Why does electric fence hookup wire have such a HUGE conductor?

I bought the electric fence hookup wire at the link below, and the conductor is enormous. It is 12.5 gage, and steel at that. It is much stiffer than a clothes hanger and takes tools to put a neat bend in it. I think I could use it as a lever to break a pencil. Many of my smaller screwdrivers are easier to bend.

WHY is this metal so thick?

The point of this wire is to make connections to electric fence wire. It is insulated, and this particular kind is rated for burial. But high voltage and burial ability require that the insulation be thick (and it is), not that the conductor at the center be thick. This stuff is bizarre to work with and I think I have to find some other product to do part of my hookup where I have a hinged gate. Besides, I am using the big staples usually used with “Romex”, and handling the free part of this wire sometimes actually pulls the staples out. It’s just weird.

Aren’t horses ever going to be pushing or pulling on it?
Can you say more about what this wire does? I can’t understand how a horse fence wire would do any good if buried.

While I never installed one, a steel 12.5ga wire isn’t that huge (folks don’t confuse the issue by pointing out that steel and non-ferrous sizes are different(.

In any case, electric fences don’t put out much power at all, and it was one of the first widely available (and widely used) solar powered devices I can remember from 40 years back in the US. As a kid, I always thought, hey this will be perfect to keep the commies, mutants and the pesky girl next door out of my bunker in an environmentally sustainable way. The Sears catalog was always fascinating.

But, as pointed out, there is mechanical durability, plus enough bulk to have a reasonable life in the face of corrosion, provide low resistance when something actually contacts the fence. That would be my stab.

sorry back button…

the ground shifts with frost and large heavy farm equipment being driven over it. the wire needs to keep working well with all this abuse.

with steel wire, insulated and not, you have to bend it to an approximate position, then temporarily fix it in place (wrap copper wire around it, clamp with locking pliers) and then use pliers or a wire bending tool (rod or bar with a hole for one piece of wire and you wrap that tool around the other piece of wire making a tight wrap like a Western Union wire splice) and wrap it tight.

you can do a gate using the fence wire in air. use donuts to affix fence wire to post and gate, then run a slack bend between, adjusting so that it can’t ground itself. with insulated wire connecting the two you don’t have to be careful as to what it gets near.

The point of the wire isn’t to construct the fence, it is to connect between the fence and the fencer (the electronic box that converts line voltage to pulsed high voltage). Sometimes you can run electric fence wire right to the fencer, but sometimes you want the fencer in shelter close to an outlet and you run this insulated wire from there, maybe under the ground, to the electric fence wire itself.

Well, that does make sense.

My gate is complicated by the fact that this fence is on top of 6’ stockade fence topped with corrugated polyethylene downspout tubing. It’s to keep cats in. So, since the cat isn’t going to reach from the ground (I mean the dirt) up to the fence wire, I have to run the hot fence wire and its ground (I mean the reference) wire both along the top of the fence, a couple inches apart. The gate hinge is offset somewhat from the centerline of the wire, so I would need two separate wires that stretch different amounts and don’t ever touch each other when the fence operates. Since one of these two can be grounded, that does make it a bit easier; nevertheless I was hoping to do this hinge business with insulated wire just to make life easier. That, and I don’t have any experience with electric fence other than rigging this thing up (if that even counts).