Thursday, September 8, 2022

A low-voltage, AC power source to diagnose shorts in electric fences

"One of the frustrations of working with electric fences is finding shorts where the wire is grounded against a post, other wire strands, woven wire fences or trash that blew into the fence..."

Remainder of post deleted due to issues pointed out in comments. This "stub" is left in place to retain the comments.

A revised component that can SAFELY supply an alternating current that can then be traced with an inductive pick-up can be found HERE.

My apologies for any inconvenience.

---Update: I got spanked in the comments by folks who know more than I do. Read the comments.---


  1. Let us know more about how it works out and how you fashioned this all together! Very interesting!

  2. Troubleshooting combines knowledge and intuition. It appears you have both in multiple fields.

  3. You REALLY need to use an isolation transformer if you do it that way, or get a transformer with a ~48VAC output. Having things DIRECTLY connected to the powerline through what's commonly called a "Dim Bulb Tester" is a good way to get you or somebody else hurt or killed.

    1. DrJim says exactly what I was going to say.
      Your stated method can, in certain circumstances, be a deathtrap.
      Use a transformer to bring your voltage down, or an isolation transformer and do it your way. But NEVER use a test source that is referenced to mains voltage.
      Seriously, you could kill yourself or someone else.
      Call me if you have questions.

  4. I was going to ask for a simple wiring diagram to understand what you are proposing because I agree with DrJim & B, who incidentally make a great band name.

  5. Yes, this goes in the direction of "regular or extra crispy" if anyting goes wrong, which it always does. Murphy is not your friend.

  6. Neighbor did something like this for a cheapo electric fence. Killed his horse....

  7. The (primary) why of the DON'T DO IT - if the bulb on the neutral side of the resistive divider goes open circuit, ie., blows, you are connected to mains voltage with only a rather low resistance between you and it.

  8. You might try a low volt lawn light power supply then you are just messing with 12v but still AC. Cobbling together a rectifier should be small potatoes for a guy like you. And when you are not using it you can please your wife with some landscape lighting.


Readers who are willing to comment make this a better blog. Civil dialog is a valuable thing.