep the transmitter away from the basement door that you want the dog to be able to use. Moving it a few feet to the side or up high should do the trick.

thanh nguyen August 31, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Hi,my dog is 25 pounds.mixed bred. I’m about to order the innotek 5100 over 4100 because it has lightning protection and remote control can I use the remote control to train him to sit,stop running away when he get outside the invisible fence boundary? How long can received the package if I order today wed 8-31-11 before 1:00pm?

ADMIN – Hi Thanh,

You can use the remote control on the Innotek IUC-5100 both inside and outside the fence boundary. The remote is completely independent of the fence.

If you order before 1pm EST on a business day, it goes out the same day and you will typically get it in 2-3 business days depending on where you live.

Andrew June 23, 2011 at 11:08 pm

I have a question about the Petsafe. it keeps going off when I’m in the center of my yard and i just hooked it up. it’s probably 50-75 ft in the center and when i turn it down it does it about 5-10 ft. is this because it’s a bad product is there any out there that will let them get about 5 ft. away before the shock?

ADMIN – Hi Andrew,

If you are getting the fence signal blanketing the entire yard, even when you turn down the boundary width dial – most likely the fence is set to “large area” when it needs to be set to “small area”. This is done in different ways on different systems. On most PetSafe systems there is a switch on the side of the control box.

If that does not fix the problem, most likely transmitter is defective and should be exchanged for a new one.

Rob June 10, 2011 at 3:44 pm

First, off, you’ve created an excellent site with a wealth of information, thanks! This will most likely cause me to end up purchasing a system from you once I finish my research. I have 2 questions though which haven’t been addressed in any of the comments or pages.

One person touched on the basement mounting issue in the comments, but I haven’t seen any detailed information about transmitter barriers, like wall thicknesses and material concerns when mounting inside. I’m planning on mounting mine inside a basement and I have 6 inch thick concrete on all sides topped by TJI supports and a main steel I-beam down the center. Not to mention sheetrock, insulation and an aluminum drop ceiling. Will any of these things get in the way of the signal and if so how much with the transmitter’s range be decreased?

Second issue is low voltage lines such as phone/cable/network and most importantly, our home alarm system. Should I avoid mounting the transmitter near these wires/jacks and if so how far? Could it interfere with window and door contacts too?

ADMIN – Hi Rob,

Thanks for the kind words.

(1) If you are installing a wired system, the control box can happily sit in the basement.

If you are looking at a wireless system, basements don’t work well because the ground blocks the signal. You need to install the control box a few feet above ground level. It also needs to be kept as far as possible from large metal objects like sheet metal or boilers.

(2) You want to avoid running the dog fence wire parallel to any other wiring or metal for long stretched. If you do run the wire parallel, you want to try and keep six feet of separation. With these long parallel runs, the dog fence signal can sometimes get induced in the other wiring. These are not commandments, you can break them both if you need to, just use the collars to check to make sure you don’t get the dog fence signal induced in unwanted places where the wiring runs.

Also note, this does not apply for the twisted wire. You will most likely be running the twisted wire out of your basement to the start of the boundary loop. The twisted wire does not have the above restrictions and can be run close and parallel to metal and other wiring.

The transmitter does not have these restrictions. You can mount it pretty much anywhere. Out of an abundance of caution we like to mount it 3+ feet away from other electrical devices, but there is no good reason for this little superstition.

Brett May 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I am looking at the Innotek products. In reading a review of the lightning protection module available with the IUC-5100, and separately for other units, I read a couple comments about the use of GFI circuits. Could you confirm whether the use of a GFI circuit is permissible/advisable? Does it make a difference whether one uses a lightning protection module or not? Many thanks for your very informative site.

ADMIN – Hi Brett,

GFI (ground fault interrupter) or GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) is a safety device that cuts off power when it detects odd surges in current. Whether you use a GFI outlet will not make a difference. A GFI will not replace the lightning protection.

There seem to be some forum posts that suggest that a GFI may cause problems when the dog gets the correction, because it would cause a surge in power through the system that might accidentally trip the GFI. This is incorrect. The shock from a dog fence comes from the dog’s collar not the fence that is plugged into the power outlet. The correction would not cause any kind of electrical surge.

So the GFI won’t hurt. But, it also won’t help save the dog fence control box if there is a lightning strike on the dog fence wire. When lightning strikes the dog fence boundary wire, the current surges through the wire and toward the control box, frying the control box before the GFI has the chance to help. The GFI only helps the dog fence control box when there are surges in the power line in your house, it doesn’t help when there are surges in the boundary wire. (Power strips with surge protectors also don’t help, for the same reason).

THE GFI would help save other appliances if lightning struck the boundary wire. When the current surge went up through the dog fence control box and entered your house’s electrical system, then the GFI would shut everything down.

Alan Francario April 28, 2011 at 9:02 am

Follow-up to John J’s question. Can the transmitter box be mounted outside? Is the enclosure weather-resistant? I’m not sure about the “lightning protection” to which John refers, so I really don’t fully understand the response.

Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Alan,

The transmitter box will need to protected from the wind and rain. Installing it in a weatherproof box will allow you to install it outdoors. The lightening protector is a specialized surge protector you can add to any fence order. It sits between the boundary wire and the dog fence transmitter box, protecting the transmitter box in case lightning strikes the boundary wire. It is useful in larger installation and in areas where you get a lot of lightning activity.

John J April 23, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I just purchased the Pet Safe Stubborn Dog system with lightning protection. Due to our layout, I’ll have to mount the control box outside next to an electric gate. I have two questions, first what are the dimensions of the control box with that unit. I am ordering the cable ties to attach the wire to our fence and would like to order a weather proof box for the control panel at the same time. The second question is whether or not the lightning protection device needs to be totally protected from the elements, too.

Admin- Hi John,

The dimensions for the transmitter is 7” x 9” x 2.6”. Yes the lighting protector does need to be protected from the elements.

Karen Purcell April 14, 2011 at 9:02 am

Is it ok to mount the control box in our basement? We will be running the wires through a basement window. Just wondering, as I have heard nothing about basements or cellars, and I wouldnt want there to be a problem with not receiving a signal or something?? Thank you!

ADMIN – Hi Karen,

Yes, you can install it in your basement. The control box can be installed anywhere that keeps it safe from wind and rain.

Joey Pope April 12, 2011 at 6:54 pm

We installed an Innotek system about 7 years ago and then switch over to Invisable Fence Which I think was a big mistake. In any case, we have 2 buried wires, one from Innotek and one from Invisable Fence. My question is, if I purchase your system, can I use the buried wire that we already have?

Admin-Hi Joey,

Absolutely, your install should extremely easy. You will simply just remove the old transmitter and hook up the new transmitter to either strand of old wires.

Steve stepp March 28, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Are there any transmitters on the market that can be placed in an unheated garage ? My garage is the only place where I would be able to place one, short of running the feed and return lines over the top of my garage thru my crawl space and into my basement to power it at a point over 60 ‘from the beginning of my containment loop.

ADMIN – Hi Steve,

We talked to the manufacturers about the low temperature warnings that they put on the boxes. They tell us that you don’t need to stress about the temperature. But, you absolutely do not want it in a place where it will be exposed to moisture. If it is easier, we would place the transmitter in the garage even if it is unheated.

dave March 14, 2011 at 5:45 pm

hi , i recently bought a innotek 4100 from you , i know that the unit will only physically accommidate #14 wire. first off does it matter if you use stranded or solid wire? also if i used #12 wire for the perimeter wire and spliced it to the twisted #16 wire going to the unit would this be a problem? the situation is that i have 1000ft of #12 copper thhn stranded at the house and would like to try and use it for this application . thanks

Admin- Hi Dave,
Yes, splicing 16 to 12 will be a problem. This will cause the wall transmitter to deliver a false wire break alarm.
 Also, 14 gauge wire is the largest gauge wire that these systems can accept. It does not matter if the wire is solid core, or has a stranded core.

You can also see our wire tutorial page for more information: (http://www.dogfencediy.com/reviews/wire/).

Jamie Neal February 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm

My wife and I recently were adopted, in a series of strange events, by an adorable young Beagle/Hound mix. We’ve had him now for a little over 3 weeks and he like to roam too much. My question is… Our home is fairly centered on about an acre lot, we want the whole property to be enclosed, how do we get the wire from the power module to the back side of our property without creating a “no-go” zone in the back yard? Also, if the power module is mounted inside the house, will it not shock him when he goes close to the wall it’s mounted on? If so, how could I fix that problem? Thanks. JN

Admin – Hi Jamie

A little creativity solves this concern. You simply create a continuous loop from the transmitter around your containment area and back to the transmitter.
Twisted wire from the transmitter to the start of your containment area creates a dead zone with no correction to the Beagle/Hound there. Take a look at some sample layouts to see both of these in place. http://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/plan/#layouts
I hope this is of some help to you.

Monica February 9, 2011 at 10:10 am

Hi There, Just making sure I understand your response to Carline’s questions. I will be installing the fence out on completely open property with no utilities of any kind. The plan is to hook the controller up to a 12 volt battery bank which would be recharged with a generator. Am I correct in understanding that if the battery bank drains completely down, the fence would run for 2 days on the AA batteries? Though I plan to be there often, there will be times when I am gone for 3 to 4 days. Oh yes, I plan to use the SportDog unit to fence in approx 40 acres for 200 head of goats. Thanks, Monica.

Admin – Hi Monica

The SportDog does not have a battery backup. The Innotek systems do and they say 2 to 3 days on the batteries.
And to be sure you understand the systems, it is not electrified wire, simply a wire loop antenna for a signal broadcast to the collars that the animals wear. Each animal would need a collar for the system to work.
I hope this helps you.

Leroy January 9, 2011 at 11:07 am

is it ok to mount base station in a metal building. This building is about 30 ft from where boundary wire will run.

ADMIN – Hi Leroy,

I would avoid mounting the dog fence base station in a metal building if possible. It can cause the boundary to become weak or non-active. If that is the most convenient location, you can test it there to see if it will work, it does not happen all the time with metal buildings.

Anthony Adams December 25, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Can you run the wire through an 18 diameter inch black corrugated pipe which serves as water drainage under the pavement of a driveway 10ft wide as part of the perimeter and still have effectiveness?

ADMIN – Hi Anthony,

You can indeed run the wire through an underground drainage pipe as long as it is not too deep underground. When the boundary wire is buried too deeply, the signal cannot penetrate all that ground above it without your turning up the boundary signal too high which will result in your having very big boundaries everywhere else.

If possible, attaching that wire to the top of the pipe rather than the bottom will help. It is fine if the wire gets wet.

Don November 27, 2010 at 5:55 pm

The surge protector has a note that says “Do not install this device if there is not a least 10 meters (30 feet) or more of wire between the electrical outlet and the electrical service panel.” What “wire” is this. My outlet is about 6 feet from the electrical service panel. If I can’t use the lightning protection that came with the unit, can I use a surge protector like the ones used with computers?

ADMIN – Hi Don,

That warning requiring ten feet of separationbetween the lightning protection and your fuse box appeared in the last couple of months, prior to that there was no such warning. We have often connected them within 10 feet without any problems, so we reached out to the engineers at Innotek to figure out why there was this new restriction. Apparently it is a new electrical code requirement, but nobody is quite sure why, nonetheless if possible I would try and follow the admonition – presumably it is of some benefit.

You cannot use a regular power strip surge protector. They are a little too late in the process, in that they only trip when a surge of electricity comes back through the power plug – by which time the control box is fried. The lightning protection sits a little earlier where the boundary wire comes into the control box and as such can protect the control box itself.

Also, since they work in the same way as you lightning protection module – I suspect that the 10 foot recommendation should be followed for them as well.

dan November 26, 2010 at 3:52 pm

I have 2 dogs that both weight around 90-110 lbs (German Shepherd/Spitz).
I don’t want a big bulky system or a horrible shock but still want them to stay in our yard that is about an acre. What system would you suggest?

ADMIN – Hi Dan,

For a German Shepherd mix, the PetSafe Stubborn would be a good choice. Sometimes that kind of dog requires a bit higher correction due to their breeding. Of ,course I would start the correction on medium/low and work your way up only if you need to.

Julie Schneider November 20, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Hi, we are stuck on where to attach the mounting box. If it has to be inside (we get a lot of cold temps) then it means we would have to drill a hole in the outside wall of the house and we’re trying to avoid this. Any ideas? Thanks, Julie

ADMIN – Hi Julie,

Most of the time when we install a system, we will just drill a small hole through the wall somewhere unobtrusive (garage, closet, utility room, etc) run the wire then patch the hole back up. If we want to be extra fancy, we will place a speaker wire electrical panel over the hole to tidy it up.

If you are completely against creating a new hole, then try and look for a spot where there is already a hole. An air conditioning vent, a door you can run the wire underneath, or an existing wiring hole all work. One place to avoid is a dryer vent – the heat inside will sometimes cause the wire insulation to melt or deteriorate prematurely.

You can also put the control box outside in a weather proof box. The important thing is to keep the unit dry, keeping it warm is less important.

Karline November 1, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I’m off the grid. Where you plug it into the wall it looks like it is turning the AC into DC. I have just cut that part off of my answering machine and wired it directly to my batteries. Can you tell me how many Volts and Amps it turns the electricity into? For my answering machine I had to get a ground isolator because without it the phone grounded out and made a loud buzzing sound rendering it inoperable. Do you think this would be necessary with the electric fence? I want to fence approx. 5 acres. Do you think one system would work better on batteries than another? Also, if they have a battery backup I could plug it into AC for a couple hours a day.

ADMIN – Hi Karline,

1. The transformer for the IUC-4100 convert the mains (110v) into 12V DC (@200 mA).
2. I am not sure about the need for a ground isolator, but aked the folks at Innotek and they don’t think it will be necessary.
3. The Innotek would be the best of the lot to operate off battery backup, it goes around 2 days on 8 AA batteries. You would probably need a spare set of batteries and recharge them while the other set is being used.

EddieB September 21, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Thanks for this website. I’m interested in purchasing an invisible fence but not sure of which one at this time. But I was curious about one thing about these products. Will transmitter’s from other companies be able to send a signal to collar’s made by different companies? i.e. are transmitter’s and collars interchangeable? or, will a transmitter/collar from Innotek work with a transmitter/collar from PetSafe and so on? I realized each dog is different, but can each transmitter be adjusted for collars made by other companies and vise/versa? I hope I explained it well enough? Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Eddie,

Unfortunately there is not a lot of compatibility within system, and even within brands.

The PetSafe Stubborn, PetSafe Little Dog, PetSafe Deluxe, and SportDog SDF-100 are all inter-compatible. The Innotek IUC-4100 and IUC-5100 are inter-compatible in dog fence mode. But, other than that most transmitters will only work with a collar of the same brand and model.

Rich September 5, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Hi,

You have a great website and I will be purchasing from you just because of your DYI friendly site. Although I only have one acre to fence, I think I am leaning toward the sportdog 100 for my chocolate lab because of the positive reviews over the Innotek brand. What are your thoughts?

The installation seems to be simple but I read some of the posts concerning house wiring. I was planning on mounting the box close to my circuit breaker panel. Will that cause a problem with creating unwanted zones in the house from the AC wiring?

Thanks,
Beckman

ADMIN – Hi Beckman,

The SportDog is a great fence and I have no reason to persuade you to look at getting the 4100. Both systems are great, it really comes down to the features you’re looking for.

As for installing the transmitter, you want to mount it a minimum of 3 feet away from any appliance or circuit breaker to avoid any kind of interference issues. I’m not positive that it will create zones in the house, but it can interfere with the transmitter working properly.

Deb August 25, 2010 at 10:28 am

I’m not really sure how to mount the transmitter inside and get it attached to the wire outside. Do I have to drill a hole through an exterior wall to make this happen or can I just put twisted wire through a window to the outdoors and attach it that way–I’m a bit confused about this especially since the transmitter shouldn’t be in an area (like the garage) where it may freeze.
Great site by the way–you have given me the confidence to actually put this in–if I can figure out how to hook up that transmitter with drilling that hole in my wall!

ADMIN – Hi Deb,

I’ve checked with the manufacture and freezing temperatures are not a factor. You want to install the wall transmitter where it is safe from wind and rain. You can run the wire out a window, under the garage door, or even drill a hole through the wall. Here’s our video on mounting a transmitter if you haven’t seen it yet: http://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/mounting-box/

JOHN REMY May 13, 2010 at 12:54 pm

I’ve decided on the Innotek 4100. I’d like to “fence in” the entire yard but have concerns about bringing the line into the house. Ideally, I’d like to have the unit in the garage, but I don’t have access to bring the line in there ( I have a paver patio in the back and a sidewalk that runs from front to back enclosing the garage, along with a foot of paver base material). My solution, I think, would be to enter the house from the other side of the house, run twisted wire though the floor studs in the basement and then bring the line up into the garage. I’ve read on other sites that internal home wiring may interfere with the units effectiveness. Please help!! Thanks – John

ADMIN – Hi John,

The concern really arises when you have long stretch of wiring that is parallel to house wiring. The concern is the dog fence signal jumping into that wiring and creating unintended correction zones in the house. Twisted wire tends to be the least susceptible to causing any unwanted signals, so you should be fine. As always avoid long parallel runs, and test to verify that you are getting no unwanted signals before you put the collar on the dog.

Jerry January 27, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Thanks for all the information on the different systems. I have a question, I would like to get the remote training system in the Innotek IUC-5100 so I can take my dog mtn biking with me. My dog is 60 lbs how significant is the added size of the collar. Could you purchase an extra PetSafe Ultrasmart collar to work on the 5100 system for around the yard. Are there any training tips on using the remote feature out in the woods.

ADMIN – Hi Larry,

The IUC-5100 collar is about 50% bigger, but that will be absolutely no issue on a 60 pound dog. You could purchase an extra PetSafe Ultrasmart collar for use around the yard, but I would not bother … the extra size will be trivial to your dog. The 5100 collar is still smaller than many of the other system collars.

We are not experts in remote training, that is why we don’t sell them, and why I am going to try to avoid giving an opinion on the topic. Trainer friends tell me that you have to take a very structured approach, so the dog has to know exactly what it is supposed to be doing at the time and what they need to do avoid getting the correction. I would avoid using the remote correction until the dog has the fence mastered, to avoid overwhelming the dog with too many new things.

Pat January 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm

I’m responding to your comments to Dan and Donald about keeping the transmitter unit from freezing. Like Donald I live in an area where temps below freezing inside an unheat building are rare, but it is known to happen every few years. Would you explain why that would shorten the life of a transmitter, and more importantly if there is fix, short of heating an outbuilding, what I could do to keep the unit from experiencing freezing. The outbuilding is about 10 feet from the perimeter and probably the most convenient place to put the transmitter.

Jonathan January 15, 2010 at 5:33 pm

I am getting ready to purchase an innotech system from you but have 2 questions. I will be running the perimeter of what is pretty much a 9 acre rectangle with a pond on one corner shared with a neighboring property (about 50%).

1) Do I need more than one power supply to cover that much distance?

2) is there any way I can run the wire under the water of the pond/stock tank?
My goal is to allow my dogs access to the tank but not have them swim across to the neighbor. Any other options come to mind?

thanks

ADMIN – Hi Jonathan,

(1) With the Innotek 5100 or PetSafe Ultrasmart you can do up to 25 acres with one power supply. The other Innoteks do 5 acres.

(2) You can run the wire through water, but it is harder to train them in the water because it is hard to mark the area with the boundary flags, and because the dogs cannot turn and retreat as quickly without being able to put their feet on the ground. Two other options that come to mind: (a) Run the boundary along the neighbor’s boundary. (b) Float the wire along the surface in some hose pipe.

Mike Bruch December 1, 2009 at 3:25 pm

I’m currently in search of an invisible fence for our puppy now, but soon to be a big dog.. We just bought a German Rottie who is currently 11 weeks old.. So right now she doesn’t weight no more than 16lbs… When full grown she’ll be somewhere around 100lbs.. I looked all over the place and keep finding different types of invisible fence.. What fence would you recomend for our puppy now since I’d like to start training her while she’s young and would still be good once she gets older… I really don’t want to buy a weeker fence for her now and do it all again in another year when she’s 100lbs.. Any information would be greatly appreciated.. Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Mike,

I usually wait will my dogs under six months. I find most aren’t mentally ready for the training until then, they just don’t have the ability to concentrate. I will go as young as four months if the dog can confidently do some training basics (sit/stay/come). So you might want to wait a couple of weeks.

The PetSafe Ultrasmart is a good system. You have three correction levels to choose from so you can start on low when she is a pup, and if you need to move up when she grows older.

Donald October 21, 2009 at 2:48 pm

I know it is recommended to keep the unit above freezing. I live in a moderate climate that may occasionally dip below freezing. Will the unit be damaged by freezing temperatures or only possible disable the fence?

ADMIN – Hi Donald,

The ocassional dip below freezing is not a big deal. But, the issue with exposure is that it shortens the life of the unit. I would err toward putting it inside, it will certainly help extend the lifespan of the unit.

Dave October 12, 2009 at 10:09 am

I recently installed my own in-ground dog fence. Now I’m looking at the lightning arrestors and wondering how necessary are they?

ADMIN – Hi Dave,

Lighting protection is a good idea where you live in an area with lots of lightning strikes and have a large boundary, because these types of installations are the most likely to get struck. In small installations that are in areas with little lightning, they are less necessary because the risk of that the boundary wire is struck by lightning is much lower.

Dan September 21, 2009 at 9:25 am

I live in a climate with very cold winters. Can I install the unit in the garage where it gets down below freezing? It has been know to get down to zero degrees in my garage.

AMDIN – Hi Dan,

It is recommended that you keep the unit above freezing, so we would put it in some heated part of your home if possible.

Jacquie Hammond August 27, 2009 at 9:52 am

Does the box have to be mounted directly into a power source? Will we need to hire an electrician to do this? Or does the transmitter plug in?

Dog Fence DIY Answer – they just plug into a regular wall outlet. No need for an electrician.

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