Finding a Break

Finding and Fixing a Wire Break

Every now and then you will get a break in the wire for your dog fence.  You will know this because the system will stop working and the transmitter box will sound an alarm or display an error light.  Here are two methods for finding the break, starting with the easiest method.

Need to fix your break now? Check out our Dog Fence Wire Break Kit.

Finding a Break by Visual Inspection

The most common cause of breaks is someone running an edger, aerator or other digging device across the wire.  These breaks can usually be found by walking along where the wire runs and looking for spots where there has been recent digging.

Also check the connections between the wire and the transmitter as well as all the wire joints as these are common break locations.

Finding a Break using an RF Choke with an Innotek Dog Fence

First, buy a 100 µH RF Choke. You can usually find these at an electronics supply store.  You will also need an AM radio tuned to anywhere between 60 and 600. It just needs to be clean static.

Now, go to the dog fence transmitter box and disconnect the two wire leads where they connect to the transmitter.  In place of each wire lead, connect one end of the RF Choke.  Now turn up the transmitter signal strength to full.  The transmitter box should now be showing that there is no break in the signal.  Next take the two wire leads and wind the insulated section around the each of the legs of the RF choke with the uninsulated end touching the leg of the RF choke.  (Note if the legs of the RF choke are too short, lengthen them with some wire.

Get the radio and walk along the path of the wire.  You should hear a throbbing noise where the wire is intact and an absence where the break is located.

Note: This method works with Innotek systems. PetSafe or SportDog in-ground systems require the PetSafe Boundary Wire Break Locator to find wire breaks.

Fixing the Break

Once you have found the break, strip a half inch of insulation off each side of the broken wire and then use a weatherproof wire nut to connect the two sides.  If the break is large, you may need to splice in some extra wire so that the two sides can meet.

Dog Fence Wire Break Kit

Our Dog Fence Wire Break Kit is designed to include everything you need to find and repair wire breaks. The kit comes with a couple of feet of 20-gauge boundary wire, 1 RF Choke, 2 Waterproof Gel Capsules, 2 Wire Nuts, and full Instructions.

When you purchase your inground system from Dog Fence DIY you receive the Wire Break Locator and Repair Kit FREE. We certainly hope you never have to use your wire break kit, but breaks do happen and we want you to be prepared with our Dog Fence DIY Wire Break Kit.


  1. Steve McDuff says:

    The ultra smart system had a perimeter wire break that I repaired and the warning stopped. The collar will only operate at the transmitter and not operate 24″ from the unit. The collar will operate with the remote. Is this a transmitter or wire issue. Good waterproof splices. good continuity check on the perimeter wire.

    ADMIN – Hi Steve. What is the model number for your Ultra Smart under ground dog fence system? Did you adjust the boundary width control dial to a higher setting? It sounds like you have repaired your boundary wire correctly.

  2. James says:

    I have a PetSafe system and have returned from holiday to find the system beeps continuously. I did discover a break that a lawnmower had made in an exposed area. I repaired it but the line keeps beeping continuously. I have performed the section test, to narrow down the area and every section of my fence, in small sections, provides a positive signal. But if I plug the whole thing in, beeping again. Could it be due to too many splices? I now have many.
    Thanks in advance, James.

    ADMIN – Hi James. What is the model of your PetSafe dog fence system? How many splices do you have installed in your Boundary Wire? We recommend to look for bad splices (e.g., Trim back more than 3/8” copper exposed under blue wire nut). Also, copper wires can pull loose from underneath the blue wire nut. The blue wire nut must be inserted inside of the Gel Caps in order to waterproof the Splice. It is also a good idea to tie an overhand reinforcement knot 2-3 inches below your Splice, or secure the Boundary Wires together with electrical tape to prevent the Splice from pulling apart.

  3. Jeff says:

    I have the petsafe rf-1010 and woke up yesterday to my control panel beeping. There has been no work in my yard so there should not be any breaks. I removed the 2 wires coming into the unit and put them back into the unit. The beeping stopped for around 2 hours and then started again. This leads me to believe I don’t have a break in my yard but possibly an issue with 1 of the wires coining into the control panel? Has anyone else experienced this? If so, any ideas on how to fix?

    ADMIN – Hi Jeff. How old is your PetSafe RF-1010 dog fence system? How many splices do you have installed in your boundary loop? A bad splice or nick in the boundary wire insulation will create an open circuit. This will cause the transmitter to beep. Is there any exposed copper at the wire loop terminals? Any exposed copper in the boundary wire will cause the transmitter to beep.

  4. Scott W says:

    I used this method for the 2nd time and it is a great DIY tutorial. I have a Dogwatch fence (PT3 Transmitter) and I used the RF choke along with an AM radio around the 600 frequency. It is important to use over the ear headphones and the audible tone can be very faint.

    The first time I did this I had found that “something” dug a burrow and knawed through the wire. It was easy to repair and I found the broken wire pretty quickly since there was basically a cave in the ground from the animal (??)

    Today I used this again and I almost gave up since I could not pinpoint the area but that is because I was going around the perimeter in a direction opposite from where the problem was. I then went the other direction and after some patience, I found that the break was where the wire goes under my driveway. For now, I connected a new wire across the driveway and the fence is back to 100%.

    Some tips:
    1) Use over the ear headphones with your am radio
    2) patience… patience. Walk the entire perimeter and be sure to go around in each direction.
    3) replace any previous splices that you know about since these are a common source of problems and it is easy enough to do if you know where they are.
    4) Think about where “trouble” could have come into play. Where does the wire cross a garden that you may have edged, where does it cross a driveway or under a patio, etc.
    5) When splicing a new wire, you can use regular twist caps to join the wires and then squeeze sillicone into the twist cap. This will keep them water tight and I do the same for marine grade applications/connections.

    Good luck and enjoy the time and $$ that you will save.

    ADMIN – Hi Scott. Thank you for sharing! Here is another RF CHOKE – ALTERNATE TEST approach to searching for the wire break: Wrap one end of the RF Choke around one boundary wire lead and plug it into the terminal. In the other, plug in only the other end of the RF Choke, leaving the other boundary wire lead unplugged. You begin walking the line from where it’s plugged in. The pulse on the radio should go silent when you reach the area where it’s broken or damaged.

  5. Marg says:

    My transmitter will indicate there is a broken wire. I can switch the setting to another letter – and switch it back, and it works for a day or so before the alarm goes off again. If the numeric setting is lower than 3 or higher than 7 the alarm goes off also. The wire is all brand new (18 gauge). I tested the continuity and no indication of a break (resistance is 14 – appropriate for my 2200 feet of boundary wire). Should I just buy another transmitter?

    ADMIN – Hi Marg, I would recommend dividing the loop sections to test the line. I suspect a bad section of wire. You will need a roll of 18 gauge to run the test. You plug the extra roll of wire into one transmitter terminal, then unroll it out to the halfway point on your boundary loop. Splice this extra line into the loop at the halfway point in order to test the loop in two separate halves. Continue to divide the loop like this until you narrow the bad section down enough to replace just the bad section.

  6. Kathy says:

    I have the sport dog system. My collar is going off randomly throughout the entire area inside of the boundary. I performed the short loop test and it worked fine. I checked the entire loop for a nick in the wire then decided to replace the entire loop with a heavier thicker coated wire since I am in a heavily wooded area. The collar is still inconsistent. And going off 20′ or more from the wire. Nothing else has changed. I have messed with the range the frequency and the high and low settings. Any other thoughts?

    ADMIN – Hi Kathy, you are experiencing interference from a neighboring utility wire that is in close proximity to the dog fence wire. What has happened is that the dog fence signal has been transferred to the utility wire and is broadcasting everywhere the utility is running through the property and inside the home. You will want to first locate all utility wires. Then make sure that if you are running dog fence wire parallel to utility wires make sure they are 15 feet separated. When you need to cross utility wires, make sure to cross at a perpendicular angle to avoid interference.

  7. Jeff says:

    I apologize if this has already been addressed. I have an Innotek 4100 system and recently had a break in the wire. I fixed the wire using butt splice connectors and have a solid green light on the transmitter now; however, the collars are not responding. When I run a short wire test, the transmitter and collars work perfect. But when I connect the boundary wires to the transmitter, the collars don’t respond. The transmitter has a solid green light, so I’m assuming we have a good circuit.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  8. laura says:

    I installed an innotek system about a year and a half ago. It was recently beeping, showing a break in the line. I replaced the area where I found a break, and the transmitter now shows the steady green light. However, when I tested the collar near the boundary, no beep and no correction. So I tried the small loop test and the collar worked fine with that. I’m guessing I have a nick somewhere in the line. I bought the rf choke and a radio, tuned it to somewhere around 600, and walked my boundary. I kept the antenna a few inches from the ground, but sometimes would hear the pulsing get quieter, so I would think that was where a nick might be. However, just to check, I’d wave the radio over a few times, and after waving it a second or third time, I would get a strong signal again. This happened over about ten or so spots, so I dug one up just to see, and the wire seemed good as new. My yard is about an acre. I walked slowly and consistently… I never found an area that lost it’s beep for more than a foot, and those spots ended up having a strong signal when I went back to wave the radio over them again. The innotek customer service told me that it could be difficult to find a nick, and that I should replace the entire wire. I’m hoping I won’t have to do that, as it is only about a year old!

    Any ideas on why I’m getting the inconsistent radio signal?

    Thank you very much for your time.

  9. Scott Hipp says:

    I am having the same problem Brent post on 11/13. Alarm goes off, and at this point has always been at night. We unplug the box for a while and plug it back in and it stays green for a day or two and then goes off during the night. Any input would be appreciated.

  10. Scott says:

    Innotek 5100 system. Single loop on 1/4 acre lot. Will too many splices reduce the continuity enough to signal a break in the wire? how many splices would be considered too many…5, 10, etc?

    ADMIN – Hi Scott, As long as the copper splices have good connection, the amount of splices are not an issue.

  11. Brent says:

    I have a petsafe in ground system. A few weeks ago I woke up to the control box beeping due to a loss of loop connection. I disconnected both wires and reconnected and that seemed to fix the problem. Had the same problem the next morning and the same fix worked. This has continued every day since, usually happening no more than once a day, and usually being noticed first thing in the morning. Disconnecting and reconnecting the wires always fixes the problem for about a day. What is causing the box to lose the loop? Is a partial break in wire possible even though the simple disconnect and reconnect fixes the problem for several hours. I would think a partial break would result in the disconnect and reconnect not always resolving the issue and the loss of loop would be more inconsistent and sporadic.

  12. Rodney says:

    I have a petsafe RF1010 transmitter with about 3000 feet of wire done in a double loop so the dogs would have access to the house. Yesterday we had a break indicator come on. I tried the 10 foot loop test and everything worked fine. I got the rf choke from radio shack along with a cheap AM radio. I have tried all up & down the dial but cannot find the noise I am supposed to hear. I have tried it at the transmitter & further away where a part of the wire is above ground with no success. The radio was about $14.99 from Radio Shack…could it be the problem?

    ADMIN – Hi Rodney, only the PetSafe Ultrasmart fence, the 4100, and the 5100 respond correctly to the RF choke/radio test. All other PetSafe fences will require the PetSafe Wire Break Locator device which can be purchased from our store. Essentially, the locator contains the proper testing transmitter required for setting up and testing the line with a radio.

  13. Bassim says:


    I have a petsafe ultrasmart, less than a year old, diy install. The wire break signal went off. I used the RF choke/AM radio and found the break (though I’m still not clear what caused it – might have been the father in law digging in the orchard, but pretty weird spot…). I have spliced some extra 14g single wire (original is 20g) I had lying around, and the box started to show green for a few minutes, but then switched back to beeping/flashing red. It then switched to green but the collar will not trigger. it is now back to flashing red. checking it with a short loop gives green at the box and the collar works fine. the reminder switch is off. I pulled up a bunch more wire in the general area of the break I found, but the rest of it looks clear. No other obvious breaks walking the perimeter.

    Thoughts? could it be the larger gauge of wire? seems like a circuit is a circuit….
    Thanks in advance.

  14. keith says:

    Thanks for your reply. I have re-checked the splice 2x. Also dug up the line about 15ft one direction and about 5ft. The other. No found breaks. So I’m assuming it is not a problem with the splice or 2nd break in the line. I can do the RF method to test, but before I go and buy the equipment, just curious if you have any other possible ideas. Thanks again for all your help! Wonderful site! Thanks Keith

    ADMIN – Hi Keith, I would recommend isolating the boundary loop in half, to begin narrowing down the amount of loop wire you’re inspecting. You can do this using extra boundary wire. Plug it in the transmitter and splice into the boundary wire at halfway. This will you can check which side has the problem. Then you can isolate the bad half again until you narrow it down to a small section.

  15. keith says:

    Hi, Yesterday while trying to remove a landscaping steak (metal 4ft) I inadvertently broke the wire for our PetSmart system. System started beeping. I realized the problem I caused. Re-spliced the wire, plugged the system back in and the beeping has continued. I thought maybe I fried the system so tried the short wire loop method. When done, beeping stops. I have checked all the wire over the 6 acres of our property and can find no other breaks.

    Any ideas??? Thanks Keith

    ADMIN – Hi Keith,

    My first suspect would be that you have a problem in the repair splices you put in, or that there was a second break in that area. If redoing those new splices does not work, then you will need to use a wire break detector to track down the location of your break.

  16. Ryan says:

    Will the rf am radio system work with the “Invisible Fence” brand?

    ADMIN – Hi Ryan, unfortunately it will not. You will need to buy the PetSafe Boundary Break locator which is located under the PetSafe products on our store.

  17. Bill says:

    I installed a PetSafe fence about 3 years ago. I had trouble with the transformers getting fried during a rain/lightning storm. Actually I went through 3 transformers before I realized what was happening. I have my fence around 4 acres and 1-1/2 acres is pasture. So when I installed my fence, I connected to the fence that went around the pasture. What I finally realized was that I had created one big lightning rod. So I installed a surge protector and all of my troubled went away.
    I now have a broken wire somewhere in my system and I am having trouble finding it. I do have a PetSafe wire-break locator but I’m still having trouble finding the break. I’m sure I will find it but right now it’s creating a challange. I have used the locator before and had very little trouble finding the break.

  18. Dave Tressel says:

    Can the RF choke method method work on a DogWatch fence system that uses the FM band? If so, which band to I use on the portable radio, AM or FM, and which frequency do I turn to?

    ADMIN – Hi Dave, I do not know. With the proprietary nature of the DogWatch system, we do not have one to test. It is a 99% chance that will not considering that the Ultrasmart and Innotek 5100 are the only fences that will respond to the RF choke test.

  19. Sheri says:

    We have had our petsafe stubborn dog container system just over a year. In a bad storm a few weeks ago, the system stopped working. When I test the transmitter with a short piece of wire, it still beeps that the loop is not closed. Does this mean our transmitter is damaged and needs replaced? Thanks!

    ADMIN – Hi Sheri, yes, it appears to have taken a surge. You can receive a replacement through the manufacture. Being that it is over a year, you may receive a replacement at a steep discount.

  20. Anthony says:

    I have a petsafe ultrasmart bought in April of 2013. Will the choke and am radio method work with it to find a wire break?

    ADMIN – Hi Anthony, yes. That is the recommended approach for locating breaks with the Ultrasmart.

  21. McKeel says:

    I have a Basic Smart Dog SD-2000 Innotek system I got second hand from a friend. The boundary wire we got from them was pretty chopped up into shorter sections, but I purchased the type of waterproof splice capsules and wire nuts shown on this page, and was able to splice a continuous loop, test it and get it installed. However, I was unable to get my dog trained on it. It seemed like sometimes he would get correction from the collar, and at other times he would simply get beeping but no shock. His behavior was simply erratic with the collar on, and he would cross the boundary with no regard to it, sometimes while yelping and sometimes showing no real effects.

    Thinking the problem must be the too-spliced perimeter wire, I bought a new spool of wire and laid it out for testing prior to installing. What I’ve found is that regardless of whether I use the new wire or the old wire, my results are the same. The system is delivering correction at the perimeter, but it’s also delivering beeping and correction at random areas in the yard far from the perimeter, also. I think my dog might simply be so confused that he’s not responding to the correction at the perimeter. He might feel safer outside the yard than in it! Do you have any idea what might be causing this inconsistent reading?

    ADMIN – Hi McKeel, the inconsistent corrections are due to interference from neighboring utility lines. The signal is being picked up by a utility line and is broadcasting through the yard and in the home. You will want to first call 811 and have them mark your utility lines. Then you will want to verify that your boundary wire is crossing these lines only at a perpendicular angle or running around 10 feet away from any parallel utility lines. You can also adjust the boundary radius down. This sometimes removes the interference.

  22. Lindsey says:

    I am having an issue with my petsafe fence. The fence does not work, but the collars do. I have walked the entire 12 acres and there is no break!

    ADMIN – Hi Lindsey,

    My first step would be to test the transmitter by connecting a short dummy section of wire to make sure the transmitter itself is working. If the transmitter is working, then we know the problem is in the wire.

    If you can’t find the break from a visual inspection of the fence line, then the next step would be to use an electronic line break locator.

  23. Renae says:

    I have a Canine Fence CT 700 Transmitter. We had lightning strike our ground a few days before finding my dog wandering the neighborhood. We never lost power but there was a power surge in our house. The green light kept flashing so we didn’t think there was a problem. I installed a new battery to no avail. Could it be the actual collar or could the line have been struck but the box is not indicating a break?

    Thanks in advance…

    ADMIN – Hi Renae,

    The most likely suspect is the transmitter. When the lightning hits the wire, it can surge back and kill the transmitter.

    Lightning doesn’t damage the collar. But, the collar may have already been damaged before the strike and the timing of the strike could just be a coincidence.

  24. don says:

    I have a petsafe in-ground wire fence (about 1000′)which has worked for about year. All of a sudden, the dog is ignoring it. I held the collar and walked to the fence line, but the collar gave no indication (no beeping, no zap). I bought a new battery, but there was still no result. I bought a line break locator, but there doesn’t seem to be a break. The system alarm does not indicate a break, either. What’s up?

    ADMIN – Hi Don,

    Check that the boundary width dial, and field size switch are appropriately set. Also disconnect one of the wires and see if it sets off the system alarm. If neither of those bare fruit, I would suspect there is a problem with either your collar or transmitter. I would reach out to PetSafe and get them serviced under the warranty.

  25. Emily Brown says:

    2 days ago, the transmitter warning light went on indicating a broken wire. We found it using the AM radio method and splice the break with slightly heavier gauge of wire. When we turned the system back on, it was OK for about 5 minutes, then the warning light went on again. We walked the whole system (20 acres) with the AM radio and found no indication of a break. We tested the transmitter and surge protector and both appear to be working. My husband has checked all the splices. We have even resorted to digging up most of the wire and have found no break. Please help!

    ADMIN – Hi Emily,

    What kind of system do you have? If you turn the system on & off again, do you get the same pattern (first no-break, then the alarm sounding)?

    From the symptoms you describe, I am guessing you have a PetSafe Ultrasmart (formlery Innotek IUC-4100). If I guessed right, the alarm you are seeing (alternating orange and green lights) is a not a wire break, it is the once-monthly collar recharge reminder. Switch it off, by looking for the middle switch on your control box, labelled “reminder” and switch it to the “off” position.

  26. tom sweeney says:

    Created a man made problem in our dog watch ug wire by using my edger to open a space for a few plant. alarm was on upon getting to the garage. We have a 2 acre lot so the wire is widely spread. I used the rf choke and radio combo but needed a stronger signal. I used the recommendation of your post by disconnecting the ground at the protector outside, to which i had connected the rf unit, that’s the point to put the rf unit. Got a better signal, weaker as i went along, and bingo! wire was found, separated. Thanks (telephone guys never give up)

    ADMIN – Awesome!

  27. Lorraine Martinez says:

    I seem to have the same problem as Lisa (June 2, 2011 at 11:08 pm)

    “When I hold the collar directly over the wire and close to the ground it will beep and vibrate like it is supposed to, but when I hold it a couple of feet off the ground it does not pick up a signal at all. The transmitter is showing a green light.”

    I’ve had an PetSafe PIG0013619 for about 6 yrs now, have repaired a few breaks over the yrs, and replaced the transmitter once. This time, however, I’m completely stumped! Here’s what I’ve done:
    1- Checked/replaced all non-waterproof splices I could find.
    2- Gone over entire wire several times w/radio, and used old guys’ method too. Found no breaks–just replaced splices.
    3- Checked twisted wire by connecting two ends (described in this forum).
    4- Performed test loop–no problem.
    5- Removed lightening-protector box from system and tested–no problem.
    6- Finally got disgusted and replaced ENTIRE LOOP with brand new wire.
    7- System gives a green light, but both collars have to actually touch the wire before they will go off. They’re fully-
    charged, and seem to work when doing the test loop (although only about 20″ from the wire).
    Now, after spending all day today (and several other days, as well), and picking off numerous ticks, I’m back to square one–my dogs (chihuahuas) can run across the wire. NOW what??

    PS. I borrowed and set up a PetSafe wireless system and it seemed to work really well–I managed to get the perimeters set just where I want them to be. The only thing keeping me from going out and buying a wireless system now is the size of the collar transmitter–it’s almost as big as one of my dogs’ heads (they weigh about 7# each)! Isn’t there ANY company that makes a wireless system with a small dog-(or even cat, if it would work the same way) sized collar? Is there any DIY solution to this problem?

    Thanks very much for this Forum, and I really hope you can help me with this!


    Admin- Hi Lorraine,

    It sounds like you have done every method to locating a break in the boundary wire. Based on all your testing results, it sounds like your transmitter is malfunctioning. One indication we have noticed with old transmitters when they start to malfunction or die out. The transmitter will indicate a good boundary but is unable to send the signal strong enough down the boundary wire to project a good boundary. If you purchased the system from a authorized retail, the transmitter will be cover under PetSafe limited lifetime warranty. You will need to contact them direct.

  28. dan says:

    This was a very helpful tool that does work, but please read the entire post to tell you how I finally fixed my problem.
    First, my setup. I have a Petsafe Stubborn Dog unit which has worked outstanding for about 2,500 feet of wire covering maybe 4 or 5 acres. It has worked great but then one day there were problems, which I could not pinpoint. The collar had no signal, although the box was not indicating a line break.
    I purchased the RF Choke from Radio Shack, which they had in the store for $2, and I also purchased a Radio Shack AM-FM radio for $15.
    It took a while to recognize the “chirping” sound, which was between 0-600 AM frequency, the best signal coming in around 550 AM.
    This was also next to a minor league baseball game being played by the Gwinnett Braves and the Toledo Mudhens, which Gwinnett rallied for a run in the 7th inning to break a 2-2 tie and win 3-2, despite a 3-5 hitting performance by Toledo centerfield Quinten Berry.
    But I digress.
    So with the AM radio “chirping,” it really sounded like a cricket chirping really fast. I followed the underground wire for some time, but again this is a long run, and eventually the signal became so weak the radio would not pick up the signal. I finally determined that the radio picked up the signal for half the wire and there was no signal for the other half.
    I now questioned many things. Was my box bad? Was the collar bad? Was there not a true break in the line but a nick or fault?
    I then called PetSafe customer service. The young lady walked me through a 10-foot wire “loop” test with my box and it proved the box and collar were both in excellent condition.
    I then regrouped, and began replacing every splice that I knew of, and there are probably 10 or more in all due to previous breaks and original splices.
    I then turned the box back on to test, after I had replaced maybe 6 splices, and boom, it was working better than new. I had a signal that would cook bacon.
    So the moral to my story is something I hope you will remember – replace your splices first, before you spend any money on an RF choke, a radio, more wire, a service call, or a Taylormade Burner Superfast 2.0 driver. The driver has nothing to do with this, but you can’t play golf while you are trying to fix a dog fence. That’s my point.
    I also will continue to use the RF choke and radio in the future, as it does detect a break and weak signal strength, so I do recommend it. Just remember to check your splice connectors first.

    Admin- Hi Dan,

    Great testimony! We agree that you should first form a short loop test to confirm that the collar and transmitter work. Than, check for obvious disturbances in the ground while rechecking all splices. Good work.

  29. robert beer says:

    Thank you for hosting this blog. I appreciate your advice for the many different issues people have had with the RF choke method. I haven’t found any entries like the following:

    I installed my Innotek system ~12 yrs ago and have fixed several breaks using the RF choke method. My current line break occurred sometime after my neighbor installed an in ground system. His line runs parallel to mine for ~150-200 feet (I’m pretty sure it’s close to, or maybe even less than the recommended 6-foot separation). My collars respond as I approach HIS fence from my side (with my current “line-break” condition).

    My main question is why my AM radio, tuned to 60, picks up an RF choke-type sound inside my fence loop, even if MY fence is turned off/unplugged and the RF choke isn’t even hooked up (still in the package). The sound stops if he turns HIS system off, but, even then I couldn’t locate the break.

    Admin- Hi Robert,

    It sounds like you are receiving interference from your neighbors system and it is causing your system not to work. Have you tried your collar with your boundary wire when the neighboring system is off? We do experience similar issues here when two dog fence systems are installed close to each other and the signals significantly overlap. Based on the radio receiving the signals in your yard with your fence off, you are picking up the neighbors fence because he might have it turn up to high? Your best option will possibly be to change to a system like the Perimeter Technologies system where you can change the frequencies to offset your neighbor fence and avoid interference.

  30. bill r says:

    for those of you struggling with the agony of “partial breaks”, as I recently was, remember to be very methodical and isolate each component of the system. I eventually found I had 2-3 problems- bad splices, weak spots in the wire, AND a partially fried lightning protector. I had enough signal flowing that the transmitter did not perceive a “break”, yet the collar could not function. A test loop in the basement revealed the transmitter and collar to be working normally . Splicing into the outside loop and checking resistance (ohms) with the voltmeter showed higher than normal (you can find online what it should be at a given guage wire, distance, temp, etc). AM signal died at several spots. I started by replacing known splices, (which were not in the factory waterproof nuts and sure enough they were corroding), and then by walking the wire both ways, found and bypassed another couple weak spots with the “older guy method” described above. A much steadier AM signal now, though slightly weakening at the furthest point from the transmitter, and still no correction at the collar. Even though resistance dropped by almost half, it was still too high when measured just in front of the transmitter…. hmmm…… before resorting to digging up the braid section, I diagrammed the circuit on paper and had the a-ha moment- I took the lightning protection out of the circuit and re-tested, the AM signal was twice as loud as before and perfectly constant all around the perimeter! Even though there was only a couple ohms drop in resistance after removing the lightning protection, and it still read slightly higher than normal (but who knows how accurate a cheap volt-meter is anyway) it made a huge difference in the signal strength and the system now works perfectly. Hope this helps someone, it really bugged the crap out of me for a friday evening and saturday morning!

  31. Larry says:

    We’ve had an Innotek Boundary Fence for years and have been very happy with it. However, it just stopped working. My question is…I have heard that Smart Meters may interfere with the operation of these fences. Can this be true as we have had one of these meters installed within the last couple of months? Thank you.

    ADMIN – Hi Larry,

    We have also heard rumors of Smart Meters interfering but don’t have any confirmed cases. All the cases we have investigated have been a plain old wire break, or the control box being broken. I suspect it is just coincidence, but cannot rule out the possibility.

    What are the symptoms you system is exhibiting? The easiest way to test the hypothesis would be to take your fence and a small dummy loop and plug it into a neighbor’s electrical system (without a smart meter) and seeing if the system starts working there.

  32. Tim says:

    Does the RF choke test for Innotek work with a Pet Safe system?

    ADMIN – Hi Tim,

    The RF-choke does not work with the PetSafe systems. For those systems you need to use something like the PetSafe Wire Break Locator.

  33. paul says:

    I have an Innotek system thats worked well for 6 or 7 years, but lately have problems. I check my collars periodically by walking to the fence and making sure the green light changes to red and the audible warning sounds. Tried that a few days ago – no work. I then tried a small 6 foot loop – attached to transmitter and collars worked as normal so most likely transmitter and collars are ok. Next I hooked up the RF choke with 1 side of the loop wire attached – everything sounds ok although the signal did seem not as loud in a few places. I might have been a little further away from the wire as it is buried 1 – 2″ in most places.Any ideas for a next step? Another question – do those 3M connectors #314 – little plastic box work? I noticed when I took one apart that the wire did not seem to have a way to “connect”. Supposedly no need to strip wire as they have have a couple of steel blades that make contact. Looks kind of iffy for small gauge wire.

    ADMIN – Hi Paul,

    That the test loop works fine, but the real loop does not tells us that you have a wire break. You are on the right track with the RF choke – in the places where the radio goes silent, poke around and you should find your break.

    The 3M button style connectors work fine, you just place the wires in the hole and push down hard on the button on top to splice the wires together. I know they say you don’t need to strip the wire, but I find you get a much more consistent connection if you strip the wire and it only takes a few extra seconds.

  34. Gary Fleming says:

    Hello – I am having the exact same problem that Myron described in his posting from November 5, 2011. Is there any way that I could find out if Myron found a solution to his problem and what that solution was? Thanks very much for any help.

    ADMIN – Hi Gary,

    If the Invisible Fence system shows a complete loop, but the boundary width is very narrow, and turning up the boundary width dial does not resolve the problem – then the transmitter is broken and needs repair.

  35. Rex says:

    Thanks so much for your website. It’s very useful. I have the Invisible Fence ICT 801. I used the RF choke and AM radio to find the break. It was in the middle of a linear portion 2 or 300 feet long. There was no earth disturbance and the insulation had been pulled and thinned. The wires were about 1/8 inch apart. It is cold and my theory is the low temperature caused the wire to contract and break in that single long section. The wire is #16 and was installed by the dealer a couple years ago. Shouldn’t there be some temperature compensating mechanism for these wires? Bridges, cable TV wires and other outdoor installations have them. Thanks again.

    ADMIN – Hi Rex,

    Thanks for the tip. Usually when laying out the wire, we try and build in a little slack so that if there is a cold snap or if there is some earth settlement, then it will not break the wire. As you mention if the wire is laid too tight it is prone to stretching and snapping.

  36. Erin says:

    Hi, we recently moved with our 3 English Mastiffs. They were all on a Petstop Invisible Fence at our last house and when we moved, we took the control box and collars with us, but not the wire. Now we are ready to set something up at our new house and are unsure how to proceed…should we go someplace like Home Depot and purchase just the wire to lay around our house, then contact the Petstop people for more batteries for the collars or does it make more sense to purchase a new system (I love the idea of rechargeable collars!) and start from scratch? I’m not even sure if generic invisible fence wire from Home Depot would work with the control box and collars we own… All in all, we have around 6 acres but would probably only be looking to “fence” 1/2-1 acre of it. Any suggestions or ideas??? Thanks!

    ADMIN – Hi Erin,

    You can use pretty much any single insulated copper wire that is rated for direct burial with your existing system. (You want to avoid using regular housing PVC because it tends to deteriorate when exposed to soil and the elements) You can get direct burial wire at some Home Depot / Lowes (but it is a little hit and miss so phone ahead). You can also get it through electrical supply stores, and or through this website.

    Some Invisible Fence dealers will also sell you the wire. Also get a quote for them to do the installation – if you already have the system and collars, depending on the local franchisee the installation is often not very expensive.

    The battery subscriptions usually cost around $60 per dog per year ($180 for three dogs). A new rechargeable dog fence system costs around $500. Eventually, the new system will pay off, but it is at least a three year payback. I would lean toward keeping your existing system.

  37. Ruth says:

    Hey, I have a problem I cannot figure out. When I turn the unit on at low power switch on up to number 3, (Sportdog brand Sportdog 100A) it says that the loop is fine light comes on and no alarm everything is OK…. but I turn the power up or turn it to high power it instantly sounds the loop alarm and turns out the loop light. What would make it indicate a break of connection if i turn it up? It also happens on the loop test with a short wire. I have tried testing the wire in the ground using the collar even with the alarm going off, the collar is working, but it seem inconsistent with the distance. Any ideas?

    ADMIN – Hi Ruth,

    That is an odd set of symptoms. Usually, when you turn the dial low, you can trigger a wire break alarm, and turning it up high resolves the problem. You seem to have the opposite issue. That makes me think the transmitter box is defective. That you have the same issue with even a short test loop and that you are getting an inconsistent signal also seems to indicate a faulty transmitter. I would contact SportDog and get it swapped out for a new one.

    I presume you are turning the boundary width dial on the right hand side of the dog fence transmitter. I am also presume that the loop is a regular loop without any funky three-way joints.

  38. Greg says:

    I have a dogwatch fence system and I am wanting to expand the boundary wire for them to have more room.What kind of wire do I need to get and can I get it from your store. I know it operates on a fm signal dont know what gauge.Thanks

    ADMIN – Hi Greg,
    You’ll need to cut a short piece of the wire and have an electrical supply take a look. You’ll want to match the gauge. We sell 20. 18, 16, and 14 gauge wire. Each installer has their own preference, so there’s no real way for me to guess what it may be.

  39. Ginger Unger says:

    First of all, wish we had read this post years ago. Been searching for breaks the hard way for years. No breaks this time, we had a hugh storm that knocked out power and phone lines. Power is up again, but unit on wall still alarming and fence not working. Cannot locate any breaks and there were not any right before power outage. Anyway to trouble shoot this problem without calling them out or buying a new unit? Thanks in advance.

    ADMIN – Hi Ginger,
    The first test you want to perform is a short loop. Unplug the boundary wires from your transmitter and plug in a 15 foot test loop. If the transmitter goes to green, you most likely have damaged wire. If the beeping persist, your transmitter may have taken an electrical surge.

  40. George says:

    I have an Invisible Fence ICT 725. It has an external power transformer that plugs into a wall socket and supplies 12 VDC to the transmitter. After digging up half my loop and not finding a problem it dawned on me I might have power fault. I checked the output voltage and I was only getting .2 VDC to the transmitter. I replaced the transformer. Unfortunatly it did fix my problem however It is a rule of thumb to check your power first. Thought this might help someone else.

  41. myron says:

    I have a invisible fence brand ict725 the green light is blinking like it should but the collar will not beep unless you set it within 3 inches of the wire and i have tried adjusting with the two little dials.I am wondering if the board is bad and not putting out enough current? Thks

    ADMIN – Hi Myron,

    If turning up the two boundary width dials (one does fine adjustments, the other coarse adjustments) does not increase the boundary width, then there is either a problem with the system (board) or the collar. If you have a second collar and it has the same problem, that would help us further narrow it down.

  42. Kyle says:

    Great site ! Just installed a Innotek 5100 I have not buried the wire yet. Initially I had a signal from the boundary wire and twisted but changed configuration and now my transmitter has green light but no signal from boundary wire. Did rf choke and getting signal from boundary wire except for one section is dead. Also still getting a signal from twisted and then replaced twisted wire. Same problem with boundary and twisted wire. Also did a loop test and transmitter is working. What should be my next step?

    ADMIN – Hi Kyle,

    It sounds like you may have a partial break. A partial break will confuse the transmitter to think that you have a complete loop where very little signal is being transmitted. I would go check all the splices close to the area there the wire is dead. We often see with initial install problems that one or more of your splices is not making a great connection.

  43. Larisa says:

    Hi! I’m very grateful to you for your site and service you’re providing. It helped. Eventually I’ve found the break and fixed it (Hooray!), although it took me a good bit of time finding the break. Now after I got some experience under my belt, I can give couple advices for those who’re still having such problems. 1. Try to use AM radio with batteries. If you use the radio plugged in the outlet (like I did) do not plug the radio in the same outlet where the control box is plugged in, because the extension cord provides the sound from the control box. Before I found out it I got confused and mixed up with locating the sound. 2. Not all of the AM radio which I tried out were able to catch the sound- just old one with the tuning knob. The bottom line is it’s really worth my while trying to fix the break by myself.
    Thanks again to Admin and everybody who shared their information.

  44. Larisa says:

    Hi, I have an invisible fence system ICT 50. The transmitter makes flashing green signal. I connected RF choke, caught the signal on AM radio, but I can hear a sound, better or worse, everywhere around. Since I had suspicions with farthest part of twisted wire, I disconnected the twisted wire from the main loop and connected the two twisted wire together (I disconnected RF choke as well). Now I’ve got a constant green light. What does it mean? You said that if in that case the break alarm goes off it indicates that the break is in the twisted wire. Where do I have the break: in the twisted wire or in the main loop? Why I cannot hear the sound along the twisted wire when its ends are connected together, but the sound appears again just after I connect at least one end of twisted wire to the one side of fence?

    ADMIN – Hi Larisa,

    If you disconnected the twisted wire and connected the two far ends together and got a green signal, that tells us that the problem is not in the twisted wire. Since we get the break alarm when the full loop is connected, that tells us the break is in the main loop.

  45. Brian says:

    Hi, before I break down and call the Invisible Fence folks, I wanted to make sure that I had exhausted the RF Choke approach. I have a 1 year old Invisible Fence Brand ICT 800 series transmitter.

    First, I created a false loop with a paper clip and confirmed that the beeping stopped. So it would appear that I do have a break in the boundary wire. I then attached the RF Choke to the transmitter and boundary wire as directed, but did not get a clear pulsing sound on my AM radio at a frequency of 600 or anything around that. So, I went with the approach of creating my own test loop with about 30 feet of wire tied around the RF Choke. I still did not get a clear pulsing sound. It did change from pure static to a different static sound when I got the radio close to the test wire, but nothing significant.

    Not sure if the issue is with the signal strength or frequency on my ICT 800 transmitter? I have seen references to changing the signal, but my Invisible Fence rep stated when he installed the system that only they can change the signal.

    Any thoughts or suggestions? Not sure how much of this has to do with the transmitter unit I have or adjustments I need to make. Thanks in advance, you provide some great info here.

    ADMIN – Hi Brian,

    The RF Choke only works on some systems. It works on the older ICT-700 series Invisible Fence, we have not had the chance to try it on the new ICT-800 series digital fences. If the RF-Choke is not working, and sounds like you had everything connected correctly, then you either need to call out Invisible Fence or get a wire break detector, like the PetSafe Break Detector.

  46. Mike says:

    We have a Pet Safe fence that seems to work fine until it rains. The box will start with random beeps when it starts to get humid before the rain even starts. When it rains, it beeps more frequently. I’ve replaced the twisted wire from the box to the loop. It puzzles me that it starts beeping before the rain even starts.

    ADMIN – Hi Mike,

    Try connecting a dummy loop to the system and seeing if the same thing happens. It sounds more like some sort of short in the transmitter box. If we still got the beeping, with the dummy loop it would confirm that the issue is with the transmitter not the wiring.

    If you don’t get the beeping with the dummy loop, the problem would be some sort of short in the boundary wire. If I had to venture a guess, there is some not quite waterproof splice in the system and when you get humidity or rain, the signal is leaking out of the wire into the ground.

  47. Al Peterson says:

    I performed the basic test with the 12 foot loop. The receiver works. When I disconnect the test loop the “Loop Indicator” light stays on. (It does not transmit a signal to my receiver when connected to my property’s underground wire. I checked for continuity with my ohm meter on my property loop and it is good, less than 7 ohms.)
    My PetSafe system is model TC-100. Any fixes that you are aware of? Thanks, Al

    ADMIN – Hi Al,

    If you aren’t getting an error when the loop is disconnected, there is something wrong with the transmitter. I would switch out the transmitter.

    It is puzzling that the receiver works with the 12 foot loop and not with your complete loop. One possibility is that you have a short in your loop – this usually happens along the twisted wire section. A second possibility is that the transmitter is not putting out enough current to get a good signal out around the loop.

  48. Lori says:

    After trying to find a break myself for about a month, I used this method and it worked great! I thought I would let everyone know that it also works for Humane Contain from High Tech Pet. I talked to their tech support several times and no one there suggested this. I did have two breaks in my line and some wire that was deteriorating. I found it all in just a few minutes. I have taped the RF Choke to the top my base station so I’ll have it handy next time we have a break. THANK YOU!

  49. Kelly says:

    I have an invisible fence system. We haven’t used it in 6 six years, but are now getting a larger dog we want to use it with. We knew a few years back the the weed eater got the wire and we have repaired that and we have a green light on the receiver but the alarm is sounding. Does this mean there is another break somewhere?

    ADMIN – Hi Kelly,

    If you are still getting the alarm at the base station it likely means you still have another break. To test this out, get a small piece of wire and attach it to the transmitter and see if that stops the beeping. If the dummy loop stops the beeping you do indeed have a break, if it does not then there is something wrong with the transmitter.

  50. Lyn says:

    I think the Hidden fence is the same as Dogwatch in the States. It does use an FM signal. Thanks for the link to the Petsafe locator, however it appears you only sell to US & Canada?

    ADMIN – Hi Lyn,

    We do not sell overseas. For detecting a wire break, there are similar tools that electrician use that may be more readily available locally.

  51. Lyn says:

    Hi I am in Australia and have a “Hidden Fence” System. I have just had some new garden areas put in my yard. I carefully dug up the wire in the area to be worked on and reburied it in front of the new garden, only to discover the machine must have broken the wire beyond the area I had dug up. Now I have one end of the wire, but can’t seem to find where the rest is buried to rejoin it. So my questions are 1). Will your RF choke method work on my system or 2). Is there another way of locating where the wire is so I can find it? ( I have about 2 acres of fence on a 10 acre property and can’t remember exactly where they placed the wire in this particular area of the yard). Any help would be much appreciated.

    Admin- Hi Lyn,

    1) We are not familiar with a Hidden Fence. Is Hidden Fence the brand name? The RF choke may work with that system. However, your best option for finding the break or locating the wire will be the PetSafe wire break locator.

  52. gp says:

    For Dogwatch owners..I just use AM radio, no choke and walk the line…you will hear static change near the break.

  53. Derrick says:

    I have an invisible fence ICT 700 system that has been working well for a number of years. I have had wire breaks that have been easy to find in the past. Recently the transmitter has been making a warning signal and the solid green light which suggests a wire break. Most of my wire runs above ground and I have been able to inspect it. I have redone all the connections and have tried the RF choke and a short segment of test wire but the unit still signals a wire break. There is a second box that I presume is for prevention of damage from a lightening strike. I have tried to bypass this without any change. My wife believes that the unit started to signal a break after a lightening storm. Is my transmitter fried? If it is can I replace it with another brand? I have a large area of about 6 acres contained currently with 12 gauge copper strand wire.

    ADMIN – Hi Derrick,

    If the system still shows that there is a wire break, even when you test it with a short loop, then the unit is not working. It might just be you lightning protection module that got fried. (the second box could be a lightning protection module, or it could be a battery backup module). To test this, bypass the lighting protection and plugin the wire straight into the main box.

    If you need to replace the main transmitter, you can use any brand with the existing wire – although you will need to replace the collars as well.

  54. David F says:

    Regarding the Dogwatch system, I just hooked the RF Choke across the terminals on the surge suppressor block mounted outside the house (this eliminates having to deal with the plug that goes into the transmitter box). I used an AM Radio, and it worked just fine.

    ADMIN – Hi David,

    Thanks for the tip.

  55. Darlene says:

    How do you disconnect the wires from the transmitter. They are not wrapped around a terminal just in there really snug and tight with a real little plastic box around it. If I pull real hard I don’t want to break the box. What should we do? If I do yank them out, how do we get them back in? We are confused.

    ADMIN – Hi Darlene,

    Where the wires enter the little plastic box, you will usually find a couple of release switches. Sometimes they are on the site, sometimes they are on top. When you pull/push the switches, they release their grip on the wire and they should just come out with only a little pressure. You should never need to pull really hard. If you are still having problems, email me a photo of the system and I can give you more specific instructions.

  56. George Jacobs says:

    Thanks. Here’s my issue:

    1. System functioning fine with dummy loop
    2. System light/sounds indicate break.
    3. Perimeter wire is 100% exposed (top of fence).
    4. Visual inspection and RF Choke both show continuity.

    Can I just leave the choke on to stop the system from beeping? Thanks.

    ADMIN – Hi George,

    If the system functions fine with a dummy loop and does not work with the real loop you likely you have a wire break. (I presume you tested it with the collar and it was not triggering. And I presume you tried turning up the boundary width dial).

    The system should show continuity with the RF choke, because the RF Choke is completing the circuit. (I presume you are using an Innotek IUC-4100 or IUC-5100 or SD-2100 .. the Choke does not work for all systems.) If you just leave the choke in, it will stop the system beeping, but the system will not work … the collar will not trigger at the boundary.

    With the RF Choke in place you should go around the loop with an AM radio as described above, and listen for spots where the throbbing noise grows weak and voila there is your break.

    You may want to check the splice points before you do all that, they are a common cause of breaks in above ground installations. As are staples that have been driven in too far and are severing the wire.

  57. Beth says:

    I have an invisible fence unit. When I hook everything up as described the green light blinks. Is this what I should expect or should it be a steady green light? Thank you for your help! Beth

    ADMIN – Hi Beth,

    I am not sure what model number Invisible Fence you have, but usually you get a solid light, with the blinking signifying that there is a wire break. You can figure out if this is an error, by connecting a short test lop and seeing if the unit still blinks (if it does, then everything is fine, if it stops blinking then you probably have a break in your loop)

  58. Dave says:

    i have the RF-1010 by pet safe and i can’t seem to get a strong signal the module is turned the whole way up and the radio is also i have to crawl on the ground with the radio smashed into the ground to even pickup a light noise but its barley noticeable what am i doing wrong?

    ADMIN – Hi Dave,

    Either the transmitter is not working correction or the break is early in the wire. I would start by connecting a short test loop and seeing if the system works as it should and that you are getting a signal on that test loop.

  59. Kristina Reimann says:

    My IUC4100 system indicates a wire break. As the wire is partially above ground – we fenced in 5 acres that are partly densely wooded- I got the RF Choke connected and tried out some sections with easy access first. It said in the instructions that the static throbbing should be missing over the twisted wire but it gives a very strong signal. I then used the old boys method and the signal was still there although when I moved in either direction of the loop wire (starting at the connection point with the twisted wire) the signal was a lot stronger on one side than on the other. Does that mean I have a break in the twisted wire section? That would be wonderful as I wouldn’t have to follow the loop through the thick undergrowth :-)! Thanks, Tina

    ADMIN – Hi Tina,

    First lets make sure you have a break. When the system indicated a wire break, was it flashing red (or red & green – indicates battery charging reminder but sounds a lot like the wire break alarm)? If you connect a small dummy loop then does it stop the alarm (if it does, then you have a break, if it does not then there is something the matter with the base station).

    The easiest way to check if the break is in the twisted wire is to go to where the twisted wire joins the main loop and connect the two twisted wire together and see if the break indicator goes off. If the break alarm goes off it indicates that the break is in the twisted wire, if it does not then the break is in the main loop.

    If you use the old boy method, then one side should be nearly completely dead at any point after the break. This suggests to me that that the break is indeed in the twisted wire?

  60. Lisa says:

    We have a petsafe stubborn dog fence over a couple of acres. The fence has been working great for a couple of years, but recently it has lost a lot of strength in the signal. When I hold the collar directly over the wire and close to the ground it will beep and vibrate like it is supposed to, but when I hold it a couple of feet off the ground it does not pick up a signal at all. The transmitter is showing a green light. I used a break locator but couldn’t find a break. I don’t know what to do next. Is it likely in the transmitter, the collar, or a partial break in the wire, and what do I do next? The boundary on the transmitter will only work to a level 2 now, as well. Thanks!

    ADMIN – Hi Lisa,

    It could be a partial break, or it could be something wrong with the transmitter. I would create a small dummy loop with some spare wire and see if you get the same issue. Also try disconnecting the wire and make sure you get the wire break alarm sounding.

    I would also try adjusting the boundary width dial if you have not already and see if you can go back to getting a wider field by increasing the boundary width at the dial. I would also check the boundary size switch on the side of the box and make sure it did not accidentally get knocked down to the low setting (B). I would set it to medium or high (C or A respectively).

    My intuition is that it is either a setting problem or a transmitter problem. I am skeptical of the partial break, it is possible but doesn’t happen that often. I would go check these other easier things first.

  61. ashley says:

    We have a petsafe stubborn dog fence. We put it in when it was cold and it worked great until we got all the rain. I have done everything the intructions said to do to try and get it to stop beeping. I have found the splice and changed batteries in the recievers. Now to the question I have. If we order the break locator will it help us find the exact line. Someone else put it in so we are unclear on the exact locations. Or would we just be better off to do a new fence our selves?

    ADMIN – Hi Ashley,

    My guess is the rain caused a bit of earth movement leading to the break. Connect a small test loop of wire to the transmitter and make sure that the transmitter registers a complete loop. (We are testing to make sure the problem is not with the transmitter and is with the wire in the ground … there is nothing less fun than spending hours hunting a break that does not exist).

    You can also relay the wire – but if the old wire is still in good shape it is probably easiest to just repair the one break.

    The PetSafe wire break locator will indeed help you find where the wire is buried if you don’t know the exact path it takes. (The wire makes a throbbing noise on the radio)

  62. Peter Dixzon says:

    our innotek system holds a green light even though there is a partial break (tested collars with a short loop). will the rf choke find the partial break just as effectively. Thanking You. Peter

    ADMIN – Hi Peter,

    With a partial break, the RF Choke sound drops off around the location of the nick, but does not go completely silent as it would if there was a complete break.

  63. Leigh Willard says:

    Hi, We have a dogwatch system that covers approximately 20 acres. We had some land cleared and a very large section got destroyed and we need to redo a very long run. I am hoping this is something we can do ourselves. I don’t think I’ll have a problem finding the intact fence to splice into but am wondering how to determine what gauge wire to use. Any suggestions? Thanks! Leigh W.

    ADMIN – Hi Leigh,

    You want to try and match the gauge used in the rest of the fence. If possible get a sample of the wire from the old installation and take it to a hardware store to find a matching gauge.

    The gauge of wire is in of itself not particularly important. But, you do want to try and have a consistent gauge of wire throughout. If you don’t it can create issues where some parts of the installation are wider than others.

  64. Kim says:

    We have what seems to be a break in the loop, but we have done nothing that would seem to cause a “break”. Lately we have had lots of rain, and a 10 ft section of the wire is under standing water. From what we remember, that is where the “waterproof” splice is. Could water leaking into the splice and shorting it be the cause of our problem?

    ADMIN – Hi Kim,

    Water leaking into the splice is rarely the direct cause of the problem. But sometimes with heavy rain, an already weak splice can get separated or corroded. Checking the splice first would be a good first guess (after checking the transmitter with a small test loop to make sure it is still working).

  65. GrinGuy says:

    Great site. I know you must have made many happy with your advice because it is not easy to find breaks.
    I am probably repeating much of what you have been responding in helping others locating breaks. I have much of my wire slightly above ground running through an old woven wire fence and I occasionally do get breaks from animals(squirrels?) chewing on the perimeter. I do use the same break locating method using a 100uh choke with my PetSafe system with the petsafe rf-1010 transmitter. At one time I used a square wave generator connected to one of the wires and an AM radio – similar idea – but the rf choke method and an AM radio I found works better. I tweak the AM dial down around 600 to get what I think is the strongest signal. Near where my twisted wire ends go out from the building to the perimeter circle I have a spot located with a connector that I can easily break and open the circuit on one end of the wire. I found that by following the other leg of the wire around on the connected side of the fence perimeter and I can just go around and check it at different intervals until the AM radio stops chirping. Some things I have noticed is that before the wire break the chirping will begin to get weaker. I can usually locate down to a couple of feet where a break is occuring. Poor connections are more difficult though because sometimes a little signal will get through but usually you can tell the signal is weaker on the other side. With a poor connection I once had to break it at the transmitter on the other leg and then followed the signal around the other way.

    It really helps having a spot where I have a disconnect for one leg of the wire near where the twisted wire reaches the perimeter. One reason why it is good to have this out on your perimeter is that if you have the twisted wire going out from your building to the perimeter the unconnected fence leg may pick up some signal in the twisted wire section which may confuse you because you might hear a slight signal in your inside the building disconnected leg.

    I wouldn’t recommend running the wire through an old fence like I did. If you do make sure you are using heavier wire. Sunlight and animals will work on the wire insulation. Heavier wire would definitely stand up to the elements better. With wire above ground you may be more likely to have lightning damage your transmitter too. Just having the wire laying on the ground with grass growing over the top of the wire protects the wire more than having it exposed above ground.

  66. Michael says:

    Will the rf choke method work with the PetSafe system? Why not? The kit is a transmitter and a am radio, seems to me to be the exact same method.

    Admin- Hi Michael,

    Unfortunately, the RF choke will not work with the PetSafe system. The PetSafe system sends out a different AM frequencies than the Innotek models. The only possible way to accurately find a brake on the PetSafe system is with PetSafe Wire Brake Locator.

  67. Tim says:

    I tried this method and found the wire break in 10 minutes. Everybody is happy except for my dog who misses her freedom.
    Thanks so much for the information.
    By the way, to fix the wire, I feed one side of the wire through a 5″ section of 1/2″ ID sprinkler tubing, then I make the connection with a standard wire nut. After wrapping the repair with electrical tape, I slide the tubing over the repair and then fill up the tube with 100% silicone caulk from both sides. I am not sure how long these will last, but I’ve had a couple repairs that are 4 years old with no signs of problems. With the commercial grease kits, I’ve had lots of failures in 2-6 years.

    Admin- Hi Tim,

    Your welcome, we are happy to offer help. Also your method of repair will be very effective for the longevity of the wire splice.

  68. frank says:

    My I.F. ICT-7XX has steady green and sporadically it alarms for a length of time and then stops alarming.

    I figured I had an issue with loop connectivity/conductivity perhaps corrosion, and with changes in soil dampness, from time to time the loop was being sensed as open. Remember the alarming is sporadic.
    OK, so while it was alarming, I tested the collar and the collar beeped at the field. I tested the field on either side from where the twisted feed line diverges.

    I next plan to disconnect the loop and measure its resistance. What should I see for 800 ft of wire?

    Could there be enough of a voltage drop at the main unit to be sensed as an “open” yet there still be workable RF being radiated sufficent to be detected by the collar?

    Or is this probably some other prob at the main unit?

    thanks in advance,


    ADMIN – Hi Frank,

    Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide troubleshooting advice for your Invisible Fence system since local IF installers are authorized to sell or support any of their models.

  69. leslie says:

    We just moved into a new house that was already set up with DogWatch..(previous owners took transmitter with them of course)..We have a PetSafe transmitter and collar, Is there a way to hook up the PetSafe with the all of the components from the previous DogWatch system?

    ADMIN – Hi Leslie,

    Yes, you can simply unhook the Dog Watch transmitter and plug in your PetSafe unit instead and as long as the wire is still in place everything will work fien.

  70. JIM says:

    Help ……….. The pilot light on my unit does not turn on. I placed a short loop of wire in the connectors to test and still the light does not Come on. Am I doing something wrong? (M023706)

    ADMIN – Hi Jim,

    What model system do you have? If you don’t get the loop light even when you use a small test loop of new wire, then it usually means the base station is defective and needs to be switched out.

  71. Mary says:

    Thanks so much for all of the information about finding a break. I am going a little crazy trying to find mine. The fence has been down for over a year (we cut down trees) but our dog is 9 and knew the limits…until this winter’s snow storms. As she is now testing those limits I’m beginning to worry and we started looking for the break. We found two which my husband repaired (after digging into still frozen ground for three hours) but the connection is still not perfect. I went out and bought the choke/AM radio system but I cannot get a signal anywhere. We tested the box with a loop wire and her collar but can’t seem to find a signal using the choke. One question I had was about the signal near the box. Should you be able to hear it while standing next to the box before you go outside to find the wire? Any other ideas besides turning up signal on box and radio? I have tried putting the wires on the middle of the choke and to the left and right side of the middle. Is one better than the other. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks! Mary

    ADMIN – Hi Mary,

    What kind of system do you have? The choke/AM Radio thing only works with a few systems like the Innotek IUC-4100 and IUC-5100. For other systems you need to get the PetSafe Wire Break Locator which plugs into the wire and generates the tone that you can hear on an AM radio.

    You should be able to hear the throbbing when you are right next to the control box with your radio if you have a model that will work with the choke. You will connect one side of the boundary wire to one leg of the choke, then the other side of the boundary wire to the leg on the other side of the choke of the choke

    If you have a lot of breaks from doing garden work, it is often easier just to replace the whole loop, or at least the section where you know you have a lot of breaks.

  72. Bobita says:

    You have a video for almost every underground fence produce known to man, except for how to use your break locator, any specific reason?

    ADMIN – Hi Bobita,

    Looks as if I need to get a video shot! haha Then you’d have every fence product video known to man.

  73. Marcy says:

    Hello, I need help. We have a Petsafe system on roughly 2 acres. We have a loop break indicator on our transmitter that indicates a continuous loop, no breaks. Yet our dog leaves every day. We pulled up the entire perimeter of our property, replaced all the wire and left it laying on top of the ground. There is no visual break or a break detected by the transmitter unit. Our dog gets out in the same spot every time. (We watch him) We took off his collar and used the tester to make sure it was firing. It fired either inconsistently or delayed in many spots in this area. We replaced the collar with a new one. It did the same thing, so we took it back. We have two dogs. One leaves, one doesn’t. We switched their collars. The roamer still roams daily. We put him in the garage for hours with the door open (the wire runs in front of the door) He never left once. It is only this spot that doesn’t work. I can physically see that it is whole and in working order, yet it fires the reciever randomly. What is the deal? We are becoming a stench in the nostrils of our neighbors with our roaming dog!!!! Help!!

    Admin – Hi Marcy

    Process of elimination. If you have gone through all steps checking for breaks, sounds like you have. Have you looked at the section of property itself. Anything in ground, utilities, minerals.
    If you switched collars and the same dog roamed, could be something with the dog. Have you taken the time to trim fur and make sure there is good consistent contact. If he never left garage, sounds like the collar is making good contact.
    Check both of these things, that is all I have at the moment. I hope this is of some help.

  74. Jeanne says:

    I am totally frustrated. The dog wire broke about a month ago. i followed all the instruction and couldn’t find a “silent” spot but there was a section where the sound definitely got weaker. The rest of the line had a strong signal. We had a long rain and I just went out to fix it and now all of the line is silent except for about 50′. I have no idea what to do next.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    Admin – Jeanne

    With the sound different after the rain, sounds like your break has gotten larger or advanced to multiple breaks.
    If you have a sound for 50ft of the run, then that is the area where the break begins. Find the 1st one, repair it and do the test again to see if there are more.
    I wish I had a quicker/easier answer for you, finding and repairing a break simply requires some time and patience but if you follow our instructions, you should be fine.

  75. Bryan says:

    I have a Innotek Smart Dog, 2100. I purchased the rf choke and connected to the system. When the insulated part of the wire is wrapped around the lead of the choke, there is no signal outside, when the bare wire is wrapped around choke, I hear a thumping signal across the whole AM range, but it is strongest from the 600-800 khz range, when I am close to the receiver. When I am in the yard the signal fades, where the signal is really low I have dug up the fence and the wire is intact. I tried two different radios. The wire has been buried for about 10 years. We buried the wire about an inch below the surface, however, each spot I have dug up the wire is 5 inches below the surface. It is winter here, and the ground is partially frozen, icy in spots. Any ideas or help would be great.

    Will a tracer 77hp make it easier?

    ADMIN – Hi Bryan,

    I would try connecting just one of the two dog fence boundary wire leads to the system. That should make the thumping sound appear on just one side of the boundary. Follow the silent side around until you her the thumping appear and you should find your break location right around there.

    I am not sure what a tracer 77hp is? Can you explain.

  76. Dave says:

    Will these “electric fences” work under water ? Does the radio signal travel through about two feet of water ?

    ADMIN – Hi Dave,

    The signal will indeed transmit through water. Generally the water diminishes the signal strength so going through one foot of water is like going through 2 feet of air. So you may need to adjust the boundary width to make it a bit wider if you have a deep underwater section.

    I would avoid having large underwater boundaries where the dogs cannot stand (if possible). It can be hard for the dogs to learn underwater boundaries because turning and retreating is difficult when their feet are not touching the ground – turning around while swimming is too slow and dogs can panic when they get the correction.

  77. Ken S. says:

    Thank you for posting this information! I repaired my double looped Invisible Fence install within a couple of hours. Can I install the wire in the white plastic irrigation pipes in troubled areas that the kids play near with shovels? I am only talking about a 10-15 foot section.

    ADMIN – Hi Ken,

    You can indeed protect the electronic dog fence wire using irrigation pipe. PVC pipe, and old hose pipe also work well.

  78. Rick B says:

    I used this method with my Petsafe system and it worked great!

  79. Heather O says:

    I have a Dogwatch system that seems to contract with the cold weather. Sometimes we can wiggle the wires into the box and it will reconnect the system. When I call the local Dogwatch rep he says the whole system needs to be replaced for nearly $1000 for my property size. I was thinking I could use the “Break” repair kit close to the box to give me a little extra length so the contraction won’t affect the system. I did find a Dogwatch site that has a repair kit but yours has the RF choke included and more wire. The wire they have with their kit is 16 gauge. What gauge is your wire and if it is a different gauge will it still work? Thanks for all the help! Your site is so informative.

    ADMIN – Hi Heather,

    If you just need a bit of extra wire to add a bit of slack to your existing wire, then you can pop down to your local hardware store and pick up a bit of 16 gauge wire – they usually will sell it by the foot. They also have waterproof splices. It will be a lot cheaper, I don’t think our wire break kits would make a whole lot of sense in your situation.

    Our wire is 20 gauge. Generally you should not mix gauges that are very different. Mixing 20 and 16 gauge wire will result in the field being narrower in the 20 gauge section. Porbably not a big deal in your situation because you are just splicing in a few feet to add some slack wire.

    FYI – The RF choke does not work with all systems, I am not sure that it will work with a DogWatch, afraid I don’t have a lot of experience with those systems.

  80. Mary says:

    Hi, thank you for getting back to me! Yes, I did the small loop with a short piece of wire and the error tone stopped. Also, the radio did pick up a signal when the small loop was attached to the system. When I hook up the RF choke, the radio picks up a signal directly at the box but nothing anywhere in the yard, even though I know I am directly over the boundary wire.

    ADMIN – Hi Mary,

    The break may very well be near the wall transmitter then. Let me advise an alternative method of using the RF choke. So, undo the setup and start fresh. Wrap one leg of the choke around one boundary wire and plug both into one of the terminals on the wall transmitter. Then take the other leg of the RF choke and plug it into the second terminal on the transmitter all by itself. This leaves the other boundary wire connected to nothing. In doing this, the RF choke will complete the loop, but now you can begin walking the one active boundary wire that is connected to the transmitter. When the signal fades, you’ll locate your break. Splice it and continue until you make your way back to the transmitter.

  81. Rod S. says:

    My situation is closest to Tim S’s above – I have 4 acres covered by the innotec buried wire system that worked well up until a short time ago – it’s an older model CKF-25W. We do have cows in part of the area covered too, and I figured a bovine hoof sunk in the late summer mud (rain in Montana in August!? ) and severed the wire. After doing a complete visual a few times and finding nothing, I found the broken wire procedure in my innotec manual, and have been trying to make that work with little luck. I kept losing a discernible signal about 200 feet out from the box with the radio at chest hight. Next I found your site and have been trying both the “old boy” method, and the standard both wires connected to the RF-Choke.- like Tim, each failed to keep a consistent signal the further away I went, as well as finding one wire with a stronger signal than the other. Where I believe I depart from his experience, is that I get a very strong signal with both wires (old boy method) all along my twisted wire path…as far out as 20 feet! (this when the field strength is at 9 o’clock as well as 12 o’clock)

    I still need to try the test loop with the RF-Choke, as well as trying to get a signal on the AM radio by dropping it closer to the ground when I run out of strong signal. Never did I hear the chirping sound. Am I missing something obvious? I assume I am because I am disabled with refractory fibromyalgia, one of the symptoms of which is that my body doesn’t sleep – it wakes up 58 times per hour, and consequently, I find both my memory and my ability to focus are detrimentally affected a large portion of the time. If anyone else has experienced this sort of problem with the twisted wire section, please let me know…4 acres of wire is a lot to replace!

    ADMIN – Hi Rod,

    The RF-choke does not work with all systems. It works with the New Innotek systems 2100/4100/5100, so it could be that the reason you aren’t hearing the throbbing noises is that your system does not work with the RF-choke.

    It might be worth your while either purchasing a wire break locator. They are a unit you plug into your boundary wire and they generate a signal that you can hear on the included receiver.

  82. Carl says:

    My fence was working fine, with about 2 ohms resistance. One day it stopped working; the wire now has about 100 ohms resistance. Any ideas?

    ADMIN – Hi Carl,

    The increase in resistance is usually due to a wire break, or the wire being nicked.

  83. Bryan says:

    I have done everything suggested regarding the choke, settings and wires. My radio only gets static, no pulse. The static is at any distance from the presumed wire site and all around the yard. Any suggestions?

    ADMIN – Hi Bryan,

    To troubleshoot when you get no pulse at all, I would start by running a dummy loop and seeing if you can get a signal from the dummy loop.

    If you can get a signal from the dummy loop, then the breaks in the wire may be very early on your actual loop.

    If you cannot get a signal, the problem may be:

    • You aren’t hooking it up right (i.e. choke not connected properly, radio not tuned to the right frequency, or system not activated and with sufficient boundary width dialed in)
    • The system is dead. Try testing your system on a short dummy loop and seeing if the collar works.
    • This technique does not work for your system. It works with all the systems we stock, and with most Invisible Fence systems, but not with some other FM based systems. In this case, borrow a neighbor’s system and hook it up – use it to find the break, then disconnect and hook your system back up.
  84. Jeff Brady says:

    What is an acceptable depth to bury the cable and still be able to send out the signal? It seems like it should be buried at least 3 or 4 inches to prevent aerators and tillers from damaging or pulling up the wire.

    ADMIN – Hi Jeff,

    Yes, 3 inches is the perfect depth and is the minimum we’d recommend. However, you can bury it up to a foot deep if you like. However, you’ll need to turn up the boundary width dial to compensate for the wire’s depth and this may impact your installation in other places. If the wire is really deep in some places and shallow in others, the boundary will be very uneven – wide where the wire is shallow and narrow where the wire is buried deep. This is not a problem from a training perspective, but you need to consider whether this works in your layout.

  85. carl says:

    Just bought a new house that already had an invisible fence wire installed around the entire property .75 acres. (No system, collar, etc. was left) Had Invisible fence out, they hooked up a transmitter and told me I had 1 or more breaks in the line.(system not used for 2 years by previous owner) I don’t really want to spend $1000 to $1300 to get them to find and fix the break and supply their system. Was wondering what you would recommend at this time. Our 100 pound Sheppard mix is 7 years old and has always been in a fenced back yard. When outside the fence he listens well and doesn’t run or try escape but you have keep an eye on him so he doesn’t wander off. In what I am reading on your site it sounds like I need to buy a system before I can fix my problem. Any advice on the best and most economical way to proceed? I got pricing from Pet Stop and they are about the same as Invisible fence. Are the systems you are selling similar, better, worse?

    ADMIN – Hi Carl,

    Our DIY in ground systems are very reliable among the PetSafe, Innotek, SportDog, and Perimeter Technologies brands. From what you’ve told me about your dog, I’d recommend the Innotek IUC 4100. It’s a good all around fence with a sleek rechargeable collar.

    In most cases where someone inherits installed wire, it never works out well for them to install a transmitter and repair the breaks. Consider it a nightmare. For just under an acre, you can install your own boundary wire (leaving the other in the ground) in just one Saturday. You’ll need 1000 feet of wire for your yard and 500 feet come with the fence you buy. So, you’ll only need to purchase 1 boundary wire kit to have enough wire. A boundary wire kit costs 29.95.

  86. john says:

    Terrific site, terrific service you’re providing. However, I have the same Dogwatch system a few others here have. Your comments helped me figure out how to make our unique RF choke connection (getting around the plastic plug prob). Figured I was there…but unable to pick up a signal. And, sure enough, another fan points out that DogWatch doesnt use the AM 600. So…what’s a DogWatch user to do to find his broken wires (big yard)??

    ADMIN – Hi John,

    We have never got a good answer to that question. Dogwatch uses FM (unlike all the other systems that use AM) – so it might be that if you sweep through the FM spectrum with the radio you will hear something. Your installer may know how it is done, they will usually be happy to tell you … hunting for breaks is never a popular job!

    What we have done in the past, is to disconnect the Dogwatch and temporarily connect another system. Perhaps you can borrow one from a neighbor?

  87. Mary says:

    Hi, I am driving myself crazy trying to find a break in my Invisible fence! When I noticed the fence wasn’t working, I immediately googles “how to find a break in a invisible fence” and found a site that explained the whole rf choke and AM radio procedure…I went out and purchased both. I worked on it for hours and could not find a signal all the way around my loop. I know for sure where the wire is buried because we just moved, brought the Invisible Fence system with us and buried new wire around or new house. The cut in the sod is still visible. I did a new google search today using PetSafe in stead of Invisible Fence because I purchased the underground wire that is used with the Pet Safe system at Home Depot…thought that the wire might be different and causing me to not find a signal. I followed your directions today and still no signal at all coming a Ross my radio. I thought it must be the radio so went and bought another one, still no signal. What am I doing wrong? The other site suggested that prior to using the rf choke, you should use a small piece of the fence wire and replace both underground wires with the ends of the small wire at the terminal to determine if there is a fault with the system or a break in the wire. When I did this, the system stopped beeping and the indicator light turned green…must be a break in the wire.

    With my Invisible Fence, there are actually two boxes involved. One being a larger box with the small knobs to turn the range up and down along with a terminal that has two thicker, white wires (multiple strands of wire together in casing) that are twisted and plug into to a smaller box where the terminal that you put the single strand, underground wire ends into. I’ve tried attaching the rf choke to each of these terminals with the same results…nothing.
    I am at my wits end and hope that you can understand my gibberish enough to point me in the right direction.

    ADMIN – Hi Mary,

    When I am getting nothing – I will back up a couple of steps and see if there isn’t a bigger problem. Lets test if the Invisible Fence system is working properly. Start by getting a small length of wire and creating a small test loop – then connect it to your system in place of the regular two boundary wires. Does the Invisible Fence control box stop showing an error? Can you hear anything on your radio when you hoop up the RF choke? If the answer to either of those questions is no, it may well be that the Invisible Fence control box is dead.

  88. Bob says:

    Dear all – this information has been very useful and I appreciate each of you taking the time to help someone else that is trying to protect their pets. I’ve tried all of the recommendations, but still have a constant green light and that ever so annoying constant beeping, so I am assuming it must be the control panel and time to call the Invisible Fence folks and pony up the $55 per 1/2 hour. At least I found my old Sony Walkman Sport with cassette player. Maybe I’ll get back to those Pimsler language tapes I bought years ago.

    Again, my sincere thanks to each of you. I wish you all a happy and safe 4th of July.

    ADMIN – Hi Bob,

    Having a constant green light and the tone is a little odd. What kind of system do you have?

    Do you get the same noise when you unplug both wires? How about if you connect a dummy loop (say a ten foot length of wire that you know has no breaks) If the answer to both those questions is “yes”, then it is as you suspect – something is wrong with the control panel.

  89. Wayne says:

    Will a 100uh rf choke for wire break detections work in Australia? Thanks

    ADMIN – Yes. The rf choke will work in Australia, Canada, Britain, etc

  90. Tim S says:

    Thanks for the idea and approach! I had a similar experience as Elizabeth, in that with both wires connected, I had a signal all the way around my (4 acre) fence. So I tried the “older guy” method described above, with only one wire connected, and found I still had a decent signal all the way around, but it would get weaker the farther away I got from the control box. I figured that was reasonable given the long run of wire. I did find that one side of the loop (one wire) would create a stronger tone than the other side (other wire), when switching back and forth. After some thought, I decided that that the break must be in the twisted section between the control box and the start of the loop at the edge of the yard. So working from end of the twisted section farthest from the control box, I began to to work my way in from the loop back to the control box, stopping to listen to the change in tone as a helper swapped the two wires at the choke. Once I reached an area where there wasn’t a change in tone, I decided the break had to be between there and where I started at the edge of the loop. I couldn’t narrow it down much beyond that, but the break was located somewhere between, and I was able to splice in around that section. I think the “bad” wire was picking up the RF signal in the twisted section, albeit weakly, from the good wire, creating a situation where it was very difficult to locate the precise break.

  91. Elizabeth says:

    I tried with both wires connected to the RF choke and got a reasonably decent signal all the way around. Then tried with the red (positive?) wire connected to the RF choke (connected to the red wire’s screw on the box) and got a reasonably good signal all the way around on that. Then I tried with the black wire connected through the RF choke and got some strong deep sounds, sometimes lighter almost like crickets singing and sometimes hard to hear, but could always find something. The light on the box is red with a faint warning sound audible up close when it is connected normally. With only one (either) wire the warning sound is quite loud. Any clues what to do next? I’m going to be livid if I can’t do this myself. Gave the Invisible Fence folks $650 to fix breaks and supply a new collar last summer. Can’t keep shelling out big bucks to them!!! Thanks for ANY ideas.

    ADMIN – Hi Elizabeth,

    Feel your pain! Installing fences is a lot of fun, it is pretty easy, the results change the dog/owner’s life, and they think it is the best money they every spent. Finding breaks is not so fun .. you just have to be slow and methodical as you wonder through people’s bushes listening to static like a cheap mystic. I hate charging people for fixing the break, nobody wants a break, it is just another unexpected and unwanted expense. We first got on the web to show customers how to find their own breaks, to try and give customers the option to do it themselves. Sorry for the sidebar!

    Connect the RF choke to the two terminals. Do you get getting a green light? If you do, you are all set to use your radio to find the break. Just connect one wire to each of the legs of the RF choke. Now you are all set to use your radio to find the break. If there was no green light, there is something wrong with your control box, time to call back Invisible Fence.

  92. Tim W says:

    DogWatch says they use an FM signal – so does this choke/AM Radio method still work ?

    ADMIN – Hi Tim,
    I am afraid we don’t have the answer to that one, Dog Watch is the only one that uses FM and we have never had occasion to service one of those units. I presume that the AM radio will not work with an FM based system, but perhaps using an FM radio instead would work. We will look into that one and if anyone knows the answer we would love to hear it.

  93. charles flint says:


    ADMIN – Hi Charles,

    Am/FM works, just set it to AM 600.

  94. rosann says:

    I bought the choke and an AM radio, but I find the pulsing sound strengthens and weakens every few feet, making it impossible for me to determine where the problem really is (short of digging up wire every few feet). I found the area where the signal seemed to be weakest and replaced a large portion of wire, but my unit is still giving me the red flashing error. Is there any other way to find the break?

    ADMIN – Hi Rosann,

    Let’s try it a different way. This is how a lot of our older guys do it. They swear it is easier, because it gets you around the waxing/waning problem you describe. Try connecting only one of the wires to one of the legs of the RF choke. Leave the other wire disconnected and not at all near the RF choke. This will make only one of the two wires ‘sing.’ Follow it round until you get to the point where all singing completely ends. Now you know the break is in that area.

  95. JP says:

    I have tried the method with the rf choke and am radio but i get a very weak to no sound on my radio. Is there a way to increase the signal strength

    Hi JP,

    You can turn up the boundary width on the dog fence control box to increase the sound level on your radio.

  96. Greg Bakker says:

    Thanks for your article on “Finding and Fixing a Wire Break” in a dog fence. In the article you say “Next take the two wire leads and wind the insulated section around the each of the legs of the RF choke.” Do you instead mean UN-insulated or bare sections?

    ADMIN – Hi Greg,

    The test is correct. We do mean that you should wrap the insulated section (i.e. the section with the plastic covering still over the wire) around the RF choke lead.

  97. Jessie West says:

    Hi – I bought the rf Choke but I have a DogWatch system and the leads come into the control box via a plastic plug fitting – so I’m wondering how to get the two ends of the choke into the control box. Do I need to cut the wires off the fitting and connect the rf choke to the fitting and then wrap the leads onto that? Or can I just separate the fence wires and wrap the rf choke wires around the separated wires? Thanks for any advice.

    ADMIN – Hi Jessie,

    Can you unplug the plug? If so do that and squeeze the choke into the two holes, then wrap the wire around the legs of the choke.

    If not, you will have the cut the wire and attatch the plug end of the wires to the legs of the choke. And then wrap the fence end of the wire around the respective legs.

  98. christina says:

    I’m going to buy the choke from radio shack tomorrow. I’m wondering, since the choke “tricks” the transmitter into thinking there’s a complete loop, can the fence operate with the choke for awhile if I can’t find the break?

    ADMIN – I am afraid you can’t use the choke to keep the dog fence system running. You will need to find the break and repair it.

  99. bill says:

    HOLY MOLY this really works! Too whoever is responsible for this information I thank you. Instead of having invisible fence come out to find the break in my 5 acre doggy playground it was soooooo easy to find it and fix it myself. For me it’s $90.00 just to get them to show up. Three thumbs up!

  100. Harold Mosier says:


    I am trying to start an orchard on my acreage but the deer are killing the trees. I am currently using deer repellent but it has to be resprayed every 2 weeks or after a rain. Was thinking a big dog ( Collie or Lab ) roaming free in the orchard would solve the problem. I have two questions.

    1. The difficulty to train a dog to stop at the boundary even in the middle of a chase.

    2. Changing the size of the boundary as the orchard grows. Would it be best to go to full plan size of orchard ( may be 9 years before all trees are planted ) or expand the boundaries as the orchard grows?


    ADMIN – Hi Harold,

    Hi Harold,

    1. With the three week training program that we have on the site, the dog can be trained to stop mid-chase. It is especially easy on a big property where you can set the boundary width very wide. We don’t have deer issues near us, but most of our installation clients dogs like to chase squirrels and learn very quickly that this is not allowed.

    2. Changing the boundary is technically pretty easy, but I would do the full area now so that both the guard dog and the deer learn their boundaries now. Changing the animal behavior is much harder than changing the electronic boundary.

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