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Not all plastic insulators are equal

He then produced a string of black plastic insulators tied together, representing many of the various makes currently on the market.

Presented side by side, the clear differences that exist in strength and durability between the various brands are obvious.

Some use thin and flimsy pins to secure live wires which would seem unlikely to last out several months let alone the several years that would be expected.

Another he pointed out uses conical shaped locking pins to secure the wire in place. The shape of the pin means it is all but impossible to ensure the pin will stay in place no matter how much pressure is used to force it into the holes that are meant to secure it. “Eventually that pin will vibrate free, releasing the live wire and causing a short,” Mike explains.

Some however are sturdy and use solid locking pins that lock in place and must be physically turned before they can be released.

“If you are going to use plastics, at least use good ones,” Mike says.

Porcelain beats plastic

He advises the use of porcelain over plastic insulators where possible.

Porcelain insulators do not break down over time with sunlight, do not melt in fires, and are more robust in standing up to feral animal pressure.

Porcelain insulators may cost about twice as much as plastic insulators, but over time they are cost less because of their durability, Mike says.

“At the end of the day, the cost of insulators along a kilometer of the fence is negligible, the main cost is in your wire and your posts,” Mike said. “The accessories that go into it are only a very small part of the entire cost so you might as well do it properly.” a

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