Keeping your dog safe and secure while he is outside is essential. Most dog parents do not want to have to put their dog on a chain while they are in the yard. Putting your dog on a chain for too long can prevent him from enjoying exercise.
Many dog owners install a pet containment system like an invisible fence for dogs to keep their pooches contained within the safe confines of their yards. While these fences need very little, if any, maintenance, repair issues can sometimes occur, especially when the underground wire breaks or comes loose.
Instead of being forced to pay an expensive repair technician to come out and take care of the repairs, you can rely on your own devices. Thankfully, learning how to repair invisible dog fence wire breaks is not too difficult.
Perform a Full Fence Inspection
One of the first things a dog owner needs to do when repairing their invisible dog fence is to troubleshoot the problem so the right repairs can be carried out. If your invisible dog fence is suddenly not working correctly, take the following troubleshooting steps first.
- Check your dog’s collar first and make sure it is working. If the batteries are dead, this could be allowing your dog to get past the fence.
- Adjust the shock your dog receives. Perhaps it is too low and your dog is ignoring it.
- Carefully check the underground wiring for your dog fence. Most of today’s best in-ground dog fences will blink red when there is a break in the wire. Find the precise point of damage so repairs can be carried out.
Choose the Right Wire for Repairing an Invisible Dog Fence
Aside from finding the area of damage on your invisible dog fence, you will need to make sure you purchase the highest quality of wire to repair the damaged one. Choosing a high-quality wire will help to ensure the wire remains strong and viable for many years to come. After all, you don’t want to go through the trouble of carrying out repairs only to have to do them again because a wire failed.
Step-By-Step Instructions on Joining Electric Dog Fence Wiring
It is important you disconnect the electricity to your electric dog fence before you begin carrying out any repairs. Trying to repair the fence with the electricity running to it can be deadly. Make sure there are no doubts that the electricity has been shut off.
Once the electricity has been confirmed to be shut off, you will need to take the following steps. These steps are fairly straightforward, but you should make sure you understand them fully before you start the process of repairs.
Simplified Steps to Splicing the Wire
- Use wire strippers to strip the existing wire and expose the copper core.
- Twist the two ends of the wire together (The old and the new) until they are twisted into a butterfly twist.
- Secure the joint of the wire by tying a knot as close as possible to the twist.
- Wrap the area securely with high-quality electric tape to secure the joint and make it stronger.
- Fold the repaired area over a few times until slack is created in the wire.
- For future repairs, make sure to leave wire slack throughout the fence to give you space to carry out any repairs.
Now, I will go into greater detail on the above steps. The process is not difficult, but it does help to have a clear understanding of the steps so you will be prepared.
Strip the Wire Coating
While you can do this step with a sharp knife, it is not recommended. Instead, use wire strippers. Strip the wire coating down to the copper core so that you have about an inch of exposed copper core. If you break one of the wires, there is no reason to worry. If more than one wire is broken, start over for the best results.
Butterfly the Two Wires to Create a New Joint
You will need to butterfly twist the two wires. This means you are wrapping one wire over the other and creating a tight twist. If you are finding it difficult to twist them tightly, you can use a pair of pliers.
Tie a Knot Near the Butterfly Twisted Wires
You will need to make a knot in the wire, as near as possible to the butterfly twisted area. This knot will help secure the joint and prevent it from coming untwisted. When you are tying the knot, try to get as close to the copper area as possible. This is the one secret you will need to keep in mind to make the repair.
Use Electric Tape
Any time you splice two electric wires together, you will need to cover the repaired area with electric tape. The electric tape prevents the current from traveling beyond the twisted area. The tape, if you use a high-quality one, will make the joint much stronger.
Should You Bury the Wiring or Leave It Above Ground?
While many dog owners bury the wiring of their electric or radio dog fence, this makes it much more difficult to find a break in the wire. The good news is, you have the option of leaving the wire above ground, but you will need to purchase a truly tough wire that will be able to withstand the elements of your climate. If you use a wire with a 20-year UV rating, you will have no trouble leaving the wire in place on top of the fence. Some wiring is so tough you can leave it above ground or even cover it with mulch and never have to worry about it becoming damaged.
FAQ About How to Repair Invisible Fence Wire
Many dog owners have a lot of questions about invisible dog fence repair. While I have tried to provide as much information in the steps above as possible, there may be additional questions you have in mind. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions dog owners have about repairing their fences.
1. How do you fix a broken invisible fence wire?
First, you will need to find the precise point where the wire is broken. If your fence wire is buried, this is not the easiest of feats. Once you have found the area, you will cut out the damaged part and splice a new wire into the old one. Make sure you have a wire stripper available to ensure you do not cut the copper core. If you follow the steps exactly as outlined above, you should have no trouble completing the repair.
2. How do I find a broken invisible fence line?
If your invisible fence is blinking red, this means you have a break in one of the wires. Before I give you some pointers, your best bet is to buy a wire break locator. These can be expensive. If you are trying to find the break without help, check the transmitter wires first. Inspect the wires that leave your home. If you cannot find a problem with these areas, you may have to purchase a wire break locator or be forced to dig up all the wiring and inspect it carefully.
3. What gauge wire is used for an invisible fence?
In most DIY invisible fence kits you are going to find 20 gauge wire. If you want to ensure your wire will be more durable and less likely to break, I recommend choosing 14 or 16 gauge. This is the gauge most professional installers use when installing an invisible dog fence for their customers.
4. How do you splice electric fence wires?
Splicing wires is not difficult. You will need to make sure you first strip the wire with a wire stripper. Then, you will use the butterfly twist method to twist the wires together tightly. After twisting the wires, you will need to use strong electric tape to cover the repaired areas. Be careful to tape the area well, and do not use cheap tape or it will come loose shortly.
Get Started Repairing Your Invisible Fence Wire
Dealing with a broken invisible fence wire can be highly stressful . If your transmitter lights are blinking, you likely have a break in the wire. With this guide, you should now know all the steps involved in finding and repairing a broken invisible fence wire. The hardest part of the entire process will be finding the broken area. When in doubt, use a broken wire locator to find the issue quickly so it can be repaired right away. Other pet parents who do not what to go through the trouble of fixing broken wires opt for today’s best wireless dog fences or the best GPS dog fence.