I purchased a Parmak solar fence charger to power the electric fence around my farrowing pasture. This is my first experience with a solar charger and it’s working fine. I paid $200 at my local hardware store.
I hung it on the electric pole and grounded it to the ground running down the pole. Does anyone know if this is a bad idea?
I’ve read that you don’t really want to use the ground on something like a electric pole because of the risk of a lightning strike traveling down the line and zapping your charger (I think that’s what happens).
Besides that, I had a small cheap charger that I used a T-post in the fence line as a ground and after a storm it quit working, and the only thing I could figure out was that it got taken out with a lightning strike somewhere down the fence line (which could have been a mile away).
So, since I have some more expensive Stafix energizers now, I make sure to use a proper ground, which can be as simple as a 4-5′ piece of pipe driven into the ground.
I thought that may be the case. Thanks, Rich!
Grounding a solar charger to the T-post it’s mounted on is pretty common, no big drawbacks to speak of. Separate, elaborate grounds are always better, but they reduce the portability of the solar chargers, which are their main benefit. If the fence is gonna stay where it is, you’ll want a “plug-in” energizer eventually. They pack a lot more zap for the dollar.
For lightning protection some folks string a non-energized, grounded wire along the top of their fence. It’s grounded with rods every 300 to 600′. Theory being that lightning will strike that wire and ground itself and not the charged wires.
There’s good reasons to ground your fence
Thanks, guys! Thanks also for the link about lightning, Bruce. Powerful images. I don’t linger outside when lightning approaches. It has become one of my biggest fears after hearing one of our cows struck several years ago.
Hello, I’ve been enjoying your blog. I am just trying to switch over to electric fencing. How did this charger work out for your pigs?
Thanks, Lydia. I love the fencer, three years problem free, but I only use it in the green months for the cattle. I’m sure it would work well in the winter and for pigs, but I don’t have the experience to say for sure.