AC powered Energizer tripping GFCI

Help Support CattleToday:

dilogdp

New member
Joined
Sep 26, 2018
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
I recently purchased a PARMAK Mark 8 120v 30-mile fence energizer. It immediately trips the GFIC breaker. After some troubleshooting I called them up and spoke to a technical guy. He told me "they are not meant to be connected to GFIC."
He also suggested that "by design" no energizer should work with GFIC.

Surprising IMO, since outside receptacle and most barn areas would require GFIC. I won't consider the option of replacing the GFIC. I prefer not to go with 12v battery or solar, if possible.
Has anyone used a different make? In the meantime, I have the wife picking up one at Tractor Supply and ordered a 12v.
 

greybeard

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
20,774
Reaction score
1,812
Location
Cleveland Tx
dilogdp":1xzcy9hp said:
I recently purchased a PARMAK Mark 8 120v 30-mile fence energizer. It immediately trips the GFIC breaker. After some troubleshooting I called them up and spoke to a technical guy. He told me "they are not meant to be connected to GFIC."
He also suggested that "by design" no energizer should work with GFIC.

Surprising IMO, since outside receptacle and most barn areas would require GFIC. I won't consider the option of replacing the GFIC. I prefer not to go with 12v battery or solar, if possible.
Has anyone used a different make? In the meantime, I have the wife picking up one at Tractor Supply and ordered a 12v.

The only ones that consistently work with a GFCI are ones without an autotransformer and many today, especially low impedance charger use autotransformers because they are better and more efficient especially at dissipating heat. Autotransformers have only one winding and part of that winding acts as both a primary and secondary coil, with the secondary being the part that is charging the fence.
Since the secondary (the output to the fence) will always 'see' a fault simply because the way the charger and fence are connected, and the current for the fence comes from the primary portion, the GCFI also senses the fault and trips.

GFCI are sensitive to around 1/2 mA difference in current in on the line and current out on the neutral of the plug and anything above 1/2 Ma will cause the GFCI to trip. Dew or rain, or a single weed on the hot wire of the fence, insulators and fence post can bleed off 1/2Ma to ground without it really showing up on a voltage test of the fence, and "Trip" goes the GFCI.

I prefer to use GCFI anywhere I can, govt mandated or not. By the time a 20A braker trips, you're already dead or knocked on your backside and breakers aren't designed or intended to prevent electrocution anyway. Their purpose is to protect the wiring on it's circuit.....to keep the insulation from getting so hot it burns your house down. GCFI checks for faults 120* times per second, tho a few of the newer breakers have GCFI built into them too but they are expensive. 120X/second is dang fast.
*120 instead of 60 times per second because in a complete cycle, the wave form changes twice..becomes or crosses zero twice, and it makes 60 cyles every second. A breaker can't begin to react that fast.


The fix....I don't know other than wiring in a standard receptacle, tho I do know that the GCFIs I'm familiar with can be wired for either load or line. You'd have to ask a sho nuff electrician if wiring the outlet for line will take care of the problem.

The only other thing that I know that might account for tripping the outlet is if the fence ground rod is too close to the building's ground rod or electrically grounded water or gas lines. How close is 'too close'? I dunno that either.
 

Texas PaPaw

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2005
Messages
1,250
Reaction score
7
Location
Central Texas
Have had both Zareba & Kencove chargers running from gfi outlet for 14 years with very few disconnects. My setup is a surge protected power strip plugged into gfi outlet then fence charger plugged into the power strip. Possibly the surge protected power strip makes the difference. Wouldn’t cost much to try this.
 

1982vett

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
9,527
Reaction score
329
Location
Central Texas
Put your charger in a dry shed/barn or whatever and get rid of the gfi. Only “need” them in wet areas.
 

JMJ Farms

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
4,812
Reaction score
24
Location
Middle Georgia
A GFCI outlet can be wired with the power on the load side and not the line side. This will eliminate tripping. But is also the same as not having the GFCI to begin with. It will then be the same as a regular receptacle. Also if any other receptacles are on the same circuit beyond the GFCI they will also not be protected. GFCIs have a purpose in a bathroom. Beyond that I don’t see the need. But you specifically stated you weren’t interested in eliminating the GFCI, so you are probably gonna have an issue finding a compatible energizer. Best of luck.
 

Banjo

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 26, 2011
Messages
1,530
Reaction score
250
Location
Ky
I recently put a new Taylor fence charger where I had an older parmak and it is plugged into a gfci circuit. The Taylor wouldn't work at all without tripping it. I hooked it to a regular circuit and it works fine.
One thing you should consider is this......lightening will almost always come in on a Gfci circuit before anything else.
I have had one or two fence chargers fried by lightening coming in on this Gfci circuit.
If you anticipate a thunderstorm or lightening you should unplug it if possible if on a Gfci plug.
 

greybeard

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
20,774
Reaction score
1,812
Location
Cleveland Tx
Banjo":3cqh9ctr said:
One thing you should consider is this......lightening will almost always come in on a Gfci circuit before anything else.
I have had one or two fence chargers fried by lightening coming in on this Gfci circuit.
Why and how so?
 

Texasmark

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 14, 2017
Messages
1,122
Reaction score
6
Location
N. Texas
Get an electrician, or an electrical savvy person to build you a box with a 115v, 1:1 isolation transformer between your power source and your charger. The isolation transformer will not let the GFCI know that your charger is operating with ground current.

Water resistant suitable box with a duplex plug mounted to receive your charger's plug and a similar plug on a wire to plug into where you had your charger plugged.

Transformer would require slightly higher wattage (what 20 watts if that... haven't checked lately) than the consumption wattage of your charger. Read the specks on your charger then Google the wording and should get lots of answers....Radio Shack used to sell such....haven't been in their stores in years so I don't know what they are selling these days.

The other thing that happens with the transformer is that your charger is now disconnected from the electrical utility so in effect IT Becomes your GFCI of sorts....you can only get whacked with what it can produce if the situation arises, not what the power company can supply......yeah they hurt even if they don't supply the power to kill you......200 ma for heart defibrillation and death as I recall.
 

Banjo

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 26, 2011
Messages
1,530
Reaction score
250
Location
Ky
greybeard":53ja3ht7 said:
Banjo":53ja3ht7 said:
One thing you should consider is this......lightening will almost always come in on a Gfci circuit before anything else.
I have had one or two fence chargers fried by lightening coming in on this Gfci circuit.
Why and how so?
I don't know that I can answer that question fully. But probably because it is the easiest path to ground vs. a regular circuit. I think it is something most people don't notice because most of the time in your kitchen or bathroom there isn't something plugged in and running all the time. Most outlets are used for short term uses like a mixer or toaster etc.

I have had lightening come in on a Gfci circuit several times. Once I had a freezer plugged into a Gfci and lightening fried the compressor at my house. At church we built a fellowship hall/activity center a few years ago with a kitchen in it.....a couple years later they decided to put a small freezer in the kitchen...guess what happened...in no time we had a storm with some lightening and it knocked out the freezer. I told them to take it off of the Gfci circuit, so they did, got another freezer and haven't had any problems since.
Coincidence? I don't think so. Lightening is always looking for the easiest path to ground and Gfci circuit gives it that better than any other circuit.
 

greybeard

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
20,774
Reaction score
1,812
Location
Cleveland Tx
Texasmark":2wtq15l5 said:
Get an electrician, or an electrical savvy person to build you a box with a 115v, 1:1 isolation transformer between your power source and your charger. The isolation transformer will not let the GFCI know that your charger is operating with ground current.

Water resistant suitable box with a duplex plug mounted to receive your charger's plug and a similar plug on a wire to plug into where you had your charger plugged.

Transformer would require slightly higher wattage (what 20 watts if that... haven't checked lately) than the consumption wattage of your charger. Read the specks on your charger then Google the wording and should get lots of answers....Radio Shack used to sell such....haven't been in their stores in years so I don't know what they are selling these days.

The other thing that happens with the transformer is that your charger is now disconnected from the electrical utility so in effect IT Becomes your GFCI of sorts....you can only get whacked with what it can produce if the situation arises, not what the power company can supply......yeah they hurt even if they don't supply the power to kill you......200 ma for heart defibrillation and death as I recall.
Yep, that will work, as will finding a charger with a step up isolation transformer.

Radio Shack used to sell such....haven't been in their stores in years so I don't know what they are selling these days.
Cell phones, cords, chargers for phones and games mostly. Gone are all the individual components and wonderful parts & kits they used to sell, tho a few independent RS will still order them for you......assuming you can find a real Radio Shack at all. They've sold their trademarked name and seemingly anyone willing to pay the royalty fee can use it, just as Bell & Howell sold their name to Versa Capital and now you see al kinds of crap in the checkout lane of walmart with a Bell and Howell name on it as well as being big in to telemarketing and mass mailings for all kinds of As Seen On TV crap.
There's a fly by night cell service in our nearest town that has a big Radio Shack sign above it, and it sells no electronic hardware of any kind..just using the RS name to lure in customers based on name recognition.
How low Bell & Howell has fallen:
 

MikeManassas

New member
Joined
Feb 4, 2020
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
I have used a ParMak fence charger on a GFCI equipped circuit for 10 years with no problems. Sometimes a tree branch would fall on one of the fence wires and ground it to a post or guy wire. The voltage on the charger display would drop dramatically, but the GFCI never tripped.

My 10 year old charger died and I replaced it with a ParMak Mark8. Within a few days I noticed that the GFCI circuit had tripped. I reset the GFCI and removed the hot wire from the red terminal of the charger, plugged it back in and it looked OK. Reattaching the hot wire to the charger immediately tripped the GFCI again.

I walked the fence and found a wire touching a guy wire. The only variable in all of this was replacing the old FieldMaster charger with a new Mark8. After reading in this post about installing an isolation transformer I bought a Tripp Lite IS250 Isolation Transformer from Amazon. I deliberately left the fault on the fence and plugged the Mark8 into the transformer. The GFCI did not trip but the display on the charger read "0.0". After fixing the fence the charger again read a normal 11 to 12 thousand volts. I have not had any problem with the Mark8 since.
 

KevinN

Active member
Joined
Dec 26, 2019
Messages
27
Reaction score
0
I had similar problem with a GFI outside a little exposed to weather. Changed to a GFI circuit breaker in the panel and problem solved...might be a fix for you.
 

Latest posts

Top