How to Find a Break in an Underground Dog Fence – All Ways!

We often get queries from dog owners, mainly those who have installed an invisible buried fence, that the transmitter is not working as it is supposed to do. Before answering, we ask them how the transmitter actually behaves, especially if it is beeping or doing any such weird thing. If it does, that’s a clear sign of a broken wire anywhere around the perimeter of the fence.

Repairing the break will require some time for sure, but locating where it is probably is the biggest challenge for you. If lucky enough, you may identify it straight away; otherwise, your journey is going to be a long one! We know locating the broken spot at the last place is exhaustive! Therefore, we use a procedure and want our readers to follow those. There’s no guarantee, but we believe the tricks may turn things easier for you!

Why Locating and Repairing?

As we know, whatever that can go wrong will go wrong today or tomorrow, so we should not only look forward to the prevention of any particular problem but also know how to fix the issue if preventive measures fail. And, this is why you should know about how to locate and fix a break in an underground fence. But why should you do that?

Once a dog fence wire is broken, it will lead you (being the owner) to a series of inconveniences. The first and most critical among those is, of course, the possibility of a dog’s escape, which might be extremely dangerous for the dog. 

If you miss to notice the broken wire initially or ignore the beeps from the transmitter, and if your dog is smart & clever, it has a chance to make you fool and build up a habit of ignoring the boundary. That is, of course, not anything good for its future fencing.

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How to Find a Break in an Underground Dog Fence?

The process we used to follow to locate the broken wire in an invisible fence are as under step by step in a nutshell:

  1. Transmitter Testing;
  2. Short Loop Wire Testing;

iii. Use of Ohmmeter;

  1. Physical and Visual Wire Break Checking;
  2. Short Circuit Returning Loop Testing;
  3. Bridging the Grounded Wire.

Let’s get some detail about those steps-

Testing the Transmitter

In the very first step, you should try to find out if the system is broken, not the wire. So, check the transmitter. If it does beep only, then the problem is only with the wiring. But if you notice the transmitter has no lighting or surge protection, it means issues in the transmitter, e.g., damaged by a spike of energy. It will be a waste of time and labor if you start searching for a break without knowing if there is any systematic error.

Short Loop Wire Testing

Make a short loop test following some simple ways, which will help you sort things out. If the transmitter stops beeping while making a short loop, there is undoubtedly one or more break at anywhere on the wire, or the wire has a bad condition of connection. The process actually disregards other properties of the system and sends signals straight to the transmitter.

Use of Ohmmeter

You can use an ohmmeter to test the continuity of the grounded or semi-grounded wires. Disconnect the cables and start checking straightly. But we are not pretty much convinced with the use of an ohmmeter, particularly if you are not an expert, as the ohmmeter may give a false reading.

For Over the Ground Wire – Physical and Visual Checking

If you get it confirmed through steps explained above that there are one or more breaks somewhere in the wire, go straight to find where it is. Physical and visual checking the cables is the most appropriate way here.

Usually, dog fence wires are broken because of physical damage for activities that include gardening, edging, weed whacking, pesky rodents, etc. Remembering the place where you might have had any of those activities done will show you the site straightly.

You should not miss checking the heavy traffic areas such as driveways, pathways, and sidewalks if wires are dragged over those areas. You may also check the areas where the wires wire twisted and spliced is high. This process is applicable mostly for the electric fence that has no grounded wire and partly for fence with concealed wire.

For Underground Wire – Short Circuit Returning Loop Testing

Fence owners become frustrated when most of the wires or entire wires of their invisible fence are buried under the ground, and all of a sudden they discover broken wire. 

One way to check out the place of break is to dig up all the wires, which is cumbersome and costly. What they can do, on the other way, is to test the pair of circuits between the transmitter and the fence wire. 

Cut them from the fence part. Join those together after cutting at the fence so that the radio signals get back to the transmitter. If the transmitter stops beeping, count the grounded wire fully break-free. Rejoin them to continue operation. Your system should be full-functional as earlier.

Bridging the Grounded Wire.

It is another way of checking broken wire under the ground, especially at sites such as a driveway, around gardens, or gateways. Cut the wire from both sides of the site and then bridge from one side to the other side with new wires. You may have, for your convenience, spliced into the cable to ensure the shortest signal route.

If you find the transmitter has stopped beeping, there’s a break(s) in the grounded wire of that particular site. But if you still see the transmitter with beeping, there’s any other site where the break exists. Just check one by one, and you will find it at a stage.

Last Words

It is how you should check and find out the breaks in wires of an active electric fence. The process requires some basic ideas, but it will take some time for sure. Stay calm and find out an accurate outcome!

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