How to Find a Break in an Underground Dog Fence?

find break in invisible fence

An invisible dog fence is especially popular with dog owners with a lot of land because they eliminate the need to spend time and money constructing miles and miles of traditional fencing. There are many other advantages to using an invisible dog fence (also known as wireless dog fence) instead of a traditional wire or wood fence.

But it’s also a fact that people who have buried an invisible fence for their dogs have frequently complained that the transmitter does not work as intended. It’s possible that the transmitter is beeping or otherwise acting strangely because there’s a broken wire somewhere in the fence’s whole perimeter.

While fixing the leak will take some time, the biggest obstacle you’ll face is figuring out where it came from in the first place. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to spot it right away; if not, you’re in for a long wait!

As we are well aware, locating the faulty part in the farthest corner is exhausting. As a result, you must find a process in place to follow. Of course, there’s no guarantee, but these tips will make your life a little bit easier!

How Does Invisible Fence Wire Work?


As their name suggests, invisible fences are non-physical barriers invisible to the naked eye. There are several steps involved in setting up an invisible fence. First, the wires are settled or buried. Next, your dog wears a unique collar with a battery-operated “correction unit” connected to this perimeter line.

When your dog gets too close to the boundary, the collar will sound an alarm to get her to turn around. The owner can also choose any other strong response he wants to receive from the collar’s correction unit. But this action will not harm your dog.

It is common for electric collars to begin with a low-level vibration and gradually increase the intensity of the shock. To keep dogs from getting lost or ending up in dangerous situations, the whole point of the system is for dog owners to surprise their wandering dogs and try to convince them to return to a closely associated area.

Why Do You Need to Find and Repair the Dog Fence Wire?

When an underground dog fence wire is broken, it will cause you (the dog owner) to deal with many problems. The first and most pressing issue is the potential for a dog’s escape, which could be highly harmful to your pet.

As a matter of fact, when it comes to any given problem, we should be prepared to prevent it and know how to fix it if the preventative measures fail. So, you need to know how to locate and repair a hole in an underground fence.

Because if you don’t hear the beeps from the transmitter or don’t notice the broken wire at first, your dog has a chance to fool you and develop the habit of breaching the boundary.

Methods to Find a Broken Wire in an Invisible Fence

Have doubts about the integrity of your invisible fence? Following are the three different methods for finding the break in your dog fence.

Short Loop Method

First of all, perform a physical examination and check the buried wire for signs of damage, such as snagged roots from a fallen tree or exposed wire.

Then short loop the transmitter to test the wire that connects to a property line. Next, slowly walk the perimeter of your fence, looking for splits, fraying, or other visible damage, starting from the starting point you’ve selected. It takes a long time, but it is the only way to find cracks in the ground’s surface.

Cut the signal’s underground path by shorting both ends together. The loop will be closed, and the strong signal will be sent back to the source.

In the next step, you’ll short out the underground areas with a wire bridge to see how they work. Extra wire: Take a long wire and run it over a piece of underground wire. Do this very carefully at both ends sides of the run. Make a bypass by cutting both ends of the underground wire and connecting it to the above-ground wire. There is a break in the transmission when the transmitter stops beeping. Use a new, even thicker wire to make sure it doesn’t break again, and then put it in.

The final problem you can encounter is a malfunctioning transmitter. A burst of electricity may have damaged it. So, a new transmitter can be the best solution for this.

To avoid future breakups, wire with an HDPE coating 20 years UV resistant should be used (1 mm, 7 strand copper). The PVC-coated wire will degrade and become useless when exposed to the sun.

Wire Break Locator

how to find a break in an invisible fence

An invisible fence break detector is also one of the most common methods of determining a break. The sensing unit on this locator can detect wires up to a distance of 80 centimeters away. But even if you have excellent vision, you probably won’t be able to locate your underground wire if it is hidden.

To detect the break in an invisible dog fence:

  1. Turn off your wireless transmitter on the ground.
  2. Make sure the two clips on the transmitter are connected to the underground wire – use one of these clips for each in and out the wire to the underground transmitter.
  3. Activate the radio transmitter and adjust the volume on the detector. The detector emits a sound when the sensor is within the area of 80 cm of the underground wire.

You can follow the wire path that runs beneath the ground. However, the detector won’t see wire if there is a break. So you have to use the short looping method to locate the broken wire. Therefore, you’ll have to move the transmitter and the associated clips around the underground cable.

If you’re installing an invisible fence, use a wire locator compatible with the brand you selected. Or maybe you can make a wire locator out of an AM radio tuned to the same frequency as your fence.

Pay close attention to what your device is telling you. The beeping will stop using a wire locator when it crosses the break. In addition, it’s possible to detect radio waves by using a homemade radio detector, which will cut out some of the static.

The Spark Plug Method

Do you have trouble finding your wires? Instead of spending hundred dollars on a commercial locator, consider building your own with an AM radio and a lawnmower spark plug.

For up to 2000 feet of underground wire, you can use this method to check for breaks. Using this method from both ends for a total of 4000′ of checked wire is acceptable for longer segments. You can use the short circuit method if your section is longer than that.

A four-stroke lawnmower will serve as a transmitter to carry out the task, sending a small charge down the underground wire to cause a slight static discharge. The lawnmower’s spark plug cable will be connected to an underground wire.

Disconnect the primary transmitter of your underground system from the main underground wire. Then, loop the test wire around the lawnmower’s spark plug cable twice. One end of your underground wire should be connected to the test wire. But you don’t need to build a complete circuit to use this method.

The lawnmower should be turned on. The underground wire will receive a low-frequency static output as a result. Next, tune your radio to 530 kHz on AM. To avoid picking up other radio shows, this volume level is low enough to hear the static from the underground wire. The wire’s static can be picked up by listening to different stations until you find one that is completely empty and has no radio show playing.

Use the wire to pass an AM radio through. While approaching the wire, static will rise, then level off as you get closer. Try it out on a piece of wire that isn’t buried to understand better how static electricity works.

how to find invisible fence break


Physical or intangible barriers may terrify your pet. But you, as a dog owner, are responsible for setting boundaries to ensure the safety of your pets. For example, your dog may try to get away from you if they are bored. As a result, make sure to give your dog plenty of exercises and keep him busy in the yard by providing him with plenty of toys.

Even though you’ve already decided to use an invisible fence, you should have no problem figuring out how it works and how to find a break in an underground dog fence. But it doesn’t matter if you have an old-fashioned or an invisible fence around your property; you will eventually have to deal with a breach.

Finding a hole in an invisible fence may sound like an irritating task, but it’s pretty straightforward. When getting things done right, you need to be patient, keep an eye on things, and let technology lead when necessary.

To find out where the wires in an electric fence break, you can choose any methods mentioned above. However, some fundamental concepts will be required, and the process will undoubtedly take some time. So, you have to stay calm and find out the primary reason for this broken wire in your electric dog fences.

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