11-11-2011, 10:33 AM
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Ultra pure water that has had everything removed will have 18Mohms resistance and will not conduct electricity. Pretty much anything short of that will have ions in it and conduct electricity. The only place you will find ultra pure water is in a manufacturing setting where industrial water has been turned into pure water, not found in nature. So yes, snow will ground out your electric fence.
I've used battery powered fence chargers before. They are a pain because you do have to more vigilant about brush and keep the darn thing charged up. They will work fine for horses, the secret is to make sure it will knock you on your ass when you first put the horses in. One good zap and they'll stay away from it.
Cows is where battery powered chargers lack a lot. They are not as sensitive to electricity as a horse and will keep testing the fence (lay their whiskers on it to feel for a tingle). The second your charge goes low, they walk through it.
I also agree that battery chargers cost you more in the end. The second power is turned on at the barn is the second you turn on your brand spanking new AC powered fence charger as you will be hardily sick of your battery powered on by then. Only use batteries when you have no other choice.
FYI, I've run a mile of electric fence along a road just to get to a plug in.