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Dog Fence Wire
Electric dog fence wire is arguably the most important element of your pet containment system. Choosing the proper wire for your layout, terrain type, and weather conditions is the best insurance on your investment.
The wire included in most electric dog fence systems is referred to as factory grade wire. It gets the job done but is certainly not the highest quality wire you can use for your electric dog fence installation. When you choose a dog fence wire you want to be sure it is the proper wire for your property's terrain and weather conditions. Most manufacturers such as PetSafe, Innotek, SportDog and Perimeter package their dog fence systems with an extremely low quality wire. While these manufacturers make a fantastic pet containment system they certainly don't pay much attention to the most likely part of the system to cause problems over the years. The main reason these manufacturers use the lower quality 20-gauge wire is purely economics. The cheaper 20-gauge wire is lightweight and cheap to ship and manufacturer. with the general high cost of copper, this keeps the overall cost of the containment systems low, not really affecting customer satisfaction too much because by the time most people realize they have a problem with their containment system wire, their thoughts have more or less drifted away from who they bought it from, many times they blame themselves and do not hold the manufacturers accountable for the poor quality wire included with the kit. In the end, it comes down to quality and you get what you pay for with invisible fence wire.
When selecting a dog fencing wire always remember the lower the gauge, the thicker the wire. For example, a 20-gauge wire is approximately 1/5 as thick as a 14-gauge wire, so 14-gauge is definitely much better when it comes to the actual thickness of the copper. Equally important is the the coating that surrounds the wire. Most manufacturers sell what is called THHN Wire (Thermoplastic High Heat-resistant Nylon coated). This type of wire is designed for interior installations and is most certainly not designed to be buried underground, while it will initially work, over the long haul the coating will peel and expose the precious wire causing corrosion and eventually wire breaks that will take down your dog fence system.
Wire Thickness & Transmission Functionality
Generally speaking the performance of a dog fence system is about the same regardless of which gauge wire you are using. The larger amount of copper in a thicker wire does slightly improve the signal transmission especially in larger installations and installations in northern climates where thick snowfall is common.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Manufacturer Grade Dog Fence Wire (18 or 20 Gauge)
Lower Cost Initial Installation
Easy To Work With
THHN Wire - Not Fully Waterproof & Breaks Down Easily (2-year Lifespan)
Easily Damaged Causing Intermittent Operation & Eventual Failure
Advantages and Disadvantages of Professional Grade Dog Fence Wire
Approximately 5 Times As Much Copper - Better Transmission, Less Chance Of Breakage
Waterproof Protective Cover - Much Less Likely To Break Down Over Time
More Difficult To Work With
More Expensive - Initial Start-Up Cost Is Higher But You Save Money & Effort In The Long Run