Fencing Info

How to Test an Electric Fence

Once installed, electric fencing needs to be properly maintained to ensure it will work correctly. This includes checking the fence’s voltage periodically to identify any possible faults, though there are also low-tech ways to test that a fence is operational between checks.

This video demonstrates one method of testing a hot wire electric fence without a professional testing kit, using a fluorescent lighting tube. After preparing a grounded area in the grass or dirt to rest one end of the bulb, the other end should be placed directly onto the wire with care, so that the prongs make contact with the wire. If the bulb illuminates or flashes, there is current flowing through the fence.

Electric fences can also be tested by placing a non-conductive material such as a long grass blade against the wire, which should feel warm to the touch, though this is a less reliable test and carries greater risk.

The recommended method to test whether an electric fence is working, and to obtain its current and voltage, is to use specialised testing systems. A digital voltmeter or multimeter should be used every day to check that the fence is operating as desired, while an LED tester can give a rough indication of whether the fence current is suitable for normal use, which may vary depending on the function of your electric fence.

Everything You Need to Know About Fence Fittings

Fence fittings are an essential part of any fencing and gating project, as the choice of fittings will have a direct impact on the fence’s performance, in terms of security and usage.

Types of Fence Fittings

Fence fittings are defined as any features used in the fence’s construction and installation to ensure it functions correctly. These include nails and screws, hinges and brackets for stability, post caps and spear heads for decoration and security, rails, spider fittings, balustrade clamps, steel stanchions, slide bolts for locking and hinges for gates attached to the fence. These fittings are common in many types of fences – from simple timber and Chainwire fencing supplies to high security fencing – and should be made from good quality materials.

How to Prevent a Metal Fence from Rusting

The type of metal fence you buy will determine its resistance to rust, with aluminium and Colorbond fencing offering long-term corrosion resistance. If you own a different type of fence, such as wrought iron fencing, it’s important to apply the right sealers to prevent corrosion from occurring.
Importance of Fence Fittings

The function of your fence will determine the type of fittings that need to be used, with fences for safety and security generally requiring more complex fittings. A simple timber boundary fence may only require screws, nails and hinges and latches for gates, whereas a glass fence may also need clamps, stanchions, hydraulic elements and other specific fittings. These fittings should be installed at the same time as your fence to ensure they blend in as much as possible and don’t distract from the fence’s appearance.

The type of metal fence you buy will determine its resistance to rust, with aluminium and Colorbond fencing offering long-term corrosion resistance. If you own a different type of fence, such as wrought iron fencing, it’s important to apply the right sealers to prevent corrosion from occurring.

Fence Preparation

Making regular inspections of all parts of the metal fence for signs of discolouration, flaking and pitting could give you an indication that rust is present, particularly in areas that trap moisture. Wrought iron fences and other metal fences that are not already sealed against rust will need to be periodically coated with oil-based enamel paint over a rust-inhibiting primer, and gloves should be worn to protect your hands against potentially corrosive substances. If rust is already present, these areas can be marked with paint or chalk and the flaking paint coat should be removed using sandpaper or steel wool.

Applying Primers and Sealers

The bare metal fence should be cleaned using white spirit applied with a damp rag to remove any remaining traces of rust, and when dry the primer can be applied using smooth, even strokes. You will then be ready to apply the top coat of oil-based enamel paint using a different brush, being sure to coat all sides of the fence including difficult-to-reach areas.