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We bought a small former horse farm a few years a ago. We reinforced the old horse pasture with wire mesh fencing to keep our dogs in.

Now we want to fence in a wooded part of our property for the dogs. We want to continue to use the welded wire/mesh fence along with some T posts. However we have a slight black bear problem in our neighborhood. She has been known to wander into our yard to graze and look for fallen nuts near the winter. I've had to patch up our fence a couple of times. I've seen bears take down strong privacy fence too, so I was going to opt for the addition of an electric wire along the outside of the fence.

I'm worried about the hot wire touching the not hot welded wire and becoming less effective. I'm also worried about putting the insulators over the welded wire; not sure they will fit. Has anyone had experience with doing this combo?

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There are standard electric fence insulators for T-posts.

Some only go on one side of the post - others have more options.

If you cannot get adequate spacing from the T-posts to prevent shorting, or cannot find insulators that fit with the mesh, you can run a separate electric fence a short distance outside the mesh, on T-posts or on fiberglass posts. With a tightly tensioned mesh and electric fence wire/string/tape little spacing is needed - but if the current mesh fence is loose, it's probably going to be easier to run a second fence, which can generally get away with fewer posts.

Electric fences in the woods require regular inspections to be effective. Branches and trees fall on them and short them out, break them, or hold them to the ground.

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If you have wooden posts: I have cut 1/4" fiberglass poles into 12 inch sections and drilled holes in the top of my posts and inserted the fiberglass. There are metal clips (from farm/feed stores) that are made to fit over the fiberglass rods and hold electric fence wire. Worked great for me. With "T" posts: you may be able to slip the fiberglass rods between the angle in the post With some "T" post clips and achieve the same thing.

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  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. Dec 2, 2019 at 22:11
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What you're talking about is an electric fence. This is a standard, common, readily available farm product. The pulse generators, wire and insulators are sold in the very same aisle as you get your regular fencing at the farm store.

What you're trying to do is actually a standard way electric fences are installed. The readily available kit should suffice.

It goes without saying that you won't just hook 120/230V mains power to your fence wire. That would constitute "constructing a lethal booby trap", which is a prison-time felony in every jurisdiction.

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  • The simplest method is to install a standard electric fence wire , not touching the wire mesh.An advantage is that you can use the mesh fence as the ground. Dec 2, 2019 at 15:32
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You need to find insulators that will fit or change your fencing material. Without insulators, you take the risk of the hot wires coming in contact with the mesh and grounding out your supply and tripping some protective device if the fence is grounded or partially grounded from the posts being in the ground. If the fence isn't grounded, you take the risk of energizing the whole thing.... not good for your dogs. If you choose to do this, check local codes to make sure electrified fences are permitted and all warning signs are posted. This is risky, be careful.

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