Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Stopping Snapping

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IMG_iP0754eTo most of you who have known me for a long time, my transition to ranch hand and horse wrangler (I’ll hold off on claiming any prowess with a dog for now) over the last two years may seem a bit surprising.

Personally, I feel a bit more amazed than surprised, partly because it all has come rather easily to me. Yesterday, without a hitch, I breezed through a fence repair that had me marveling over how familiar it seemed, for someone having no fence experience whatsoever a short time ago.

With the temperature swings from hot to cold that we’ve experienced lately, our wire fences are looking a little less taut than usual. After long hours at the (now temporary) day-job, followed by a stop at our health clinic for a pre-international-travel checkup, I stepped out to feed the horses and found a wire tension ratchet arcing.

Snap! Snap! Snap!

I think it bugs the horses, so I try not to neglect tending to these when they begin to arc. Oftentimes, oddly enough, moisture seems to bring it on, but this case was caused when the tension reduced over time and the electrical connection from wire to metal ratchet degraded. That results in arcing with creates a build up of carbon, which then reduces the connection even more.

To fix it, I start by turning off the charger and then loosen the ratchet. That allows me to get access to the place where the coated wire runs through the hole in the ratchet. The original installer saved time by not removing the coating from the wire, but the downside of doing that is the likelihood of future arcing. I strip off the coating altogether, creating a connection that is bare wire to bare metal. Works like a charm.

When I finished yesterday’s repair and turned the charger on again, that junction was completely silent.

It was so quiet that it enabled me to then hear a different spot farther down the line doing a quieter version of the same snapping sound. I decided to wait on that one, since it was out on the hay-field where the horses don’t have access for the time being.

Maybe it will be one of those that goes away on its own.

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Written by johnwhays

March 19, 2015 at 6:00 am

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