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Old 01-11-12, 01:24 AM   #1
Snicklefritz
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Electric fence weirdness: is this a big deal or not?

How much of a fire hazard is it when an electric fence has a worn area that creates sparking that is not only very loud but visible? The place where I ride has electric fencing in all the pastures. One of the pastures isn't being used at the moment due to some work being done on underground pipes and wires. They've dug a big hole to expose the stuff that needs to be repaired. Anyway, coming out of the hole are some wires making very loud and visible sparks. I mentioned something to the owner who said that he already knew about it and that it wasn't a problem. They can't shut it off apparently because if they did it would mean turning off all the electric fences.

With all the hay and grass around, wouldn't sparks be considered a bad thing?

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Old 01-11-12, 05:47 AM   #2
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I'm guessing he is stalling and in an argument with the work crew claiming they created the problem. Coming from inside the hole, dirt probably insulates it enough, but even if a grass fire was started, would add ammo to his argument that was caused by the workcrew's neglect with a 'known' problem.

Having to shut down the entire system in a bogus argument. Never experienced a power outage or has a backup power system that kicks in? Gimme a break. Powering down a system for 15 minutes to replace wires or insulators is bot goung to create the great escape in the adjacent pastures. Plus, considering the current draw, each pasture is probably on a separate circuit.

Plus, do they really have to power it down? When having a new ac/heat pump put in it required a new 60 amp 220 circuit. As the electrician put new wires over to the circuit box, I asked the him if he wanted to shut the power off outside (like I did when I wired a 120 curcuit for garage door opener and ceiling fans). He replied, no, they do it all the time, as businesses get real upset when they shut down power at the workplace.
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Old 01-11-12, 06:18 AM   #3
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I doubt you can start a fire with sparks from an electric fence.
IMO, You would either need something fouling the wires to cause the wires to heat up enough, or you would need some sort of flammable liquid or gas poured onto the spark in order to start a fire.

quite frankly, you need a lot of power to make dry plants catch on fire with just electricity.
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Old 01-11-12, 07:09 AM   #4
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Well, if you can get a spark to the dry plant material, then you have a problem. But not being able to see how dry the plant material is or how far between spark and plant, I can't assess this particular danger.
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Old 01-11-12, 07:56 AM   #5
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Piss on it!
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Old 01-11-12, 08:19 AM   #6
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Piss on it!
Whizzing on an electric fence is the way to go. Good for the fence, the pasture, the environment and you.
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Old 01-11-12, 09:55 AM   #7
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I doubt you can start a fire with sparks from an electric fence.
IMO, You would either need something fouling the wires to cause the wires to heat up enough, or you would need some sort of flammable liquid or gas poured onto the spark in order to start a fire.

quite frankly, you need a lot of power to make dry plants catch on fire with just electricity.
A spark can ignite flammable material. During fire season here, there have been brushfires started by someone's lawnmower hitting a rock and causing a spark that ignited dry grass.

That happened during hot, arid conditions though. It would be less likely to happen during winter months.
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Old 01-11-12, 10:29 AM   #8
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A spark can ignite flammable material. During fire season here, there have been brushfires started by someone's lawnmower hitting a rock and causing a spark that ignited dry grass.

That happened during hot, arid conditions though. It would be less likely to happen during winter months.
okay, now that's impressive.
I was under the impression that it took a minimum of a lightning strike to start a brushfire.
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Old 01-11-12, 10:52 AM   #9
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Huge grass fire / forest fire in East Texas at Possum Kingdom Lake (yep, that is a Texas name for ya'll!) was caused by trees touching power wires in high winds last year! Wires can cause fires, ya'll!
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Old 01-11-12, 01:18 PM   #10
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okay, now that's impressive.
I was under the impression that it took a minimum of a lightning strike to start a brushfire.
Around here, they have started some big ones with errant sparks from welders torches (one burnt down/up three houses south of me). There was one up by Flagstaff started by a tire blow out on a pickup that threatened the observatory. When it's very dry, it doesn't take much.
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Old 01-11-12, 02:26 PM   #11
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I was under the impression that it took a minimum of a lightning strike to start a brushfire.
A burning cigarette will do nicely.
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Old 01-11-12, 07:35 PM   #12
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Huge grass fire / forest fire in East Texas at Possum Kingdom Lake (yep, that is a Texas name for ya'll!) was caused by trees touching power wires in high winds last year! Wires can cause fires, ya'll!
I've alway wondered what you first defense is for a flaming tumble weed headed for your spread?
Do people still dive into the horse trough?
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Old 01-11-12, 10:20 PM   #13
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With all the hay and grass around, wouldn't sparks be considered a bad thing?
You should ask your question in the California Public Utilities Commission forum.

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2010/...-in-wildfires/
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Old 01-11-12, 10:55 PM   #14
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quite frankly, you need a lot of power to make dry plants catch on fire with just electricity.
Play with a 6 volt battery and a Model T spark coil.
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