Dog Fence Wire
As the most important part of your in ground fence system, the type of fence wire you choose to use should be carefully considered. When considering what in ground dog fence wire to purchase, the first thing, and most important part of your decision, to consider is the gauge of your underground fence wire. The gauge of the wire you select determines the durability and workability of the pet fence wire, and the expected lifetime of the system.
What is Gauge?
Gauge refers to the thickness of a wire. The lower the gauge number the thicker the wire. For instance a 14 gauge dog fence wire is thicker than a 16 gauge dog fence wire. Why does the gauge matter? The thicker the wire, the more durable it will be over time and against the elements. A heavier wire is less likely to bend and break under pressure. Generally, a self install electric dog fence kit is most commonly designed with 20 gauge wire, the thinnest and least expensive wire available, while most professionally installed systems use the more substantial 14 or 16 gauge wire.
Tips for selecting the right gauge wire
The gauge you select for use with your electric dog fence system will have very little impact on the way the wire transmits the signal to the receiver collar unless you are using a system at, or close to, its maximum rated capacity. In this case, a thicker wire may help to increase the effective range you can achieve with the system. For example, you may be able to stretch a 20-acre system to effectively enclose 22 acres with the use of a heavier gauge wire. If you are replacing a section of wire in your existing underground dog fence system, it is always a good idea to match the gauge of the new wire to that of the damaged existing wire. This ensures that your signal will be consistent throughout the entirety of the fence’s range. Mixing wires of different gauges can cause problems with your transmission including inconsistent signals or even a false wire break alarm. Whether you’re replacing a section of your existing fence or wiring your yard for the first time from scratch, at FlexPetz you can easily find an inexpensive big brand compatible wire for your project.
Once you have determined the gauge of your underground fence wire, there are a few more factors that could affect its durability that are important to note. Choosing a wire that is marketed to be professional grade, will offer added durability over time. Manufacturer’s grade wire, regardless of gauge, is of medium quality, lighter weight and aimed to keep shipping and initial installation costs down. This wire will work with your system, but does not hold up to the elements as well as a professional grade wire. The insulation of such wire, typically vinyl coating, is prone to cracking and over time exposes the copper, leaving the wire susceptible to damage. This can impact the functionality of your dog fence system. Since locating, digging up, and repairing wire breaks can be a tedious job, many people prefer to upgrade to a pro-grade wire from the start.
Although the initial cost of professional grade wire is more than manufacturer grade wire, there are many benefits to choosing pro-grade wire for your dog fence. Professional grade dog fence wire holds up better to freezing conditions, sunlight exposure, water exposure, general wear and tear, and the effect of contraction and expansion of the ground. Pro-grade insulated wire, rated for burial, preferably polyethylene or plastic coated, works best.
The pros use either a 14 or 16-gauge wire with a 45 mm thickness coating. The coating gives the interior copper a solid, waterproof layer of protection making it much more durable than the 20-gauge manufacturer vinyl coating that is not waterproof. The long term cost and time savings make the heavier duty pro-grade wire a much better investment for pet owners wanting to maximize the life of their system. Purchasing that same pro-grade underground dog fence wire at FlexPetz makes this simple upgrade even more cost effective, by offering big brand compatibility at a low price point. While either type of wire will work for your initial installation, the difference is found in the number of times you will have to repair or replace your dog fence wire over the years.
The only advantage of a thinner wire such as a 20-gauge dog fence wire, is the workability. Thinner invisible fence wire is obviously going to be more flexible and, therefore, easier to work with. This is an important factor to consider if you are laying your wire in a challenging configuration. Because of its flexibility, it’s much easier to twist and lay a thin wire. Thicker gauges are heavier and stiffer, so while they are more durable, they can be a little more difficult to work with.
Twisted wire is used to connect your perimeter wire to the transmitter box, or to connect internal ‘no-go’ zones to the rest of the perimeter without creating a boundary line. It is used where you do not want the wire to trigger stimulation. Pre-twisted wire is available and is the best choice if you need a long length, but you can also make your own. When twisting electric dog fence wire, aim for at least one twist for every inch of wire. Since twisting the wire will shorten the overall length start with a piece that is about four times as long as you need the finished twisted piece to be. To twist your own wire, fold the wire in half, secure the looped end to a fixed point, like a clamp, and then twist.
Whether you are planning on replacing old wire in your current system, repairing breaks, or putting together your first in ground dog fence system, FlexPetz can help you find the exact type of wire for your needs, and help you save money along the way.
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