Crossing Driveways & Sidewalks
Crossing Driveways & Walkways With Your D.I.Y. Dog Fence System Wire
Most electric dog fence installations will require you to cross a driveway, sidewalk, or pathway at some point. There are five different ways to do this. We recommend spending a little bit more time with this part of the installation because driveways, sidewalks and pathways are going to see the most foot and vehicle traffic and the wire installed there will be the most susceptible to wire breaks and general wear in tear of the dog fence cable. In the northern states snow plows and snow shovels scraping the driveway surface can also cause maintenance issues for the temporary installation methods. We recommend opting for one of the more permanent installation methods when crossing a driveway or pathway.
Cutting Through A Driveway (Permanent):
Tools & Materials:
- Cut Off Saw or Circular Saw (with concrete blade) - can rent for under $30 for 1/2 a day
- Chalk Line Marker (or chalk and a long straight edge)
- Outdoor Caulk
- Hand Shovel
- Flathead Screwdriver
- Stiff Broom, Vacuum, or Leaf Blower
- Ground Staples
4. Go back to each edge of your groove where the driveway or sidewalk meets the grass and apply more pressure to the blade making a 6-8 inch groove. This is to ensure that you can push the wire deeper on the ends to protect the dog fence wire against weed whackers, lawn edgers and snow plows. Securing the wire on either side of the driveway with a ground staple will ensure it stays firmly in place.
5. Use a hand shovel to dig a 10-12 inch hole on each end of the groove where the driveway meets the grass. This is a critical step in insuring your dog fence wire will not get hit by an edger, pop out of the ground, or get hit by a snow plow.
6. Run a flat head screwdriver through the grove removing all excess dust and debris.
7. Use a leaf blower, broom, or vacuum to remove all excess dust and debris from the groove.
8. Push the dog fence wire into the bottom of the groove. Make sure no dog fence wire is exposed and if necessary repeat steps 6-8.
9. Push the dog fence wire deep into the hole on both ends of the groove securing the wire to the bottom of both holes using dog fence staples to hold the wire tightly in the ground. You want the wire to be taut but not so taut that it is under pressure as this will make it more susceptible to damage.
10. Replace the dirt in the hole and pack it down on top of the wire on both ends of the driveway. The wire should be taut across the groove of your driveway or sidewalk.
11. Use a caulk gun to make a nice, neat bead to fill the groove in the driveway. We recommend using black asphalt caulk for black driveways and concrete caulk for concrete driveways, either type is available at any hardware store.
12. With a flat head screwdriver lightly pass over the bead of caulk and level it off so it is flush with the driveway or sidewalk, this will prevent snow plows shovels or foot traffic from pulling the bead of caulk out of the groove.
Using An Existing Expansion Seam Or Crack (permanent):
In some instances an existing crack will be exactly where you need to cross a sidewalk or driveway. You can save some time and backache by using this seam.
1. Scrape out the crack with a flat head screwdriver or other blunt instrument. Use a stiff broom, vacuum, or leaf blower to remove dirt and debris.
2. If necessary use a houseld hold circular saw with a masonary blade to clean out the crack.
3. Push your dog fence wire into the groove. Make sure the dog fence wire is laying in the bottom of the groove and not sticking out.
4. Use a hand shovel to dig a 10-12 inch hole on each end of the groove where the driveway meets the grass.
5. Push the dog fence wire down into the holes on both ends of the pathway, secure the wire to the bottom of both holes using dog fence staples, this will hold the wire tightly in the ground on both sides of the driveway.
6. Use dirt to pack down the wire on both ends of the driveway. The wire should be taut across the groove, but not so tight that it stretches or becomes susceptible to breakage.
7. Use a caulk gun to make a nice, neat bead across the groove of the driveway. We recommend using black asphalt caulk for black driveways and concrete caulk for concrete driveways, either type is available at any hardware store.
8. With a flat head screwdriver lightly pass over the bead of caulk leveling it off so it is flush with the driveway or sidewalk, this will prevent snow plows, shovels, or foot traffic from pulling the bead of caulk out of the groove.
We recommend burying the wire with a shovel or pick axe across any high traffic foot paths such as trails, gate openings, walk ways or stone driveways. Simply dig a 5-8 inch deep trench across the pathways, place the wire in the trench, and bury it.
For stone or gravel driveways or pathways use a pick axe to dig a 5-10 inch trench. Then, run your dog fence wire through the trench. For heavily traveled pathways we recomend running the wire through common pvc pipe and then following the steps above o bury the pipe. This adds extra protection in heavily trafficked areas.
For stone or contrete driveways refer to 'Cutting Through A Driveway' or 'Using An Existing Expansion Seam Or Crack' sections above.
Boring Or Tunneling Under The Driveway (permanent)
In some cases cutting a driveway or sidewalk is just not an option. Many homeowners have paver driveways or simply don’t want the integrity of the driveway compromised. While boring under a driveway is a bit more time consuming it certainly is the most professional and permanent solution for getting to the other side. You can rent a machine called a Bullet Mole at most tool rental shops and easily tunnel beneath the sidewalk or driveway, you can also use a sharpened piece of 2 inch PVC to burrow under the driveway to the other side. Many tool rental locations have entire packages specifically for do-it-yourself dog fence systems and can rent you a package complete with all the equipment you will need to do the job.
Using the Bullet Mole:
1. Dig a 10 inch hole 4 ft. long on each side of the driveway or sidewalk. Line up your bullet mole spike in one of the hole's you've dug.
2. Use a sledgehammer to drive the shaft of the bullet mole under the driveway. Connect additional extension shafts as you drive.
3. When you reach the other side of your driveway or sidewalk pull the bullet mole and extension shafts all the way through and remove.
4. Push a piece of 2 inch PVC pipe through the hole.
5. Thread the dog fence wire through the PVC pipe and continue your loop, or splice together with the already laid loop wire using a waterproof wire splice connector.
6. Replace the displaced soil on both sides of the driveway and tamp down with your feet or the back of a shovel.
Using PVC Pipe:
1. Cut a piece of PVC pipe the length of the driveway or sidewalk you plan on crossing, sharpen the end to a 45 degree angle.
2. Dig a 10 inch wide and 4 ft. long hole on each side of the driveway or sidewalk.
3. Fill the hole with water. This will loosen the dirt as you are pushing the PVC under the sidewalk and make the job a whole lot easier.
4. Push and twist the PVC pipe through the soil under the driveway several feet at a time. Continue to fill the hole with water to loosen the soil as you are boring. Once the PVC pipe is in place under the driveway or sidewalk, thread the dog fence wire through and continue your loop or slice the end to the already laid loop wire using a waterproof wire splice connector.
Laying The Wire On The Driveway Or Pathway Surface (temporary)
If you don’t have the time, are moving soon, or just don't feel like burying the wire, the stake down method is commonly used by do-it-yourselfers for crossing driveways, pathways, or sidewalks.
Run the wire across driveway, sidewalk, or pathway and secure tightly on both ends using dog fence wire staples. Make sure the dog fence wire is flat against the driveway surface. If the wire is loose on the driveway or pathway this can create a trip hazard. You can also bury the dog fence wire on both ends of the driveway to help secure the wire tightly to the surface.
We recomend you use our heavy duty PVC coated dog fence wire for above ground installation. This wire is specifically designed for rugged conditions and can take constant foot traffic or vehicle traffic.
Use An Existing PVC Pipe
Some older homes and most new construction homes have sections of PVC pipe running under the driveway in several places making it easy to thread your dog fence wire through the existing pipe.
In most cases both ends of the PVC pipe will be covered in screening to prevent the pipes from becoming filled with soil or debris. Consult with your builder or refer to your home's blueprint to find out about the existence of these piipes. You can locate existing PVC pipes by following low voltage lights from side to side or digging around the edges of the driveway. Better yet, if you are in the process of building your house putting down a new driveway or sidewalks have your builder install a 1-2 inch piece of conduit under your driveway in several areas for your dog fence wire and any future crossings.
Use An Existing Invisible Fence Installation Wire
Some homes may have had an invisible fence system installed and already have a line going across the driveway. In many cases the main loop wire is not operable but the wire under the driveway is in perfect shape and can be repurposed. Simply locate the line that is running under the driveway. A tell tale sign of an invisible fence line is a discolored line running the width of the driveway. Bear in mind the previous owner of your home may have had different ideas about where to lay your electric dog fence around your property than you do so the driveway crossing may not be where you want your dog to stop. You will also have to use this as the starting point when designing your layout to line up the perimeter loop with the existing Invisible Fence wire.
1. Locate both ends of the Invisible Fence wire and dig a large enough hole to work in at the either end.
2. Cut the wire (if it is still connected to a perimeter loop) leaving enough slack to work with easily.
3. Strip about 1 inch of plastic coating from the wire and splice to your main loop.
4. Test the loop to ensure the wire running under the driveway is operable. If not you will have to run new wire, hopefully you can salvage the same hole.