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A fence charger is used to create an electrical current that delivers a shock when the fence is touched. Many farmers consider installing an electric fence because it can be an inexpensive way to ensure that farm animals are restrained. Most of the time, this consists of steel, barbed wire, or a combination of the two. Fence wires can be single or multiple strands braided together.
The fence charger is normally mounted on a post near one corner of the fenced area. In some cases, the charger may be partially covered by a sheet of Plexiglas® to help protect it from the weather. Fence chargers can be powered by solar energy, a battery pack, or by plugging them in to an electrical outlet.
A high voltage fence charger is either square or rectangular. There may be dials near the bottom of the device to allow people to adjust the amount of current going through it. Some units may have a handle at the top so they can be transported from one location to another.
Electrical fence chargers have a short cord on the back of them. This allows them to be plugged into a grounded outlet along the fence. These normally require a 110-volt or higher outlet. Some models may include a battery backup feature to allow for uninterrupted power to the fence in the event of an electrical outage.
A battery operated fence charger can be a good option for people who do not have a source of power near the fence. Battery operated chargers often require 9 volt or D-cell batteries, depending on both the strength of current and amount of fence line being charged. Models that are more powerful might even run on a battery similar to one found in a car or garden tractor.
Solar chargers operate by gathering sunlight, which is then used to power a battery. These types of fence chargers can be ideal when there is no power outlet nearby. They may be more expensive initially, but normally do not require the batteries to be replaced often. This means they might be more cost-effective to maintain that other types.
A fence charger is generally not compatible with wooden or vinyl fences. Some models may continue to provide a current when they get wet, while others do not. Still others may become ineffective if there is heavy vegetation along the fence. People who are purchasing one of these items should consider these factors before making a purchase.