The Zen of Finding a Wire Break
For even professionals, finding a wire break can be a big exercise in frustration. Most of the time when we are called out to find a customer’s wire break it is easy and we find it within minutes using our RF choke and trust AM radio. But other times that wire break just does not want to be found.
We are in the planning stages of installing an invisible dog fence. A few of our questions have already been answer above, but at this time I have one question. How hard is it to find a break in the underground wire fence ? Someone we know installed an underground fence 5 years ago, and she says the biggest problem was finding breaks in the wire, which usually was caused by other animals in the ground chewing the wire open. So any info on this issue would be helpful.
To find a break, you use a device called an RF choke (it comes free with all our systems) that makes the wire “sing” so that you can hear it with an AM radio. You follow the wire around and listen for the part of the installation where the wire goes quiet. The break should be within a couple of feet. See here for details:
It is one of those things where it really pays to be slow and methodical. For an average 1 acre lot you should budget about an hour to find a break and repair it. It usually doesn’t take so long, but when you are relaxed and not hurried it really does make finding the break much easier.
I don’t want to get all Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on you, but finding the wire break is one of those weird Zen things. The harder you try to find that break, the more angry and frustrated you become. If you really have to find it quickly because you have an appointment, forget about it. But, when you are at peace with it taking an hour, you relax and go methodically around the perimeter, it tends to just pop right out.
Another big factor in break that most customers never see or appreciate is that the better the design and installation of the system, the less likely you are to get a break. Avoid running the wire anywhere where there is likely to be an edger, weed eater, or aerator passing by. When unavoidable, protect the wire with old garden hose pipe or PVC pipe.
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