A well installed and maintained Fieldguard fencing system will last for very many years, but it does need a little tender loving care from time to time – something we tend to forget while it is working and looking smart. The old saw ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ holds as true even with our tough product.
The first thing to do is check the voltage in the system. It should be well above 3,000 volts to be effective. If it is down, then it could be a bad dose of vegetation infesting the fence – note to our livery, there is a whole bank of dead bracken along the lower fence at the moment, so no wonder there is barely a trickle of power in the system – or poor power connections somewhere along the line. If you live in dry conditions, it could be that there is not quite enough earth.
Best to start at the beginning. Disconnect the energiser and measure the voltage it is putting out off load. It should be in the region of 10-12,000 volts. Re-connected and significant voltage drop then there is something amiss in power transmission to the tape or in the tape itself.
If there is any black soot like substance around the stainless parts, that is connectors, tensioners, gate handles that is actually oxidisation. It should be cleaned off with emery cloth and then sprayed with WD40. If it is on the tape filaments, that will invariably occur where the tape is connected to the tensioner, gate handle or joining buckle. At that point the tape filaments have turned to nonconductive carbon. Just pull the tape a little further through to bypass the ‘break’.
Having cleared the excess vegetation, cleaned the connections it is now time to smarten things up a bit. Fill an old sponge with a strong diluted solution of Fieldguard GREEN GLOOP, fold the sponge in half with the tape inside the cavity. Then just walk along the length pulling the sponge along and this will clean the tape and bring it up like new. If the tape is heavily infested it may take two or three rubs along the run to clear the mess.
Finally, check all the insulators are firm, tensioners not buckled and re-tension the tape. Finish off by either wiping grease or petroleum jelly on all the stainless steel parts of the system. You should end up with a fence that looks as if it has been newly installed.