Like traditional fencing, temporary electric fences typically require a gate to allow easy access to the fenced-in area. Since your fence depends upon charges of electricity to contain or exclude animals, the gate should be capable of carrying that electrical charge, as well; if animals come in contact with the gate, it can then shock them. To feed the electrical power from the fence wire to the gate wire, you'll need to use special connector pieces called post activators. These devices contain two parts -- a metal part that conducts the electricity and a plastic part that insulates the fence wire and attaches to the gate post.
Things You'll Need
- Clip-on post activators
- Insulated cable
- Wire cutters
- Electric fence wires
- Insulated plastic gate handles
Install your entire temporary electric fence, leaving the opening for the gate. Make sure the posts at both ends of the gate are steel T-posts, which are sturdier than plastic step-in or metal rebar posts. Leave a narrow 3- or 4-foot opening if you plan to use the gate as a walk-through entrance. If you want to drive garden or farm equipment through the gate, make sure the opening is wide enough to accommodate the vehicles easily, which should be about 10 to 12 feet, says Kimberly Willis, author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Country Living."
Mount a clip-on post activator around the base of the gate post closest to the fence energizer. Position this first post activator at a height that corresponds to the height of the bottom strand of wire in the electric fence; in most cases, this wire should be 6 to 12 inches from the ground. Mount additional clip-on post activators on this gate post, installing one for each additional strand of electric wire in your temporary electric fence. Install a corresponding set of post activators on the second gate post, as well.
Measure out a strip of insulated cable long enough to reach from the bottom charged wire in the electric fence to the metal joint clamp on the first gate post's bottom post activator. Remove the last 2 inches of insulation from both ends of the cable; wrap one end of the metal cable around the bottom charged wire and wrap the second end of the cable around the metal joint clamp on the bottom post activator. Repeat this process with additional strips of insulated cable to connect each post activator to the activator installed directly above it on the first gate post; this ensures that each wire in your electric fence gate is charged.
Cut a length of electric fence wire long enough to stretch across the gate opening between the bottom set of post activators. Thread one end of the electric fence wire through the metal joint clamp on the second gate post's bottom post activator and splice the wire back on itself to secure it in place on the hinge post. Tie the other end of the electric fence wire to the metal hook on an insulated plastic gate handle, then clasp the gate handle to the metal joint clamp on the first gate post; this creates the bottom wire in your temporary electric fence gate. Repeat this installation process for each additional wire in your electric fence to finish installing the temporary electric fence gate.
Tips & Warnings
- Connect the different parts of your electric fence and gate together using insulated cable that can withstand the high-voltage charges of electricity coming from the energizer. Designed specifically for electric fencing, this cable can handle up to 20,000 volts of electricity.
- Accidental shock could occur. Always keep the fence energizer turned off when working on your electric fence. Post warning signs to alert passersby.
- "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Country Living"; Kimberly Willis; 2008
- American Fence and Supply Company: Electric Fence Installation Guide
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