How to Use Twisted Wire

What is the deal with the twisted wire?  How does twisted wire work?  What is it for?

Nothing confuses people more than the twisted wire!

Twisted wire is really two regular single wires twisted together.  The twisted wire is primarily used to connect the control box to the boundary loop.  The great thing about twisted wire is that the dog can walk over this wire without getting the correction.

Note that you cannot use the twisted pair of wires as part of the boundary loop to create a section of the boundary loop that has no correction.  The boundary loop can only be made using the regular single wire.

You can make the twisted wire yourself by getting two regular boundary wires and twisting them around each other.  You can use an electric drill to speed this up.  This is a great way to save a little if you only need a small amount of the twisted wire.  However, if you are going to need more than say 20 feet, we advise you buy it pre-twisted.  (Twisting more than 20 feet of the wire using an electric drill usually turns into a big mess!)

For more details on using and making twisted wire, take a look at this tutorial video:

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Cara October 9, 2013 at 1:17 pm

I installed a fence successfully two summers ago above ground (attached to an existing fence). The fence worked great in keeping our dog inside the boundary; there were a few times when (because of the horrible wind here) the connections would come apart, but I was always able to put it back together easily. However, a neighbor dog dug several spots in the yard and broke the wire in various spots. Also, I noticed some other areas where the wire wasn’t broken, but some of the insulation is missing. Needless to say, the fence stopped working. I have repaired the broken areas and replaced some of the stripped wire, but it still is not working. Before I put more splices in to replace to stripped wire (because that’s the only thing I can think of left to do) I wanted to see if I’m on the right track. I’m nervous that I have too many splices and may need to replace all the wire. I really don’t want to buy all new wire, but I’m not sure why I can’t get it to work again. I’d love to hear your suggestions. Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Cara, You are on the right track. The system only needs continuity and there is not a limit on splices. You will want to replace all the damaged wire for sure to get your fence operational again.

lisa trout September 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm

We have a petsafe PIG00-13619. All was working well for months and now there is no correction at the boundary wire. The twisted wire provides correction when the collar is touching it or nearly touching it. The system indicates all is working well. Any ideas?

ADMIN – Hi Lisa, several things it could be: lightning hit the transmitter, splice is wet, or wire has insulation damage somewhere. The first step is to run a short loop test to see if the unit will work in a controlled scenario. Then double check splices make sure they are connected properly and waterproofed with capsules. Check for disturbed ground that may indicate damaged wire.

Sheri June 27, 2013 at 4:02 pm

When splicing the twisted wire to make it longer (two sections), do I need to use two wire nuts to keep the two pieces separate, or can all four wires be put into one wire nut?

ADMIN – Hi Sheri,

You will use two wire nut. Each wire nut will connect one of the twisted wires, and one of the regular boundary wired together. In dog fencing- we only ever have 1-to-1 connections. There is never a situation where we have more than two wires joining together at a wire nut.

Sally March 1, 2012 at 10:26 am

Can I use 20 gauge wire for my perimeter and 18 gauge twisted wire as my connection from the loop to my control box? I am installing the Innotek 4100 system for my mother and I have some 18 gauge twisted wire left over from a previous installation I did for myself.

ADMIN – Hi Sally,

Mixing gauges of twisted wire and perimeter wire is fine. The reason we avoid mixing gauges is that the thicker wire will have a wider correction field than the thinner wire. This is not an issue with the twisted wire, as has no correction field associated with it. So you can use 20 gauge boundary wire with 18 gauge twisted wire with no problems.

Pam February 3, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Can you explain why you have to cut the wire, then twist it and attach it back on? I will be going all the way around the entire yard, house in the middle- close to one side to bring the twist into the garage. Why cant I just take the two wires when they meet- twist them together and attach the twist to the transmitter? Thank you

ADMIN – Hi Pam,

You don’t need to cut the wire and reattach them. As you rightly point out, you can simply twist the wires where they come together. The reason we show it the other way is that we find it a bit easier, but your way works just as well and avoids having extra splice points which is always a good thing.

HuskyLover October 22, 2011 at 11:50 pm

I have a large piece of property with lake access! In the winter the water goes down severely and I was wondering could I lay the wire down where the lake normal level is and my dogs be able to swim and play in the water (they love water).. would the wire hold up being in water 70% of the year? Also I know the collar is water-proof, but would it still work correctly if they swam and then ran somewhere close to the boundary? Thanks! Your website is a great help!

ADMIN – Hi Husky Lover,

We recommend running the boundary wire through a hose when submerging it in water. It will hold up well. Which collar are considering. There is a collar or two we would not recommend for swimming.

Kim April 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I have 3 acres of which our boundary covers about 2 and 1/2. If I tap into the boundary wire with twisted wire, I will need 150 feet of twisted wire to get to the new area that I want to put another boundary wire around. Can the twisted wire be that long?

Admin-Hi Kim,

There is not a maximum to the amount of twisted wire you can have leading out to your new loop.

Cree April 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I am needing to protect some garden space right behind/against the back of the house, but the back door is right in the middle and would like to create a dead spot right at the door. Would it work if I double the wire back on itself and then continue on? The section at the door would basically be 3 wires thick (doubling back on itself twice), and twisted, is my thinking.

ADMIN – Hi Cree,

Triple twisting the wire does not work, it will act like an active wire. The twisted wire can only be used to go from the base station to the start of the active loop. Unfortunately it cannot be used to cause dead zones in the main loop itself.

I presume you are trying to do a back-yard only installation. There we usually take the wire and run it up above the door (so the signal does not reach the ground), or we run the wire tight around the front of the house. Email us a diagram of your yard and we can help you out, or check out some of the backyard dog fence layout on our site.

Chad January 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Truly thankful for your site and advice,,
Thank you..

Joe November 2, 2009 at 9:26 am

We put in a section of twisted wire hoping to create a pathway for the dog to access the back door but continue to get a signal. Can we slide the wire through a steel pipe to achieve the result we are looking for? We tried using a 1/4″ dia. section of copper but still received the signal. Any help you can suggest would be great.
Thanks in advance

ADMIN – Hi Joe,

Can you describe your layout (or even better, email a diagram)? I am guessing that you want to do a backyard only layout and have the twisted wire as part of the main loop.

The twisted wire cannot be part of the boundary loop. It is only used to connect the boundary loop to the control box. The main loop can only be single wire. If you use the twisted wire as part of the main loop, it will act like single wire and you still get the correction

Putting the wire through a steel pipe will not create a non-correction area.

A good way to do the backyard only, is to run the length of wire that is along the side of the house up through a downspout, along the gutter and then down the downspout on the other side. This will create enough vertical separation that the dog can go in and out of the house without getting the correction.

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