Many Customers would like to know more about the underground fence system wire and exactly what part it plays in the system.
There is an AM radio signal that travels over the wire somewhat like the AM signal that travels on the antenna of your portable AM radio. This signal is safe for animals and children and may be used above ground, underground, under water or even run in streams or lakes if necessary.
Most QUALITY pet fence systems sold to customers on eBay or websites, from manufacturers like Petsafe, Innotek or Sportdog come with 20 gauge solid core copper wire. While this wire is perfectly fine for systems under 1 acre, Monell Pets offers the availability of 18, 16 and 14 gauge solid core copper wire with each of our systems to customers who want a quality installation in the small yards and is a necessity for 1 acre or more.
The AM signal will travel the same on a 20 gauge wire as it would on an 18, 16, and 14 gauge wire. The wire gauge has no effect on the signal, as it pertains to signal strength. We sell all 4 of these gauges of wire. The reason for up-grading to a larger gauge wire is to prevent problems from breaks or opens. We all know, that if installed properly, they should not happen. However, it seems what should not happen, happens a lot more than you can believe, and for more reasons than can be explained. I have heard customers say "Just send me the system, I'll get the wire from the local hardware store or electrical supply." Well, I tell them that they can do that, BUT, if the insulation on the wire is not direct burial and sunlight resistant insulation, you may develop problems in time to come. This insulation is very special and even electrical supply houses do NOT carry it in single conductor, and if they just happen to have it, it would be twice the price of our wire or probably more. If breaks or opens occur they can be difficult or impossible to find without a wire break detector. If you get a number of breaks and want to up-grade the wire in frustration because of all the breaks. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT YOU CANNOT INSTALL NEW WIRE OVER OLD WIRE (EVEN IF DISCONNECTED) AS THE OLD WIRE WILL DISTORT THE AM RADIO SIGNAL ON THE NEW WIRE.
There are many reasons why breaks or opens occur. The 20 gauge wire which comes with both Innotek and Petsafe systems, as well as most quality fence systems, will work fine on 1/3 acre systems. If any breaks or opens occur, though locating and repairing them is possible. If not, the wire would have to be removed and new wire installed. However, on a system 1 acre or over, the taks of replacing and/or repairing the wire is a difficult task. The most common reason for breaks or opens would be poorly connected splices (very difficult to fine). Also common is accidental damage by shovel, gardener equipment of all kinds and from animals. For some reason, which may sound crazy, animals sometimes will dig up the wire and chew it. It is not common, but happens all over our country from a wide variety of animals and small rodents. I have had it happen to lighting wire run on my own deck. Squirrels kept chewing through the insulation on the small 20 gauge stranded copper wire. It does happen. Now 20 gauge wire can be chewed easily, but 18, 16 and 14 gauge solid core is much more difficult. Common sense will tell you that the larger the gauge, the stronger and less likely to be cut, chewed or damaged in any way. The lower the gauge number, the larger the wire size. ie. 14 gauge wire is the heaviest and 20 gauge wire is the smallest and weakest that should be used. If breaks or opens (possibly pulled apart) occur in the systems 1 acre or over, you would most likely need to use a wire break detector to locate the break and as I said before, in desperation run new wire. But first the old wire has to be removed. No fun job. The bottom line here is you want to do the installation once and have it last a lifetime.
Seemingly, one of the least mentioned, yet most important wire in the system is the TWISTED WIRE. It is 2 single conductors twisted together to form 1 cable. This is used from the transmitter to the boundary wire, so your pet can cross over it without getting a correction. Monell Pets was the very first retailer to offer twisted wire with their Petsafe systems. Most retailers do not mention nor give it with their systems, and many may up-grade their boundary wire to 18 gauge, but fail to mention that they only give 20 gauge twisted wire. This is a very bad practice, to mix gauges, as while it will work, it leads to future problems. Twisted wire cannot be used to create a gate anywhere in the boundary wire, as it cancels out the signal when used from the transmitter. In order for this to work, the signal on the wire must be traveling in 2 different directions which is the case when connected to the transmitter.
Wire comes in spools of 500'/spool, therefore systems come in the following sizes:
- 1 spool of wire - 500' will cover 1/3 acre
- 2 spools of wire - 1000' will cover 1 acre
- 3 spools of wire - 1500' will cover 3 acres
- 4 spools of wire - 2000' will cover 5 acres
There are no 2 or 4 acre systems. The transmitters in the majority of systems will do from 5 acres to 25 acres and we also carry one transmitter that will do up to 100 acres.
A very important tip to customers: First thing you do when installing the system is peel all your wire out where you are going to install it. Slice it out, connect it and then test. With it connected and power ON you can then bury or permanently install the wire. If you get a break or pull a splice while installing you will get an alarm at the transmitter. If you bury first and have a problem, it may be impossible to find. I have seen customers do 5 acres buried and unable to find their break. Try to make a note as the where the splices are.
After reading the above information about the use of wire in an underground fence system, you may feel as if there must be a better way. I believe that the hard wire system for underground fence systems is the very best way to protect your pet. It makes using every square foot of your property available to your pet or pets to roam and play safely in your own yard, and the possibility of running out in harms way, muh less likely to happen. It can also ease the tension between those outraged neighbors who want your dog or dogs kept in your yard. Let your pets roam freely and safely!!
I do not just sell and ude dog fences, but I also am a licensed Electrical Contractor for over 40 years and would say I have a fair knowledge of insulation and wire gauges.
My partner Simone and I have tried to run our company, Monell Pets, LLC with the highest ethical standards and deep caring for each and every customer and their pets. This the reason for our 100% feedback in over 8500 sales on eBay. Something only a very few retailers can boast of, and we are very proud to be in their company.
Thank you for your time and we hope this information has been helpful.
Please visit our store for your petfence purchase or contact us for further questions.
Simone & Bill
Monell Pets, LLC