What is it?
This is a description applied when a slug or snail has slid across the control board, shorting it out.
Unfortunately it is not the title of an obscure Children’s novel.
This is one we found recently inside the controls cabinet.
The gardeners reading this will be pleased to know that it usually kills the slug or snail in question.
However, in the process the control board often suffers electrical damage and has to be replaced. This can cost hundreds of pounds to complete.
This is due to the slug or snail making a contact between at least two terminals, allowing voltage to pass through it and frying the critter, similar to the effect of an electric chair.
The fact that the slug or snail is ‘damp or slimy’ helps the process.
It can also be caused by insects such as ants or spiders.
What can be done?
There is no 100% protection for stopping slug or insects getting into the control panel and board, as wires have to pass through the side or bottom of the cabinet from the control panel to the gate.
However, the potential damage to the control board can be reduced by installing the panel inside a smaller box, which is then fitted inside the larger control cabinet.
Also, the holes which allow the wires to pass through the cabinet should be fitted with rubber grommets, sealing them from insect or water ingress.
Why do it?
Clearly, no one wants to spend £600 + vat to replace a control board that was previously working faultlessly.
As the control board is effectively the gates ‘brain’, a replacement board is expensive, so it is a component that needs to be protected as much as possible.
Also when the control board is ‘fried’ in this manner, the gate stops working and subsequently reduces the security of the site.