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In-Ground Pet Fence Wire Break Troubleshooting

How do I locate a break in the boundary wire on my containment system?

Before you do anything else:
  • Locate your original wire splice(s) and verify they have a good, solid connection.
  • Check your yard to determine any possible damage to the boundary wire (e.g. recent digging, aerating, rodent burrowing, or any other noticeable disturbance in your yard next to the wire).

    If you still cannot find the break in the boundary wire, here are some options for locating it:

    Purchase a Wire Break Locator Directly from PetSafe

    The PetSafe Wire Break Locator helps easily locate wire breaks within your in-ground fence system. Watch this YouTube video for additional information.
    1. Temporarily replace your transmitter, then trace your fence configuration.
    2. Audible tones help you to discover each side of a broken wire.
    3. NOTE: Locates complete breaks only. partial breaks will not be detected by the system.
    4. A radio mounts to an extendable pole so it can comfortably be held close to the ground.
    5. Adjust the tuning dial to a location where no radio stations are broadcasting and the output of the radio receiver is producing a static noise.
    6. Works up to 10 acres. (It may work beyond 10 acres, but the tone will get weak and inaudible.)

    Use a Test Wire

    This method works well for small yards as well as large installations. If you suspect you have a partial wire break use this method or contact the manufacturer of your system for additional help.
    1. Unplug the transmitter.
    2. Connect both ends of your twisted wire to one boundary wire terminal.
    3. Measure and cut a test wire which is half the length of your total boundary wire footage.
    4. Connect one end of test wire to the other boundary wire terminal.
    5. Locate the halfway point of your boundary and cut the boundary wire.
    6. Splice the other end of the test wire to either side of your boundary wire where you cut it in half.
    7. Plug in the fence transmitter and check the loop indicator light. If the loop indicator light is on, you can assume the break is in the other half of the boundary wire.
    8. If the loop indicator light did not come on, you may assume there is a break in this portion of the boundary wire. However, there is a small chance of having more than one break in your system.
    9. Be sure to check both halves of your entire loop.
    10. Replace the damaged boundary wire with new wire.
    11. Reconnect the boundary wire to the fence transmitter.
    12. Check the loop indicator light. If the loop indicator light is on, test the system with the receiver collar.

    Use an RF Choke (Innotek in-ground systems only)

    To locate the disruption in your Innotek ground wire, you can use an "RF choke" device available at most electronics stores. Once you've installed this device, you can use a simple AM radio to find the problem and fix it.
    1. Unplug the wall transmitter from the 110v wall outlet.
    2. Disconnect both yard wires from the wall transmitter.
    3. Wrap the yard wires around the choke leads (one to each) near the cylinder. (see illustration)
    4. Plug the Choke leads into the wall transmitter.
    5. Reconnect the wall transmitter to the 110v wall outlet.
    6. Set a portable AM radio to AM-60 or AM-600.
    7. Set the field width knob on the wall transmitter at the minimum level to obtain a signal on the portable radio.
    8. Hold the radio chest high and swing the radio over the wire while walking around the boundary.
      • When standing over the twisted wire, the signal should be absent.
      • When standing on a single wire area, you will hear pulsating static.
      • When the tone weakens or stops, examine the wire 3-4 feet in each direction.
      • Fading or change in pitch indicates a nick in the wire insulation.
      • No sound indicates a complete break in the wire.

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