How To Keep An Electric Fence in Working Order

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Keep your animals included and safe on your farm by keeping your electric fencing in working order.

Electric fencing is an exceptionally helpful fencing system for many farmers and is capable of handling several tasks. It can make an exceptional fencing choice for horses, cattle, sheep, goats and chickens, plus it can be a safe fencing option while still being fairly simple– and inexpensive– to set up. Appropriately functioning electric fencing can be effective in deterring predators and can even be a tool for keeping critters out of your garden. Additionally, a hair or two of electric fence wire can always be utilized increase the efficiency of other kinds of fencing.

According to these guys, electric fencing comes in a range of styles and setup setups to meet these differing tasks, but no matter what sort of electric fencing you utilize, appropriate upkeep is key to keeping your fence working correctly and keeping your animals (or plants) safe. Let’s take a look at a few things you require to understand to keep a properly maintained electric fence.

Electric Fence Basics

It’s crucial to be familiar with the basics of how an electric fence runs. It’s basically simply a simple circuit. One terminal of the fence charger– the “fence” or “favorable” terminal– is connected to the fencing, whether it be wire, rope or netting, etc. The other terminal– the “ground” or “negative” terminal– is connected to metal grounding rods that are placed deep into the soil, providing all of the ground in the fence’s vicinity an unfavorable charge.

At this point, the circuit is not finished due to the fact that the fence wires and the ground are not touching each other. To complete the circuit and get the designated electric shock, it’s required for an animal to be touching both the ground and the fence at the same time. (This is why birds can rest on electric fence wires without receiving a shock– they aren’t touching the ground and, therefore, aren’t finishing the circuit.) This is the basic principle behind all electric fences, and the majority of the maintenance that a fence requires has to do with this concept.

Periodic Volt Checks

The very best thing you can do to keep your fence running appropriately, specifically if the animals have actually seemed to have actually lost regard for the fence, is walk around it periodically and check numerous points and lines with your voltage tester. Are you getting a great charge in all areas? Is each line functioning? If not, you’ll need to investigate why. Is the fence being shorted out in some way, possibly from a damaged insulator or wire? Examine the fence until you discover the reason. Do you get excellent voltage close to the battery charger, but less at the back of the pasture? If so, you might need to set up additional grounding rods. Periodic checks like this can save you time and issues later on.


Excess plant life growing along with your electric fence can trigger big issues. When vegetation, which has plenty of water and therefore relatively conductive of electrical power, grows up and touches a fence, it can trigger a brief, robbing the fence of important power and wasting electrical energy. Preferably, fence owners must keep their fence lines cut and devoid of weeds. This isn’t always simple, particularly with large pastures, so you may also want to invest in a charger that’s strong enough to keep the fence powered even through plants, while still doing your finest to preserve weed control.

Winter season Issues

For areas that get snow, winter can be a tough time to keep your electric fence running properly. Off, your grounding will end up being weaker. This is caused by 2 reasons: one, due to the fact that frozen ground is not almost as reliable at conducting electrical power as warmer ground that contains liquid water. The other factor is that snow accumulation on the ground– especially in animal paddocks where the snow might get packed down and end up being deep and firm– serves as a layer of insulation in between the animal’s feet and the ground, triggering a loss of conductivity.

To correct this, you might need to turn among your fence wires into a “ground line.” With this technique, you attach one strand of electric fencing, normally near the middle of the fence, to the ground terminal instead of the fence terminal, efficiently changing it from a favorable line to a negative line. The idea here is that if an animal tries to lean on or push through a fence, they will likely touch both a favorable and negative line at the same time and get a shock in this manner, regardless of how well the fence is grounded.

Another issue you can face in winter is sagging fence lines reduced by the weight of snow or ice that adheres to the wires. Watch on your fence and tighten up as needed.

Solar Panels

If you use a solar panel to supply your fence with electrical energy, it’s vital to make certain that it gets as much sunlight as possible. Keep the panel free of snow or dust, and tilt it towards the sun as the seasons progress– point it greater towards the sky in the summertime, lower towards the south in the winter season. And if you find your solar setup simply isn’t strong enough for the size of your pasture, consider switching to a plug-in charger.