Underground dog fence around the pool

IUsedToSail

Bronze Supporter
Jul 22, 2020
83
Maryland
Back to: I wanted a Porsche vs. the wife wanted a puppy "for the kids". I lost and we now have a puppy and not a Porsche.

Anyway, she had me installing over 1000' of underground dog fence this weekend, part of the chosen layout was to have a loop around the pool. For some background, we don't have a fence around our pool, just a fence around the 1 acre back yard. Our Corgi has fallen in once or twice while trying to herd the children and has learned to avoid the pool. However, the puppy seems to have no fear.

My wife wants the underground fence wire as close to the concrete pool deck as possible. The internet is full of pictures of pet fence wires getting burnt out from nearby lightning strikes, which made me wonder if there are any issues with the proximity of the wire to the pool and the bonding grid. Maybe I'm just over thinking this.
 

proavia

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What is the voltage of the underground dog fence?
As I recall, I think you should have at least 5 feet between the water edge and the fence wire - at a minimum. But I will defer to our members that know and understand the NEC better than I do.

Let's see what they have to say.
@ajw22 @JohnT @Bama Rambler
 

YippeeSkippy

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Jan 17, 2012
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I'd skip all that and just get an autocover installed. Far, far better IMO. Nothing goes in the water unless you've opened it up (electronically). Best purchase we made for our pool.

Maddie :flower:
 

proavia

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Given that the OP mentioned "over 1000' of underground pool fence", I'm thinking the dog fence is for more than just around the pool. And an auto-cover for the pool might be cost prohibitive.

It might be best for the OP to check with the local building authority and see what they say.
 

IUsedToSail

Bronze Supporter
Jul 22, 2020
83
Maryland
Given that the OP mentioned "over 1000' of underground pool fence", I'm thinking the dog fence is for more than just around the pool. And an auto-cover for the pool might be cost prohibitive.

It might be best for the OP to check with the local building authority and see what they say.

Good point. We have a kidney bean shaped pool with a wall behind it, an auto-cover isn't really possible...

I looked at the specs for the fence, it is only 12v DC and only draws 750mA , so I'm guessing it's basically a giant antenna.

For now I convinced my wife to just wait on putting it around the pool...
 

jamjam

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Jun 25, 2020
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You can use a e-collar with a remote and manually train the dog. It’s the same concept but without the wire. Not the same use case but one weekend of training and the dog will understand
 

jberger

Member
Jul 9, 2017
12
Alabama
Why not just put the wire in a conduit sleeve so you can change it out if you have issues?
A ground strike can burn up the physical wire, but most of the time it really just knocks out the transmitter instead.

Most of the pet fences work on AM radio frequencies, the transmitter sends the signal down the wire and the collar picks it up. There is just radio energy in the wire itself, and it's so low power there are no issues around the water unless you physically stuck the wires into an electrical outlet. You have to leave some boundary distance in the wirepath to give the pet some space anyway, so keeping back from the edge of the pool should not be an issue.

If you use something like PetSafe's Yard Max, you can usually set it up so that the collar doesn't trigger until the pet crosses the wire, then the reinforcement keeps going for 30-45 seconds if they don't come back to the other side of the wire. Other technologies will trigger the collar on both sides of the wire so you need to leave more boundary space between the wire and the 'safe' side if you use something else.

Our dogs LOVE the water, and we live on a lake, so we have to have both a fence and the invisible fence to keep them out of the lake. I setup the wire at the bottom of the fence so they can run around inside with no issues, but if they try to jump over or slip out of the gate it reminds them to come back inside.

We are still working out the final details of our pool, but it will include adding a wire loop to keep them off the pool deck and out of the outdoor kitchen while they have the collars on. There is no amount of manual training that would keep them out of the pool without the collars. They are just too excited about going for a swim. They would easily eat a hole in the autocover to take a dip too so I think it's our only option.
 
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TexEdmond

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Jun 16, 2021
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I have been researching lighting and electrical codes because we live out in the country and there's no local / county / state inspections for much of anything. So I'm kindof on my own to understand what's safe and what's not for making modifications or hiring out work at the house. My wife and I had a long discussion about the italian string lights in my profile picture, specifically about whether they could safely go over the pool from the house to a tree. There's a gajillion places I've found where random Joe Schmoe on the interwebs has said, "Sure I did that and just made sure to install a GFCI plug up in the soffit and we're good to go cause that'll save anybody from electrocution.." Later in the thread I'd read the folks who are professionals say, "Are you willing to put your family's life in the hands of a $20 electrical plug?" Often times that wouldn't change the anyone's mind.

Somewhere in that search for info (because we were also going to do low voltage landscaping lights) I stumbled on some rather strange issues in the code, even around extremely low voltage stuff like CATV and telephone wiring. It was fascinating to see that often times those are required to be even farther away from the pool than high voltage stuff, and I wonder if that might also be an RF issue for swimmer safety. The general concensus I've seen is "no closer than 5 feet from the water's edge" on a lot of things. I had always only considered it a swimmer / maintenance issue around electrocution (light string falls into pool, pool pole contacting light and water), but there are other considerations like extremely low transient voltages interrupting electronic pacemakers. Reading that helped me take things more seriously from a safety standpoint, and helped me change my mindset from "I can't think of any reason why this would cause an issue" to "I trust why these guidelines are in place and of course people who know more about this than me put this in for a reason."

At the end of the day, my wife and I make decisions based on a mutual level of safety, informed by the very best information we can find. We've not lived in this house for a whole year yet, and our goofy dog has already slipped off the retaining wall (it was adorable), and nearly stepped into the pool a couple of times while sniffing around in the flower bed. Fortunately, she HATES the water, so we're not too concerned about her getting into trouble there. I'd urge you to be very certain about the installation's safety and keep an open mind about unforseen issues (like the pacemaker) before doing the installation. I'm certain you take your pets' and your kids' safety seriously. The idea of putting it in conduit is also an interesting one, because it'd make things easier to uninstall if you moved, decided it wasn't necessary, or found out for certain that it wasn't code friendly.

We're in a similar situation, house on 1 acre, big fenced backyard, but don't want to put something up around the pool itself.
 
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