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Thread: Solar fence question.........

  1. #1
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Solar fence question.........

    You might remember I bought a solar electric fence for around my garden about 3-4 months ago. I also bought one of those fence-alerts that flash when there's no current. Saw it flashing this morning and went out and the charger is turned on, but not doing anything. I was on my way to town, and didn't want to play with it. I stopped at the Tractor Supply in town, where no one knew nothin' about these things. They agreed with me that I should test the battery and maybe just replace that instead of a whole new unit (all still under warranty). Well, on my way home, I thought "Duh!...if the battery hasn't charged because it's been cloudy for a few days, then testing it won't give me any info." Is that right?
    Haha.....I was even thinking of bringing the charger in and setting it in front of a Bright Light I have for Seasonal Affective Disorder......but I'm not sure if it screens out the rays that are needed by the charger.

    I don't want to replace it, even under warranty, if it's just a cloudy days problem.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    I agree with the test the battery suggestion. Harbor freight has inexpensive multimeters and you tube probably has a video on how to use it. If it is a 12 volt battery, I would remove it from the system and charge it with a trickle charger. You also may want to consider the positioning of the solar panel. The angle of the sun changes in the winter. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    Go you you tube and type in solar fence charger troubleshooting.

  4. #4
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Thanks Baldilocks. It's a 6 volt battery. I do have a multimeter, but I wasn't sure if it would tell me the "health" of the battery, if it hadn't really charged much because of the cloudy days. The info on this product says that it will stay charged for 2 weeks of cloudy days, but we've only had a couple cloudy days. If something is wrong with the battery and it doesn't last as long as it should, even when it might start out fully charged, I want to return it before the warranty expires.
    I'm also thinking that maybe with the sun lower in the sky, more trees are getting in the way. I just don't know. Am I correct in assuming that the multimeter reading wouldn't help much, if something was wrong with the battery?
    We did have a sunny day yesterday and it was blinking (after turning the charger on), but I didn't leave it on, as I wanted it to charge up.
    I'm just not very familiar with what to expect from these things. It appeared to work all summer though, so I'm thinking it's just not lasting that 2 cloudy weeks it's supposed to last. If that's the case, would it be wise to return it and try another one, or should I just assume nothing is as good as it seems?

    So....I'll test it with the multimeter, but I wasn't sure if that would tell me how good the fairly new battery was to hold a charge.
    Thanks for your help!

  5. #5
    Senior Member boss mare's Avatar
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    How deep is your grounding rods?

  6. #6
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Hi boss mare........It's a copper rod that's in the ground about 6'.

    Actually, I went out today and turned the charger on and tested the line and it's registering really high. I'll keep my eye on it and see if it lasts.
    Whats weird is it quit working after a rain. I can't imagine it's affected by rain, but maybe it is. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so if it happens again then, then I'll know something is wrong with it. (But....it may also be that the battery ran down again.)
    We thought we were doing the best thing to use a copper ground, but now I'm hearing it's not the best.

  7. #7
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    Can you check to see if the sun is hitting the solar panel? If not, can you adjust or move the solar panel so the sun is hitting it better? If the battery can be replaced under warranty, go for it. I wonder if you should invest in a 6 volt battery charger and a spare battery. Not sure if the auto store could do a six volt, but I know they check car batteries. If they could check it you would know for sure. If the sun isn't hitting the panel, you could have a new battery and will still have problems once the initial charge is gone. Hope to hear it's up and running soon.

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