Dog Fence Installation
Laying Out Your Wire
Once you’ve installed your transmitter box and run the initial bits of wire from the box to the outside, you should lay out your wire above ground and connect it to the transmitter box to ensure that everything is working as planned. Working from your layout design, run the wire above ground right where you plan to bury or mount it. Be sure to use twisted wire or boundary wire as per your plan. You’ll also want to allow extra wire (about 20% more) to leave yourself plenty of margin to work with.
Splicing Your Wire
Once you’ve placed all of your wire, go back and splice together the sections. To do this, simply strip off about a half inch of the insulation coating and insert the stripped wires into a waterproof wire nut (found at your local hardware store). Twist the wire nut to tightly join the wires but don’t over-tighten or you’ll risk snapping a wire.
Testing The System
Now that you have laid out all of your wiring and connected it to the transmitter box you’re ready to turn on the system and test it out. When you turn on the transmitter you should see a green light indicating that everything is connected and the signal is traveling around the loop. If you get an alarm or a flashing light you’ll need to look for a problem. Go back and check all of your splices and make sure that your wire forms a complete loop. Double-check your layout to make sure your twisted wire sections make sense.
Once your system seems to be working properly, turn on a collar and test the perimeter. As you approach the boundary you should hear an audible warning tone from the collar.
Once you’ve tested and are sure that your system is functioning properly, turn off the system and disconnect the wire from the transmitter box.
Continue to Burying Your Wire
Ready-made twisted wire can be purchased at big box hardware stores but it’s simple and cost effective to make it yourself.
Twisting wire by hand is possible but not recommended unless you are creating a very short section. When twisting wire you want to aim for about 1 twist per inch of wire. More twists are better than fewer. Be careful not to over-twist as this can compromise the integrity of the wire. Use the same gauge wire that you are using for the non-twisted parts of your layout.
To create a section of twisted wire:
- Measure the length of finished twisted wire you’ll need and then cut two lengths of wire that are double the finished length (if you need 20 ft. finished twisted wire, cut two pieces of 40 ft.).
- Holding the two lengths of wire together, loop them around a doorknob or deck railing or any other stable surface.
- Attach the other two ends to an electric drill using a bit of electrical tape.
- Activate the drill for quick twisting!
The Transmitter Box
The transmitter box is the point of control for your entire system. The transmitter creates the signal that runs through your wires and forms the boundary that your dog will learn to stay within. The control box allows you to set the boundary width and in some systems you’ll also use the transmitter control box to set the correction level for your receiver collars. Transmitter control boxes will confirm that your system is operating correctly and also sound the alarm in the case of a wire break.
Where to Install Your Transmitter Box
When looking for a good place to install a transmitter box, we prefer a garage, shed, or inside a closet or cabinet in the home. You can also use a weatherproof box (found in your local hardware or electrical supply store) to enclose and protect the transmitter if you’ll be installing it outside.
Since it is an electrical appliance, the transmitter box needs to be plugged in, so you’ll want to mount it as close as you can to a power outlet. It’s also most convenient if you mount the unit on or near the exterior wall where you’ll run your wire out. Finally, your transmitter box needs to be installed in a dry spot where the temperature remains above the freezing point and where the box will be protected from the elements.
Installing Your Transmitter Box
- Locate you installation spot
- Mount the control box onto the wall using the appropriate screws and drywall anchors (if needed).
Installing Lightening Protection
If you live in an area where there are frequent lightening strikes or electrical storms or if you are fencing an area larger than 5 acres, it’s a good idea to install lightening protection. The module plugs into a grounded outlet and installs in between the transmitter box and the perimeter wires to keep the transmitter safe in the case of an electrical surge. The <a href=”XXX” >lightening protection module</a> is included in some systems and is available for purchase separately for those systems that do not include it.
Running The Wire Out
If you’ve installed your transmitter box inside, you’ll need to get the wires outside. The easiest way to do so is to drill a hole through the wall, pass the wires through and then reseal the hole with an exterior grade silicone caulk. If you are able to install the transmitter near existing vents or interior/exterior wiring you can use the existing holes to run the fence wire. Never run wire through dryer venting as the heat will melt the wire coating leaving it open to damage and malfunction.
Continue to <a href=”XXXX”>Laying & Splicing The Wire</a>
Burying or Mounting the Wire
How you decide to bury or mount the wire is entirely up to you and your planned layout. You can even do a combination of both - burying most of it but using a conveniently placed fence to mount the wire that runs along the fence line. Whether you bury or mount your wire depends in large part on the area you are fencing. For mowed lawn it is best to bury the wire. For areas where you do not mow, or where digging would be impossible, you can simply lay the wire above ground and use lawn staples to hold it in place. The wire can also be mounted on convenient trees or existing fencing.
Mounting vs. Burying the Wire
It is not necessary to bury the perimeter wire at all. There are many reasons to mount rather than bury your perimeter wire. The following lists will help you to decide whether burying or mounting the wire is right for you.
Mounting Wire Burying Wire
• much faster installation • more visually pleasing
• susceptible to wild animals • better protected
• easier to locate breaks • more work to repair damage
• preferable in treed areas • preferable in grassy areas
• can inhibit lawn-mowing •
Methods for Burying Wire
Trencher: A trencher will dig a trench, lay the wire inside, and bury the wire. This is the tool of choice for professional installers for good reason. It cuts installation time in half. You can lay about 3 yards of wire per minute with the help of this handy tool so it’s well worth the cost of renting one if you want to get the job done quickly and cleanly. *Note that you may need to use an edger or shovel for smaller or sensitive sections where you cannot run the trencher.
Power Edger: This common tool can quickly cut a shallow trench for your wire. Once the trench is cut you’ll make a second pass to lay the wire in the trench and cover it up. If you don’t own an edger you can rent one at your local hardware store.
Shovel: Not the fastest or easiest method, but still a reliable way to get the job done in a smaller project. A pick axe works equally well, or even better for tougher terrain. Dig yourself a shallow trench then go back and lay the wire in and cover it up.
Tips For Burying Wire
No matter which method you choose you’ll want to keep these basic tips in mind:
- Aim to bury your wire about 3 inches deep
- When working with an edger or shovel you’ll want to work about a yard at a time, digging the trench and then laying the wire in and covering it.
- Dampening the soil about an hour before digging will help, but be careful not to wet the soil so much that you end up with mud.
- Make sure your wire is pressed all the way down in the trench. If you are manually laying the wire you can use a stick or screwdriver to push it down to the bottom. If it doesn’t seem to want to stay you can use lawn staples to hold it there while you bury it.
Installing wire by mounting it rather than burying it is simple and much less time-consuming than digging. You can mount the wire on the ground itself or on an existing structure like a fence or wall.
Methods for Mounting Wire
On the Ground: Where your wire runs along the ground, use ground or lawn staples at 3 to 5 yard intervals to fix the wire to the ground. If you’re laying the wire in a high-traffic area reduce the space in between the staples. Likewise, reduce the space between the staples if the wire makes lots of turns.
On a Fence or Wall: Your electric dog fence wire can be mounted on any type of fencing except sheet metal. Sheet metal fencing tends to amplify the signal, which increases the distance field and results in uneven boundary lines. Simply use U-shaped wood staples and a small hammer to attach your wire to a wooden fence. Take care not to apply too much pressure and risk damaging the wire. We don’t recommend the use of a staple gun for the same reason.
Use the same method with concrete staples to attach your wire to concrete fences or walls. Depending on the style of fencing, zip-ties or twist ties may also work well. For open chain link or lattice-style fencing you can simply weave the wire through the fence and use a zip or twist tie every so often for extra security.
While the ideal height for the wire is at the level of your dog’s neck, you can mount the wire at practically any height. In fact, playing with the height of the wire can allow you reduce the distance field in those sections effectively giving your dog a little more space or even the ability to walk right up to the fence. If you are mounting the wire on an existing wall or fence that already acts as a boundary you can mount the wire higher up. The higher you place the wire, the smaller the distance field at the dog’s level so if you have the distance field set at 4 feet and you mount the wire at the top of an 8 foot fence, your dog will be able to approach the fence without a correction.
Continue to Crossing Driveways and Walkways
Almost every electric dog fence installation will require you to span a driveway, walkway, or path of some type and there are a variety of ways to cross these obstacles. Which way you choose will depend on what type of drive or pathway you are crossing and how much work you want to put into it. The 3 ways to cross a driveway or path are to go through, go over, or go under. Below we’ll talk about how and why to use each method.
Running Wire Through A Driveway or Walkway
This is the most popular way to install your dog fence wire across a driveway or sidewalk-style cement walkway. It’s the easiest way that still protects and hides the wire. To run the wire through your driveway, you’ll either need to use an existing expansion joint or create a trench by cutting into the cement.
Using An Existing Expansion Joint
If your drive or walkway has an expansion joint in the area about where you want to lay the wire, go ahead and use that to your advantage. Laying the wire in an existing joint will save you the time and energy of cutting a trench and will also prevent any accidental damage to the concrete.
First, you’ll want to thoroughly clean that joint out to remove all the built up grime and dirt to leave a nice clean and open path for the wire. You can do this with a screwdriver and then follow with a pressure washer or even a hard spray from a garden hose head. Next, lay the wire into the joint and use a stick or screwdriver to press it all the way down to the bottom. Lastly, run a bead of waterproof silicone over the joint to seal the wire in place and protect it. Since the edges of driveways and walkways tend to be where we use a weed whacker or edger, it’s a common place to see wire breaks. It’s not a bad idea to protect the wire where it transitions from the concrete to the soil. A simple way to do this is to thread the wire through a small piece of garden hose or PVC pipe before you bury it.
Cutting a Trench
If your driveway or path doesn’t have a conveniently located joint, you can easily make one with the help of a circular saw and a cement blade. It is a little bit more work than laying the wire in an existing joint, but it’s well worth it if you want to hide the wire.
First, see if you can locate an existing seam line and take advantage. It will be easier to make a clean cut on a seam. If you find one, use the method discussed above to clean the area. Next, use chalk to mark your line – this will help you to make a clean straight cut line. Use your circular saw to follow your cut line and make a half-inch deep cut in the concrete. Once you’ve completed the cut, clean the area again to get rid of the dust and debris otherwise you may have a problem getting your silicone to adhere properly. Lay the wire into the cut using a stick or screwdriver to press it all the way down. Then caulk over the wire with a concrete sealant. This will protect the wire and the cut edges of the concrete.
Laying Wire Over The Driveway or Walkway
This is far and away the easiest and fastest method to cross a driveway or path but it’s also the least resilient. Instead of running the wire through the concrete, you simply lay it on the surface. The wire will hold up to being driven over for anywhere from one to three years before you’ll need to replace that section. You can protect the wire better by running it through a length of flexible tubing (like a section of garden hose). While this method is certainly the easiest, it does have the disadvantages of being visible and more susceptible to damage.
Tunneling Under The Driveway or Walkway
The most time-consuming method, this is also the nicest way to cross a path or driveway. By tunneling under, you completely hide and protect the wire without having to scar your driveway or walkway. This is a great method for beautiful garden walkway paths.
To tunnel under you’ll need a length of PVC pipe of less than an inch in diameter. Use a saw to cut one end of the pipe at 45 degrees – making a sharp point. You’ll use this tool to slowly dig your tunnel under the driveway. Start by digging a hole at one end of the driveway where you want the tunnel to be. The hole will need to be at least a foot long and just a bit deeper than you want your tunnel. Use the sharpened end of the PVC pipe to poke a tunnel into the soil under the driveway. Bore in about 6 inches and then remove the pipe and dump the soil out before going in again another 6 inches. To tunnel under an entire driveway will take a couple of hours but it’s well worth the effort if you want a completely invisible fence.
Continue to Connect & Testing Your Fence